Saturday at the Del Grande Group/EDTL Handball San Francisco featured the best women’s pros on the WR48 in opening round action, round of 8 action and semifinal action. The R48 men’s pros were also in action, contesting their round of 8 and semifinals on Super Saturday in the Golden City.
Top seeded and WPH WR48 #1 Catriona Casey faced former national 1-Wall champion and former junior phenom Sandy Ng is her first match of the event. Though able to extend rallies, Ng was unable to make headway on the scoreboard, dropping both games, 15-1.
Casey faced left-handed offensive juggernaut Danielle Daskalakis in the semifinals. Daskalakis advanced to the semifinals with an impressive victory over former national finalist Courtney Peixoto, but was unable to match Casey’s steady and methodical attack, losing 15-5, 15-0.
Second-seeded Jessica Gawley encountered little resistance in her Saturday doubleheader, defeating New York’s Shirley Chen in the quarterfinals and dominating her greatest WR48 rival, Tracy Davis, 15-5, 15-2 en route to the final.
Casey and Gawley will meet for the fourth time in less than a year in Sunday’s final.
The R48 quarterfinals featured four tremendous matchups on paper, but each quickly became blowouts. David Fink completely outplayed Mando Ortiz in the Saturday’s first quarterfinal, avenging consecutive defeats to Ortiz during the R48 III season to cruise to the semifinals, 15-2, 15-5. Paul Brady continued his mastery over Sean Lenning, never allowing Lenning into the match. Brady would defeat Lenning in under 25 minutes for the second time in as many events. Emmett Peixoto incurred little difficulty with rising superstar Daniel Cordova, advancing 15-2, 15-7. Luis Moreno blitzed his longtime rival Marcos Chavez in the last quarterfinal of the day, cruising 15-3, 15-6.
Paul Brady faced David Fink in their second semifinal clash of the R48 IV season in Saturday’s first R48 semifinal. Brady caught fire in the first game, scoring the final 13 points of the frame to take a one-game lead, 15-2. Fink started hot in game two, building a 9-3 lead with an effective serve-and-shoot tactic. Brady regrouped, finding the range on his serve and offense and scoring 12 of the final 13 points of the match to advance to his fourth consecutive R48 IV final.
Emmett Peixoto and Luis Moreno staged a thriller in the final match of the evening. Buoyed by a partisan gallery on his home court, Peixoto controlled the action in game one and seized a one game lead with a 15-7 win. Moreno turned the tables in game two, pushing Peixoto from side to side with power pass shots and deep court kills, forcing the tiebreaker with an identical 15-7 score line. The tiebreaker provided the highest drama of the event, as two of the game’s brightest stars traded kill shots and dazzled the gallery with incredible retrieves and shot making. With the score tied at three, Peixoto took the lead and maintained it for the remainder of the final stanza. Peixoto stretched a 10-6 lead to 14-10 and needed six serves on match point to finally close out “The Natural” in one hour and 45 minutes, 15-7, 7-15, 15-12.
Peixoto and Brady will faceoff for the second time in as many events and the fifth time in the last year.
Junior WPH Clinic
Junior WPH Coach Tanner Cleveland and Elite 8 pro Jon Iglesias led and enthusiastic group of a dozen junior players through an exciting junior clinic between the R48 quarterfinals and WR48 semifinals. The juniors learned new shots, new strategies, and mostly how to have fun playing handball. The WPH holds junior handball clinics at all R48 events and over 600 clinics per year across the United States.
To watch live R48 and WR48 action on Sunday, February 15th, tune into the Watch ESPN App at 10 am pst (http://espn.go.com/watchespn/).
To follow all of the action from the event, click here: http://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=13055
10am 9th Place Final – Luis Cordova Vs Vic Perez
* 1030am 5th Place Final – Sean Lenning Vs Marcos Chavez
* 11am 3rd Place Final Women’s – Tracy Davis Vs Danielle Daskalakis
* 1130am 5th Place Women’s Final – Yvonne August Vs Courtney Peixoto
12pm 1st Place Women’s Final – Catriona Casey Vs Jessica Gawley
1230pm 1st Place Men’s Final – Paul Brady Vs Emmett Peixoto
* May Be Played on Side Courts Pending Available Court time; Not Guaranteed as an ESPN Match
All Times Pacific
ESPN Broadcast Windows: 10:00am to 2:30pm Pacific