The 64th USHA National Collegiate Championships was held at the pristine University of Minnesota Rec Center and featured 250 of the top collegiate handball stars from the U.S., Canada, and Ireland. With last year’s men’s and women’s open singles champions no longer eligible for collegiate play, the open singles draws would be guaranteed new titlists.
The Men’s Open Singles featured five Irish players among the quarter-finalists, including top-seeded Peter Funchion from ITT. The U.S. contingent of collegiate stars was led by current 19-and-under national champion Tyler Stoffel and Loren and Anthony Collado. Funchion advanced to the final with wins against three Irish collegiate. Stoffel narrowly escaped a quarterfinal upset by surviving seven match points against UCD’s Galen Riordan and swept Loren Collado in two games to advance to the final. Funchion prevailed in the final, clinching an Irish victory in the Men’s Open singles for the fourth time in five years.
The Women’s Open Singles featured former WR48 finalist and returning women’s collegiate national finalist Ciana Ni Churraoin. UL’s Ni Churraoin was joined in the quarterfinals by second-seeded Mikaila Mitchell, Canada’s Leslie Amminson, and five of the top players from the U.S. and Ireland. CNC encountered little difficulty in winning the strong women’s open draw, defeating Missouri State’s Suzanne Koehler in the semifinal and TCD’s Ciara Mahon in the final.
The men’s team competition was won by the University of Limerick (Ireland), the women’s team competition was won by the University of Texas, and the overall competition was won by Lake Forest College. Congratulations to all of the teams!
For more information on the 64th USHA National Collegiate Championships, go to ushandball.org
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Pics by USHA
Story by David Fink