Day 4: Sunday
The final day of the 2017 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships would crown Big Ball singles winners in the men’s and women’s pro brackets, as well as the men’s and Women’s X-Fest champion for best all-around handball superstar. The X-Fest awarded points for each player’s finishes in their best three of four Small Ball and Big Ball singles brackets. The Men’s and Women’s WPH Outdoor Player’s Cup was also on the line on Sunday, meaning the WPH Outdoor 6 season all came down to Sunday’s finals.
Samzon Hernandez was seeking his first 3WallBall Big Ball singles title in Las Vegas since 2013, while Timbo Gonzalez was seeking his first 3WallBall Big Ball singles title at the 3WallBall Outdoor World Championship. Hernandez and Gonzalez were also battling for the WPH Outdoor Player’s Cup, recognizing the top player on the WPH Outdoor season.
Gonzalez defeated Hernandez on the 3WallBall courts at the 2017 Vegas Lte in May and was determined to make it consecutive victories against his greatest 3-Wall rival. Hernandez started well in the first game, building a 5-1 lead with crisp kills and passes. Gonzalez rattled off six consecutive points to take the momentum and the lead, only to be caught by Hernandez at nine. Hernandez served for the first game at 11-10, earned his favorite right-hand setup into the left corner but came up just short. “Everything just looked off about that swing,” stated WPH guest commentator David Chapman. “Samzon looked like he rushed the shot and his swing was not smooth.” Gonzalez took advantage of Hernandez’s error, winning the next point to put game one in the bank.
Game two was close throughout, with neither superstar able to separate himself by more than two points. Gonzalez called both of his timeouts by the halfway point in the game and would need to dig deep in his 18thmatch of the event. Hernandez earned another setup with his right hand at 10-all, but just as in game one, was unable to convert. Gonzalez closed out the match on the next point to clinch his first 3WallBall Big Ball singles title and X-Fest title. “It just feels great,” stated Gonzalez. “I’ve put a lot into my training and preparation for this event and to win it is a great feeling.”
Final: Gonzalez def Hernandez 12-11, 12-10
1WallBall Small Ball Singles
Jurell Bastidas dominated the upper half of the 1WallBall Small Ball singles bracket, exacting revenge on Timbo Gonzalez from an a singles loss earlier in the summer. David Chapman added to his unparalleled resume by eliminating the current national 1-Wall finalist Billy O’Donnell, current 1-Wall world champion Sean Lenning, and defending 1WallBall Small Ball singles champion Gio Vasquez en route to the final in the bottom half.
Bastidas started slowly in the final, unable to locate his “out the door” serve to the left. Chapman, however, was unable to take advantage, making several return-of-serve errors and failing to push Bastidas out of the front court. Bastidas methodically built a lead, using an overhand drive game and paddle and whip kills. Bastidas led 15-4 at halftime and appeared to relax with the sizeable lead. Bastidas dominated the action in the second half, finding his devastating serve and not allowing Chapman into the rallies. “He was just too tough and I felt like I couldn’t do anything,” stated Chapman.
Final: J. Bastidas def Chapman 25-8
1WallBall Big Ball Singles
Timbo Gonzalez ousted Samzon Hernandez en route to the 1WallBall Big Ball singles final, while Hector Velez continued his sensational 2017 campaign in dominating Gio Vasquez to advance to his first 1WallBall Big Ball singles final in Las Vegas.
Gonzalez was cruising in the 1WallBall singles final, appearing to be more interested to playing to the crowd with backhanded shots than the scoreboard. Despite his showboating, Gonzalez led 22-9 and called a timeout. “This match shouldn’t be this close,” Gonzalez barked at fans sitting courtside. “Vegas had the over/under at 4.5 points,” stated a frustrated Gonzalez, upset about a post-match handshake with Velez from an earlier doubles match.
Velez was not about to concede the title to Gonzalez, as he crawled his way back into the match. “I might not be fast in a race but I can really read shots,” stated Velez after the match. “I study Timbo’s game and I know where his shots are going.”
Serving at 24-15, Gonzalez attempted a spike kill with his left hand that missed by inches, keeping Velez’s comeback alive. Velez dominated the next four rallies to cut the deficit to five. “This is the best I’ve every seen Pito (Velez) play,” stated one of Velez’s supporters in the front row. On cue, Velez dumped his next shot in the ground and lost the next rally to come up just short.
Final: Gonzalez def Velez 25-19
Men’s X-Fest Final Standings
First: Timbo Gonzalez
Fifth: Sean Lenning
Sixth: Jurell Bastidas
Seventh: Tywan Cook
Tied Eighth: Vic Perez/Mando Ortiz
“Winning the X-Fest has been my goal since it was announced,” stated Gonzalez. “I love the X-Fest because it demands that players test themselves in all the codes and identifies the best all-around player. I’m proud to have won it in consecutive years.”
After being two points from elimination in the semifinals, Team Velez/Pena raced to a 14-0 lead in the final against Team Timbo/Sanchez. Timbo appeared to flip the switch, leading his team to a 15-point streak to take the lead. Trailing 15-16 just two rallies after halftime, Team Velez/Pena scored the final 10 points of the match.
Final: Team Velez/Pena def Team Gonzalez/Sanchez 25-16
Kevin “Gonza” Gonzalez and Israel Mateos stunned top-seeded Shorty Ruiz and Chava Cordova in a 12-10 tiebreaker thriller to advance to the final in the upper bracket, while 2017 WPH Outdoor Player of the Year Samzon Hernandez teamed with New York’s Allan Sanchez to advance to the final in the bottom bracket.
With Team Hernandez/Sanchez leading by a game and the score tied at 10 in game two, Gonza appeared to hit a serve that landed on the back line but was called out. After a discussion of nearly three minutes, play resumed. Team Gonza/Masteos overcame the questionable call to force a third. Team Hernadez/Sanchez regrouped, dominating the tiebreaker to win the title.
Final: Team Hernandez/Sanchez def Team Gonza/Mateos 12-6, 11-12, 12-3
3WallBall Big Ball Singles
Sandy Ng continued her stellar weekend in Las Vegas, using a combination of deep serves, crosscourt angles, fly kills, and whip kills to oust the defending 3WallBall Big Ball singles champion in two games.
1WallBall Small Ball Singles
Sandy Ng and Martina McMahon met in the 1WallBall Small Ball singles final, with both winning impressively in their semifinal matches. McMahon and Ng played evenly for the first 12 points of the match, but Ng’s 1-Wall Small Ball experience became too much to overcome for the 1-Wall Small Ball rookie. Ng pulled away by pushing McMahon to the corners and effectively using the 1-Wall block to impede McMahon’s swings.
Final: Ng def McMahon 25-15
1WallBall Big Ball Singles
Jenny Qu was seeking her second consecutive 1WallBall Big Ball singles title at the 3WallBall Championships, while Sandy Ng was seeking revenge for her finals loss to Qu at last year’s 3WallBall Championships.
Qu continued to own the 1WallBall Big Ball Women’s Singles in Las Vegas, dominating Sandy Ng for the second consecutive year in the final. “Jenny just controlled the center of the court and was dominating the action,” stated WPH reporter Pete Papathemetrios. “Jenny put the ball down flat with splat kills and when she didn’t have setups, she pushed Sandy into the corners with overhand drives.”
Final: Qu def Ng 25-11
Women’s X-Fest Final Standings
Second: Martina McMahon
Tied Third: Tracy Davis/Danielle Daskalakis
Fifth: Jenny Qu
“I’m really excited to win the X-Fest,” stated Ng. “This is always a great tournament and I always enjoy playing here.”
Jenny Qu was gunning for a Vegas slam in the Women’s 1WallBall Big Ball Doubles. Qu teamed with Crystal Ruiz and faced New York City rivals Mel Sky and Jessica Sky in the Sunday morning final. Qu maintained her momentum from her early morning singles win, as Qu and Ruiz were in sync throughout the final, building a lead and cruising to the title.
Final: Team Qu/Ruiz def Team Sky/Santiago 25-17
Sandy Ng was in search of her eighth 3WallBall doubles title on Sunday morning and her seventh with partner Tracy Davis. Team Ng/Davis would face the Women’s WPH Outdoor’s most decorated champion Tanisha Groomes and cross over superstar Danielle Daskalakis in the final.
Team Daskalakis/Groomes started aggressively in the 3WallBall Big Ball doubles final, taking game one by shooting the ball from everywhere and connecting. “Tanisha really goes for her shots and when they’re landing, she’s very tough to stop,” stated Davis.
The seven-time defending champions bounced back in game two, playing steady and executing their offensive opportunities to force a tiebreaker.
Team Daskalakis/Groomes took their chances in the tiebreaker, shooting for the bottom board and finding it en route to an 11-5 lead. An error from Groomes and another by Daskalakis opened the door slightly, but Daskalakis ended the match in style at 11-7 with a flat mouse. “I thought about going for a pass, but I just figured, we have a lead, I’m just going to go for it,” stated Daskalakis. “It felt great to end the match with that shot to and win this title.”
JR WPH proudly hosted the 2017 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships JR WPH singles, with more than 25 youngsters competing on handball’s greatest stage. The youngsters demonstrated exceptional skills and passion for the game during the singles event. “We’ve been watching a lot of these juniors for the past four or five years and it’s incredible to see how much they’ve improved,” stated WPH Executive Director David Vincent. “We especially love watching the great sportsmanship and friendships the junior players have developed at the tournaments over the past few years.”
12-and-under: Abraham Espindola def Jacob Marin 12-4, 12-2
15-and-under: Eddie Rocha, Jr. def Michael Bautista 12-2, 12-4
17-and-under: Mauricio Molina def Jesus Mendez 12-4, 12-5
19-and-under: Daniel Barrientos def Octavio Romero 12-10, 12-9
Thank you to the entire WPH staff, the WOR staff, tournament director Mike Coulter, all of the volunteers and all of the players for making the eighth edition of the 3WalBall Outdoor Championships a sensational event.
Read about every day from the 2017 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships by scrolling down on this thread.
To follow the draws and results from the 2017 WPH/WOR 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships, go here
WPH Senior Writer
Day 3: Saturday
The most difficult weather conditions in the eight-year history greeted players on Saturday at the 2017 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships, as winds regularly gusted and swirled at up to 30 miles per hours and temperatures dropped into the 50’s by early evening.
Martina McMahon entered a formidable 3-Wall Small Ball singles draw having never played 3-Wall Small Ball singles. McMahon cruised to the final with a dominating win against 3-Wall national finalist Ashley Moler. Former national 3-Wall champion Tracy Davis met McMahon in the final, having cruised past Suz Koehler in the semifinals.
McMahon started hot in the final, building a 6-1 lead with a laser “out the door” power serve and steady play. Davis tied the score at six, and the pair would trade the lead until reaching 10-all. McMahon continued to apply pressure with overhand drives and appeared to frustrate the normally composed Davis. McMahon scored the final five points of the first game and cruised in game two by controlling the center of the court and defending Davis’ best shots. McMahon clinched the early X-Fest lead with the title
Final: McMahon def Davis 15-10, 15-4
Martina McMahon entered the Small Ball 1-Wall singles with no prior 1-Wall Small Ball experience but showed no signs of inexperience. McMahon faced former multiple-time 1-Wall Small Ball national champion Danielle Daskalakis in the upper bracket semifinal in what became one of the most exciting matches of the event. McMahon and Daskalakis showcased tremendous skill and athleticism in the one game match to 25, building a highlight reel of kills, retrieves, and aces. McMahon seemed to be in control with a 24-19 lead, but an “out” serve and several missed opportunities opened the door for DD. Serving at 23-24, DD skipped an easy setup and McMahon seized the opening, winning the match on her third opportunity on match point.
Tracy Davis entered the bottom bracket semifinal having lost just one 1-Wall Small Ball singles match since 2003. Davis would face one of the game’s most talented stars, Sandy Ng, in a matchup in which the players were separated by nearly two decades. Much like the upper bracket semifinal, Davis and Ng put on a show, hitting aces, kills with both hands, and remarkable retrieves. Davis held a seemingly commanding 24-17 lead but Ng would not go away. Ng chipped away at the lead, eventually tying the match at 24 and winning in overtime, 26-24. “It was a really great match,” stated Ng moments after her dramatic comeback. “I just had luck on my side.”
McMahon def Daskalakis 25-23
Ng def Davis 26-24
Final (Sunday): McMahon vs. Ng
McMahon was seeking to continue her undefeated streak in Las Vegas against defending 3-Wall Big Ball champion Jenny Qu in the upper bracket semifinal and appeared to be in control, leading 18-8. Despite her sizeable lead, McMahon challenged several calls and appeared to lose her focus, opening the door for Qu. Qu raised the level of her game and McMahon was unable to find the form that built the huge lead. Qu scored 17 of the final 19 points of the match to keep her hopes for a repeat alive.
The bottom bracket semifinal pitted Sandy Ng and Danielle Daskalakis. Ng and DD played at an exceptionally high level throughout the match, with Ng pushing DD into the corners with angled drives and DD scoring points on whip kills and paddle re kills. Ng took control late in the second half to advance to the final.
Qu def McMahon 25-22
Ng def Daskalakis 25-19
Final (Sunday): Qu vs. Ng
Danielle Daskalakis advanced to the final in the upper bracket with a two-game sweep against Ashley Moler, while Sandy Ng was clinical in beating Tracy Davis in two games in the bottom bracket semifinal.
Daskalakis def Moler 12-9, 12-4
Ng def Davis 12-4, 12-6
Final (Sunday): Daskalakis vs Ng
Timbo Gonzalez entered his late-night semifinal clash with Jurell Bastidas as the favorite, having defeated Bastidas in two lopsided games at the 1-Wall Nationals six weeks ago. Bastidas overwhelmed Gonzalez in the first half, hitting 12 ace serves en route to a 15-4 lead. “Bastidas looks very focused and he’s out for revenge,” stated 1-Wall legend Rookie Wright sitting courtside.
Gonzalez was able to put more returns in play in the second half, but Bastidas was relentless, blasting Gonzalez’s returns with power and accuracy. Bastidas earned his redemption and advanced to the final
David Chapman defeated current national finalist Billy O’Donnell and current world champion Sean Lenning to advance to the semifinal and would face defending 1WallBall Small Ball champion Gio Vasquez for a spot in the final. Chapman was sharp in the late-night semifinal, neutralizing Vasquez’s serve and power and controlling the rallies with deep drives and paddle kills. Vasquez could not find any answers, as Chapman broke his will and his spirit in a semifinal clinic.
Bastidas def Gonzalez 25-12
Chapman def Vasquez 25-12
Final: Bastidas vs. Chapman
Top-seeded and defending champion Timbo Gonzalez faced a game Carlos Pena in the quarterfinals and advanced with a difficult 25-19 victory. Gonzalez’s New York rival and living legend Rookie Wright was not as fortunate, falling to vastly improved 1-Wall star Samzon Hernandez. “I shouldn’t have eaten at the buffet before the match,” bellowed Rookie after the match. “I can’t take anything away from him, he played more aggressive than me and none of my veteran tricks worked.”
Gio Vasquez defeated cross over star Chava Cordova, while white-hot Hector Velez continued his outstanding 2017 campaign, ousting second-seeded Tywan Cook
Gonzalez vs. Hernandez
Vasquez vs. Velez
WPH Outdoor #1 Samzon Hernandez faced early 2017 R48 #1 Mando Ortiz in a battle of 20-something Southern California stars in the upper bracket semifinal. Ortiz played evenly with Hernandez in the first half of game one, but Hernandez demonstrated why he is the game’s most decorated star, seizing control of the match with deep serves and first-strike kills to end Ortiz’s brilliant Big Ball run.
Timbo Gonzalez faced longtime 3-Wall rival Boxer Rosales in the bottom bracket semifinal and appeared to be in trouble, dropping game one against an in-form Rosales. Timbo regrouped and took control, dominating game two to force a third. Gonzalez withstood an early surge in the tiebreaker from Rosales and ended the match with six kills in the last seven rallies to advance to the final
Hernandez def Ortiz 12-8, 12-2
Gonzalez def Rosales 8-12, 12-3, 12-6
Final: Hernandez vs. Gonzalez
JR WPH was proud to present an exciting junior handball clinic for 12 youngsters competing in the 2017 3WallBall Outdoor Championships. WPH Coaches and 3WallBall World Champions Shorty Ruiz and Martina McMahon played doubles points with the youngsters, alternating partners after each rally. Following the doubles points with the pros, Coaches Ruiz and McMahon discussed the importance of practice and dedication to improve. “I spend 20 hours a week training and playing handball,” explained Coach McMahon. “You need to pay 5-6 games per day and work on different shots while you are playing, then practice by yourself for two hours,” added Coach Ruiz.
“The 3WallBall junior handball clinic is one of the WPH highlights from the 3WallBall,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “There is no other sport where junior players can play points with the top pros in the middle of a world championship event. The mission of the WPH is to inspire the next generation of players and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to inspire the youngsters at this great 3WallBall venue.”
SUNDAY HANDBALL BROADCAST:
10am-12pm – 1 Wall Show Court #1 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK27kEZnVLc
1000A F PRO BB 1W DUBS FINAL – Ruiz/Qu vs Sky/Santiago
1045A M PRO BB 1W DUBS FINAL – Pena/Velez vs Sanchez/Gonzalez
1115A M PRO SB OR BB 1W SGL FINAL – Gonzalez vs Velez
12pm-3pm – 3 Wall Show Court #2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK27kEZnVLc
1200P F PRO BB 3W DUBS FINAL – Daskalakis/Groomes vs Ng/Davis
1245P M PRO BB 3W SGL FINAL – Samzon Hernandez vs Timothy Gonzalez
130P F PRO BB 3W SGL FINAL – Daskalakis vs Ng
215P M PRO BB 3W DUBS FINAL – Gonza/Mateos vs Hernandez/Sanchez
SUNDAY RACQUETBALL BROADCAST:
10am-12pm – 3 Wall Show Court #2 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdNVwquqVnQ
12pm-3pm – 1 Wall Show Court #1 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdNVwquqVnQ
To follow the draws and results from the 2017 WPH/WOR 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships, go here
WPH Senior Writer
Day 2: Friday
The Small Ball 3WallBall concluded on Friday, while Big Ball 3WallBall and 1Wallball got underway under beautiful conditions on the Las Vegas Strip
Small Ball 3WallBall Singles
Shorty Ruiz entered his match against 9-time national 4-Wall singles champion David Chapman with a 2-0 record against TGO, owning the distinction of being the only pro player to have played against TGO and never lost. Ruiz was determined to maintain his undefeated streak against Chapman, blitzing the 42-year old come-backing legend in two quick games. “Small Ball guys try to play a Small Ball style out here and I just won’t let them,” stated Ruiz after thumping the former world’s #1 player. “I just play aggressively and keep the pressure on.”
Sean Lenning cruised in the bottom bracket semifinal, overcoming a slow start against Vic Perez to advance in two games.
Ruiz def Chapman 15-4, 15-3
Lenning def Perez 15-8, 15-6
Ruiz was seeking his third 3WallBall Small Ball singles title, while Sean Lenning was seeking his second. Despite being two of the best 3WallBall outdoor stars on the planet, Ruiz and Lenning met for just the second time at the 3WallBall Championships.
Neither Ruiz nor Lenning started particularly well in the final, combining for 12 “out” serves in the first half of the first game. Lenning maintained a lead throughout the first half of game one, but was caught at nine by a surging Ruiz. Ruiz eliminated his early game errors and took control of the match with an unstoppable serve-and-shoot style. Lenning was never in game two, as Ruiz executed nine “first-strike” points to cruise to his record-breaking third 3WallBall title in the event’s eight-year history. “I started off playing really bad,” stated Ruiz. “I started to play better in the end of the first game and played well in game two.”
Ruiz def Lenning 15-11, 15-4
Defending champions and top seeds Erik Torres and Abraham Montijo defeated Texas’ Jonathan Pollard and Ismael Garcia to advance to their second consecutive final.
Vic Perez and Jurell Bastidas overcame the “Flying Cordovas” in one of the 3WallBall’s best ever matches in the bottom bracket semifinal, splitting the first two games 15-13 and rallying from a 2-10 deficit in the tiebreaker to win 15-12. “I don’t even know how it happened,” stated an elated Bastidas after the match.
Perez and Bastidas were too steady for Team Torres/Montijo in the Friday night final, dismantling the defending champions in two quick games to earn yellow jerseys.
The Men’s and Women’s X-Fest 1-Wall Small Ball and 1-Wall and 3-Wall Big Ball action kicked off on Friday, with the men’s brackets finishing the round of 64 and round of 32, while the women played off to the semifinals. Stay tuned throughout the weekend for full Big Ball coverage.
Ms. V Honored as the 2017 WPH Volunteer of the Year
The WPH was thrilled to honor Veronica Figueroa, affectionately known as “Ms. V,” as the 2017 WPH Volunteer of the Year for her outstanding and selfless efforts in growing the sport and inspiring the next generation of players. Ms. V serves as the tournament director for the JR WPH NYC Shootout in Brooklyn, running and organizing a sensational junior handball tournament for youngsters between the ages of 11-19 every summer. In two years of running the JR WPH NYC Shootout, more than 200 junior handball players have participated, largely due to the efforts of Ms. V. Ms. V also provides tournament updates from New York City’s biggest 1-Wall events, volunteers at the 3WallBall Championships, and serves as a special advisor to the WPH board of directors.
“The WPH is so fortunate to have Ms. V on our team and helping us to grow this great game,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “The 1-Wall players from around the world have the utmost respect and love all for Ms. V, as does the WPH. Ms. V’s willingness to globally grow the game by traveling to tournaments, sponsoring players, and running tournaments is unsurpassed and awarding her with the 2017 WPH Volunteer of the Year award is a small token of our appreciation for her tremendous efforts.”
Women’s 1 wall big ball division saw twelve-seed Martina McMahon upset the #4 seed, Crystal Ruiz 25-6, “She looked more powerful, stronger and in better shape,” said one fan, to our court-side photographer, in regard to Martina McMahon’s upset win. Jenny Qu, last year’s defending champ, advanced to the semis; meanwhile, Sandy NG (#3) and Danielle Daskalakis (#2) moved on from the quarters and will face each other at 4pm pacific.
Women’s 3 wall big ball had all four top seeds advance when Danielle Daskalakis, Tracy Davis, Sandy Ng and Ashley Moler skated past their first round matches. All former yellow jersey winners will play-off their semis matches after noon-time Saturday.
All results from the women’s 1 wall big and small singles and doubles brackets, plus results from the 2017 WPH/WOR 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships, are here
WPH Senior Writer
Day 1: Thursday
The 2017 3WallBall Kicks Off
Thursday afternoon will kicked the X-Fest III, with the world’s greatest outdoor handball players vying for the crown of best all-around outdoor handball player.
The X-Fest champion will be determined by counting the three best singles divisions in 1-Wall Small Ball, 1-Wall Big Ball, 3-Wall Small Ball, and 3-Wall Big Ball.
Red Bull’s WPH Outdoor #2 Timbo Gonzalez is the reigning X-Fest champion, having won the X-Fest II in the summer of 2016 in Southern California. Gonzalez was on the short list of favorites to defend in Las Vegas this year. “I’m really excited about trying to win the X-Fest again,” stated an animated Gonzalez. “It’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure. There are a lot of great players here this year. I’m looking forward to the challenge.” Gonzalez will have to overcome not only his New York rivals Kadeem Bush and Tywan Cook, but cross over stars Sean Lenning, David Chapman, Samzon Hernandez, Shorty Ruiz, and a number of other great handball superstars.
3-Wall Small Ball Singles
The deepest 3-Wall Small Ball singles draw in history commenced on Thursday afternoon, with 26 of the world’s best 3-Wall Small Ball players in action. The 26-man draw would be shrunk to four by night’s end, as a number of the game’s stars would be sent to the rail.
Top-seeded and defending champion Shorty Ruiz had little difficulty in disposing of 1990’s top 8 pro tour star Matt Hiber, while second-seeded and 2015 3WallBall 3-Wall small ball champion Sean Lenning cruised past California’s Brian Medina.
Third-seeded and last year’s finalist David Fink faced Erik Torres in a rematch of last year’s semifinal. Torres started hot, serving eight consecutive aces to start to the match. Fink was never able to erase the deficit, dropping game one 15-6. Fink raced to a 5-0 second game lead, only to fall behind 13-7 and on the brink of elimination. Fink rallied, taking a 15-14 lead and ultimately closing out the game 17-15 in the second overtime game between the two in their last two 3WallBall match-ups. The tiebreaker featured four lead changes and eight tie scores before Torres took command at 14-11. Torres served out, and just as he had done in game one, Fink took a 15-14 lead. The pair would then go deep into overtime, with both players serving at match point six times. A right hand setup to end the match for Fink at 17-16 was picked up by Torres, keeping him alive. Torres would regain the serve and score three straight to win the longest overtime match in 3WallBall history.
Abraham Montijo entered his match against fourth-seeded Mando Ortiz brimming with confidence based on winning last year’s small ball 3-Wall doubles. Montijo dropped a close first game but took control on the second and third, eliminating the former R48 #1 out of the tournament.
Fifth-seeded and the inaugural 3WallBall 3-Wall small ball champion David Chapman faced the 2017 1-Wall small ball national finalist Billy O’Donnell. The pair played evenly throughout the first game, exchanging paddle kills and two-wall “out the door” pinch drives. With Chapman serving at 13-all, DC executed two trademark flat rollouts to take game one and cruised in game two.
2014 3WallBall 3-Wall small ball champion and sixth-seeded Jurell Bastidas faced R48 #9 Vic Perez. Bastidas took game one, but Perez changed his game, and with it, the momentum of the match. “Vic has the ability to return really good shots that take him off the court with a paddle scoop and keep himself in rallies where other players can’t,” stated first-round Perez victim Pete Papathemetrios. Perez cruised in the second and third games to advance.
Eighth-seeded and R48 6 Player’s Championship finalist Luis Cordova flew from Orlando, FL to Las Vegas in the morning/afternoon, escaped with a first-round tiebreaker win and met cross over star Mike Schneider in the round of 16. Schneider kept Cordova off-balance with a power hop serve in game one, but Cordova made adjustments in games two and three. Unable to score points with aces, Schneider struggled to end rallies, while the jet-lagged Cordova found his groove with his right hand kill. Cordova dominated the action in the second and third.
Round of 8
Shorty Ruiz played nearly flawlessly in game one against Luis Cordova, using the whole court en route to a dominant first game win. “Shorty is really focused right now, nothing is bothering him,” stated close friend and doubles partner Mando Ortiz. Trailing 3-11, Cordova gained some momentum going into game two by scoring four points. The second game featured tied scores at six, eight, and 11. Ruiz found another gear at 11-all, scoring four unanswered points to advance to the semifinals.
Nine-time national 3-Wall champion Sean Lenning struggled with Daniel Cordova’s two-way hop serve in game one, failing to return seven serves en route to a one-game deficit. Lenning found the answers to Cordova’s serve in the second and third and imposed his serve and power game on his fellow R48 peer to advance to the semifinals.
Vic Perez took control against Erik Torres, pushing the Olympic Club star “out the door” with two-wall pinch drives and executing kills when given the opportunity. Torres was playing from behind throughout and was never able to apply pressure against the LAAC standout. Perez advanced to his first semifinal at the 3WallBall with a two-game sweep.
Much like his round of 16 match, David Chapman found himself tied midway through the first game, and much like his round of 16 match, Chapman took control. Tucson’s Abraham Montijo was unable to push Chapman out of the front court and found himself on the run and unable to take control of rallies. “His serve was tough but he gave me some lollipops that I just didn’t take advantage of.”
Ruiz def L. Cordova 15-6, 15-11
Chapman def Montijo 15-8, 15-3
Perez def Torres 15-4, 15-10
Lenning def D. Cordova 10-15, 15-9, 15-6
Shorty Ruiz vs. David Chapman
Sean Lenning vs. Vic Perez
To follow the draws and results from the 2017 WPH/WOR 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships, go here
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WPH Senior Writer