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FRIDLEY, Minnesota -- Catriona Casey captured her third Women's Open title with a convincing win over Cianna Ni Churraoin, 21-5, 21-0. It was a bittersweet moment for Casey to face her doubles partner and friend who suffered an ankle injury towards the end of the first game. Although Ni Churraoin was able to finish the match, she was a shell of the player who pushed Catriona for two games in last month's WPH Players Championships in Portland.
In Men's Doubles action, Marcos Chavez and Sean Lenning defended their doubles title against the newly formed team of Andy Nett and Martin Mulkerrins, 21-12 and 21-17. While the champions controlled leads through both games, Nett and Mulkerrins didn't back down, briefly tying score in the second game through Nett's streaking serves and Mulkerrins' solid play. An avoidable hinder against the challengers halted any momentum as Lenning and Chavez sealed their second consecutive Four-Wall Doubles crown.
See final draws/results HERE.
Killian Carroll and Paul Brady played one of the most memorable USHA National Four-Wall finals in history on Saturday ending with Carroll closing the door to Brady's 10-year undefeated streak to win his first title (6), 17, 10.
"It just feels surreal at this point." said the newly crowned champ.
It didn't appear that Carroll would have much of a chance early on, as Brady blitzed the youngster from Cork in the first game. An early 20-2 lead foreshadowed Carroll's doom, but Carroll didn't relinquish game point, scoring four more points to show some life and build confidence at the end of the first game. Once the second game started, Carroll imposed his will on the defending champ, building sizable leads only to see Brady come back to take a 17-16 edge. Getting the side out, Carroll scored five unanswered points to force the tiebreaker.
Brady started with the serve in the tiebreaker and took control early leading 4-2, but Carroll never let his opponent build any more than a 2-point lead. The two players were knotted at 8-8 when Brady scored two more points to be on the cusp of his 11th title. But Carroll denied the historic moment, winning a long rally to regain the serve. Two quick points had Carroll on the edge of his first title and the packed gallery on the edge of their seats with the score tied 10-10. As his did so many times during the match, Carroll finished a rally with a flat kill to seal his first title.
In a post-match interview, Brady reflected, "I'll take the summer off, but I definitely don't want this to be my last match."
In women's open action, defending champion Catriona Casey dropped Aoife McCarthy in two games and will face Ciana Ni Churraoin for the title Sunday morning. Ni Churraoin advanced to the final with a two-game win over Jessica Gawley.
Watch the action on the WPH Live Webcast at www.race4eight.com. The Women's Open final coverage begins Sunday, June 19, 10 a.m. Central.
Sean Lenning and Mando Ortiz met in the final for the third time in the last five Race 4 Eight events, with Lenning winning the previous two finals in Salt Lake City (2015) and Tucson (2015). Lenning cruised to the final with ease, winning all six games he played and never allowing any of his three opponents to score more than 10 points in any game. Ortiz entered Houston’s final in search of his first R48 title after losing in his first three trips to the finals. Ortiz defeated Paul Brady in Saturday’s semifinal in what instantly became recognized as the best match in the history of the R48 tour.
Mando Ortiz picked up where he left off in his semifinal win in the final, crushing Lenning 15-0 in just nine minutes to take a one-game lead. “Sean was just asleep in the first game and not making his serves or his shots,” Ortiz would later say. Lenning came to life in game two, finding his rhythm and his explosiveness to even the match at one game apiece.
The tiebreaker produced several dramatic momentum changes between two of the greatest offensive players in the history of the sport. Lenning raced to a 6-1 lead before Mando scored 11 of the next 12 points to seize control of the third frame. Ortiz would eventually lead 13-9, just two point from his first R48 title. Several long exchanges and multiple dives, floor timeouts, glove changes, and incredible shot making by Sean Lenning saw the score tied at 13, with Lenning two points from his sixth R48 title. A furious rally at 13-all revealed both player’s desperation to win the title, as each lunged and dove for multiple balls. Ortiz earned the side out and scored consecutive points to win his first R48 title.
“This is everything I’ve ever dreamed of,” revealed at emotional Ortiz on ESPN. “I know of all of the great mentors and champions that have come before me paved the way and I’m just so happy to be part of the club (of champions). Both my grandparents passed away this year and this is for them.”
Emmett Peixoto rebounded from his quarterfinal loss to Mando Ortiz to defeat Killian Carroll for the first time in the first round of the 5th place playoffs and clinched fifth by defeating Jonathan Iglesias. Luis Cordova dominated the 9th place playoffs, cruising past Daniel Cordova, David Fink, and Allan Garner. Tyler Stevens earned a R48 ranking for the first time by winning the 17th place playoffs, defeating Chicago’s Carlos Lemus in the final.
R48 Houston Finishes:
9th: L. Cordova
10th: Al. Garner
13th: Munson/D. Cordova/Bernhard/Hamel
Marcos Chavez and Tyler Hamel met for the third straight year in the SR48 Houston, with the pair splitting their previous two Houston encounters. Chavez defeated Hamel in the 2014 SR48 Houston final and Hamel defeating Chavez in the 2015 SR48 Houston semifinal. Chavez was in search of his sixth SR48 title, while Hamel was aiming fir his first.
Chavez quickly took control of the final, building a 15-5 halftime lead with a remarkable display of all-around handball. The Chavez express continued to roll in the second half, as Chavez applied pressure to cruise to his sixth SR48 title and retain his #1 SR48 ranking.
SR48 Houston Finishes:
To watch replays of the R48 and SR48 action from Houston, go to the Watch ESPN App (here).See the draws and results HERE.
It Starts With You
The Hall of Fame Committee, headed by Mike Dau, has been working toward a standardized procedure for nominating people for induction to the USHA Handball Hall of Fame. Although each and every case must be considered individually since there are many factors considered by the committee members before they recommend a person to the Board of Directors for induction, a staring point was still needed.
With that in mind, the committee prepared a form that can be filled out by any current USHA member who would like to nominate someone for consideration for induction into the Hall of Fame. The form, as outlined below, should then be sent to Mike Dau for reading at the next Hall of Fame Committee meeting. The Committee meets at least once each year at the nationals and corresponds by mail at other times during the course of the year.
After looking over the criteria that the committee reviews when considering nominations, as well as the procedure, perhaps you'll know someone you'd like the committee to consider. If so, fill out the form and mail it to Mike Dau, C/O Lake Forest College, 555 N. Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, III. 60045.
Hall of Fame Criteria
A One-Wall, Three-Wall or Four-Wall player that achieved NATIONAL USHA RANKING in OPEN SINGLES or DOUBLES COMPETITION. Junior, Collegiate or Master achievement is not a consideration in the selection process.
- Players must be a dominant singles or doubles player, over 40 years of age, in one-wall, three- or four-wall for a minimum period of five years.
- Players will be considered for their singles or doubles ability.
- Players considered for induction must have succeeded at the Open National Championship Level.
- The criteria for nominations as a Contributor to the game are outstanding, unselfish service to the game of handball on a national level.
Robert W. Kendler Award:
- The criteria for nominations for the Robert W. Kendler Award are outstanding, unselfish service to the game of handball on a regional level.
Carl Porter Award:
The Carl Porter Award was established in 2005 to honor those who have performed outstanding service to the USHA at the national level. The award is named after the USHA’s second president, Carl Porter, who is considered the savior and architect of the modern day USHA. Considerations for this award include any positions held in the USHA, any USHA tournaments managed, material written for inclusion in USHA publications (instructional articles and stories). Also considered are if the candidate has held any USHA clinics and made any contributions or been a part of any other volunteer related activities.
1. Any current USHA member may nominate a person for consideration for induction to the Hall of Fame.
2. A nominating form for Players may be obtained from the USHA national office. There is no official form for nominations to the Hall of Fame for Contributors or the Kendler Award. Nominators are simply required to submit the qualifications for their nominee in a detailed and documented fashion. All nominations must be received by the Hall of Fame Committee Chairman with supporting documentation at least 45 days prior to the annual meeting which is conducted at the national championships.
3. The documentation must include the players tournament record in singles or doubles play at every major/prestigious event, including the Juniors, Collegiates, Pro Tour, AAU, AHU, YMCA, USHA, Canadian, Irish, World, or other competition in one-, three-, or four-wall. The year and site of all semifinal or higher finishes should be indicated, as well as the other three players in the semis. The documentation for a contributor's nomination must also be in writing, but the content is the responsibility of the nominator.
4. When a nomination is submitted to the committee, the commitee will conduct a "First Reading" to determine if the nomination is worthy of recognition. If approved by a simple majority vote the nomination will advance to a second reading.
5. A "second reading" will take place at the next annual meeting following the first reading. A recommendation for induction will be made to the USHA Board of Directors when three-fourths of the committee approve the nomination at the second reading. At least eight committee members must be present at this second reading. A two year nominating moratorium is imposed on any rejected second reading.
6. Nominations for the Kendler Award are to be submitted to the Chairman of the Hall of Fame Committee and will be considered at the annual meeting. A recommendation to the Board for their consideration requires a simple majority by the committee.
7. The Hall of Fame Committee recommendations are sent to the USHA Board for its approval at its annual winter meeting. Hall of Fame inductees and Kendler Award recipients are then honored at the annual banquet at the national four-wall championships.
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. -- The Simple Green 2015 US Open of Handball and 25th Naty Alvarado Classic featured the game's best in a festival of handball in one=wall, three-wall and four-wall on Sunday. In a first, players were allowed to enter more than one pro event. The brackets were filled with star power but slams were hard to come by, even for Paul Brady. The only Open slam came in the Women's one-wall with Sandy Ng taking two titles on Sunday.
After Brady (taking one off the back wall in the final), rallied to defeat Luis Moreno in the singles final, he ran into a buzz saw in Armando Ortiz in the doubles. Brady and Emmett Peixoto looked unbeatable en route to the final but that was before Ortiz caught fire and Vic Perez' stellar right-side play proved too much for the singles stars.
Samzon Hernandez (setting to blast one outdoors), overcame fatigue to take the three-wall singles over Victor Duran.
Timbo Gonzalez beat Tywan Cook for the one-wall singles but also came up just short in the three-wall doubles with Braulio Ruiz in the final against Gilbert Rosales and Manuel Arreola.
The Festival featured great play in all versions and all age groups.
Brought to you by Southern California Handball Association
FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. --Mark Zamora (setting up in his first final) was one of two players to win two on Sunday. Zamora teamed with Jesse Pasos (background) and John Robles to win the 50 and 45 titles. Robles was the other player to win two, taking the 45 and 50 events.
Final results HERE.
By Dan Flickstein
On November 22, 2015 Sheila Maroshick, brilliant one-wall singles star from 1949-1964, was officially inducted into the USHA Hall of Fame in Brooklyn at Chadwick’s Restaurant at 89thStreet and Third Avenue, not far from where she lives with her sister, Eileen. Eileen was the celebration’s gracious hostess.
Sheila kicked off the festivities with a beautiful prayer she had written many years ago for an assembly program she directed at the junior high school where she taught. That long ago special program welcomed guest speaker Eleanor Roosevelt, who praised Sheila for her elegant words. After the prayer Sheila spoke briefly of her handball glory days and of her gratitude for being accepted to the National Hall of Fame.
During the evening attention was called to Sheila’s latest book, The Inquisitive Children, from which all proceeds will be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation.
City Councilman Vincent Gentile presented Sheila with on official citation for her Hall of Fame career, indicating her contribution to the City of New York as an athlete.
NEW YORK -- The anticipation for a Paul Brady vs. Armando Ortiz rematch reached a fever-pitch leading up to the WPH R48Pro V NYAC Stop. Could Ortiz maintain his form from Houston? Was Brady finally starting to show his age after dominating for more than a decade? Those questions and more were answered by the five-time world champion who served his way to impressive victory over Ortiz in the WPH Pro final 15-11 and 15-5.
WEST ALLIS, Wisc. -- "Luis Moreno OWNS the Milwaukee Classic," declared tournament director Charlie Keller. Nobody could get the best of Moreno at the Wisconsin Athletic Club as he slammed for the second year in a row, defeating Sean Lenning (16), 4, 6, in singles and winning the doubles with Emmett Peixoto, 12, 17, over Lenning and Nik Nahorniak.