WPH Rodney Fink Classic Wraps: Carroll & Fink Take the Steel City

Posted on Feb 28 2020 - 12:00pm by DV

(Editor’s Note:  Men’s 40 finals and pro finals will be uploaded for on-demand viewing for Patreon and WPH Members by Wednesday)

Pittsburgh, PA, WPH Press, 2/29/20-

Day 2: Saturday

The twelfth RFC concluded on Saturday, with the R48LTE completing its third LTE and sixth stop of the 2019/20 R48 IX season and the SR48 completing its second of three stops on the 2019/20 SR48 season.


Killian Carroll aimed to win his first RFC and second consecutive R48 tournament and looked sharp in his midmorning semifinal win against R48 #8 and SR48 #2 Marcos Chavez. Carroll withstood the Chavez back wall killing spree and advanced to the final in two games. “Marcos always plays Killian pretty tough,” stated R48 #7 and Chavez LAAC teammate Vic Perez.

In the bottom bracket semifinal Danos Cordova met tournament host David Fink for the third consecutive tournament and second consecutive R48LTE semifinal (New Orleans). Fink raced to a 10-4 lead in game one but a double fault halted the RFC host’s momentum, as Cordova seized control of the game and scored 11 of the final 12 points of the game to take a one-game lead.

Fink was completely dominant in game two, finding the bottom board and holding Danos scoreless.

Cordova played with renewed fire in the tiebreaker, shooting from the deep court and adding velocity to his drives. Cordova led 4-1 and 9-5 before Fink cut the deficit to one at 9-10. Fink was unable to draw closer, as Cordova booked his spot in his second consecutive R48LTE final. “I tried to force a few shots late in the tiebreaker, especially trying to kill from 38-feet with Danos in front of me when I should have waited for a better opportunity and those mental errors cost me,” lamented Fink. “When I see Fink and Danos are going to matchup I know it’s going to be close and to come back for the tiebreaker,” quipped R48 #24 Nick Mattioni.

Danos started strong in the final against Carroll, leading 4-0 and 6-2 but Danos’ momentum did not last, as the R48 #1 turned up the heat and dominated the remainder of the match. Carroll was nearly flawless after his slow start, keeping Danos in the deep court en route to his first R48LTE title and his 13th R48 title overall. “Thank you to Rodney Fink for his incredible hospitality and generosity in making this tournament happen,” stated Carroll.


Carroll def Chavez 15-7, 15-4

Danos def Fink 15-11, 0-15, 15-10


Carroll def Danos 15-8, 15-1


Vic Perez bounced back from a quarterfinal loss to Marcos Chavez to win fifth, defeating the NYAC’s Stephen Cooney in a one-sided one-game match. Jeff Streibig earned a R48 ranking for the first time, winning the RFC R48LTE 9th place playoffs with several impressive wins, including taking down Canadian phenom Ivan Burgos in the final.

Fifth Place Final: Perez def Cooney 25-10

Ninth Place Final: Streibig def Burgos 25-18

RFC R48LTE Finishes

1st: Carroll

2nd: D. Cordova

3rd: Chavez/Fink

5th: Perez

6th: Cooney

7th: Mattioni/Iglesias

9th: Streibig


David Fink and Marcos Chavez met for the eighth consecutive SR48 final, as Chavez dispatched Nick Mattioni in his SR48 debut in the bottom bracket semifinal and Fink overcame Bill Mehilos in the upper bracket semifinal in Mehilos’ SR48 debut.

Chavez started white hot in the final, killing every ball that touched the back wall and never allowing Fink to set his feet to play offense en route to an 11-5 first-game lead. “At that point I was being completely outplayed and really did not think I had any chance to win,” Fink would later say.

Chavez’s level dipped slightly and Fink took advantage, scoring the final 11 points of the first game. Fink raced to a 14-0 lead in game two, finding a wall-hugging power serve to the left and fly-killing weak returns for quick points. Fink collected his seventh SR48 title, just three behind Chavez’s record of 10 SR48 titles. “Marcos seemed to hit the wall at 11-5,” stated Rodney Fink. “He had to really push himself to get that lead and once fatigue set in, he really could not play at that high level for the remainder of the match.”


Fink def Mehilos 15-8, 15-10

Chavez def Mattioni 17-15, 15-4

Final: Fink def Chavez 15-11, 15-1


Nick Mattioni outlasted Bill Mehilos in a grueling SR48 RFC final, taking third in his SR48 debut. “It was an ugly match, we both missed a lot but we had a great time,” laughed Mattioni. At 59, Danny Bell became the oldest player ever ranked on the SR48, defeating Pittsburgh’s #1 Mike Semplice in the fifth place final.

Third Place Final: Mattioni def Mehilos 25-20

Fifth Place Final: Bell def Semplice 25-14

RFC SR48 Finishes

1st: Fink

2nd: Chavez

3rd: Mattioni

4th: Mehilos

5th: Bell

Thank you!

Thank you to tournament host and RFC mega donor Rodney Fink for his incredible generosity in hosting the tournament and sponsoring all of the ranked pros. The RFC tradition continues to thrive thanks to the incredible generosity of the tournament namesake. “Thank you for a great tournament,” stated Sharon PA’s Jay Cattron. “I had a blast meeting and playing everyone. It was so fun to watch all of the talent and get beat up by it too. It was a once in a lifetime moment to get to play Killian. Huge thank you to Rodney Fink.”

Thank you to the WPH, tournament desk managers Marsha Turner, Michael Kain, Kirk Rys, and Joe Delsardo and to all of those who played and helped throughout the tremendous event.

Follow the WPH RFC 12 brackets HERE

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer


Pittsburgh, PA, WPH Press, 2/28/20-

Day 1: Friday

The WPH RFC 12 kicked off on Friday, the first two-day Race 4 Eight stop in the 63-event, nine-year history of the tour. The WPH’s RFC is the org’s longest running event, commencing in 2009 with the top six men’s and women’s pros and continuing for the next decade+, with 2020 holding the first R48 ranking event in the history of the RFC.

R48 #1 Killian Carroll, R48 #3 Danos Cordova, R48 #5 David Fink, R48 #7 Vic Perez and R48 #8 Marcos Chavez highlighted the deep RFC R48LTE draw, with top stars from PA, NY, OH, MO, MN and Canada joining the Elite 8. The RFC 12 SR48 featured one of the best SR48 draws in the history of the tour, with the top two SR48 stars David Fink and Marcos Chavez joined by former #2 pro tour star Danny Bell and former top 12 WPH pro Bill Mehilos making his SR48 debut.


The top eight seeds advanced to the quarterfinals on Friday play at the RFC, as the RFC top eight dropped just one game en route to the final eight.

Carroll and Danos made short work of Western PA stars Jay Cattron and “New England” Mike Semplice to advance, while RFC host David Fink had his hands full with teenage Canadian phenom Ivan Burgos. “Ivan plays the game the right way, aggressive,” barked Fink. “He serves well and shoots with both hands. Ivan is a future top five pro, if not even higher.”

Vic Perez ousted the relentless Danny Bell, while Marcos Chavez dropped game one against hard-hitting David Schiller before dominating the next two. Jonathan Iglesias was too strong from St. Louis’ Jeff Streibig, Stephen Cooney overcame Jerome Santerre, and Nick Mattioni dominated the come-backing “Giant Killer” Anthony Selestow. “I just started too slow in both games,” lamented Selestow. “To his credit, I gave him setups and he put them down flat.”

Killian Carroll needed just 19 minutes to overcome Mattioni in his quarterfinal, while Marcos Chavez stunned Vic Perez in two games to meet Carroll in tomorrow’s semifinals. “Marcos went tiebreaker in his first two matches today then just dominated Vic,” stated WPH ESPN play by play man Dave Vincent. “Marcos looked really good in there.”

David Fink was on fire against the NYAC’s Jonathan Iglesias in their quarterfinal, allowing just five points in two games.

“Perfect, flawless, I don’t even want to go back in for game two,” barked Iglesias between games. For Dave Fink, not only running the tournament, but taking pictures, writing stories, playing tournament host and organizing social gatherings; not to mention being the number one seed in the men’s senior 40+ division.

Danos Cordova took game one against longtime rival Stephen Cooney but was pushed to a third by the R48 tour veteran. Cooney missed a routine setup with his left at 4-6 and another at 4-8 with his right, losing his momentum and not scoring again. “I was just gassed in there, I need to play in more events,” Cooney would later say.

RFC R48LTE Round of 8

Carroll def Mattioni 15-4, 15-4

Chavez def Perez 15-5, 15-6

Fink def Iglesias 15-3, 15-2

Danos def Cooney 15-4, 12-15, 15-4

Semifinals (Saturday)

Carroll vs. Chavez (10:30 am EST)

D. Cordova vs. Fink (11:15 am EST)


Six-time SR48 champion David Fink defeated Cleveland’s Carlos Vazquez in the quarterfinals and found himself in a dogfight with the Bulldog, Bill Mehilos in the semifinals. Mehilos ousted Pittsburgh #1 Mike Semplice in his SR48 debut in the quarterfinals and pushed Fink in both games before falling in two. “Bill is a great addition to the SR48 tour,” stated Fink. “Bill has a great serve and really knows what he’s doing in the court. He’ll be tough for anyone on the SR to beat.”

Nick Mattioni was too strong for Danny Bell in their highly anticipated SR48 quarterfinal clash, advancing to the semifinals to face Marcos Chavez on Saturday in his first SR48 start. Chavez dropped game one against Kevin Kopchuk before rallying to win in three games in his SR48 quarterfinal match.

RFC SR48 Quarterfinals

Fink def Vazquez 15-2, 15-1

Mehilos def Semplice 15-0, 15-9

Mattioni def Bell 15-4, 15-6

Chavez def Kopchuk 10-15, 15-8, 15-8


Fink def Mehilos 15-8, 15-10

Chavez vs. Mattioni (Saturday, noon EST)

RFC Banquet

All of the RFC players enjoyed an outstanding RFC banquet at the Texas Roadhouse, as nearly 30 of the players from Canada, Ireland, and across the U.S. enjoyed one of the sport’s best events. “This is what handball is all about, the friends, the camaraderie, and getting everyone together,” stated RFC namesake and mega sponsor Rodney Fink in his banquet toast. “This is the 12th RFC and we plan on having many, many more, so please plan on coming back.”

Special thanks to the WPH for filming and taking pictures.

Thank you!

Special thank you to tournament sponsor and mega donor Rodney Fink, tournament mega donor Kirk Rys, and Michael Kain and Marsha Turner for running an outstanding tournament desk all day on Friday. Thank you!

Follow the WPH RFC 12 brackets HERE

2020 RFC 12 Press Release HERE

Handball Terminology + Instruction and R48 Rules HERE

Race 4 Eight Pro Player Bios HERE

WPH Power Rankings HERE

DF’s R48 Fun Facts and Trends HERE

Race 4 Eight History of Champions and Finalists HERE

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

Pittsburgh, PA, WPH Press, 2/24/20-

The World Players of Handball is thrilled to present the 12th edition of the Rodney Fink Classic February 28-29, the WPH’s longest running event. The RFC 12 will feature the R48LTE and the SR48, as the R48 pros will compete in the sixth of nine 2019/20 R48 IX stops, while the SR48 stars will compete in their second of three SR48 stops on the 2019/20 SR48 season.

R48 #1 Killian Carroll headlines the RFC R48LTE field, as Carroll will be seeking his second title of the 2019/20 season. Joining Carroll in the deep RFC draw will be Danos Cordova, David Fink, Vic Perez, Marcos Chavez, Stephen Cooney, and a number of rising stars from PA, OH, MO, MN and Canada.

David Fink and Marcos Chavez headline the RFC SR48 field, having faced one another in the last seven SR48 finals dating back to February of 2018.

For more information on the RFC 12, including start times and brackets, go HERE

Check out all of the important 2020 RFC 12 tournament information below

2020 RFC 12 R48LTE + SR48

  • Date: February 28-29, 2020
  • Site: L.A. Fitness Bridgeville 1155 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA 15017
  • Tournament directors: David Fink, WPH
  • Tournament sponsors: JR WPH, Rodney Fink
  • Pro Events: R48LTE, SR48
  • List of WPH RFC 4-Wall pro champions: Chapman (2009), Moreno (2010), Fink (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019), Shanks (2012), Cooney (2014, 2017)
  • Defending RFC champion: David Fink
  • Number of ranked R48 pros entered: 7
  • Current or former R48 and SR48 #1’s entered: 3 (Carroll, Chavez, Fink)

2020 RFC 12 Press Release HERE

Handball Terminology + Instruction and R48 Rules HERE

Race 4 Eight Pro Player Bios HERE

WPH Power Rankings HERE

DF’s R48 Fun Facts and Trends HERE

Race 4 Eight History of Champions and Finalists HERE

WPH RACE 4 EIGHT: The World Players of Handball’s 2019/20 Race 4 Eight 9 Powered by ESPN features R48 stops in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Oregon, Montana, Louisiana, New York, Texas, California, and Utah, all culminating with The Player’s Championship in Utah in May of 2020. Similar to NASCAR’s Nextel Cup and the FedEx Cup PGA Playoffs, players earn points in the Race 4 Eight’s regular season stops to qualify for the season-ending Player’s Championship and bonus prizes.

For more information on the WPH Race 4 Eight, please contact World Players of Handball Executive Director David Vincent at dave.vincent@wphlive.tv or World Players of Handball Development Director David Fink at david.fink@wphlive.tv. For more information on the World Players of Handball, please visit wphlive.tv

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

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