WEST ALLIS, Wisc. -- Excitement stirred between many of nearly 200 entered players as they entered the doors of the Wisconsin Athletic Club—this three-day event was stacked top-to-bottom with talented players from around the country in each draw! The 39th edition of the Milwaukee Handball Classic was underway on Friday afternoon at the Wisconsin Athletic Club. This year’s event included the USHA Women’s Classic, which features a triple drop-down division where players of all skill-levels begin in one big bracket.
There were not any notable upsets to report in the first day’s action. The two largest divisions of the event, the Men’s Pro Singles and Women’s Classic, battled through the first two rounds Friday afternoon and into the evening.
Handball is always lauded for being a true lifetime sport. One of the later Women’s Classic matchups featured in the intro photo was between Robin Sterrett (Forest Park, IL) and Kyra Vidas (Atlanta) in the round of 16. Sterrett (on the left) is the wife of USHA Grand Master (10+ Masters Division National titles) Tim Sterrett, but she was introduced to the sport before the couple had met.
In 1979 on the University of Texas campus in Austin, handball coach Pete Tyson issued a challenge to his handball class. Each male could get extra-credit if they brought a female to Gregory Gym to try handball and play in a one-day tournament. A friend in Sterrett’s dorm convinced her to come, where she tried handball for the first time (Sterrett made the picture of the event featured in Handball Magazine at the time). From then on, she was hooked and continued playing the sport she loved.
Now, 40 years later, Sterrett won her first round match and pushed Vidas to a tiebreaker in the round of 16 before conceding defeat to the seventh-ranked player from Atlanta. Like many of the women who didn’t advance on Friday, there’s still more handball on Saturday in the drop-down divisions.
Quarterfinal action in each division begins on Saturday morning.
|Ray Ure (Des Plaines, IL) chases down a shot from Luis Cordova Jr. (Juarez, Mexico) in the Men's Pro Singles on Friday night.|
See the updated draws and match times at the tournament's r2sports page HERE.
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