Photo by Keith Thode
by Tracy Davis.
The NYAC Handball Team added four USHA One-Wall national titles in August as Tracy Davis defended the women’s open singles title for her third consecutive year, and Tyree Bastidas defended the men’s open singles title.
Both Athletes were featured in the doubles finals of their divisions but those titles went to fellow NYAC member Danielle Daskalakis and partner Sandy Ng and Michael Schneider and partner William Polanco.
Women’s Open Doubles
The women’s open doubles finals featured defending champions Davis and partner Theresa Haley and 2011 doubles champions Daskalakis and partner Sandy Ng.
Davis/Haley reached the finals in convincing fashion, defeating Annie Huang and partner Bernice Torres in two games, 21-2, 21-8.
Daskalakis/Ng had a more difficult time securing their place, winning their semifinal match in a tiebreaker against Dori Apuzzi and Barbara Jackson, 21-7, (16-21), 11-3.
In game one, Davis/Haley trailed 7-13 before they tightened up their team work a put together a comeback, ultimately prevailing, 21-16. In game two, Davis/Haley continued their game one winning strategy and reached match point but were unable to score the title winning point, allowing Daskalakis/Ng to score two points to clinch that game.
In the eleven point tie-breaker, Davis/Haley scored the first point but then lost the serve. Daskalakis/Ng scored nine straight points before Davis/Haley called a timeout to regroup. The strategy worked. Undeterred by the huge lead, Davis/Haley played flawlessly hitting well placed drives and kill shots.
The score was 9-9 when Haley hesitantly hit a shot that narrowly missed the wall. It was Davis’s turn to serve next and she delivered the 10th point with a low serve to Ng that landed just past the short line and out of her reach. Davis served again and a rally ensued. It was déjàvu all over again when Davis miss-hit an over hand short that landed out of bounds at the long line.
Davis/Haley continued to play consistently well despite the setback; however, Daskalakis/Ng had the edge and made offensive shots that paid off. It took two years but Daskalakis/Ng regained the title with an 11-10 win.
Once again, the best players of more than a dozen states, including Canada, converged to the most popular 4-wall handball tournament in the Northeast during the month of November.
The rich handball history of this tournament includes players such as Naty Alvarado, Fred Lewis, Vern Roberts, Rosemarie Bellini, Danny Bell and many other great champions of the game.
This year Fred and his sons Ivan and Adam Burgos from Ontario, Canada made the long trip to Albany to challenge the junior and adult divisions. All members of the team had a good time on and off the court where they all made it to the championship game by taking some titles back to the North.
As we’ve had predicted in previous posts: Ivan and Adam Burgos have the potential to excel and represent Canada in all three handball versions. This year was not different and they proved themselves to be the rising handball stars of the future. Will they prove themselves to the world next summer in Calgary, Canada?
We are confident they will and we’ll be there to follow up on it.
Congratulations to the Burgos family team.
The destruction of a cultural and historically significant structure in the Mid West was accomplished by Southeast Missouri State University, which ironically boast to teach historical preservation. It did a lousy job by ramming the bulldozer into the oldest handball court in America.
The handball court which was built during the construction of St Vincent College in 1843, has been around for about 170 years, and was hard to miss and ignore as the oldest handball court ever erected on America soil.
According to Ben Thum, a four-wall handball fan and producer of the Alley Craker handball documentary; The Shamrock Saloon and Ball Alley handball court in San Francisco is the oldest handball court on record in America.
Mr. Thum seems to completely ignore the handball court in Missouri in his documentary that mostly relates to the 4-wall game, the game of his choice.
The handball community should be proud to know that the 1-wall game weather played with a sponge, a rubber ball, fronton, big or small ball, was widely practiced and appreciated in one of the oldest Colleges built in America. Former U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln was also known to have played recreational 1-wall.
USHA National 3-Wall Championships – Tyree Bastidas ends tenth year of playing in Maumee, Toledo - the same way he began in 2004.
Every year players across the states come to compete at the 3-wall nationals in Maumee to win a title. In the end only a few players have walked away as winners.
This year marks the tenth consecutive year that Tyree makes an appearance in Maumee.
As we recalled, Tyree played at the Maumee handball courts for the first time in 2004. He reached the finals of the 13-and –under division, but lost in the tiebreaker.
Fast-forward ten years and Tyree finds himself in the same situation, but this time he lost in the championship match of the men’s open singles.
From 2004 to 2014, he has captured five junior and open 3-wall titles in Maumee and finished as a runner-up in the singles and open doubles divisions on several occasions.
He is the only player in the Association to have a combined –USHA record of 3-wall junior and open national titles across the states in the 21st Century.
Congratulations to Tyree for ten successful years at the 3-wall national competition.
Photos by Bill Fand
The race to the top continued under clear skies at the Coney Island handball courts and all top players advanced to the final rounds of one of the most exciting events during the summer of 2014.
The top players didn’t have it easy as they were pushed to the limit under the hot and humid afternoon, but managed to survive the grueling competition “The competition is so tough. Why isn’t this tourney a ranked event” a handball fan asks.
Sure the competition is tough but there are far more important factors to be taken into consideration for this event to be a ranking event.
David Rojas (pumped ball), Timbo Gonzalez (big ball) and Tyree Bastidas (small ball) advanced deep into the draw by late afternoon.