3WallBall 2019 World Championships, Las Vegas
A Decade of 3WallBall in Las Vegas
By Peggine Tellez
The 10th Anniversary of the Las Vegas 3WallBall World Championships has come to a close, but not without some very memorable moments for these talented outdoor sports players. With over $25,000 in prize money up for grabs and health draws in several divisions, this looks to be second or third largest event of the year in indoor or outdoor racquetball.
The 2019 edition of 3WB brought nearly 900 players and fans to THE STRAT for excellent competition, added fun with the return of Ladies Night and the Player Party made for good times and great memories. Sustaining an event of this size and caliber is no easy feat and to have its return for 10 years running is a testament to the dedication of all those involved, from the folks that construct the courts to the staff the run desk operations so smoothly, it takes serious time and money – be a supporter of the 3WallBall experience.
The 3WallBall Hemborg/Bella Vista Cup Series concluded at the 10th Anniversary Edition of the 3WallBall World Championships in Las Vegas. Every previous Cup has been decided at the final tournament of the Series and this year followed the same pattern.
On Sunday morning on the final day of the tournament, Daniel de la Rosa teamed with Alvaro Beltran to defeat Robert Sostre and his partner Chris McDonald for the Men PRO Doubles crown thus stopping perennial winner Sostre from winning another Cup. Next came Michelle de la Rosa and Rhonda Rajsich bringing their battle for the Women PRO Cup to center court. Michelle and partner Carla Munoz prevailed by defeating Rhonda and her partner Michelle Herbert in the Women PRO Doubles final, thus clinching the Cup for Michelle de la Rosa. The grand finale of the tournament saw Daniel de la Rosa face off against Rick “Soda Man” Koll for the Men PRO Cup in the Mixed PRO Doubles division. Daniel teamed with wife Michelle and “Soda Man” was partnered with Rhonda Rajsich, playing her third final of the day. Daniel held up his end and Michelle wasn’t the only one in the family to take home a PRO Cup this year. Though not part of the Cup race, the surprisingly well populated 75+ finale had a dominate ender with Daniel paired with Mike Peters over Brandon Davis and Geoff Osberg.
On the Amateur side, Jack McDonald entered the tournament leading the Men Amateur Cup contestants. His fine performance (winning the Men Open Doubles and making the finals in the Mixed Open Doubles) secured the Men Amateur Cup for him. The “come from behind” story of the tournament belongs to Danielle Jones who wasn’t even in the top ten at the start of the tournament. Her fine performances in Singles, Doubles & Mixed garnered enough points to squeeze in front of Susie Boulanger, Victoria Rodriguez & Martha McDonald who finished in second, third and fourth places, respectively. The Hemborg/Bella Vista Pro Cup Champions, Daniel & Michelle de la Rosa, were crowned as well as our Amateurs Cup Champions, Jack McDonald & Danielle Jones.
The 2019 CPRT Finals kicked of the Saturday night under the lights program with Koll and Beltran topping Sostre and Gabriel Medina, followed by the Nellis Air Force Base Color Guard highlighting the salute to our Heroes and Adaptive racquetball players. Mike Peters delivered the shortest speech of his life during his recognition as one of WOR's 2019 Hall of Fame entrants. Well-deserved appreciation was heaped on another newly minted Hall of Famer, 3WB Event Producer - Mike Coulter.
Strong sport-family ties, the Vegas vibe and outdoor racquetball at its finest keep this event at the top of the list for the anticipated 2020 edition. Stay tuned for the dates and details - You won't be disappointed!
Photo Credits: Stephen Fitzsimons, Mike Augustin & Belinda Dettman