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New York, NY, WPH Press, 4/15/18-
Day Four: Sunday
The fifth edition of the Race 4 Eight NYAC wrapped up on Sunday, with the R48 and WR48 finals and playoffs. Sunday was the final opportunity for the R48 and WR48 stars to accrue ranking points for the May 4-6 R48 Salt Lake City Aces Player’s Championship, featuring the R48, SR48, and WR48.
R48 Final: Carroll vs. D. Cordova
Killian Carroll advanced to his 10th consecutive R48 final on Sunday in New York and would be seeking his fifth R48 7 title in six starts this season. Danos Cordova advanced to his first final in New York, reaching the immense potential he has flashed for several years on tour on his romp to the final.
Carroll took control of the final from the outset, building a 9-2 lead in game one in just six minutes. Danos was unable to locate his devastating hop serve, while Carroll crushed laser power serves to the right and left, followed by two-inch high roll outs. Carroll clinched game one and continued to cruise in game two. Danos made a late rally when trailing 3-12 in game two, reaching 9-13, but the run was too little, too late, as Carroll added another R48 title to his mantle.
“I’m excited for Salt Lake City, and of course, the Worlds in August,” stated R48 7 #1 Killian Carroll.
Luis Cordova had little difficulty overcoming Marcos Chavez in the 5th place final, overwhelming the veteran with his all-around game.
5th final: L. Cordova def Chavez 25-6
9th final: Cooney def Pet. Funchion (fft)
R48 NYAC ’18 Finishes
2nd: D. Cordova
5th: L. Cordova
7th: Pat. Funchion/Ortiz
10th: Pet. Funchion
WR48 Final: Casey vs. Koehler
16-time WR48 finalist Catriona Casey was seeking her second WR48 title of the season and 14th overall, while current Women’s Classic champion and the world’s most interesting woman Suz Koehler was appearing in her first WR48 final. Casey played flawlessly in the two-game final, demonstrating her ability to hit every shot with both hands. Koehler was up to the greatest challenge in handball, digging many of Casey’s best shots and executing offensive opportunities when given the chance. Koehler earned all of her points, only one of which was the result of a Casey error. Casey continued to rewrite the record books with her 14th WR48 title in 16 WR48 events, outscoring her three New York opponents 90-7.
“I felt like I got hit by a truck after my two matches yesterday but it’s always a great experience to play Catriona,” stated Koehler. “I’m playing really smart players in St. Louis and trying to incorporate more strategy in my game. I still can’t find anything that works against Catriona though!”
“I’m excited to win and definitely looking forward to Salt Lake City,” declared Casey.
Final: Casey def Koehler 15-3, 15-2
Aimee Tuohey played outstanding handball on Sunday morning, defeating WR48 top six pros Tracy Davis and Courtney Peixoto de Melo in succession to take fifth place. Tuohey used her two-handed attack to push Davis and CPM to the back court, then ended rallies with bottom board roll outs in the front court.
3rd place: Daskalakis def Rush (fft)
5th place: Tuohey def Peixoto de Melo 25-16
WR48 NYAC ’18 Finishes
6th: Peixoto de Melo
Thank you to the New York Athletic Club, the Killer’s Club, John Duggan, Tommy S’mario, the WPH staff and film crew, and all of the players and volunteers for making the ’18 NYAC a fantastic event.
To view all of the brackets and results from the 2018 R48 NYAC, go here
To enter the May 4-6 R48 Salt Lake City Aces Player’s Championship, go here
WPH Senior Writer
New York, NY, WPH Press, 4/14/18
Day Three: Saturday
Saturday featured the R48 and WR48 quarterfinals and semifinals, with the top stars from both tours making their way to Sunday’s finals.
The R48 quarterfinals kicked off on Saturday morning, with R48 #1 Killian Carroll facing R48 #5 Luis Cordova. Carroll dominated game one in just nine minutes, converting 11 kills against just one error to take a one-game lead. Carroll sprinkled eight errors in game two, while Cordova started to groove his right-hand, right-corner kill en route to a 12-all tie. Just as he has done in nearly every close game this season, Carroll shifted to another gear, scoring the final three points of the match to advance to his sixth R48 7 semifinal.
LAAC teammates Marcos Chavez and Vic Perez met for a spot in the semifinals and the eighth invite to Salt Lake City’s Player’s Championship in three weeks. The road roommates battled for just over two hours, with Chavez serving for the match at 14-13 in the third game. Chavez was unable to capitalize on his match point, giving way to a Perez comeback. Perez tied the score at 15 and won the match with a left-handed kill at 16-15. “This is exactly what happened when we played here last year,” stated Chavez referencing his loss to Perez at the 2017 NYAC.
Daniel Cordova entered his quarterfinal with Mando Ortiz with just one win against Ortiz in four previous matchups but made short work of the former R48 #1, eliminating Ortiz in just 22 minutes.
Emmett Peixoto faced Ireland’s Patrick Funchion in the final quarterfinal of the day and had little difficultly overcoming the first-time R48 quarterfinalist, cruising to his second consecutive R48 semifinal. “Emmett is definitely looking like Emmett again, he’s at about 85% of his best,” stated broadcast analyst and SR48 Player’s Champion Marcos Chavez.
R48 Round of 8
Carroll def L. Cordova 15-1, 15-12
Peixoto def Pat. Funchion 15-5, 15-2
Cordova def Ortiz 15-4, 15-6
Perez def Chavez 15-10, 13-15, 17-15
Killian Carroll and Emmett Peixoto met for the third consecutive event in New York. Peixoto started strong in game one, attacking Carroll and dictating rallies en route to a 15-11 win. “These guys really compliment one another’s games and make for really exciting handball,” stated Marcos Chavez.
Carroll took control of the rallies in game two, locating his serve and earning first-strike opportunities to dictate play midway through game two, eventually evening the match at a game apiece.
The pair reached the two-hour mark at 6-all in game three, and the relentless pressure of the R48 #1 finally exhausted Peixoto, as his legs appeared unsteady and his shots lost the velocity required to win rallies against Carroll. Carroll scored the final nine points of the match to advance to his 10th consecutive R48 final and sixth consecutive final this season.
Daniel Cordova and Vic Perez met in the second semifinal, with both playing for a spot in his first R48 final. Danos continued his outstanding play against “P Vic,” keeping the Southern Californian off-balance with power hops and first-strike kills. Danos needed just 26 minutes to book his ticket to his first R48 final. “Daniel is looking really good in there,” declared R48 #5 and older brother Luis. “If he can keep his serve and first kill going, he can play with anyone.”
Carroll def Peixoto 11-15, 15-10, 15-6
Cordova def Perez 15-6, 15-5
Catriona Casey was clinical is defeating New York’s Shirley Chen, advancing to the semifinals for the 16th consecutive WR48 event.
Aimee Tuohey was aiming to continue her WR48 semifinal streak in her quarterfinal clash with Danielle Daskalakis. Daskalakis raced to a 9-0 lead in game one in her first service inning and clinched the first game, 15-6. Tuohey appeared to shift the momentum in game two, taking a 5-0 lead, but Daskalakis quickly regained control of the match, scoring the final 15 points of the game to advance to her first WR48 semifinal in two years.
Suz Koehler entered the NYAC on the heels of back-to-back victories at the USHA Women’s Classic and the MO State Championships but having never defeated her quarterfinal opponent Tracy Davis. Koehler started strong in game one building a sizeable lead en route to taking a one-game lead. Davis was plagued by hand errors throughout the match, a trend that continued in game two. Koehler fought her nerves and a determined Davis to earn her biggest WR48 victory and first trip to the WR48 semifinals.
Hilary Rushe clinched her first WR48 semifinal birth against WR48 Las Vegas ’18 finalist Courtney Peixoto, with the pair splitting lopsided games and Rushe playing her best handball late in the third. With the score tied at 10 in the tiebreaker, Rushe methodically worked the rallies in her favor, executing right-hand kills with each opportunity. “I’ve been putting a lot of work in and it feels great to have such a great result,” stated Rushe.
Round of 8
Casey def Chen 15-0, 15-2
Daskalakis vs. Tuohey 15-6, 15-5
Koehler def Davis 15-10, 15-12
Rushe def Peixoto de Melo 3-15, 15-1, 15-10
Catriona Casey continued to amaze in the semifinals, allowing just one point against first-time WR48 semifinalist and two-time defending USHA 3-Wall national champion Hilary Rushe. “Catriona is just amazing and getting to play her is really great for my game,” stated Rushe.
The second women’s semifinal produced the match of the tournament, as the world’s most interesting woman, Suz Koehler, faced the game’s most versatile all-around superstar, Danielle Daskalakis. Very little separated two of the world’s greatest female athletes during the nearly two-hour showdown, as the packed NYAC gallery was treated to one of the most exciting matches in the history of the WR48 tour. Koehler nabbed game one in overtime, but Daskalakis evened the match by taking game two. The two stars battled to a 10-all tie in game three, as Daskalakis scored points with her sensational serve and shoot game and Koehler kept pace with diving re kills and power pass shots. With the intensity nearly bringing the crowd to a frenzy, Koehler scored the final five points of the match, channeling her lessons from Dave Chapman in utilizing a two-wall overhand serve and deep ceiling shots into the back corners. Koehler backed up her biggest win of her WR48 career against Tracy Davis earlier in the day with an even bigger win against Daskalakis, booking her spot in Sunday’s final opposite Catriona Casey.
Casey def Rushe 15-0, 15-1
Koehler def Daskalakis 16-14, 11-15, 15-10
Final: Casey vs. Koehler
To watch Sunday’s R48 and WR48 finals and playoff action, starting at 9 am est, go here
New York, NY, WPH Press, 4/13/18
Day Two: Friday
The R48 Elite 8 and WR48 kicked off their Big Apple campaigns on Friday, soaking in one of the greatest views in New York City overlooking Central Park and the New York City skyline as the backdrop to the NYAC ’18 opening round matches. The R48 would be guaranteed a new first-time NYAC champion, as the four-time defending R48 NYAC champion Paul Brady was not entered for the first time in R48 NYAC history. WR48 #1 Catriona Casey would be aiming for her fifth consecutive WR48 NYAC title, having won each WR48 event held in New York since the first WR48 NYAC installment in 2014.
R48 Round of 16
Killian Carroll kicked off his campaign for his fifth R48 7 title with a two-game sweep against Irish compatriot Stephen Cooney.
Sean Lenning was ousted in the round of 16 for the first time this season, falling to a fiercely determined Vic Perez. Needing a round of 16 win for a chance at rejoining the Elite 8, Perez overcame a lopsided second-game loss to dominate the tiebreaker against Lenning.
Mando Ortiz sat on the brink of his second first-round exit in a row, trailing Peter Funchion 6-15, 7-14. “I’m just getting blown out in there,” stated Ortiz during a timeout at 9-14 in game two. Just as he had done in Atlanta earlier this season, Ortiz rallied, earning a side out with a flat kill at 10-14 and never allowing Funchion to serve again en route to forcing overtime and a third game. Ortiz was in control in game three, finding his range with both hands en route to an improbable comeback victory.
Patrick Funchion qualified for the second time in his career in New York and took advantage, upsetting R48 #3 David Fink in two straight.
Emmett Peixoto was cruising against “The Midwest Sharpshooter,” leading Dave Munson 15-8, 12-8. TMS starting finding the bottom board with both hands, scoring seven of the final eight points of the game to force a third. TMS continued his momentum into game three, leading “The Rock” 8-5, but a costly left-handed TMS error turned the tide in Peixoto’s favor, as The Rock retook control of the match to book his spot in the final eight.
44-year old SR48 Player’s Champion Marcos Chavez turned back the clock on 20-something Northern California phenom Erik Torres, dismantling the Olympic Club star in two games to advance to his fourth R48 quarterfinal of the season.
Daniel Cordova was cruising against current 3WallBall champion and R48 #13 Shorty Ruiz, leading 15-9, 13-3 when Ruiz made a Tucson charge. Ruiz cut the deficit to 12-14 by showcasing his unique offensive skills, but was unable to force overtime. “I changed my game too late,” barked Ruiz.
The most exciting match of the day pitted the NYAC’s Jon Iglesias against the pride of Juarez, Luis Cordova. Playing with palpable intensity, Iglesias hurled his body all over the court to take a one-game lead against “Lucho.” Iglesias continued to apply pressure in game two, grunting and shooting his way to a 10-all tie, just five points from advancing to his first R48 quarterfinal of the season. Lucho remained composed throughout Iglesias’ onslaught, demonstrating his ability to cover the court and forcing a third game. The momentum shifted back and forth in the third, with Iglesias building a 6-3 lead, only to see Lucho tie the score at nine. The third game produced the best rallies of the tournament, with the two incredible athletes combining to average 21 shots per rally in the third game. Lucho’s steely resolve and shot making was the difference at the business end of the tiebreaker, as Lucho advanced to his sixth R48 7 quarterfinal of the season. “It just seemed like when Iglesias got a setup he was so tense and trying to hit the shot so hard, and when Cordova had a setup, he was relaxed and rolled it,” stated pro tour legend Dan Armijo.
Round of 16
Carroll def Cooney 15-9, 15-6
Perez def Lenning 15-3, 2-15, 15-8
Ortiz def Pet. Funchion 6-15, 16-14, 15-9
Pat. Funchion def Fink 15-11, 15-2
Cordova def Iglesias 11-15, 15-11, 15-11Cordova def Ruiz 15-9, 15-12
Chavez def Torres 15-2, 15-10
Peixoto def Munson 15-8, 13-15, 15-8
R48 Round of 8 (Saturday)
Carroll vs. L. Cordova
Peixoto vs. Pat. Funchion
Ortiz vs. D. Cordova
Perez vs. Chavez
The WR48 preliminary matches kicked off on Friday, with Shirley Chen ousting Jennifer Hinman, Suz Koehler eliminating Aimee Fadden, and Danielle Daskalakis toppling Carly Stickles.
Round of 8 (Saturday)
Casey vs. Chen (noon)
Tuohey vs. Daskalakis (12:45 pm)
Davis vs. Koehler (1:30 pm)
Peixoto de Melo vs. Rushe (2:15 pm)
The early morning 17th place playoff was one for the record books, as WR48 #1 Catriona Casey defeated R48 #22 Loren Collado in the opening round, becoming the first women’s pro to defeat a current men’s pro in tournament play in the history of the sport. Wow! Casey would defeat Canada’s Kevin Kopchuk in the next round before falling to Michael Gaulton in the semifinals. Ryan Bowler picked up 17th place for the second consecutive event, defeating Bryan Lucero, Charlie Lemus, Ryan Pesch, and Catriona Casey.
To watch R48 and WR48 quarterfinal and semifinal action from the New York Athletic Club, starting at 9 am est on Saturday, go here
New York, NY, WPH Press, 4/12/18-
Day One: Thursday
The Race 4 Eight NYAC ’18 kicked off on Thursday with the R48 NYAC ’18 qualifier, featuring top stars from California, Arizona, New York, Minnesota, Washington, Colorado, South Carolina, Illinois, Canada, and Ireland competing for eight coveted spots in the R48 7 NYAC main draw on Friday. The action was intense on the storied NYAC courts, as the stars from across the world traded roll outs to join the R48 Elite 8 on Friday.
Seven of the top eight qualifier seeds advanced to Friday’s R48 main draw with alarming ease, as Vic Perez ousted Canada’s Kevin Kopchuk, Shorty Ruiz dominated Charlie Lemus, Jonathan Iglesias routed 1-Wall legend Cesar Sala, Stephen Cooney won the battle of the NYAC against Billy O’Donnell, Dave Munson cruised past Ryan Pesch, and the Funchion brothers qualified for the first time at the same event. Canada’s Ryan Bowler overcame WR48 #1 Catriona Casey in the match of the day in his opening round but succumbed to the Olympic Club’s Erik Torres in the final.
Perez def Kopchuk 25-3
Ruiz def Lemus 25-5
Iglesias def Sala 25-1
Cooney def O’Donnell 25-14
Munson def Pesch 25-9
Pet. Funchion def Gaulton 25-9
Pat. Funchion def Collado 25-13
Torres def Bowler 25-19
R48 Round of 16 Matchups (Friday)
Carroll vs. Cooney (1 pm)
Lenning vs. Perez (1:45 pm)
Ortiz vs. Pet. Funchion (2:30 pm)
Fink vs. Pat. Funchion (3:15 pm)
Cordova vs. Iglesias (6:15 pm)
Cordova vs. Ruiz (4:45 pm)
Chavez vs. Torres 5:30 pm)
Peixoto vs. Munson (4 pm)
To view the NYAC ’18 broadcast schedule, with broadcast matches starting on Saturday, April 13 at 9 am est, go here
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