Olympic Club Hosts the World’s Best Handball Players
WPH Press, San Francisco, CA, 2/26/17- San Francisco’s Olympic Club was thrilled to host the 2017 Olympic Club Invitational Singles Handball Tournament and pro exhibition matches, featuring professional handball stars Killian Carroll, Erik Torres, Stephen Cooney, Chris Tico, and well as the current 19-and-under national champion Anthony Sullivan.
The pro exhibition match pitted the Olympic Club’s top 25 WPH Race 4 Eight pro and current 3WallBall World Doubles champion Erik Torres against current WPH Race 4 Eight Player’s Champion and National Champion Killian Carroll. Proceeds from the exhibition benefitted the Olympic Club Foundation, promoting organized athletics to enrich young lives and future community leaders.
The Olympic Club’s Pro Exhibition presented two of the sport’s most exciting stars in a thrilling showdown featuring power, speed, clutch shot making, and exemplary sportsmanship by two of the most well liked players on the Race 4 Eight tour. Torres started quickly on his home court, building a 5-1 lead, only to see Carroll rally to take a 12-6 lead. “I felt healthy, no nerves at all, and I just wanted to play well against the best,” stated Torres. “I made one too many hand errors, possibly because of the pressure Killian applies. He moves so well around the court and just a good sport all around. Rallies were long and exhausting.” Carroll ultimately took the first game, 21-14.
Carroll started quickly in game two, building a 7-0 lead. A timeout by Torres did little to thwart the Carroll express, as the two-time Race 4 Eight champion extended his lead to 18-9. “I started to find my groove again at 18-9 by hitting a few ace serves to close within striking distance at 16-18,” stated Torres. Unfazed, Carroll rattled off the final three points of the match, punctuating the victory with a signature Irish whip punch kill from the back left corner to the front right corner.
Pro Exhibition: Carroll def Torres 21-14, 21-16
The 2017 Olympic Club Invitational Tournament kicked featured a strong men’s open singles draw, with the Olympic Club’s Erik Torres snatching the #1 seed and Ireland’s Race 4 Eight #19 pro and NYAC sponsored Stephen Cooney the #2 seed. Current 19-and-under national champion Anthony Sullivan joined Torres in the top half of the draw, while former top 12 pro and Olympic Club member Chris Tico and rising R48 star Loren Collado joined Cooney in the bottom half.
Erik Torres cruised to the final, defeating San Francisco’s Jay Grenfell in the quarterfinal and easing past current junior national champion Anthony Sullivan in the semis. The bottom bracket featured a stunning upset, as former top 12 pro and Olympic Club member defeated Cooney in a sensational three-game clash. 40-something Tico survived the first game against Cooney, staving off game point to win 21-20. Cooney quickly snatched game two, but Tico rebounded in the third, utilizing his two-handed attack to end rallies from both sides of the court to eliminate “Coon Dogg.” Tico had little left in the bottom bracket semis, losing in two games to steady Loren Collado.
Olympic Club teammates Torres and Collado met in the final, with both Olympians owning round of 16 appearances this season on the WPH Race 4 Eight tour. Torres started quickly in game one, blowing past Collado with ease. Collado grinded in game two, playing even with Torres and preventing the flashy superstar the ability to unleash his power game by keeping him off-balance and in the back court. Torres stood just three points from the title in game two, but Collado forced the tiebreaker to determine the 2017 Olympic Club champion.
The tiebreaker could not have been any closer, with the margins razor thin between the two. Torres led 8-5 but was eventually caught at 10. On his first match point, Collado earned a fly kill opportunity with his right hand from the service box and hit a laser to the left that appeared to be out of Torres’ reach. With Torres banked to the right of Collado and the ball tailing away, the referee called a hinder, giving Torres new life. Torres earned a side out on Collado’s second match point with two blistering right hand pass shots and won the match in his next inning with a power serve that was unreturned.
Olympic Club Singles Final: Torres def L. Collado 21-7, 18-21, 11-10
Matches can be watched on tournament director Joey Mucha’s Facebook page.
For more information on 2017 Olympic Club Invitational Singles Handball Tournament and pro exhibition matches, go here
To contact the 2017 Olympic Club Invitational Singles Handball Tournament and pro exhibition matches tournament directors, email Lou Barberini at firstname.lastname@example.org or Joey Mucha at email@example.com
To follow the 2017 Olympic Club Invitational Singles Handball Tournament and pro exhibition matches, log onto wphlive.tv, Like the World Players of Handball on Facebook, or follow the WPH on Twitter @dfwph and @wphlive. 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 and WPH Outdoor tours.
WPH Senior Writer