The United States Handball Association and the World Players of Handball are proud to present the live broadcast of the 66th USHA Four Wall National Championships from Fridley, MN. Saturday featured Paul Brady seeking his record-tying 11th USHA Four Wall National Singles Title. Brady would face his Irish compatriot 14 years his junior for the title.
Brady vs. Carroll
Brady and Carroll met for the fourth time in less than a year in the 2016 USHA Four Wall National Championship final, with Brady winning their first two encounters in the finals of the 2015 World Handball Championships and Race 4 Eight V New Orleans and Carroll defeating Brady in the semifinals of the Race 4 Eight V Player’s Championship in Portland. A Brady win would tie him with Naty Alvarado, Sr. with 11 USHA Four Wall Pro Singles titles and put his name alongside “El Gato” as the most prolific USHA Four Wall Singles in history.
Brady dominated game one of the final, racing to a 20-2 lead in just 17 minutes with a barrage of aces, kills, and pass shots. Brady appeared to be unstoppable, as everything he touched either won the rally or sent Carroll diving across the court. Carroll established some momentum late in game one, scoring four consecutive points to develop a rhythm going into game two.
Carroll took an early lead in game two by dictating play for the first time in the match, keeping Brady out of the front court with a power reverse serve to the left and first-striking the return. Carroll led 10-7 before being caught at 10 and built another sizeable lead at 16-12 before Brady took his first lead of the game at 17-16. Brady stood just four points from history at 17-16, but Carroll was not about to allow the history books to be rewritten. Carroll earned a side out and scored five consecutive points with several deep court kills and re kills to force a tiebreaker.
Brady regrouped in the tiebreaker, dictating play as he had in game one to take a 4-2 lead that could have easily been 8-2 if not for five early errors. Brady was never able to separate himself by more than two points in the tiebreaker, as he took 6-4 and 8-6 leads. Carroll eventually tied the score at eight, with both players standing just three points from the title. Brady scored two of the next three points to serve for the match and history at 10-9, but a 14-shot rally went to Carroll for the side out. Carroll quickly tied the score at 10 and was one swing from his first title. Carroll over hit his power serve to the right, leaving Brady a back wall opportunity from the 36-foot mark. Brady teed off, driving the ball right at Carroll but not out of Carroll’s reach. Carroll stayed in the rally and ended the match with a sensational right-handed kill in the front court, earning his first USHA Four Wall National Championship and denying Brady his 11th in one of the most exciting matches in USHA Four Wall National History.
“I first watched Paul play against my mentor and coach Tony Healy and the 2006 World Championships as a 13-year-old and I knew at that time that I wanted to beat him,” stated Carroll in his on-court interview with USHA Development Director Matt Krueger. “It really just feels surreal at this point.”
“I guess it’s a bit early to say what I’ll do after this match,” stated Brady after the match. “I’ll take the summer off but I definitely don’t want this to be my last match.”
Women’s Pro Semifinals
USHA Women’s Four Wall National defending champion and WR48 #1 Catriona Casey cruised to the women’s pro singles final with a two-game victory against her good friend Aoife McCarthy, using her two-handed attack to neutralize McCarthy’s offense. Ciana Ni Churraoin advanced to her first USHA Four Wall National singles final with a two-game sweep against Canadian lefty Jessica Gawley, showcasing her power and athleticism in cruising past the Saskatchewan legend. Casey and Ni Churraoin will meet for the second consecutive Sunday, with Casey defeating Ni Churraoin in the finals of the 3-Wall Small Ball Women’s Singles at the WPH Outdoor X-Fest II last weekend.
To watch Sunday’s Women’s Pro Singles Finals starting at 10 am CST, go to race4eight.com. The Men’s Doubles final will follow by the Women’s Singles final.
Log onto wphlive.tv, Like the World Players of Handball on Facebook, or follow the WPH on Twitter @dfwph and @wphlive for all of the handball news from on and off the court! The World Players of Handball is a non-profit foundation aiming to grow the game of handball through innovation and inspiring the next generation of players through junior clinics with certified WPH coaches, junior tournaments and the Race 4 Eight tour.
In the men’s pro doubles, Martin Mulkerrins and local legend Andy Nett defeated Tyree Bastidas and Ryan bowler in two; meanwhile, Sean Lenning and Marcos Chavez dominated Gavin Buggy and Duxie Walsh 21-7, 21-3. The two winning teams will face-off tomorrow after the Women’s Finals on the show court at Life Time fitness.
Read Thursday’s Quarterfinal Wrap Up HERE>
Read Friday’s Semifinal Wrap HERE>
Saturday’s WPH Wrap Up HERE>
This live broadcast brought to you by the WPH Board of Directors and the USHA President’s Club.
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Special Thanks to:
-Tim Labey, with Restoration Professionals (emergency services, carpet cleaning, etc. www.RestPro.com
-Bill and Cary Kelly
-Minnesota State Handball Assoc. They are also providing a hospitality room at the hotel room 204 and gave all participants a pair of gloves
-Steve Johnson, Mantle Buzz, www.MantleBuzz.com
-Minnesota Natural Medicine.com, Chris and Jan Foley
-Jerry and Sharon Jordahl
-Dave Bremer of the Boulay Group (CPA)
USHA 4 Wall Broadcast Schedule: (All Times Central, Local Minnesota Time) Track the brackets HERE>
Sunday, June 19th
10am – Women’s Final – Catriona Casey (IRE) vs Ciana Ni Churraoin (IRE)
11am – Men’s Open Doubles Final – Martin Mulkerrins/Andy Nett vs Sean Lenning/Marcos Chavez