Monday Morning Serve (Week of 10/27/14): by Dave Fink

Posted on Oct 27 2014 - 8:59am by DV

uEQYJk0V_400x400Another amazing Simple Green U.S. Open in Southern California last week! Paul Brady further solidified his legacy with a dominating victory, Catriona Casey continues to dominate the Women’s Race 4 Eight, Charly Shanks is back, Courtney Peixoto de Melo looks like she never left, Marcos Chavez owns the Simple Green U.S. Open doubles, Samzon cannot be beat at the U.S. Open, and Timbo continues to collect titles. And don’t forget, the Tucson R48 IV Stop #2 is just over a week away!

To check DF’s recap of Sunday’s finals, click here:

To check DF’s recap of the action from Saturday at the U.S. Open, click here:

To check out the upcoming November 7th-9th Junior WPH Benefit and WPH R48 Pro #2, Powered by ESPN and EDTL Handball Tucson R48 and SR48 preview here:

To view the updated R48 Power Rankings (post U.S. Open), click here:

Parting Shots from the Simple Green U.S. Open

Paul Brady responded to Moreno’s boasts of “crushing” him in his semifinal post-match interview by crushing the WPH R48 #1, 21-8, 21-4

Paul Brady moved to #2 in the WPH R48 Power Rankings and #1 on the R48 IV Race Points list, his highest ever ranking on the R48 Power Rankings

Catriona Casey extended her undefeated Race history by winning her fourth event in four WR48 events. Casey is the only player to have ever started a Race event to have never lost a match in Race play

Courtney Peixoto de Melo returned to women’s pro handball after a near three-year hiatus to almost make the semifinals of the U.S. Open. CPM played one of the event’s best matches, losing to WR48 #3 Jessica Gawley in a thrilling 11-8 tiebreaker in the WR48 quarterfinals

Charly Shanks showed that he is not far from the form that saw him end the R48 II season at the #1 ranked player, defeating Sean Lenning, Emmett Peixoto, and Naty Alvarado and pushing Paul Brady to a tiebreaker in the U.S. Open semifinals

In three career singles appearances and one career doubles appearance in the 3-Wall big ball at the U.S. Open, Samzon Hernandez has never lost a match, collecting four titles in four years

Timbo Gonzalez continued his undefeated streak at the U.S. Open, winning the 1-Wall big ball singles for the second consecutive year

Marcos Chavez collected his 6th Simple Green U.S. Open 4-Wall doubles title with Vic Perez. Chavez and the LAAC are the undisputed 4-Wall doubles king at the Simple Green

Big Razzle and Lil Razzle defended their 3-Wall big ball doubles title at the Simple Green U.S. Open, announcing themselves as the “Green Razzle Machine”

Tywan Cook advanced to the finals for the second consecutive year at the Simple Green U.S. Open 1-Wall big ball, this year claiming the doubles title with partner Carlin Rosa after losing in the final of the singles in 2013

Mel Sky and Tamiko Pearson dominated the women’s 1-Wall big ball doubles field en route to becoming the inaugural women’s outdoor champions at the Simple Green U.S. Open

Thank you to Mr. Bruce Fabrizio, Naty Alvarado Sr., Jeff Hyder, Mark Shelgren, the entire Alvarado family, the entire “Green Team” at Simple Green, and all of the volunteers who continue to make the Simple Green U.S. Open such an incredible event


Do you want to ask any of the top pros a question? Send them to and your question will be answered by your favorite pro and included on an upcoming Monday Morning Serve!

Remember to send all handball-related questions to or tweet to @DFWPH and you might have your question answered on the MMS.


Questions, answers, and comments:

What are some good left-handed ceiling shot drills?

Before you can hit the ball to the ceiling, you have to be able to throw the ball to the ceiling. Initially, throwing the ball to the ceiling will be a very difficult challenge with your off-hand, so you need to set goals each time you practice. Aim for 10 throws to the ceiling on your first practice, and increase by five throws in each practice. Once you can consistently throw the ball to the ceiling, which will likely take two months of solid practice, you can start practicing hitting the ball to the ceiling. Bounce the ball with your non-hitting hand slightly in front of you and make contact with the shot as high as you can reach with your off-hand. Start with 10 successful ceiling shots in your first practice and gradually increase. With four solid months of practice, you should have developed a good ceiling game with your off-hand

-Scott T, Michigan

How many shots are there that a handball player can use? 

By my count there are 24. If you count the crazy shots that Sean Lenning, Shorty Ruiz, and Dave Vincent attempt and make, there are probably more like 40. If you are playing by the fundamentals, there are 24. Only those touched with handball greatness can consistently make more.

-Jose C, New Mexico
Who are some great up and coming R48 players?

There are a lot of great players rising right now. Stephen Cooney, Shorty Ruiz, Daniel Cordova, Luis Cordova, Erik Torres, Anthony Selestow, and Abe Montijo are on my short list of early to mid 20’s guys who are on the rise. Some of those guys have already been ranked for three years but are still improving and heading for the top eight


The R48 top ten now features players only living in Ireland, California, and Arizona

-DV, parts unknown

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