2018 RFC 10/R48 8 Pre Qualifier
Pittsburgh, PA, WPH Press, 10/13/18- The WPH proudly hosted the Rodney Fink Classic 10/R48 Pre Qualifier in Pittsburgh, PA, featuring two ranked R48 pros and players from Eastern and Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Colorado, and Canada. The RFC reached its milestone 10th edition in 2018, making the RFC the WPH’s longest running event in the history.
Men’s Pro Singles
R48 #5 and RFC host David Fink cruised to the RFC final in search of his fifth RFC crown, dispatching Pittsburgh’s Mathieu Pelletier and Cleveland’s Joe Frankenfeld en route to the final. R48 #26 and the Pride of Canada Ryan Bowler ousted two of Pittsburgh’s top stars, overcoming former Division 1 college football standout Joe Delsardo in the quarterfinals and earning his first win in four attempts against Pittsburgh’s Mike Semplice to book his spot in the final.
Fink tackled Bowler in game one of the final, building a 14-0 lead in his first service inning. “The first game felt like two seconds flat,” Bowler would later say.
Bowler found himself trailing 3-12 in game two before rallying to 8-14, ultimately falling in two games, 15-1, 15-8.
“The speed of the game was just must faster than I’ve seen in a long time,” stated Bowler. “I started to adjust in the second game but it was too late.”
“I’m happy to be playing better after a disastrous showing in Atlanta last week,” stated Fink. “I was hitting the ball better today than I have in months, so I’m hoping to continue to improve for the upcoming R48 8 Tucson Memorial in three weeks.”
By virtue of making the final and because Fink is ranked inside the R48 top 8, Bowler earned the R48 8 travel stipend. “That’s definitely a nice bonus for making the trip and I’m excited to play in as many R48 stops this season as I can,” exclaimed Bowler.
Final: Fink def Bowler 15-1, 15-8
Joe Frankenfeld defeated Victor Stevenson to clinch third.
Pittsburgh’s Aimee Fadden, now living in Denver, CO made the cross-country trip to play in the RFC, capturing the Women’s Singles on her homecoming. Fadden defeated Hope in Handball’s Serenity Vidot (Harrisburg, PA) in two games in the final. “I feel like I’m improving and playing better,” stated Fadden. “This is my first trip to Pittsburgh since moving to Denver and it really worked out to be able to play in the RFC. I’m excited to compete in the WR48 in Tucson in November.”
Final: Fadden def Vidot 15-3, 15-4
Harrisburg’s Angel Rosa overcame Aimee Fadden and Jerry Speer to advance to the B singles final in the upper bracket, while New York’s Mike Spier defeated Hope in Handball founder and director David Botero and Tim Gaughan in the bottom bracket to reach the final.
Spier dominated game one of the final, serving a donut to his tri-state neighbor. Rosa requested a ball change after game one, which Spier accepted. Rosa would turn the match around, winning the next two games to take the title. “The ball was just so fast in the first game and Mike was nice enough to switch balls,” stated Rosa.
“I am just too nice,” laughed Spier, who won the RFC Sportsmanship Award for his willingness to switch balls.
Final: Rosa def Spier 0-15, 15-12, 15-12
Thank you to the WPH for its enthusiastic support of the WPH RFC, RFC mega donor Rodney Fink for his continued support of the event named in his honor, RFC hospitality donor Patsy McKinney, RFC court donor Mark Abranovic, and all of the players who traveled to the RFC for the incredible event. Because of the generous donations, players enjoyed endless hospitality at the courts and a sensational banquet at Pittsburgh’s Mad Mex after the matches. “I really think this was the best RFC in history,” stated RFC namesake Rodney Fink on his birthday weekend.
To follow all of the brackets from the 2018 WPH RFC 10, go HERE
To enter the 2018 R48 8 Tucson Memorial, November 2-4, 2018, go HERE
2017/18 R48 and WR48 Match Analytics HERE
Handball Terminology + Instruction and R48 Rules HERE
Race 4 Eight Pro Player Bios HERE
Full Race 4 Eight 8 Preview HERE
WPH Power Rankings: here
DF’s R48 Fun Facts and Trends: here
Race 4 Eight History of Champions and Finalists: here
WPH Senior Writer