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New Orleans, LA, WPH Press, 2/16/20-
Day 3: Sunday
Final: Casey vs. Ni Churraoin
Casey started the final in control, dictating play and keeping the powerful CNC off-balance. “I was definitely happy with how I was playing in that first game,” stated Casey.
Casey built a sizable lead in game two, only to nearly relinquish her advantage midway through the frame. With her 20th WR48 title within her grasp and clinging to an 11-10 lead, Casey scored the final four points of the match with two CNC errors and two kills to seal her first title in New Orleans. “Ciana is so tough to play because she hits the ball so hard with both hands,” stated Casey. “I have to tell myself to be on my toes to be ready for her shots because I know that any ball that comes off the side wall or back wall is going to be hit extremely hard. I’m looking forward to Salt Lake in May!”
Final: Casey def Ni Churraoin 15-3, 15-10
Fiona Tully kept her perfect WR48 record intact against Danielle Daskalakis in the third place final, dominating the New Yorker in the one-game match.
Tracy Davis rallied from an 8-15 first half deficit to take fifth against Ashley Moler, blasting serves and drives to the left and fighting off a Moler rally late in the match to score a top five finish.
Third Place Final: Tully def Daskalakis 25-10
2020 WR48 Mardi Gras Finishes
2nd: Ni Churraoin
Final: Lucho vs. Danos
Lucho and Danos Cordova met for the tenth time on the R48 tour in Sunday’s Mardi Gras final, with Lucho winning five of the brother’s first nine encounters. Danos won their clash in the finals meeting to start the 2019/20 R48 IX season in Atlanta.
Danos started hot in the steamy and humid New Orleans show court, building an 11-3 lead. “I wasn’t worried at that point,” Lucho would later say. “I know he can start fast and neither of us was playing that well so I knew I was still in the match.” Lucho charged into the game, cutting the deficit to two at 10-12. Danos was able to overcome several errors to take the first game and after another grueling war of attrition in game two, Danos stood two points from the title, serving at 13-12. Danos over hit a power serve to the right, leaving Lucho a back wall setup, which he converted. Lucho scored three consecutive points to even the match. “That was a big moment (at 13-12) and I was definitely worried there,” stated Lucho. “He hit that serve off the back wall and I put it away to stay in the match.”
Danos raced to a 5-0 lead in the third game and seemed to retake control of the match. “I know that Danos can make big runs but I still felt like I was in the match,” stated Lucho in reference to Danos’ 5-0 lead. Lucho reeled off 12 consecutive points to edge in front for the first time in the match, a deficit Danos was unable to overcome.
Lucho def Danos 11-15, 15-13, 15-8
Leo Canales, Jr. won fifth for the first time in his young R48 career, toppling Team Ireland’s David Walsh and Patrick Funchion to pick up valuable ranking points on his quest towards the Elite 8. Ireland’s Patrick Murphy and Adam Walsh faced one another for ninth, with PMurph overcoming the stylish lefty for an impressive top nine finish.
Fifth place final: Canales, Jr. def Pat. Funchion 25-21
Ninth Place Final: P. Murphy def A. Walsh 25-18
2020 R48LTE Mardi Gras Finishes
5th: Canales, Jr.
6th: Pat. Funchion
7th: Bernhard/D. Walsh
9th: P. Murphy
Ireland’s Anthony Fitzgerald captured a highly competitive “A” division, toppling Alaska’s Malachy Flisk in the final.
Final: Fitzgerald def Flisk 18-16, 15-2
Team Walsh defeated Team Fitzgerald/Kiernan to win the Open Doubles, ousting their Irish counterparts in two games.
Final: Team Walsh def Team Fitzgerald/Kiernan 15-11, 15-11
Thank you to 2020 Mardi Gras tournament host Bob Caluda for another outstanding Mardi Gras event. Thank you to the WPH for organizing, sponsoring, and filming the event.
For more info on the 2020 Mardi Gras R48LTE/WR48, including starting times and to follow the brackets go HERE
WPH Senior Writer
Day 2: Saturday
(EDITOR’S NOTE: You can watch most of the men’s and women’s Rd of 16, 8 and 4 on the WPH Patreon Page On-Demand: patreon.com/wphlive. Over 30 videos have been posted from those rounds)
WR48 #2 Ciana Ni Churraoin faced a stern test from Tucson’s Ashley Moler, as Moler’s infant daughter Scarlett watched her mom dazzle with fist passes and kills to push CNC in both games before falling to the four-time WR48 finalist in two games. “I had my chances, I just didn’t convert my opportunities,” lamented Moler.
In a likely preview of next week’s USHA Collegiate National Women’s final, WR48 #2 Ciana Ni Churraoin met WR48 #3 Fiona Tully for a spot in the final. CNC played her best ball in game one, overpowering Tully from the start and taking a one-game lead.
Daskalakis def Davis 15-9, 5-15, 15-11
Tully def McCann 6-15, 15-12, 15-7
Ni Churraoin def Moler 15-11, 15-7
Ni Churraoin def Tully
Final (Sunday 11:15 am CST): Casey vs. CNC
R48LTE Super Saturday
Second-seeded Danos Cordova needed a huge second game comeback against Patrick Funchion to win their quarterfinal clash in two games. Trailing 7-13,
David Fink overcame Adam Bernhard for the second consecutive event to advance to his second R48LTE semifinal of the season (Portland), while
Lucho entered the Mardi Gras semifinal sporting a sensational 12-1 R48LTE record and took the first game of the semifinal against Ruiz with relative ease, keeping Ruiz off-balance and tracking down Ruiz’s paddle kill attempts.
Lucho def D. Walsh 15-6, 15-11
Ruiz def Canales, Jr. 15-12, 15-9
Fink vs. Bernhard 15-7, 15-8
Danos def Pat. Funchion 15-6, 15-13
Lucho def Ruiz 15-3, 6-15, 15-6
Final (Sunday 10:30 am CST): Lucho vs. Danos
JR WPH Clinic
WPH Master Instructor David Fink and R48 #2 Lucho Cordova held a JR WPH Clinic for more than 10 collegiate and junior players from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
The pros discussed cross-training, proper warm up, tournament preparation, tournament diet, the power serve and the fly kill.
“These kids made this event and we all the MVP’s of New Orleans,” stated Fink. “The Irish traveled 4,200 miles to be here, while the other juniors drove up to 15 hours to be a part of this event. These kids are everything that makes our game great.
Day 1: Friday
The fourth Race 4 Eight Mardi Gras kicked off on Friday in New Orleans, as the WR48 and R48LTE fields kicked off their 2020 Mardi Gras campaigns.
Ashley Moler advanced to Saturday’s WR48 Mardi Gras quarterfinals with a convincing two-game sweep against Kyra “K3” Vidas. “I had been playing well, I just don’t know what happened in there,” stated a disappointed K3.
WR48 Quarterfinals (Saturday)
Casey vs. Entzeroth (9:30 am CST)
Daskalakis vs. Davis (9:30 am CST)
Tully vs. McCann/Gregory (10:15 am CST)
Ni Churraoin vs. Moler (11 am CST)
Top-seeded and defending R48LTE champion Lucho Cordova jumped out of a 15-hour cross-country journey from El Paso and survived game point in the second game against Miami’s Andrew Reiersen, while second-seeded Danos Cordova overcame his cousin Enrique in two games.
Third-seeded David Fink steamrolled Irish prodigy Oran Kiernan, while fourth-seeded Leo Canales, Jr. was efficient in dismissing Ireland’s Conor Walsh.
Sixth-seeded Adam Bernhard overcame left-handed Adam Walsh in a close first game and pulled away in game two. “I just lost my focus, it was a good learning experience though,” stated Walsh.
Seventh-seeded Patrick Funchion was ruthless against New York’s Matt Chu, while David Walsh earned revenge on eighth-seeded Ryan Bowler from a lost last season with an emphatic two-game statement.
R48LTE Quarterfinals (Saturday)
Lucho vs. D. Walsh (10:15 am CST)
Canales, Jr. vs. Ruiz (10:15 am CST)
Fink vs. Bernhard (11 am CST)
Danos vs. Pat. Funchion (11 am CST)
For more info on the 2020 Mardi Gras R48LTE/WR48, including names, times and to follow the brackets go HERE
Follow all of the latest handball news from the WPH HERE
Follow all of the latest news from JR WPH HERE
2019/20 Race 4 Eight IX Schedule HERE
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