Sunday marked the completion of the seventh edition of the 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships, with players vying to make history on the 3WallBall 3-Wall and 1-Wall courts.
Timbo Gonzalez continued his dominant play in the 1-Wall Big Ball singles, torching Gio Vasquez in the one game to 25 point final. Gonzalez built a commanding 13-2 lead with deep power serves and angled passes and kills. “Timbo is playing on a level beyond ice cold,” stated ESPN color analyst Brian Pineda. “He is a machine.” Gonzalez overcame a mid-match comeback by Vasquez to win the title. “It feels great to win this title,” stated Gonzalez. “It’s great to see all of my hard work pay off.”
Gonzalez def Vasquez 25-12
Women’s 1-Wall Big Ball Singles
Jenny Qu entered the 1-Wall Big Ball Women’s Pro singles as a virtual unknown but quickly eliminated her anonymity with a spectacular weekend performance. Playing in her first tournament outside of New York City, Qu dominated current women’s world 1-Wall singles champion Danielle Daskalakis in the semifinals and was equally impressive in the final against Sandy Ng. Qu took charge early in the match, building an 11-4 lead with strong side drives and re kills. Qu’s power and consistency carried her to a 24-14 lead and eventual victory, 25-16 “It just feel great to win,” stated Qu. “I started playing handball seven years ago and joining tournaments two years ago. I chose handball because it was the least expensive sport and because size didn’t matter.”
Qu def Ng 25-16
Men’s 1-Wall Big Ball Doubles
Timbo Gonzalez and Sam Sanford faced Carlos Pena and Hector Velez for the 1-Wall Big Ball Pro doubles title. The foursome dazzled the live gallery and the ESPN viewers with dozens of sensational rallies that featured multiple dives in each rally, incredible reflexes, unthinkable acrobatics, and outrageous skills. With the score tied at 19, Team Gonzalez/Sanford pulled away, making three kills and forcing three errors to clinch the title. “I just listened to Timbo,” stated Sanford. “He told me to shoot the left corner when I had my chances and that’s what I did. I really happy to win this on my birthday weekend.”
Team Gonzalez/Sanford def Team Pena/Velez 25-19
Women’s 1-Wall Ball Doubles
Danielle Daskalakis teamed with Sandy Ng to defeat Melissa Sky and Tamiko Pearson in the Women’s 1-Wall Ball Doubles. Team Daskalakis/Ng built a first half lead and continually added to the lead throughout the match, ultimately closing out Team Sky/Pearson. “We really enjoy playing together and traveling to tournaments,” stated Daskalakis after the match. “Handball has taken us to Ireland, France, Colombia and all over the U.S.”
Team Daskalakis/Ng def Team Sky/Pearson 25-13
1-Wall Small Ball Singles
Gio Vasquez found himself trailing in the second half for the second consecutive day in the 1-Wall Small Ball Singles, this time 15-10 to Pee Wee Castro in the one game final to 21. Just as he had done in the semifinals, Vasquez battled back to tie the score at 19. An ace for the 20th point and a rally ending shot on match point gave Vasquez the title. “I played so-so but well enough to win,” stated Vasquez. “That’s always how it is for me in small ball, I play better from behind.”
Vasquez def Castro 21-19
Men’s 3-Wall Big Ball Singles
Juan Santos needed to win the 3-Wall Big Ball singles to keep his lead in the WPH Outdoor Cup Series and made sure there would be no doubts in the final against Boxer Rosales. Santos dominated both games with his uncanny anticipation, flawless shot selection, and masterful court coverage to end Rosales’ impressive run. “I was pretty rusty in my first couple of matches but I started to get a good feel after that,” stated Santos. “My serves started coming off and that helped. Boxer beat me in 2011 when I had match point and he went on to win the tournament and I’ve always remembered that.”
Santos def Rosales 12-4, 12-5
Women’s 3-Wall Big Ball Singles
The Women’s 3-Wall Big Ball Singles final was anticlimactic, as Tanisha Groomes was hobbled by a knee injury suffered in the semifinals. Daskalakis took advantage of an immobile Groomes, making quick work of the WPH Outdoor #1 for her first WPH Outdoor 3-Wall singles title.
Daskalakis def Groomes 12-2, 12-0
Men’s 3-Wall Big Ball Doubles
With Juan Santos and Timbo Gonzalez both winning their first two divisions, the doubles final would determine the year-end number one WPH Outdoor pro. Santos teamed with Alfredo Morales and ensured that the Player’s Cup would return with him to Orange County. Santos and Morales used the lob to perfection against Gonzalez and Shorty Ruiz, dropping three lobs on the back line in the first game and keeping Team Gonzalez/Ruiz on their heels throughout the match. Santos emphatically clinched the year-end number one ranking for the fourth time in five WPH Outdoor seasons with a comprehensive victory.
Team Santos/Morales def Team Gonzalez/Ruiz 12-7, 12-3
Women’s 3-Wall Big Ball Doubles
Sandy Ng teamed with Tracy Davis for the sixth consecutive year in the Women’s 3-Wall Big Ball doubles and made it six for six with Davis in the 2016 final, defeating Team Daskalakis/Groomes in a lopsided final. Ng has now won the 3-Wall Women’s Doubles for the seventh consecutive year with two different partners, making Ng the only handball player in the history of the 3WallBall Championships to have won a title in every edition of the event.
WPH Outdoor Player’s Cup V Champions
Men’s: Juan Santos
Women’s: Tanisha Groomes
JR WPH SinglesThe juniors took the stage on Sunday morning, with more than 25 youngsters battling next to their WPH Outdoor heroes. The juniors demonstrated outstanding skills and sportsmanship throughout the morning and afternoon, with many of the matches decided by three points or less.
Spain’s Sasha Kruithof Prello captured the 19-and-under in his first weekend of playing 3-Wall handball, defeating Daniel Barrinetos in an exciting final. “I have enjoyed playing 3-Wall for the first time,” stated Kruithof Prello. “I have the Spanish Open next week and this is good experience for me.”
13-year old Daniel Barrientos captured the 17-and under, defeating Charles Lopez in Barrientos’ eighth match of the tournament. Mauricio Molina defeated Daniel Barrientos to claim the 15-and-under, Armando Ramirez defeated David Sanchez to win the 13-and-under, and Moises Barrientos defeated Jose Arellano to win the 11-and-under.
19-and-under: Sasha Kruithof Prello
17-and-under: Daniel Barrinetos
15-and-under: Mauricio Molina
13-and-under: Armando Ramirez
11-and-under: Moises Barrientos
Thank you to the World Players of Handball staff, film crew, and interns, World Outdoor Racquetball, and all of the volunteers that made the 2016 3WallBall World Championships such an incredible event. Staffers, the film crew, and the volunteers worked 20-hour days throughout the event to ensure that matches were running on time, ESPN viewers were able to watch the event in the best possible coverage, and players were treated well.
Stay tuned to wphlive.tv for updates throughout the week!
To follow the draws and results from the 2016 WPH 3WallBall Outdoor World Handball Championships
WPH Senior Writer