2019 Austin City Championships: Esser and Hughes Win City’s!

Posted on Oct 4 2019 - 8:04pm by DV

Austin, TX, WPH Press, 10/2/19- The University of Texas Handball Team hosted the 2019 Austin City Handball Championships on the last weekend in September at UT’s Gregory Gym, featuring 81 players Texas and Missouri. Strong men’s and women’s open singles fields produced exciting matches, as the Texas/Missouri rivalries took center stage.

Men’s Open Singles

Local favorite and multiple-time Austin City and Texas State champion Adam Bernhard cruised to the final in the upper bracket of the men’s open singles, including an impressive two-game semifinal sweep against rising MO State star Ross Colyer.

Sam Esser was equally sharp in the bottom bracket, sweeping Austin’s former R48 pro Memo Pallares in two games to meet Bernhard in the final.

Esser was too steady for “Weekend at Bernie’s” in the final, matching the attorney at law’s ceiling game and capitalizing on his offensive chances to prevent a Bernie title on his home court. “Sam played well, he was converting setups at a very high rate and my energy level just was not there in the final,” stated Bernhard.

Final: Esser def Bernhard 21-13, 21-14

Women’s Open Singles

Texas’ Kristen Hughes and Missouri’s Taylor Rumping met in the women’s open singles final, having dispatched of Meghan Mudd and Christina Pecaut, respectively, in two-game sweeps in the semifinals.

Hughes and Rumping have met in Texas finals for several years, with virtually all of their matches going three games. This final would be no different, as the pair scored virtually the same number of points in splitting the first two games. Hughes created separation in the tiebreaker, building a lead and holding on for the title.

“I was excited to play Taylor again-we always have competitive matches,” stated Hughes. “She can kill the ball from anywhere on the court, so I focused on playing a more defensive game. I expect Taylor and I will have another rematch at the Austin WR48 Pre Qualifier next month (enter HERE) and I’m looking forward to it.”

Final: Hughes def Rumping 16-21, 21-14, 11-7

The University of Texas Handball Team will hold the 2019 R48 & WR48 Pre Qualifier, in conjunction with the Texas State Handball Championships, November 15-17, 2019 at Gregory Gym in Austin. For more information and to enter, go HERE

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

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