Esser and Dorneker Dominate in the Prairie State - The Handball Message Board


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[31829_large]2020 IHA Men’s and Women’s Singles State Championships

Lombard, IL, WPH Press, 1/19/20- The Illinois State Singles Championships featured a star-studded field of men’s and women’s veterans and rising stars aiming to become the first Illinois State Singles champions of the decade.

Men’s Open Singles

The Men’s Open Singles would be guaranteed a new champion, as defending champion Max Langmack would not be defending his title. The wide open field featured MO State’s 2019 Austin R48 Pre Qualifier champion Sam Esser, the 2019 IL State Singles finalist Michael Gaulton, the current 19-and-under USHA junior national champion Ray Ure, dangerous sharpshooters Dave Munson and Dane Szatkowski, and the long awaited return of the “Giant Killer” Anthony Selestow.

Michael Gaulton entered the IL State Championships seeded number one and escaped a quarterfinal upset against collegiate rival Anthony Sullivan, overcoming a second-game loss in which he held match point to advance to the semifinal. Gaulton’s run ended there, as the current 19-and-under junior national champion Ray Ure dominated Gaulton in two games to continue his impressive rise to the top of the sport.

“Giant Killer” Anthony Selestow returned to major tournament competition for the first time in three years following a series of lower leg surgeries and impressively disposed of Chicago’s Dane Szatkowski to advance to the bottom bracket semifinal. Selestow faced MO State’s Sam Esser, who has been on a tear on the Midwest tournament circuit, seemingly winning every tournament in which he’s entered. Esser survived two close games against the Giant Killer to meet Ure in the final.


Esser was too strong for Ure in Sunday’s final, as the MO State prodigy used his all-court game to befuddle the 17-year-old wunderkind in two lopsided games to claim the IL State Title.


Gaulton def Sullivan 21-14, 20-21, 11-4

Ure def D. Munson 21-19, 21-17

Selestow def D. Szatkowski 21-14, 21-5

Esser def S.L. 21-10, 21-9


Ure def Gaulton 21-14, 21-9

Esser def Selestow 21-14, 21-19

Final: Esser def Ure 21-7, 21-6

Women’s Open Singles

Multiple-time pro national champion Megan Dorneker led the women’s field that included MO State collegiate stars Taylor Bell, Meghan Mudd, and Taylor Rumping, as well as Chicago’s Carly Munson. 

Dorneker did her best Catriona Casey impression throughout the weekend, outscoring her three opponents in Lombard by a combined 126-15 en route to another Illinois State Title. Dorneker dominated her Chicago rival Munson in the final, taking the Munson on a tour of the court with perfectly placed 2-wall passes and corner kills.


Dorneker def Rumping 21-2, 21-3

Munson def Mudd 21-5, 21-4

Final: Dorneker def C. Munson 21-2, 21-1

Watch the matches on the Illinois Handball Association on Facebook

Follow all of the results from the 2020 IHA Men’s and Women’s Singles State Championships HERE

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David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

WPH Youth and Donor Development Director

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