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2017 SLC Aces Player’s Championship Full Preview


[image]The 2016-2017 Race 4 Eight 6 tour kicked off in October in Fountain Valley, CA with the Simple Green U.S. Open of Handball and has traveled through Minnesota, Idaho, Louisiana, Texas, and New York en route to the 2017 Race 4 Eight 6 Salt Lake City Aces Player’s Championship. With three R48 pros tied for the #1 ranking, Catriona Casey and Marcos Chavez dominating the WR48 and SR48 tours, respectively, and the WPH Outdoor 6 staging its third event of the season, Salt Lake City promises to provide nonstop excitement from April 21-23.

Check out the Fun Facts from Salt Lake City’s five-year R48 run, a preview of the R48 Men’s Pro Elite 8, the R48 qualifier field, the WR48 and the compelling round robin WR48 Aces format, the SR48, and the WPH Outdoor preview below.

[image]SLC Fun Facts (2012-present)

·      The Salt Lake City Aces has been voted the best tournament on the R48 tour by the R48 pros for five years running (2012-2016)

·      The SLC Aces features the best food on tour at the Saturday night Aces banquet #fact

·      The Salt Lake City Aces are hosting their sixth Race 4 Eight event this year (record number of R48 events in any city)

·      Three players in Salt Lake City’s R48 Men’s Pro Elite 8 have won a Player’s Championship (Carroll, Moreno, Lenning)

·      [image]Four of the five WPH Player’s Champions are in this year’s field (Moreno, McCarthy, Lenning, Carroll)

·      One of the three SR48 Player’s Champions is entered in the Salt Lake City field (Chavez)

·      Robbie McCarthy has never lost a match in Salt Lake City (3-0): R48 Player’s Championship ‘14

·      Catriona Casey has never lost a match in Salt Lake City (5-0): Salt Lake City WR48 Player’s Championship ’14 & ‘15

·      Killian Carroll has never won a match in Salt Lake City (0-2)

·      Paul Brady lost his first R48 match in Salt Lake City after winning his first 16 R48 matches of his career (Mando Ortiz ’14)

·      [image]Marcos Chavez has never lost a SR48 match in Salt Lake City (5-0): SR48 Player’s Championship ’14 & ‘15

Most R48 match wins in Salt Lake City (five events):

·      Lenning (13) 2015 champion

·      Moreno (12) 2012 champion

·      [image]Fink (11)

·      The 2017 Aces Player’s Championship is the third Player’s Championship in Salt Lake City (record)

Salt Lake City Race 4 Eight Champions

·      2012: R48 Luis Moreno

·      2013: R48 Charly Shanks

·      [image]2014: R48 Robbie McCarthy/WR48 Catriona Casey/SR48 Marcos Chavez

·      2015: R48 Sean Lenning/WR48 Catriona Casey/SR48 Marcos Chavez

·      2016: R48 Paul Brady

The R48 Men’s Pro has featured five different Player’s Champions in five Player’s Championships

·      Luis Moreno (Seattle) 2012

·      [image]Paul Brady (Seattle) 2013

·      Robbie McCarthy (Salt Lake City) 2014

·      Sean Lenning (Salt Lake City) 2015

·      Killian Carroll (Portland) 2016

The WR48 has featured just one champion in three WR48 Player’s Championships

·      Catriona Casey (Salt Lake City) 2014

·      Catriona Casey (Salt Lake City) 2015

·      [image]Catriona Casey (Portland) 2016

The SR48 has featured three different SR48 Player’s Champions in four Player’s Championships

·      Andy Schad (Seattle) 2013

·      Marcos Chavez (Salt Lake City) 2014

·      Marcos Chavez (Salt Lake City) 2015

·      [image]Gavin Buggy (Portland) 2016

R48 Men’s Pro (Elite 8) SLC Preview

The 2017 Race 4 Eight Player’s Championship field is as wide open as its ever been, with three R48 stars tied for the #1 ranking and just 16 R48 ranking points separating #1 and #8, the smallest gap in Race 4 Eight history. Check out the trends of Salt Lake City’s Elite 8 below.

[image]Killian Carroll: Carroll has won two titles on the season in four starts (New Orleans, Houston), made three straight finals (current), and not finished outside of the top three in any of his four starts. Carroll took over the #1 ranking for the first time after winning Houston in March and is assured of maintaining the #1 ranking on the season if he makes the final, regardless of his closest pursuers’ finish. Carroll has never won a match in Salt Lake City in one start (0-2)

[image]David Fink: After not advancing to a final in his first 34 Race 4 Eight starts, Fink advanced to three consecutive finals on the season (Minnesota, Plummer, New Orleans), became oldest player to reach #1 for the first time in handball history, and can end the season #1 with a win in Salt Lake City and a Killian Carroll loss before the final

[image]Luis Moreno: “The Natural” became the second 10-time R48 champion (Brady) with his win at Plummer (first win in 36 months), made two finals in six starts on the season, and can finish the season at #1 with a win and a Killian Carroll loss before the final.  Moreno has tournament victory on his mind, as he took an early exit from his home city (Tucson, AZ) to trail at altitude in Colorado.  This type of focus can seriously wreak havoc at SLC altitudes of 4,225 ft above sea level. #ThinAir

[image]Mando Ortiz: Ortiz took over the #1 spot for the first time after making the final at the U.S. Open, won his second R48 event in November in Minnesota, but has not advanced beyond the semifinals in 2017 (3 starts), suffering from tennis elbow on his right arm. Ortiz skipped New York, presumably to rest his elbow, and always plays his best ball at the Player’s Championship

[image]Sean Lenning: “The Freak” suffered a sprained AC joint on his left shoulder on a crash into the side wall in February and has played the last two stops with 1.35 arms, making the semifinals and quarterfinals, respectively. Lenning has yet to make a final this season. Incredibly, Lenning owns tournament victories against Iglesias, Montijo, Peixoto, and Schneider with 1.35 arms.  Although Lenning claims to like the moniker of, “The Freak,” originally pinned by WPH Executive Director Dave Vincent during a Live Broadcast, rumors have it some close to him find the nickname offensive.  Well…  Only a Freak (and we are using this term as a stroke of endearment) could do what Lenning has done this season.  “Even friends and family are warming up to the name because even they realize just how freakishly amazing Lenning is,” barks Vincent.  Uh, ya… we agree!

[image]Luis Cordova: “Afro” reached a career high #6 ranking after making his second R48 semifinal in New York (second of the season). Afro defeated three-time R48 champion Robbie McCarthy in New York for arguably his career-best R48 win (also has wins against Moreno, Lenning, Fink, Peixoto, Ortiz). Afro has had one of the most up-and-down seasons in R48 history, scoring zero points in the U.S. Open round of 16, making the semifinals in his next start (Minnesota), scoring just eight points in the round of 16 in Plummer, losing in the round of 16 in New Orleans, and has taking 5th and 3rd in his last two starts #trending

[image]Daniel Cordova: Danos has lost four main draw tiebreakers this season (Lenning, Peixoto, Chavez, Fink), while winning two (Nett, Iglesias). Danos is the only player in the top 8 who has not advanced to the semifinals this season. Danos’ best of win of the season was against now #1 David Fink at the Simple Green U.S. Open. Armed with an incredible two-way hop serve and two-hop during the rally, Danos is always a threat to any top pro

[image]Vic Perez: Perez has enjoyed his best season on the R48 tour, advancing to his first semifinal at Plummer (Ortiz), but also suffering three round of 16 losses this season in six starts. Perez played in one of the best matches of the season in the round of 16 in New York, rallying from game point down in both games to defeat his LAAC teammate Marcos Chavez, becoming the first player to face game point in both games and win both games in R48 play.

Read more here: http://wphlive.tv/2017-slc-aces-players-championship-preview/

WPH Youth and Donor Development Director

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