Atlanta, GA, WPH Press, 10/8/17-
Carroll vs. Ortiz
Killian Carroll entered Sunday’s final having lost just one match in the past 12 months, while racking up wins in three R48 events, adding his second national championship, and collecting assorted titles in Ireland and across the U.S. Mando Ortiz avoided elimination by mere inches in his quarterfinal showdown against Emmett Peixoto and parlayed his good fortune into his first finals appearance since winning the R48 6 Minnesota in November of 2016.
Ortiz entered the final with 3-2 head-to-head record in Race 4 Eight play against Killian Carroll and was aiming for his third Race 4 Eight title in Atlanta, while Carroll was seeking his second consecutive R48 title after winning the R48 6 Player’s Championship last April. Carroll and Ortiz played evenly in the first six service innings of the match, trading side outs with flat rollouts. Carroll took control after a close start, building a 12-4 lead and appearing to be on his way to a first-game lead. Just as Ortiz had done the day before against Emmett Peixoto when trailing 5-12, Ortiz caught fire, killing the ball from everywhere on the court to force overtime, eventually taking a 15-14 lead. Ortiz earned a back wall setup with his left hand to end the first game but misplayed his favorite shot, shanking the attempted kill in the ground. Following a three minute and 40 second timeout and equipment timeout, Carroll scored three points on six swings to steal game one.
Carroll raced to a 12-4 second game lead, but unlike game one, closed out the game by scoring three of the final four points of the match to clinch his fifth R48 title in six starts. “It was a great battle in there today,” stated Ortiz. “I really enjoyed it.”
Final: Carroll def Ortiz 17-15, 15-4
5th Place Final: Fink vs. L. Cordova
David Fink and Luis Cordova renewed their rivalry that has gone back and forth over the past two seasons. Fink overcame hometown favorite Luis Cordova to take 5th, building a 14-3 first half lead and holding off a Cordova charge to avoid losing to both Cordova brothers in the same event.
Final: Fink def L. Cordova 25-14
9th Place Final: Cooney vs. Iglesias
NYAC teammates Stephen Cooney and Jonathan Iglesias met for the first time since the 9th place playoffs at the R48 6 NYAC in March, won by Iglesias. Iglesias improved with each match in Atlanta and played his best match of the weekend against good buddy Stephen Cooney, controlling the front court and dictating play en route to a comprehensive victory against the Irishman.
Final: Iglesias def Cooney 25-12
Thank you to Lance Wachholz and the entire E4 team for making the Atlanta R48 7 Stop #1 an incredible weekend, complete with endless hospitality and great camaraderie. We hope to be back! Thank you to the WPH staff, players, and volunteers for showcasing the best handball players in the sport.
Atlanta R48 Finishes
tied 3rd: D. Cordova/Lenning
6th: L. Cordova
tied 7th: Peixoto/Chavez
tie 11th: Montijo/Perez
tie 13th: Pesch/Stoffel/Ruiz/Mattioni
17th: D. Munson
To watch match replays from Atlanta, go here
To follow the draws and results from Atlanta, go here
To read all of the daily recaps from Atlanta, go here: http://wphlive.tv/r48-7-atlanta-updates-17/
WPH Senior Writer