Schmitt and Esser Take the Titles!

Posted on Apr 7 2019 - 2:20am by DV


2019 WR48 Pre Qualifier and SW Regionals: Schmitt and Esser Take the Titles!

Austin, TX, WPH Press, 4/7/19- The University of Texas Handball Team proudly hosted the first ever 2019 WR48 Pre Qualifier, alongside The 2019 Southwest Regional Handball Championships at the Gregory Gym in Austin, TX on the first weekend in April. 91 handball players from Texas, Missouri, Florida, and Maryland enjoyed a sensational weekend, highlighted by top women’s stars battling for a WR48 travel stipend to the WPH Aces Player’s Championship May 17-19 and number of rising stars in the Men’s Open singles.

WR48 Pre Qualifier Singles

Texas women’s handball legend Jennifer Schmitt headlined the WR48 Pre Qualifier field. Schmitt was joined by Missouri State University All-American Taylor Rumping, tournament director and future WR48 star Kristen Hughes, and Texas A&M’s Kayla Jones.

Schmitt overwhelmed her younger counterparts, giving away nearly 30 years to all of her opponents but more than making up for those three decades with guile and shot making. Schmitt outscored her three WR48 Pre Qualifier opponents by a combined 126-42, demonstrating all-court skills and a steady two-handed attack.

“I was able to control the ball to the left (in the final), which was my game plan,” stated Schmitt.

“Jennifer was dominant the whole final,” stated WR48 Pre Qualifier finalist Taylor Rumping. “She played great defense and didn’t give me many offensive opportunities. Her left kill shot was on and her ceiling game was great.”

Final: Schmitt def Rumping 21-2, 21-9

Follow the WR48 Pre Qualifier bracket HERE

Men’s Open Singles

R48 #28 Sam Esser headlined the Men’s Open singles field, seeking to add another title to an already impressive 2019 campaign. Joining Esser in the field were MO State teammates Garrett Bacon and Ross Colyer, former R48 pro Memo Pallares, Jr., and University of Texas handball ambassador Nate Frank.

Esser overcame rising MO State star Ross Colyer in the semifinals to setup a finals showdown with Austin’s Pallares in the final.

Pallares clinched a very close first game, 21-18, “The first game was really back and forth,” stated Esser. “Memo was really moving around and made me force my shots.”

Esser made adjustments in game two, dictating the rallies and keeping Pallares out of the front court. “I controlled the second game, for the most part,” Esser would later say.

Esser continued to direct traffic in the tiebreaker, racing to a 10-2 lead. “I started hot and was able to overcome five straight points from Memo to win,” stated Esser.

Final: Esser def Pallares 18-21, 21-13, 11-7

Follow all of the brackets and results from the 2019 WR48 Pre Qualifier and SW Regionals HERE

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

Austin, TX, WPH Press, 1/5/19- The WPH is thrilled to host the first WR48 Pre Qualifier, in conjunction with the 2019 Southwest Regional Handball Championships in Austin, TX on April 5-7, 2019, with the WR48 Pre Qualifier winner of the Women’s Open singles to receive a travel stipend to play in the WR48 Aces Player’s Championship in May in Salt Lake City, UT. Austin’s WR48 Pre Qualifier/2019 Southwest Regional Handball Championships will be held at the famed University of Texas’ Gregory Gym, located on the University of Texas campus, 2101 Speedway, Austin, TX 78712.

The highly competitive Southwest women’s handball scene will be center stage in April, as the top women’s players from Texas, Missouri, Florida, and across the U.S. will battle for the first WPH WR48 Pre Qualifier title and a spot in the WR48 Player’s Championship.

Enter HERE

“There have been several phenomenal rivalries that have developed over the past few years with the top ladies from University of Texas and Missouri State University, as well as women’s pro veterans that can still compete with the twenty-something stars,” declared WPH Development Director David Fink. “The WPH is extremely excited to showcase the women’s stars in Austin and we look forward to crowning our first WR48 Pre Qualifier champion.”

“We are so excited to host the first WR48 Pre Qualifier in conjunction with our Southwest Regionals,” exclaimed Austin WR48 Pre Qualifier tournament director and future WR48 pro Kristen Hughes.

“I am thrilled to be able to compete for a chance to play in Salt Lake City,” exclaimed Missouri State All-American and future WR48 pro Taylor Rumping.

Enter Austin’s WR48 Pre Qualifier/2019 Southwest Regional Handball Championships HERE

Race 4 Eight Pre Qualifier concept explained HERE

2018/19 WR48 Tour Schedule Full Race 4 Eight 8 Schedule & Preview HERE

2017/18 R48 and WR48 Match Analytics HERE

Handball Terminology + Instruction and R48 Rules HERE

Race 4 Eight Pro Player Bios HERE

WPH Power Rankings HERE

DF’s R48 Fun Facts and Trends HERE

Race 4 Eight History of Champions and Finalists HERE

WPH RACE 4 EIGHT: The World Players of Handball’s 2018/19 Race 4 Eight 8 Powered by ESPN features R48 stops in Georgia, Arizona, Oregon, Montana, Louisiana, and California, all culminating with The Player’s Championship in Utah in May of 2019. Similar to Nascar’s Nextel Cup and the FedEx PGA Playoffs, players earn points in the Race 4 Eight’s regular season stops to qualify for the season-ending Player’s Championship and bonus prizes.

For more information on the WPH Race 4 Eight, please contact World Players of Handball Executive Director David Vincent at or World Players of Handball Development Director David Fink at For more information on the World Players of Handball, please visit

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