Austin, TX, WPH Press, 2/23/20- The USHA proudly hosted the 68th USHA National Collegiate Handball Championships, featuring hundreds of collegiate players from the U.S., Canada, and Ireland at Austin’s famed Gregory Gym. Ireland dominated the open divisions, producing 14 of the 16 combined men’s and women’s open quarterfinalists.
Seven of the eight men’s open quarterfinalists were Irish, with two of those seven advancing to the final. Shane Dunne upset top-seeded Fergal Coughlan, Jr. in the upper bracket semifinals, while Diarmuid Mulkerrins upset second-seeded David Walsh in the bottom bracket semifinals to meet Dunne in the final, overcoming a one-game and 5-15 deficit to stun Walsh in three games.
After both Dunne and Mulkerrins survived semifinal tiebreakers on Saturday, the Irish collegiate stars split the first two games of Sunday’s final. Dunne stormed to a lead in the tiebreaker and did not look back, clinching the title in an 11-6 tiebreaker.
Team Walsh (Adam and David) won the men’s doubles, defeating Tadgh O’Neill and Fergal Coughlan in an 11-10 tiebreaker in the final.
Seven of the eight women’s quarterfinalists were Irish, with top seed and defending champion Ciana Ni Churraoin facing 2020 ICHA (Irish Collegiate) national champion Fiona Tully in the final. CNC defeated Tully for the second consecutive Sunday (New Orleans WR48), defending her USHA collegiate title and denying Tully and collegiate double, 21-3, 21-11.
Missouri State clinched all of the team titles, winning the men’s combined and women’s combined (as well as the overall).
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WPH Senior Writer