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Austin, TX, WPH Press, 4/7/19- The University of Texas Handball Team proudly hosted the first ever 2019 WR48 Pre Qualifier, alongside The 2019 Southwest Regional Handball Championships at the Gregory Gym in Austin, TX on the first weekend in April. 91 handball players from Texas, Missouri, Florida, and Maryland enjoyed a sensational weekend, highlighted by top women’s stars battling for a WR48 travel stipend to the WPH Aces Player’s Championship May 17-19 and number of rising stars in the Men’s Open singles.
WR48 Pre Qualifier Singles
Texas women’s handball legend Jennifer Schmitt headlined the WR48 Pre Qualifier field. Schmitt was joined by Missouri State University All-American Taylor Rumping, tournament director and future WR48 star Kristen Hughes, and Texas A&M’s Kayla Jones.
Schmitt overwhelmed her younger counterparts, giving away nearly 30 years to all of her opponents but more than making up for those three decades with guile and shot making. Schmitt outscored her three WR48 Pre Qualifier opponents by a combined 126-42, demonstrating all-court skills and a steady two-handed attack.
“I was able to control the ball to the left (in the final), which was my game plan,” stated Schmitt.
“Jennifer was dominant the whole final,” stated WR48 Pre Qualifier finalist Taylor Rumping. “She played great defense and didn’t give me many offensive opportunities. Her left kill shot was on and her ceiling game was great.”
Final: Schmitt def Rumping 21-2, 21-9
Follow the WR48 Pre Qualifier bracket HERE
R48 #28 Sam Esser headlined the Men’s Open singles field, seeking to add another title to an already impressive 2019 campaign. Joining Esser in the field were MO State teammates Garrett Bacon and Ross Colyer, former R48 pro Memo Pallares, Jr., and University of Texas handball ambassador Nate Frank.
Esser overcame rising MO State star Ross Colyer in the semifinals to setup a finals showdown with Austin’s Pallares in the final.
Pallares clinched a very close first game, 21-18, “The first game was really back and forth,” stated Esser. “Memo was really moving around and made me force my shots.”
Esser made adjustments in game two, dictating the rallies and keeping Pallares out of the front court. “I controlled the second game, for the most part,” Esser would later say.
Esser continued to direct traffic in the tiebreaker, racing to a 10-2 lead. “I started hot and was able to overcome five straight points from Memo to win,” stated Esser.
Final: Esser def Pallares 18-21, 21-13, 11-7
Follow all of the brackets and results from the 2019 WR48 Pre Qualifier and SW Regionals HERE
WPH Senior Writer
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