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Day three: Sunday

Las Vegas, NV, WPH Press, 2/11/18- Sunday featured four WPH pro finals, as the R48, WR48, SR48, and WPH Outdoor crowned its Royal Flush champions on an electric day in Las Vegas.

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R48 Finals: Carroll vs. Lenning

Killian Carroll and Sean Lenning met for the third time this season and eighth time in their R48 careers. Lenning won their first encounter at the 2015 U.S. Open, but Carroll had won their last six matchups.

Killian Carroll picked up where he left off in Saturday night’s semifinals, racing to a 9-1 lead in game one. Lenning was unable to build any momentum, scoring one point at a time and never seriously threatening the “K Train” in a straightforward game one win for Carroll.

Lenning turned up the heat in game two as he had in his semifinal win, erasing a first-game disappointment to take control in game two. Lenning dazzled the raucous gallery with shots that only he can make: left-handed overhand punch fly kills, left-handed kills into the right corner, and right hand flat kills off his back foot from 38 feet. Lenning took a 13-6 lead and clinched the game with a right hand kill to force a third.

Carroll had lost just one second game in the past 16 months on the R48 and proved why in the third, sprinting to a 9-1 lead with a barrage of ace serves, bottom-board kills with both hands, and nimble retrieves. Lenning appeared to be exhausted and burned his last timeout while trailing 3-9. Just as it appeared that Carroll would clinch his fourth R48 title in four R48 7 events, Lenning surged. Lenning put Carroll under pressure with virtually every shot for the remainder of the match, pushing Carroll side to side with punch fist drives and blasting sizzling kills. Lenning erased the deficit by scoring nine of the next 12 points, punctuating the comeback with a back wall rollout. With the pro-Lenning crowd in a frenzy, “The Freak” delivered the knockout blow, scoring the final three points of the match, including a left-handed game winner down the left wall.

“I think my serve was working for me today,” stated an exhausted and elated Lenning to ESPN’s Kara Mack. “My left is finally back after hurting it a year ago. Killian is still the champ, I just got one on him today.”

Following the post match interview, Lenning was hoisted on the shoulders of his friends and fans. Wow!


Final: Lenning def Carroll 7-15, 9-15, 15-12

R48 Playoffs

Daniel Cordova served two aces and hit three kills to break a 20-20 tie in the 5th place final to defeat Marcos Chavez in Chavez’s seventh match of the tournament, while Vic Perez cruised past Stephen Cooney for 9th.

5th: D. Cordova def Chavez 25-20

9th: Perez def Cooney 25-9

R48 Royal Flush Finishes

1st: Lenning

2nd: Carroll

3rd: Fink/L. Cordova

5th: D. Cordova

6th: Chavez

7th: Peixoto, Ortiz

9th: Perez

10th: Cooney

11th: Montijo/Beall/Torres/Ruiz

13th: Moreno/Pat. Funchion/

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WR48 Finals: Casey vs. Peixoto de Melo

Catriona Casey was aiming to bounce back from her second WR48 loss in 14 starts in Tucson three months ago, while Courtney Peixoto de Melo was appearing in her first WR48 final on the heels of impressive WR48 victories against top five WR48 pros Tracy Davis and Aimee Tuohey. Casey and Peixoto de Melo met for the first time at the WR48 5 Tucson Memorial, with Casey winning in two entertaining games.

Casey continued her ruthless assault on the WR48 draw in Vegas, holding CPM scoreless in game one allowing just three points in game two for a three-round total of 90-9, Casey’s second-most dominant win in her WR48 career.

“There is simply no one on the level of Catriona right now, maybe ever,” stated WPH referee Pete Papathemetrios.

Final: Casey def Peixoto de Melo 15-0, 15-3

WR48 Playoffs

Aimee Tuohey ousted Dr. Ashley Moler for third, while Tracy Davis clinched fifth with an exciting win against Suz Koehler

3rd: Tuohey def Moler 25-12

5th: Davis def Koehler 25-19

WR48 Royal Flush Finishes

1st: Casey

2nd: Peixoto de Melo

3rd: Tuohey

4th: Moler

5th: Davis

6th: Koehler

[DSC1000-300x169]SR48 Finals: Chavez vs. Fink

Marcos Chavez was seeking his 10th SR48 title, while David Fink was appearing in his first SR48 event. Chavez and Fink met in the quarterfinals of the R48 draw on Saturday, making the pair the first players to play singles against one another twice in the same event.

Fink attacked Chavez from the outset, never allowing the nine-time SR48 champion to become comfortable. Fink utilized his fly kill and two-way serve to race to a 15-5 halftime lead in just 12 minutes. Fink did not slow down in the second half, maintaining his aggressive style, clinching his first SR48 title and yellow jersey.

“I wasn’t sure I’d want to play in the SR48 but I’m really glad I did,” stated Fink. “The guys are really tough in this bracket and I really enjoyed playing against them.

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SR48 Playoffs

Royal Flush tournament host faced Dr. Dan Zimet for the first time in 4-Wall singles. The match was moved to ESPN at 13-all and the two SR48 superstars put on an incredible show for the ESPN viewers. Harris trailed 17-18 and caught fire, connecting on diving re kills, back wall kills, and ace serves to score the final seven points of the match. George Garcia Jr. ousted Kevin Price for fifth


SR48 Royal Flush Finishes

1st: Fink

2nd: Chavez

3rd: Harris

4th: Zimet

5th: Garcia Jr.

[DSC1045-300x169]WPH Outdoor Finals: Team Shimbo vs. Team Samzon/Duenas

Shorty Ruiz and Timbo Gonzalez have been the most dominant doubles team in WPH Outdoor history and the only team to have won WPH Outdoor doubles titles in 1-Wall, 3-Wall, and 4-Wall. Team Shimbo cruised through the upper half of the draw to advance to the final. Team Hernandez and Duenas have played together sparingly in doubles, but had little difficulty advancing to the final in the bottom half of the draw.

Team Shimbo and Team SoCal played a sensational match, with the average rally just north of 19 shots. Not surprisingly, controversy erupted with Team SoCal leading 14-13 in game one. Duenas hit a back wall kill to win the game, which Team Shimbo contended skipped. Both the referee and linesman called the ball good, giving Team SoCal a one-game lead. Game two was close throughout, with neither team able to build a lead of more than three points. With Team SoCal leading 14-13, a furious rally ensued, with Timbo making just his third error of the match to give Team SoCal the title.

“We’ve been teaming for 10 years and we never win together,” stating Samzon referencing his win with Duenas. “”I’m really happy we were able to win together.”

“I lost here in the final last year and I’ve been thinking about it and looking forward to trying to win this title for a year,” stated Duenas. “I want to thank the WPH for a great event.”

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WPH Outdoor Royal Flush Doubles Finishes

1st: Hernandez/Duenas

2nd: Gonzalez/Ruiz

Final: Hernandez/Duenas def Team Shimbo 15-13,15-13

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Pro-am Doubles

Vic Perez added another doubles title to his mantle, teaming with R48 Salt Lake City Aces tournament director and WPH ambassador Ruben Garza to defeat R48 pro Erik Torres and Jorge Lopez.

Final: Team Perez/Garza def Team Torres/Lopez 15-10, 15-10

Thank you!

“Thank you so much for this past weekend.  There was a collective effort here that was inspiring and motivating. We all know volunteers and helpers, employees and staff that stepped up, so please bring them to our attention and realize that we felt the hard work from everyone involved.
We want to thank each and every one of you for this hard work, while also recognizing Dr. Ashley Moler for stepping into the tournament desk, taking charge and making one of the most challenging events seem easy.  Tom Flores’ team and Ashley’s team worked so good together.  We cannot explain just how impressed we are for the dedication to the game of handball each of you have!
We could go down the list but to save this from being a full-on four page review, we do want to simply name, Carlos Villegas, Tom Flores, Javi Flores, Kara Mack, Kris Gurrad, David Fink, Linda Manning, Jeff Kastner, Che Lowenstein, Shorty Ruiz, Ashley Moler, Abe Montijo, Luis Moreno, Lolita De Vincent, Mike Coulter, 3WallBall, Joe Harris, Bruce Handelman, Bob Harris, LVAC, Sodaman, AJ, Paul, Kevin Price, Emmett Peixoto, Dr. Dan Zimet, Marcos Chavez, Stratosphere Hotel, and Fred Banfield, to name just a few.
Mike Coulter really cares about court-sports, this organization and the growth of not only Racquetball, but handball.  Have you ever witnessed a Racquetball promoter go the extra distance like Mike Coulter has; while bending over backward to help put on the best event you’ve witnessed, for the game of Handball?  Well, it just happened at this last stop.  Truly amazing.  Not sure what else one could say.  
Again, we know there were many other working parts.  We saw a flux of volunteer refs that helped, Like Pio Montera; or the #FacebookLive Streamer and promoter, Antonio Navarro, that were just handball enthusiasts helping with the synergy of it all.  These folks should also be recognized.
Thanks again to all mentioned and those we missed.” #TheBob – Dave Vincent, WPH ED

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

Read all of the daily recaps from the Royal Flush '18 here: https://wphlive.tv/daily-recaps-from-the-18-royal-flush/

WPH Youth and Donor Development Director

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