The United States Handball Association and the World Players of Handball were proud to present the live broadcast of the 66th USHA Four Wall National Championships from Fridley, MN. Sunday featured Women’s Race 4 Eight #1 Catriona Casey seeking her third consecutive USHA Four Wall National Women’s Pro Singles title against first-time national finalist Ciana Ni Churraoin, while the Men’s Pro Doubles featured top seeds and defending champions Sean Lenning and Marcos Chavez facing local favorite Andy Nett and Irish superstar Martin Mulkerrins.
Women’s Singles Final: Casey vs. Ni Churraoin
Catriona Casey and Ciana Ni Churraoin met 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. Ni Churraoin became the first player to win a game against Catriona Casey in Women’s Race 4 Eight play in the finals of the 2015 WR48 NYAC but was still in search of her first victory against the WR48 #1.
Catriona Casey demonstrated her full arsenal of shots and acumen in her ruthless domination of Ciana Ni Churraoin in Sunday’s final. Casey cruised to a 16-5 first-game lead behind precise corner kills and exceptional court coverage. Receiving serve at 16-5, CNC faded towards the back wall and suffered a first-degree ankle sprain. After receiving treatment from Dr. Ed Grossenbacher and having her ankle wrapped, CNC returned to the court but Casey continued her assault. Casey closed out the game with four consecutive points and maintained her dominance in the second game, holding CNC scoreless.
“Ciana is a brilliant player and that’s why I couldn’t afford to let up,” stated Casey following her third USHA Four Wall National Singles Championship. “She will not doubt come back stronger after this. This is a very prestigious title and I’m delighted to have won it.”
Men’s Doubles Final: Sean Lenning/Marcos Chavez vs. Andy Nett/Martin Mulkerrins
Sean Lenning and Marcos Chavez entered the Men’s Doubles final as the defending champions, having defeated Mando Ortiz and Vic Perez in a thrilling tiebreaker in the 2015 Men’s Doubles final. Minnesota hero Andy Nett teamed with Martin Mulkerrins for the first time and advanced to the final with an impressive two-game semifinal victory against Ryan Bowler and Tyree Bastidas.
Lenning and Chavez defended their USHA Four Wall National Doubles with a two-game victory against Nett and Mulkerrins. Lenning and Chavez built a 13-8 lead in game one, withstood a four-point rally from Nett and Mulkerrins and scored the final eight points of the game to take a one-game lead. The teams found themselves tied at 16 in game two when the referee became the fifth player in the court, calling two questionable avoidable hinders. Lenning and Chavez endured the controversial calls and scored five of the final six points of the match to repeat as champions.
“These guys are so good that if you give them anything they’ll put the ball away,” stated Nett after the match.
“It feels great playing with Sean again and doing this twice now,” stated Chavez. “It was really tough. Andy has been playing really well recently and pushing to do well here. Andy and Martin are both lanky guys who get to everything. Congrats to both of them making the finals.”
“We were tenacious and maybe we wanted it more,” stated Lenning.
To watch matches from the 66th USHA Four Wall National Championships on demand, go to race4eight.com.
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.
WPH Senior Writer