2015 Del Grande Dealer Group WPH Race4Eight- San Francisco: Video Preview

Posted on Feb 9 2015 - 5:01am by DV

DGDG Plate Fram2015 Del Grande Dealer Group WPH R48 Pro Tour at the Olympic Club: R48 and WR48

The World Players of Handball is thrilled to make it’s first Race 4 Eight appearance at San Francisco’s famed Olympic Club, home to the Robert Trent Jones redesigned Lake Course, host of several U.S. Open golf championships, as well as Olympians in 19 different sports. WPH R48 #3 pro, Emmett Peixoto, serves as the Olympic Club’s head handball instructor and handball ambassador, and will also serve as the host to the 2015 Del Grande Dealer Group WPH R48 Pro Tour at the Olympic Club, by EDTL Handball.


You can watch LIVE at www.race4eight.com, to include a two-day stint on ESPN Saturday and Sunday (Feb 14th-15th).  WPH All Access Pass holders, please contact us for alternative viewing options:  wph@race4eight.com.


Full Video Preview HERE:


Race 4 Eight Fun Facts

  • The 2015 Del Grande Dealer Group WPH R48 Pro Tour at the Olympic Club is the 25th Race 4 Eight event since the inception of the Race 4 Eight Tour in October of 2011 at the Plummer Bash in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
  • San Francisco is the Race 4 Eight’s 7th stop in the state of California
  • The Race for Eight has featured six different winners: Moreno (9), Brady (7), Lenning (3), Shanks (2), McCarthy (2), Al. Garner (1)
  • The Women’s Race 4 Eight has featured just one winner in four WR48 stops: Catriona Casey

CC pic 1Women’s Race 4 Eight

Catriona Casey will aim to win her fifth WR48 event in as many starts. Mid 30’s stars Jessica Gawley and Tracy Davis have finished in the top five of every WR48 event, and will be aiming for their first WR48 title, respectively. Danielle Daskalakis, Sandy Ng, Courtney Peixoto de Melo, Yvonne August and Shirley Chen will also highlight one of the most electrifying fields in WR48 history.


Catriona Casey:

  • Casey is the only player in the history of the R48, SR48, or WR48 to have started an event and never lost a match (4/4)
  • Casey has not only never lost a match in WR48 play, but has also never lost a game
  • Casey enters San Francisco as the two-time defending U.S. Open champion, defending NYAC WR48 champion, defending WR48 Player’s Champion, and defending 40×20 Irish Nationals Women’s Senior Champion


IMG_0609Jessica Gawley:

  • Gawley enters San Francisco as the #2 ranked WR48 pro (tied with Davis in points), finishing 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, and 5th in four career WR48 starts
  • Gawley has reclaimed her highest ever women’s pro tour ranking (2) in 2015 after over four years away from the tour to raise a family and to undergo shoulder surgery






Tracy Davis:

  • Davis enters San Francisco as the #3 ranked WR48 pro (tied with Gawley in points), finishing 4th, 4th, 2nd, and 4th in four career WR48 starts
  • Davis is the only Race player ranked in the top 4 on the R48 and WPH Outdoor tours
  • Davis is widely considered to be the greatest all-around handball player in the world, as she is the nine-time defending USHA national 1-Wall small ball singles champion, former WPH/WOR World 3WallBall women’s singles champion (2013), current USHA 3-Wall women’s national singles champion, and former USHA Women’s Classic women’s singles champion (2013)


SF preview pic 1Courtney Peixoto de Melo:

  • Peixoto de Melo is a former national singles finalist and former #2 ranked women’s pro
  • Peixoto de Melo possesses 20 years of handball experience and accumulated numerous junior national championships and pro women’s doubles national championships





Danielle Daskalakis:

  • Daskalakis is the two-time defending USHA Grand National Champion, the award given to the best all-around outdoor player each summer
  • Daskalakis is one of the top all-around players in the sport, ranked #1 in women’s big ball singles, #10 on the WPH Outdoor tour, #1 on the USHA women’s 1-Wall rankings, and #5 on the WR48 tour
  • Daskalakis is the current USHA Women’s Classic champion


august.jpgYvonne August:

  • August is making a return to pro handball after a nearly eight-year hiatus (Read More)
  • August won the 2006 USHA national women’s pro singles title (Peixoto De Melo)





The Elite 8:

How close is the competition to earn a spot into the R48 Elite 8 in San Francisco?

Jonathan Iglesias and Abraham Montijo were tied with eight ranking points entering San Francisco. Iglesias won his Houston 9-16 first round playoff match over Adam Bernhard 25-23, while Montijo lost his round of 16 Houston playoff match against Luis Cordova, 25-23. Those matches left Iglesias and Montijo tied for the final spot, but since Iglesias defeated Montijo in their only head-head-head encounter in the past 12 months…you guessed it, 25-23, at the 2014 Simple Green U.S. Open, Iglesias earned the final Elite 8 invite. Every point counts on the R48


SF preview pic 2Paul Brady:

  • Brady owns a 28-1 lifetime Race record, with seven Race wins in eight starts
  • Brady has won five of the last six Race starts held, dating back to the R48 III NYAC in March of 2014
  • Brady could trail the all-time Race title leader (Moreno) by just one if he were to win in San Francisco






Luis Moreno:

  • Moreno has won nine Race titles, but none since winning Houston’s R48 III Stop #3 in January of 2014
  • Moreno lost his first Race match to an American-born Race pro (Lenning) at the R48 IV Houston Stop #3 in 15 months (Al. Garner)
  • Moreno has earned 2nd, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes through three events on the R48 IV season with two losses to Brady and one to Lenning


epEmmett Peixoto:

  • Peixoto will aim to become the third Race pro to win a Race title on his home court (Moreno: Tucson, Lenning: Tucson)
  • Peixoto has earned a #3 R48 ranking despite never winning a Race stop
  • Peixoto has finished 5th, 3rd, and 3rd in three events on the R48 IV tour
  • Peixoto has played Paul Brady five time since the March of 2014, compiling more matches against the WPH R48 #1 than any Race pro during that time. The closest Peixoto came to winning a game against Brady in those five matches was in their last game played in Houston (13-15)


Mando Ortiz:

  • Ortiz has slumped since beating Brady at the 2014 WPH Player’s Championship in Salt Lake City (April), compiling a 2-4 main draw record in the six matches since defeating Brady (losses to McCarthy, Alvarado, Perez, Lenning)
  • Ortiz has finished 8th, 10th, and 7th in three events on the R48 IV tour, and stands at 6th on the R48 IV Points List (season standings)
  • Ortiz is on the short list of best players to have never won a yellow jersey (4-Wall)


Sean Lenning:

  • Lenning made his first final in 22 months and 12 Race events in Houston, defeating Perez, Ortiz, and Moreno en route to the final
  • Lenning has move moved back into the top 5 (#5) on the WPH Power Rankings for the first time 10 months and five Race events following Houston’s run to the finals
  • Lenning has finished 13th, 7th, and 2nd through three events on the R48 IV tour, becoming the only player in the Elite 8 on the R48 IV tour to finish higher in each successive event


David Fink:

  • Fink’s ranking peaked at #2 after Houston’s 2014 Race stop, but has plummeted to #8 12 months later
  • Fink will likely move back into the top 6 after Houston, as McCarthy’s finals appearance and Alvarado’s semifinal finish from the 2014 NYAC will fall off the Power Rankings
  • Fink currently sits at #5 on the R48 IV Points List, finishing 11th, 3rd, and 6th through three events on the R48 IV tour


chavezMarcos Chavez:

  • Despite playing a limited schedule and focusing on doubles at the U.S. Open, Chavez earned his third consecutive R48 IV Elite 8 invite in San Francisco
  • Chavez earned the majority of his ranking points in Denver’s R48 III stop in 2014, advancing to the semifinals and finishing 4th for a total of 5.5 ranking points, or 58% of his total ranking points (9.5)
  • Chavez has been between 12-20 years older than his last five R48 opponents (2-3)


Jonathan Iglesias:

  • Iglesias earned his first Elite 8 invite by virtue of 10th, 9th, and 11th place finishes on the R48 IV tour, as well as a 6th place finish at the R48 III NYAC Invitational (March 2014)
  • Iglesias has defeated Sean Lenning, Luis Moreno, Abe Montijo, Mando Ortiz, and Daniel Cordova in his last four starts
  • Iglesias currently sits at #10 on the WPH Power Rankings and #12 on the R48 IV Points list

The Qualifiers

After winning five of 16 main draw matches through two R48 IV events (31%), the qualifiers won just one of eight main draw matches (12.5%) at the R48 IV Stop #3 Houston (D. Cordova)


Catriona Casey:

  • Casey is the only player to have ever started a Race event and never lost a match. Casey has entered four WR48 events and won all four
  • Casey is the 2014 WPH Women’s Player of the year, having won all three WR48 events held in 2014 (NYAC, Player’s Championship, U.S. Open), the women’s pro singles at the USHA 4-Wall Nationals, and the Women’s Senior Singles at the 40×20 Irish Nationals
  • Casey will make her first start in a R48 qualifier in San Francisco, attempting to become to first woman in history to qualify on the men’s professional handball tour

Stephen Cooney:

  • Cooney started the year with no WPH ranking, and through three events has already moved to #10 on the WPH Power Rankings (12-month seeding ranking) and #6 on the WPH R48 IV Points list (points only from the current season)
  • Cooney has accumulated a good portion of his points from the Playoffs, compiling an impressive 7-1 record
  • Cooney has finished 9th twice and 6th once through three events on the R48 IV tour, and is well-positioned to finish the season in the Elite 8

Abe Montijo:

  • Montojo had reached two of three R48 quarterfinals heading into Houston, earning him his first R48 Elite 8 invite, with the aid of the first WPH “Coin Flip” by virtue of being tied for the final Elite 8 Spot with Selestow
  • Montijo dropped a tiebreaker to Daniel Cordova at the R48 IV Stop #3 Houston, followed by a first-round loss to Luis Cordova in the 9-16 Playoffs, knocking him out of the Elite 8 in San Francisco
  • Montijo has finished 13th, 5th, and 13th through three events on the R48 IV tour

Luis Cordova:

  • Cordova started his season with an impressive victory over Fink in the round of 16 at the U.S. open, but successive unlucky “blind-draws” have curtailed his early season momentum (Moreno and Brady)
  • Fortunately for Cordova, he cannot “blind-draw” Moreno or Brady (or Fink) in San Francisco, meaning he will play Peixoto, Ortiz, Lenning, Chavez, or Iglesias should he qualify
  • Cordova has finished 7th, 13th, and 10th through three events on the R48 IV season

Daniel Cordova:

  • Daniel Cordova qualified for the first time at Tucson’s R48 IV Stop #2, defeating Shorty Ruiz to qualify before losing to Emmett Peixoto in the round of 16
  • Cordova parlayed his first qualifier triumph in Tucson with another qualifier victory in Houston (Torres), and defeated Abe Montijo in the round of 16 and taking 5th place
  • Cordova jumped from no ranking to #16 on the WPH Power Rankings and #12 on the R48 IV Points list
  • Cordova has recorded 13th and 5th place finishes this season

Vic Perez

  • Perez has more wins against top players than any player in the San Francisco qualifier draw, with tournament victories over former WPH #1 Charly Shanks, current WPH #3 Emmett Peixoto, WPH #4 Mando Ortiz, and former WPH Elite 8 Andy Nett
  • Perez returned to the R48 after a 12-month hiatus at November’s R48 IV Stop #2 to defeat LAAC stable mate Mando Ortiz, overcoming match point in the second game and a 2-8 tiebreaker deficit
  • Perez is the current Simple Green U.S. Open Doubles Champion (Chavez)

Martin Mulkerrins

  • Mulkerrins is a 2013 USHA pro singles national finalist, defeating former WPH #1 Charly Shanks and former R48 finalist Diarmaid Nash en route to the final
  • Mulkerrins defeated current WPH #3 Emmett Peixoto after qualifying for the first time in April of 2013 at the R48 II Stop #6 Salt Lake City en route to the round of 8
  • Mulkerrins is currently #5 in the official GAA Senior 40×20 rankings (Ireland)
  • Mulkerrins is making his first start on the R48 IV season after failing to advance beyond the round of 16 in three starts on the R48 III tour

Anthony Selestow:

  • Selestow was the upset-king on the R48 III, defeating Chapman, Lenning, and Fink. Selestow has not been able to replicate that magic thus far in the R48 III season, dropping round of 16 matches in all three R48 III events (Nash, Cooney, Fink)
  • Selestow does not defend any points in San Francisco, but defends three points at March’s NYAC R48 event, 60% of his total Power Ranking points
  • Selestow has finished 11th, 13th, and 13th through three events on the R48 IV season

Race 4 Eight and Women’s Race 4 Eight Stops and Champions: 2011-Present

R48 I: 2011-2012


  1. Plummer (ID) Moreno
  2. U.S. Open (CA) McCarthy
  3. Tucson (AZ) Moreno
  4. Fresno (CA) Lenning
  5. Atlanta (MO) Moreno
  6. Salt Lake City (UT) Lenning
  7. LAAC (CA) Lenning
  8. Seattle (WA) Moreno


R48 II + SR48 I: 2012-2013


  1. U.S. Open (CA) Brady
  2. Tucson (AZ) Lenning
  3. Houston (TX) Shanks/Alvarado
  4. Anchorage (AK) Moreno
  5. Denver (CO) Moreno/Alvarado
  6. Salt Lake City (UT) Shanks
  7. Seattle (WA) Brady/Schad


R48 III + WR48 I: + SR48 II 2013-2014


  1. Plummer (ID) Al. Garner
  2. U.S. Open (CA) Moreno/Catriona Casey
  3. Houston (TX) Moreno/Chavez
  4. NYAC (NY) Brady/Catriona Casey
  5. Denver (CO) Brady/Meiring
  6. Salt Lake City (UT) McCarthy/Catriona Casey/Chavez


R48 IV + WR48 II: 2014-2015


  1. U.S. Open (CA): Brady/Catriona Casey
  2. Tucson (AZ): Brady/Chavez
  3. Houston (TX): Brady/Alvarado



















David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

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