Lenning and Casey Go Back-to-Back in WPH Majors

Posted on Jul 24 2015 - 6:59am by DV

10434353_10153452071463799_7966270092412598227_nSean Lenning and Catriona Casey completed the double-double, claiming the WPH R48 and WR48 Player’s Championship at the Race 4 Eight’s 4-Wall major in Salt Lake City in April of 2015, followed by capturing the 2015 WPH Outdoor Men’s and Women’s Xrossover Revolution major championships in Venice Beach in June of 2015.

Lenning and Casey proved not only could they dominate on the 4-Wall court, but also take their games to the beach and the 3-Wall courts and continue their winning ways! Lenning and Casey both needed tiebreakers in the R48 Player’s Championship final to claim gold, overcoming game-one setbacks to Mando Ortiz and Aisling Reilly, respectively, to win tiebreakers by identical 15-9 scores.

Lenning was the favorite to win the small ball portion of the Venice Beach Xrossover Revolution, having won the USHA 3-Wall Nationals six times. Casey entered the small ball portion of the Xrossover Revolution having never played small ball 3-Wall and would have to overcome multiple-time 3-Wall small ball national champion Tracy Davis and a field of seasoned small ball 3-Wall veterans. Neither Lenning nor Casey dropped a game in the small ball portion of the Xrossover Revolution, sailing to the titles by defeating their eight combined small ball opponents by an average score of 11-3, 11-3. Wow!

11008571_10153455075738799_1596832634927043669_nCasey entered the women’s big ball portion of the event playing in just her second big ball 3-Wall tournament (Finalist at La Mirada ’14). Casey learned from her loss in the finals to Tanisha Groomes at La Mirada, overcoming a semifinal 4-6 tiebreaker deficit against Groomes to score the final seven points of the match and hand Groomes just her second singles loss in 19 WPH Outdoor events. Casey would drop game one of the big ball final to Daskalakis, but rebound to win the next two games, winning her fifth consecutive tiebreaker in major play in 2015 (NYAC, Salt Lake City, 4-Wall Nationals, Venice x 2). Casey became the only player to win both the small ball and big ball divisions at the Xrossover Revolution.

“This was my favorite title of the year to have won,” stated an always-modest Casey when asked which of her nine major singles titles in the past 12 months was the most satisfying. “Just being out here playing on the beach in this format was really fun and I loved it.”

With his win in the small ball portion of the Xrossover Revolution, Lenning needed to win two rounds in the men’s big ball to secure the men’s Xrossover title and his second consecutive WPH major. Trailing by a game and 7-9 in game two to former WPH Outdoor “Fab 4” member Rudy Cruz, Lenning summoned the spectacular shot making that has made him one of handball’s fan favorites for over a decade. Lenning escaped game two and served a crack ace on the back line at 10-10 in the third game against Cruz to win the match and the Xrossover title. “I couldn’t believe that serve,” stated an amazed Sal Duenas. “In rally scoring with just one serve, the match would have been over had Lenning’s serve been one inch longer. He went for it and got it and that’s about as exciting as it gets in handball.” The World Series of Poker pro went all-in for the Xrossover title and won it, joining Casey and the WPH’s 2015 indoor and outdoor major champions.

What did Lenning and Casey do after their Player’s Championship/Xrossover Revolution double-double? They went to Disneyland, of course!

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

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