’17 Armed Forces Handball Tribute

Posted on May 28 2017 - 5:13pm by DV

The 2017 Armed Forces Memorial Tournament

Day 3

Tucson, AZ, WPH Press, 5/28/17- The 2017 Armed Forces Memorial wrapped its second edition in Tucson with the Race 4 Eight’s best in action in singles and doubles.

Pro Singles Final: Carroll vs. Fink (Watch HERE)

R48 #1 Killian Carroll and R48 #2 David Fink met for the second time in 2017 in the Armed Forces Memorial final, with Carroll rallying from a 2-15, 4-11 deficit in the finals of February’s New Orleans R48 6 to win the pair’s first encounter.

Fink started slowly in game one, making six errors in the first half of the first game and falling behind 11-3. Carroll maintained his lead, closing out the first game 21-10.

Carroll started well in game two, building a 4-0 lead before Fink started to find his game. Fink and Carroll started to put together a highlight reel of kills midway through the second game, with the #1 and #2 superstars finding the bottom board with both hands from seemingly everywhere on the court. “There was just nothing separating Carroll and Fink,” stated Armed Forces A finalist Brian Williams. “Sitting in the front row we just couldn’t believe the gets and shots.”

Carroll would eventually take a 20-17 lead and serve for the match. Carroll skipped his first attempt to win the match from 35-feet by one inch and Fink took advantage, scoring two points take cut the deficit to 19-20. Carroll earned a side out but Fink erased another match point with a 38-foot rollout. Another Fink kill and a Carroll error evened the match, sending the Tucson handball fans into a frenzy.

Carroll started slowly in the tiebreaker, skipping four shots and falling behind a white hot Fink 8-3. After scoring six consecutive points, Fink was unable to execute a fly kill to make the score 9-3. Carroll roared back with tremendous serves, incredible speed and clutch kills to tie the score at eight. Fink called his last timeout, but a grueling rally at 8-all seemed to spell doom for Fink. “It just seemed like Dave lost his legs at that point and that was the difference,” stated Elite 8 pro Emmett Peixoto.

A 21-shot rally at 9-8 ended with the first broken ball of the match and Carroll quickly ended the match with an ace and a 34-foot kill. “Just absolutely outstanding and just amazing to watch,” stated tournament director and hall of famer Fred Lewis.

Final: Carroll def Fink 21-11, 20-21, 11-8

Pro Doubles Final: Carroll/Montijo vs. Fink/Ruiz (Watch HERE)

Killian Carroll and Abraham Montijo teamed up for the first time, advancing to the Armed Forces final, while David Fink and Shorty Ruiz teamed up for the second time in two months, having won their first start together in March’s USHA Hall of Fame tournament.

Carroll and Montijo gelled from the start of the match, building a 13-6 lead before Ruiz caught fire, scoring seven straight points without his partner touching the ball. Team Carroll/Montijo regrouped, closing out game one and cruising in game two to earn their first Armed Forces doubles title and a slam for R48 #1 Killian Carroll.

Final: Carroll/Montijo def Fink/Ruiz 21-16, 21-12

Women’s Singles

WR48 #8 Ashley Moler faced Fred Lewis Foundation’s Kena Byrd-Jackson in the Armed Forces women’s final. Moler used her experience and wide variety of shots to overwhelm rising star Byrd-Jackson, taking the women’s title in two games.

Final: Moler def Byrd-Jackson 21-3, 21-13


Thank you to Armed Forces tournament directors Fred Lewis, Charlie Wicker, and Vince San Angelo and the Armed Forces desk volunteers. Thank you also to the sponsors who provided prize money and hospitality throughout the weekend.

To follow all of the draws and results from the 2017 Armed Forces Tribute Tournament, click here

To follow the action from each day of the 2017 Armed Forces Memorial, scroll down this thread.


The 2017 Armed Forces Memorial Tournament

Day 2

Tucson, AZ, WPH Press, 5/27/17- Saturday at the Armed Forces Memorial featured seven of the top 26 Race 4 Eight pros in action, with the best in the world producing several thrilling matches


R48 #1 Killian Carroll cruised past 2016 JR WPH Coach of the Year Drft Fernandez in two games, while R48 #2 David Fink defeated 2017 collegiate finalist and R48 #26 Leo Canales in two games in their first ever match-up. R48 #5 Sean Lenning was sharp in taking down Abraham Montijo in their third tournament encounter in two months.

The match of the morning pitted new Tucson resident and R48 #18 Shorty Ruiz challenging 10-time R48 champion and current R48 #3 Luis Moreno. Moreno was spectacular in game one, holding the cross over star to just one point. Ruiz returned the favor in game two, evening the match by holding Moreno to just five points. Moreno started quickly in the tiebreaker, leading 5-0 before Ruiz found his game two form, scoring seven straight points to stand four points from a huge upset. Moreno tied the score at seven, and the duo traded points to arrive at 8-all. Serving at 8-8, Ruiz had three offensive opportunities to score the ninth point, but was unable to convert. Moreno executed a left-handed kill and two aces to escape the Ruiz’s upset bid.

Carroll def Fernandez 21-6, 21-5 (Watch HERE)

Fink def Canales 21-5, 21-4

Moreno def Ruiz 21-1, 5-21, 11-8 (Watch HERE)

Lenning def Montijo 21-6, 21-5


Sean Lenning started his semifinal clash with Killian Carroll playing at an exceptionally high level, keeping Carroll off-balance with blistering serves and first-strike kills. Trailing 4-7, Lenning scored 17 of the final 20 points in the game to take a one-game lead. As has become his signature, Carroll regrouped, outscoring “The Freak” 32-4 in the final two games to advance to the final.

The top two ranked players in the U.S. met in the bottom bracket semifinal, with U.S. #1 David Fink facing U.S. #2 Luis Moreno. Fink started quickly, taking an 11-2 lead before a back wall error opened the door for Moreno. Moreno would chip away at the lead, eventually catching Fink at 14. A Fink timeout changed the momentum, as the nearly 40-year-old scored the final seven points of the game.

Moreno changed his tactics early in game two, serving lob serves and executing dump kills to take a 6-0 lead. Fink quickly caught Moreno with serve and first-strike kills, tying the score at eight and never looking back. Fink advanced to the final to face Carroll for the second time in five months.

Carroll def Lenning 10-21, 21-2, 11-2 (Watch HERE)

Fink def Moreno 21-14, 21-12 (Watch HERE)

Final: Carroll vs. Fink


Top-seeded Killian Carroll and Abraham Montijo defeated Dr. James Bardwell and Vinnie Natale, while second-seeded David Fink and Shorty Ruiz cruised past Juarez’s Leo Canales and Drft Fernandez.

Final: Carroll/Montijo vs. Fink/Ruiz

To follow the draws from the 2017 Armed Forces Tribute Tournament, click here

To follow the action from the 2017 Armed Forces Tribute, stay tuned to this thread throughout the weekend

Tucson, AZ, WPH Press, 5/26/17- Fred Lewis and the Fred Lewis Foundation were proud to kickoff the 2017 Armed Forces Memorial Tournament to honor our military heroes.

Seven of the WPH’s Race 4 Eight pros entered the Armed Forces pro singles, including Race 4 Eight #1 Killian Carroll, Race 4 Eight #2 David Fink, Race 4 Eight #3 Luis Moreno, and Race 4 Eight #6 Sean Lenning.

Pro Singles

The Armed Forces round of 16 produced no surprises on Friday, as the top six seeds advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinals. Juarez’s Leo Canales and Richie Fernandez, the event’s seventh and eighth seeds, respectively, were delayed by travel issues and will play their round of 16 matches on Saturday morning.

Quarterfinals Match-ups (Saturday morning)

Carroll vs. Bardwell/Fernandez

Fink vs. Canales Jr./V. Natale

Moreno vs. Ruiz

Lenning vs. Montijo

To follow the draws from the 2017 Armed Forces Tribute Tournament, click here

To follow the action from the 2017 Armed Forces Tribute, stay tuned to this thread throughout the weekend

David Fink WPH Senior Writer