Dave Vincent and David Fink bring you the Senior Match of the Year; Senior Player of the Year, plus Women’s Match -and- Women’s Player of the Year awards in this special video presentation.
SR48 Match of the Year: Chavez vs. Alvarado at the 2014 Tucson Senior Race 4 Eight Finals
Marcos Chavez and Naty Alvarado clashed in the finals of the 2014 Tucson Senior Race 4 Eight finals, continuing a 20-year pro tour rivalry that had been largely acrimonious and dominated by Alvarado.
Alvarado started the one game final to 25 in elite form, serving aces and finding the bottom board with both hands en route to a 14-10 lead. Alvarado dove and just missed a rekill attempt that would have given him a 15-10 halftime-lead, opening the door for a shocking momentum shift. Chavez completely dominated from that point forward, taking the halftime lead at 15-14 and outscoring Alvarado 10-2 in the second half with incredible serves, finesse kills, and theatrical gamesmanship. The intensity between the two competitors created an electric atmosphere, as Chavez’s 20-years of frustration in losing to Alvarado was set free on the Senior Race 4 Eight’s greatest stage.
SR48 Player of the Year: Marcos Chavez
Marcos Chavez began his defense of his SR48 II Player of the Year with a statement victory over 20-year pro tour nemesis Naty Alvarado in the SR48 Tucson final, defeating “El Tigre” for just the second time in over 20 attempts. Chavez lost in the semifinals of the SR48 III Houston to Tyler Hamel and did not compete in the SR48 NYAC, placing his SR48 Player of the Year repeat in jeopardy. Chavez would need to win Salt Lake City’s WPH Aces Player’s Championship to have a chance to repeat as the SR48 Player of the Year, and he did just that, dominating Dan Zimet, Dan Armijo and Tom Sheridan en route to the WPH Aces Player’s Championship SR48 title and SR48 III Player of the Year
WR48 Match of the Year: Casey vs. Reilly at the WPH WR48 Aces Player’s Championship
Catriona Casey entered the WPH WR48 Aces Player’s Championship in Salt Lake City seeking her seventh WR48 title in seven WR48 events, while current world champion Aisling Reilly was appearing in her fourth WR48 final, still in search of her first WR48 title.
Reilly attacked Casey in game one of the final, handing Casey just her second lost game in her WR48 career, 15-2. Casey changed her tactics in game two, building an 8-1 lead by keeping Reilly in the backcourt and keeping the ball off the back wall, preventing Reilly from executing her patented back wall kills. Despite Casey’s quick start in game two, Reilly nearly caught Casey, executing her offense from virtually everywhere on the court late in the second game, but ultimately falling, 15-12. Casey built an early lead in game three by making incredible retrieves and precise pass shots, and the match reamined in doubt until the very end. Casey would clinch her seventh WR48 title in seven starts and her second consecutive WR48 Player’s Championship in front of the largest gallery in WR48 history, 2-15, 15-12, 15-9. “I had to really play my best against Aisling,” revealed Casey. “The tour is so exciting with so many great players participating in the events. I am really looking forward to next season.”
WR48 Player of the Year: Catriona Casey
Catriona Casey entered the WR48 II season as the only undefeated player in the history of the Race 4 Eight, winning the first three WR48 events in the inaugural 2013-2014 WR48 season. Casey continued her unprecedented dominance in the WR48 II season, winning all four events en route to becoming the emphatic WR48 II Player of the Year. Casey outscored her opponents 440-116 (3.8:1) in 12 WR48 II matches over the four 2014-2015 WR48 II events, winning 24 of 26 combined games played in Southern California, San Francisco, New York and Salt Lake City