Pittsburgh, PA, WPH Press, 7/31/17- Unhappy with the current Pittsburgh ladder rankings, WPH ambassador Kirk Rys organized the “Rys Invitational,” pitting four of the top six players in Pittsburgh in a round robin format for ranking points on the WPH Pittsburgh Ladder. “I’m not happy about my current ranking and I’m going to do something about it,” barked Rys.
Rys’ campaign for a higher ranking on the WPH Pittsburgh ladder started promisingly, as he led his arch-rival Andrew Joseph 22-13 in their one game to 25 duel. The five-time Sharon Open champion and 2007 practice game winner against then #1 Emmett Peixoto stormed back, tying Rys at 23. Chalking up the comeback to slides on wet walls, Rys eventually earned game point at 24-23. Joseph would force overtime and the frequent rivals would need 14 innings to decide the match, with Rys ultimately prevailing 28-26.
After weeks of heated trash talking, Pittsburgh transplant via Quebec, Mathieu Pelletier, and Rys finally met. After appearing to have climbed a rung on the ladder after defeating Joseph, Rys was dismantled by the Canadian, as the WPH donor had no answers for the Pelletier Express. Following a lopsided loss to Semplice, Rys was relegated to fifth on the ladder, where he started the day.
Joseph was also thrashed by Semplice and was in danger of falling to sixth on the totem pole after starting the day fourth, as he trailed Pelletier 15-3 at the half. “I was actually consoling him at halftime while his dad was urging him to forfeit from exhaustion,” stated Pelletier. Little did the Canadian know, this tactic was page 67 of the Joseph playbook, as Joseph squared lulled Pelletier into a false sense of security and quickly erased the deficit, scoring 22 of the final 27 points of the match.
Pittsburgh’s current #2 and 2017 RFC semifinalist Mike Semplice solidified his #2 ranking at the Rys Invitational, dropping Joseph, Rys and Pelletier in lopsided one game to 25 matches. “I felt pretty good in there and I was hitting the ball pretty well,” stated Semplice, who was playing his first ball since defeating WR48 #1 Catriona Casey and R48 #23 Ryan Bowler at the RFC 9 three weeks ago.
Standings before the Rys Invitational (7/29/17)
Standings and head-to-head records following the Rys Invitational (7/30/17)
1) Fink (0-0)
2) Semplice (3-0)
3) Delsardo (0-0)
4) Joseph (1-2)
5) Rys (1-2)
6) Pelletier (1-2)
Unable to play in the Rys Invitational, Pittsburgh’s third-ranked Smokin’ Joe Delsardo vowed to challenge each member of the ladder individually. “I want a piece of every player on that list,” roared the Fiesta Bowl’s single-game receiving record holder.
The WPH Pittsburgh ladder rankings involves a complicated algorithm based on four tiers of tournament events and head-to-head play. The Pittsburgh handball stars are battling for one of three spots on Pittsburgh’s RFC Cup team, a 4-Wall Davis Cup team competition that will be held on Friday, July 6 at the RFC 10, featuring teams from Pittsburgh, Canada, New York, Ireland, Southern California and likely Northern California, Arizona and more. Want to field a team to compete for the RFC Cup? Contact RFC tournament director David Fink at email@example.com
WPH Senior Writer