Race 4 Eight and WPH Outdoor stars Mando Ortiz, Shorty Ruiz, Marcos Chavez, Vic Perez, Erik Torres, and Ashley Moler were joined by former pro tour superstars Vince Munoz and Chris Tico in the California Cup, pitting the best pro, master’s, junior, and skill level players from Northern California against Southern California in an exciting team competition for in-state bragging rights. Team NorCal entered the 2016 California Cup as the defending champions, having ousted Team SoCal at San Francisco’s South End Rowing Club in 2014. The 2016 California Cup would be contested on the first day in October at Fitness Evolution in Fresno, home to the Race 4 Eight I Stop #3.
The California Cup was fittingly played on Ryder Cup weekend, with emotions running high as players passionately represented their teams and home turf. Team SoCal’s Mando Ortiz and Shorty Ruiz secured an important point in the open doubles against Erik Torres and Al Quitoriano, dropping game one, 21-19, before rallying to win games two and three. “We were trading corner kills and great back wall shots throughout the match,” stated Race 4 Eight #3 pro Mando Ortiz. “Shorty and I controlled the action in game two and continued the momentum in the tiebreaker with aggressive pass and kill shots.”
Vic Perez continued SoCal’s momentum by defeating NorCal’s Al Quitoriano in the open singles, dispatching “AQ” in two games to secure another point for Team SoCal. The Chavez brothers combined for four points for Team SoCal, with Carlos winning his 35+ singles and doubles matches and Marcos winning his 40+ singles and doubles matches. Fan-favorite Vince Munoz swept the 45+ singles and doubles for Team SoCal, defeating former top 10 pro Chris Tico in both matches. Ashley Moler added another point for Team SoCal, defeating Team NorCal’s Betty Fabian in two games in the women’s open singles.
15 total matches were played in the biennial competition, with Team SoCal compiling a 22-10 win/loss record for the team victory. “We are all very proud of the players that volunteered their time and talents to play in the 2016 California Cup,” stated Team NorCal captain Mike Linnik. “They came to play, battled hard, and gave their all. The California Cup is now tied 2-to-2. The tiebreaker will be held in two years, back in Fresno, by popular demand.”
“The California Cup was great,” declared Marcos Chavez. “It brought back so many great memories from when I used to play in Fresno and the Southern California guys and the Northern California guys would meet up to see who was the best in the state of California.”
“Thanks to Marcos Chavez for bringing out Vince Munoz, Vic Perez, Carlos Chavez, Shorty Ruiz, Ashley Moler, and myself,” stated Ortiz. “Also big thanks to Tom Martinez for organizing this wonderful event. The highlight of the day for me was the players coming together after the event to celebrate at a nice restaurant.”
Final Result: Team SoCal def Team NorCal 22-10
Follow Ortiz, Ruiz, Chavez, Perez, Torres, Moler, and the rest of your favorite Race 4 Eight and WPH Outdoor stars at the 2016 Simple Green U.S. Open, with exclusive live coverage of the indoor and outdoor action live on ESPN3 from October 21st-23rd. For more information on the 2016 Simple Green U.S. Open, go here
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WPH Senior Writer