WEST ALLIS, Wisc. -- The 39th Milwaukee Handball Classic and USHA Women's Classic finished with a tremendous flourish with marquee match-ups in the Women's Classic final and the Men's Pro Doubles and Singles at the Wisconsin Athletic Club. Ciana Ni Churraoin defeated Megan McCann in the Women's Classic final, 21-12, 21-8.
The most challenging match of the weekend was waiting for Ciana Ni Churraoin in the Women's Classic final with Megan McCann.
"We've never played a tournament match against each other." said Ni Churraoin. "She's two years younger, so we've never been in the same bracket--in Ireland or the U.S. It's a bit different being the 'elder' for once."
McCann admitted herself that she wasn't sure what to expect from Ni Churraoin in the Women's Classic final, but she soon discovered her opponent's power and precise serves.
Ni Churraoin started the match off with three-straight aces, putting McCann on her heals and already playing from behind. Despite her opponent's fast start, McCann didn't panic or rush her shots, and she quietly willed her way back into the match.
"It took some time to adjust to the speed, but I finally settled in and played," McCann said. Ultimately, Ni Churraoin's athleticism and strength were the difference to finishing the first game with a 21-12, marking the first time a player reached double digits the entire tournament. Ni Churraoin kept her dominance going through the next game to capture the Women'c Classic title in two games, extending her Milwaukee Classic winning streak to two years.
In the Women's Classic Third Place Playoff, Mikaila Mitchell defeated Kristen Hughes, 21-9 and 21-9, in a battle between two former Collegiate All-Americans.
In the much anticipated Men's Pro Singles final--a rematch of the Tucson Memorial Final--Killian Carroll bested Sean Lenning in two games, 21-16, 21-4.
The top-seed and defending Classic champion delivered ruthless serves and showed off his amazing court coverage by making some gravity defying retrieves. While Lenning made a strong effort in the first game, he didn't have much left in his tank in the second, possibly the effect of a full weekend of play along with the morning's tiebreaker final in the Men's Pro Doubles.
The Cordova Bros. shook off a game one blitz from their opponents to force a tiebreaker and take home the doubles crown, defeating Sean Lenning and Vic Perez, 4-21, 21-9, 11-8.
The Milwaukee Classic, established in 1980, has grown into one of the country's best regional events, drawing nearly 200 players from around the country and beyond. In addition to attracting the top pros, each draw was stacked with National-caliber players. Tournament Director Charlie Keller has been the driving force behind this event for 30 of the 39 years.
"It was another great Classic," declared Keller. "In addition to having the top pros and Women's Classic, it's really special to see all the young collegiate players here. They were all amazing, and even the club employees were pleased about their politeness and the way they carried themselves. That's a great testament to their coaches and to our sport. We're happy to carry on the tradition here in Milwaukee." Collegiate players from Missouri State, Lake Forest, UW-Milwaukee, Illinois, Minnesota, Minnesota State, Mankato, and University of Texas made the trip to West Allis.
How can a three-day tournament accommodate nearly 200 players? That task belonged to co-director Jeff Werstein. Having played in a few collegiate tournaments himself, Werstein understood the herculean task of getting all the players on the court. Ultimately, every match got off and the players enjoyed the tremendous hospitality. Werstein also reached the final of the Seniors 35+ division while juggling duties at the desk. Thanks also goes to Werstein's dad Ed, a long-time Milwaukee Classic volunteer, who kept things under control.
Also, special thanks goes to Scott Richter, who is currently on the mend and off the courts, but still helped out all weekend. Congratulations to all the Women's Classic participants and to all Milwaukee Classic Champions!
See the updated draws and match times at the tournament's r2sports page HERE.
Women's Classic Drop-Down Results:
Mudd bye; Sterrett d. Taylor, 4, 1; Smith d. Theobold, 12, 13; Rumbing bye; Pecaut bye; Shepherd d. Bell; Lucas d. Karnuth, 12, (5), 7; Vidas bye.
Quarterfinals: Mudd d. Sterrett, 12, 11; Rumping d. Smith, 9, 3; Pecaut d. Shepherd, 13, 6; Lucas d. Vidas, def.
Semifinals: Rumping d. Mudd; Pecaut d. Lucas, 12, 6.
Final: Rumping d. Pecaut, 15, 7.
Jagodzinski bye; Hagstrom d. Gibbons, 11, 9; Radden d. K. Klicker, 5, 6;
Redfern d. Hlebichuk, 5 , 3; Herlevi d. Alnamoora, 1, 0; Walker d. Levy, (6), 14, 0; Hong d. Anderson, 8, 5; Kennedy d. I. Klicker, 7, 2.
Quarterfinals: Jagodzinski d. Hagstrom, (0), 10, 8; Radden d. Redfern, (6), 6, 5; Herlevi d. Walker, 7, 6; Kennedy d. Hong, 7, (14), 3.
Semifinals: Jagodzinski d Radden, 4, 13; Herlevi d. Kennedy, 14 ,12.
Final: Jagodzinski d. Herlevi.
Quarterfinals: Gibbons bye; Hlebichuk d. K. Klicker; H. Levy d. Almamoura; Anderson d. I Klicker, 8, 13.
Semifinals: Gibbons d. Hlebichuk, 4, 10; Anderson d. Levy, 11, 12.
Final: Gibbons d. Anderson.
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