Sunday @ The Open: Simple Green Puts On One-Helluva Show

Posted on Oct 26 2014 - 10:32pm by DV

Sunday at the U.S. Open, by david fink- Photos by WPH/Lolita Vincent

IMG_0177 copySunday at the Simple Green U.S. Open presented thrilling finals in the eight pro divisions. Three of the top rivalries in the sport were on display on the grandest stage in the sport, as handball fans at the Los Caballeros Sports Village and on Watch ESPN were treated to the game’s best stars competing for one of the most prestigious titles in the sport.

  • To view all of the results from the Simple Green U.S. Open, click here>
  • To view all of the archived action from Watch ESPN, click here>
  • To View all the pics from the WPH, click here>

Women’s Race 4 Eight Finals: Casey vs. Reilly

Catriona Casey and Aisling Reilly played one of their best matches in their nearly two-year history as the two top women in 4-Wall handball. Casey started quickly in game one of the final, building an 11-3 lead with four ace serves and masterful court coverage. Reilly called her first timeout and rallied, scoring six consecutive points to cut Casey’s deficit to two. Casey would never allow Reilly any closer than the two-point deficit, extending her 11-9 lead to 16-9 and ultimately closing out the first game 21-12. Casey resumed control early in game two, once again building an 11-3 lead with aggressive serving and precise shot making. Reilly employed her power game to cut into Casey’s lead, driving pass shots and kill shots down the right wall. Serving at 15-17, Reilly finally appeared to have established the momentum, but Casey summoned her best play in the highest quality match between theIMG_0181 two in their illustrious history, executing five kill shots in the game’s final eight rallies to claim her second consecutive Simple Green U.S. Open championship.

“I really put a lot into my training for this event,” stated Casey moments after clinching her second U.S. Open title. “I laid out a four-week training plan and stuck to it because I knew I would need to be at my best against Aisling.”

Casey continued her Women’s Race 4 Eight dominance, winning her fourth start in four Women’s Race 4 Eight events. Casey will aim for her fifth Women’s Race 4 Eight in San Francisco in February.

IMG_0529Men’s Race 4 Eight Finals: Brady vs. Moreno

Paul Brady completely dominated Luis Moreno from start to finish en route to his fourth Simple Green U.S. Open championship. Brady survived an early match scare, hyperextending his left elbow on the second rally of the match and appearing to jeopardize his quest for the title. After a four-minute injury timeout, Brady worked his way through the discomfort. “It was really made worse because I was off the ground when it happened,” revealed Brady. “It’s more just pins and needles, so I didn’t want to cool down too long.”

Brady decimated the R48 #1 is two lopsided games, demonstrating that his game is as sharp as it has ever been. “His (Moreno) comments don’t bother me,” stated Brady in reference to Moreno’s declaration that he would “crush” him in the final. “I just focus on my own game.” Brady’s only error in the two games was showing up one minute late for game two.

Brady was simply too strong, too prepared, and too good for his rival on this day. “I know I always need to play my best against Moreno or he’ll beat me,” revealed Brady.

Brady now moves to #2 on the WPH Race 4 Eight rankings and will shoot for his sixth WPH Race 4 Eight title at the Tucson R48 IV Stop #2 in two weeks.

IMG_0621Men’s Pro 4-Wall Doubles Final: M. Chavez/Vic Perez vs. C. Chavez/Vince Munoz

Marcos Chavez and Vic Perez trailed 17-6 just 35 minutes into game one of the Simple Green U.S. Open 4-Wall Doubles Finals and appeared to be en route to a one-game deficit. Chavez and Perez overcame the seemingly insurmountable deficit, scoring 15 consecutive points to stun Team Bastorniak, 21-17. Team Bastorniak appeared to be completely demoralized in game two, managing to score only six points, as Chavez and Perez routinely ended rallies from the back court while retrieving all of Team Bastorniak’s best offerings.

“This win means so to me,” revealed an ecstatic Chavez. “I did this for Vince (Munoz), and I feel so fortunate to have played with Vic. He has so much potential and I was so glad he asked me to play two weeks ago. Getting older and turning 40, this is so special. I want to thank Naty (Alvarado), the entire Alvarado family and Mr. Bruce Fabrizio for an incredible tournament.”

Chavez and Perez claimed their first Simple Green U.S. Open title as a team, while Chavez notched his sixth Simple Green U.S. Open title in eight events.

IMG_0724Men’s Pro 3-Wall Big Ball Singles Final: Santos vs. Hernandez

In the match to determine the #1 WPH Outdoor big ball player of the year, Juan Santos controlled the action throughout much of the first game, building a 16-9 lead with a diversified offensive attack. Hernandez worked his way into the match, upping his intensity and hitting his shots with more conviction and power. Santos clung to a 19-17 lead and served for the game at 20-19. Hernandez earned the side out when Santos failed to convert a game point opportunity and on the fourth shot of the 19-20 rally, Santos badly sprained his left ankle trying to change directions, effectively ending the match. Santos played through the injury, but his inability to run or pivot eliminated any chance for him to be competitive. Hernandez claimed his third Simple Green U.S. Open 3-Wall Big Ball singles title with a two-game victory.

“I love the rivalries and the competition,” revealed Hernandez. “I love when the crowd is cheering, especially against me because it fuels me. It was too bad Santos injured himself and couldn’t give me a better challenge in the second game but I’m happy to win the title.”

Men’s Pro 3-Wall Big Ball Doubles Final: Lobo/Ruiz vs. Sanchez/Calvillo

IMG_0928“Team Razzle” dominated game one, as Sanchez and Calvillo blitzed Ruiz and Lobo, 21-6. Ruiz and Lobo charged back in game two, forcing errors from both Razzles en route to tying the match at one game apiece. The Razzles relied on their experience in the tiebreaker, breaking down Ruiz and Lobo as the pressure mounted. The Razzles collected the most lucrative title in 3-Wall big ball doubles for the second consecutive year.

“We knew they were going to go strong in the second game so it was or die in the tiebreaker,” revealed Big Razzle. “We are going to celebrate our back to back titles here and enjoy ourselves. I just want to thank Naty Alvarado, Simple Green, and the WPH for hosting such a great event.

Men’s Pro 1-Wall Singles Final: Gonzalez vs. Calle

Timbo Gonzalez defended his Simple Green U.S. Open 1-Wall title, winning the event in the event’s inaugural two years.

“Playstation always gives me a tough battle so it was great to be able to beat him,” stated Gonzalez. “This is one of my favorite events and I cannot wait to come back next year.”

IMG_0907Men’s Pro 1-Wall Doubles Final: Cook/Rosa vs. Sanchez/Pena

Tywan Cook and Carlin Rosa overcame Allan Sanchez and Carlos in two very close games, winning the title, 21-17, 21-17. Sanchez and Pena pushed the current world champion and Rosa into deep waters, tying the score at 15 in both games before Cook and Rosa were able to separate themselves.

“I’m speechless right now,” declared Cook. “I love my partner. Without teamwork and communication there is no partnership and we have both.”

“We just wanted to play all out and limit our mistakes,” revealed Rosa. “Both teams were fighting so hard and we decided to change our strategy and slow the game down and it worked. We always have to change our strategy and reinvent our strategy against Sanchez and Pena to be successful.”

Women’s Pro1-Wall Big Ball Doubles Final: Sky/Pearson vs. Ruiz/Ng

IMG_0643Mel Sky and Tamiko Pearson claimed the first Women’s 1-Wall big ball title, defeating their New York neighbors Sandy Ruiz and Sandy Ng.

  • To view all of the results from the Simple Green U.S. Open, click here>
  • To view all of the archived action from Watch ESPN, click here>
  • To View all the pics from the WPH, click here>

Thank you to Simple Green, Bruce Fabrizio, Naty Alvarado, Sr., the entire Simple Green Team, and all of the volunteers for an incredible week of handball. Thank you also to the World Players of Handball for covering all of the action live on and ESPN3. Thanks to David Vincent, David Fink, Kris Gurrad, Linda Manning, Matt Titano, Jeff Kastner, Kara Mack, and Lolita Vincent for working tirelessly to bring the handball to over 100,000 viewers.

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