DF’s Top Moments from XFest II

Posted on Jun 13 2016 - 8:28pm by DV

marina1June 10th-12th, 2016, Marina Park, Huntington Beach, CA

The WPH Outdoor X-Fest II Xrossover Challenge & JR WPH Cal State Championships featured 3-Wall Big Ball and Small Ball and 1-Wall Big Ball in the one-of-a-kind handball extravaganza. Juniors took center stage along the pros on the weekend, demonstrating dazzling skills and passion for the game. Check out the top moments from Marina Park!

DSC05086Women’s 1-Wall Big Ball Semifinals: Two of the most exciting matches of the event were played simultaneously just three feet from one another when 1-Wall living legend Tracy Davis faced WR48 #1 Catriona Casey and WPH Outdoor Women’s #1 Tanisha Groomes faced 2016 Vegas Lte champion Ciana Ni Churraoin in the Women’s 1-Wall Big Ball singles semifinals. Both matches featured dramatic comebacks in the one-game matches to 21, as Davis trailed Casey 0-7 before taking a 20-16 lead, only to see Casey tied the score at 20, while CNC trailed Groomes 18-11 before tying the score at 18. Casey’s comeback fell short, as a costly error on her match point allowed Davis to close out the match on her fourth attempt, while CNC punctuated her comeback by scoring the final 10 points of the match to stun Groomes. What theatre!

hombreEl Hombre’s Fifth Final is the Charm: Long-regarded as one of the most consistent and talented stars on the WPH Outdoor tour, Alfredo “El Hombre” Morales had yet to win a WPH Outdoor singles title. Appearing in his fifth WPH Outdoor singles final, Morales used his past experience and incredible shot making to dominate 11-time WPH Outdoor singles champion Juan Santos in two lopsided games. Now that the monkey is off his back, look out for El Hombre!

DSC04125Timbo Finishes in the Top Three of all Three Events: With no career small ball wins of note, Timbo Gonzalez was not considered a favorite to do damage in the 3-Wall Small Ball singles at the X-Fest II. Despite his lack of small ball experience, Gonzalez authored one of the most astounding upsets in handball history, taking down 7-time 3-Wall national champion and R48 #2 Sean Lenning in the 3-Wall Small Ball quarterfinals. Gonzalez advanced to the small ball final, won the 1-Wall Big Ball Doubles with Shorty Ruiz and finished third in the 3-Wall Big Ball singles to win the X-Fest II

IMG_0165JR WPH Shines at the X-Fest II: JR WPH hosted a tremendous junior handball clinic for more than a dozen youngsters competing in the X-Fest II JR WPH Cal State Championships. WPH Master Instructor David Fink was joined by WR48 and WPH outdoor star Ciana Ni Churraoin for the sensational clinic, with the pair teaching the youngsters the right corner kill, fly kill, out-the-door serve and how to kill the ball. The youngsters then had the chance to play points against Ni Churraoin, with a few winning rallies against the Irish superstar. “This is the best clinic I’ve ever seen in all of my years in handball,” stated Albert “Alley Cat” Martinez. “The kids were having so much fun and I loved watching all of the different games and drills.”

The juniors also demonstrated incredible skills and sportsmanship throughout the JR WPH Cal State Championships singles and doubles brackets, with the 9-yeat-olds rallying from the back line and the older kids looking like “A” players. Although just winners and finalists were awarded trophies, all 56 youngsters who entered the event were winners, as each demonstrated inspiring passion for the game and a joy for playing handball.

IMG_9916T Turns it Up to Win her 13th: Tanisha Groomes and Catriona Casey faced one another for the second consecutive year in the 3-Wall Big Ball Singles at the X-Fest, with Groomes winning last year’s encounter in a tiebreaker. Groomes and Casey split lopsided games to setup a tiebreaker at the X-Fest II, with Groomes looking dominant in game one and Casey appearing just as dominant in game two. Known as “T,” Groomes turned it up in the tiebreaker, hitting 14 kill shots against just two errors in one of the highest quality games in WPH Outdoor history. With the victory, T claimed her 13th WPH Outdoor singles title in 16 starts

DSC00657Mando Ortiz Wins his First WPH Outdoor Yellow: Ortiz entered the X-Fest II having never advanced beyond the semifinals of a WPH Outdoor event. Ortiz changed that with four impressive victories en route to the final and stamped his place amongst WPH Outdoor champions with a dominant two-game final victory over small ball Cinderella story Timbo Gonzalez

DSC02968Men’s 1-Wall Big Ball Doubles: The Men’s 1-Wall Big Ball Doubles produced the most intense and fast-paced action in the event, as the top WPH Outdoor stars demonstrated insanely fast reflexes, unthinkable speed and remarkable shots in dazzling the largest galleries of the event. Timbo Gonzalez and Shorty Ruiz clinched their second 1-Wall WPH Outdoor title of the season and third consecutive WPH Outdoor doubles title of the season with thrilling semifinal and final victories

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

 


X Fest Ultimate Xrossover pinned the top 3 wall small & big ball players plus 1 wall big ball doubles pros together in one bracket; crowning the very best of the best of all codes.  Below, you will find the list of 2016 players that stood out from the rest. Congrats to all who attended, competed and supported the game!  All results are here>

Full X-Fest II Leader-board 2016:

2016 Men’s Leader Board

RankPlayerPoints
1TIMBO GONZALEZ43.175
2JUAN SANTOS42.7
3ALFREDO MORALES34.775
4SHORTY RUIZ32.97
5SAM HERNANDEZ25.92
6ARMANDO ORTIZ22.25
7SAL CORDOVA17.95
8SAL DUENAS17.52
9KEVIN P GONZALEZ15.37
10RAMON VALENCIA14.15
10EDGAR VIZCAINO14.15
12KEVIN GONZA11.7
13SEAN LENNING9.55
13VIC PEREZ9.55
13DAVID FINK9.55

2016 Women’s Leader Board

RankPlayerPoints
1CATRIONA CASEY31.395
2CIANA NI CHURRAOIN30.92
3TRACY DAVIS27.4
4TANISHA GROOMES27.26
5KATE MORAN4.95
6SABRINA ZAMORA4.95

A BLAST FROM THE PAST:  COMPARING XFEST I & XFEST II

2015 X FEST LEADER BOARD2016 X FEST LEADER BOARD
#135.25S. LENNING#143.175T. GONZALEZ
#230.2R. VALENCIA#242.7J. SANTOS
#328.8A. MORALES#334.775A. MORALES
#428.3S. RUIZ#432.97S. RUIZ
#516.05S. HERNANDEZ#525.92S. HERNANDEZ
#613.25J. SANTOS#622.25A. ORTIZ
#712.75M. CHAVEZ#717.95S. CORDOVA
#811D. FINK#817.52S. DUENAS
2015 X FEST LEADER BOARD2016 X FEST LEADER BOARD
#155.9C. CASEY#131.395C. CASEY
#233.05D. DASKALAKIS#230.92C. CHURRAOIN
#328.1C. CHURRAOIN#327.4T. DAVIS
#417.5S. NG#427.26T. GROOMES
#512.55T. GROOMES#54.95K. MORAN
#67.6T. DAVIS#54.95S. ZAMORA