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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Heather Mahoney

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. – On June 5, Heather Mahoney came home and told her mom that her stomach wasn’t feeling very well. Her mom suggested yogurt to calm her stomach down, but that caused a sudden sharp pain and she ran to her room, clutching her stomach.

Within a few hours, she was recovering in a hospital bed in Santa Rosa, Calif., from an appendectomy.
Three weeks later, Heather won the under-10 doubles racquetball championship at the 2014 Wilson Junior Olympic Championships at the Highlands Ranch Recreation Center, in a suburb south of Denver. The second-ranked under-10 player in the nation is still playing in the round robin tournament of the under-10 singles and is in a tie for first with her doubles partner.
“When I was waiting for the surgery, my dad and sister came to visit me,” Heather said. “The first thing I asked was ‘Daddy, will I be able to go to Denver?’”
Heather is surprising herself at how well she is doing, considering she couldn't laugh, sneeze or cough without crying three weeks ago. The surgery meant she missed her last day of school on June 6, and she was told to take it easy during the first week after the surgery.
“I was really, really nervous,” Heather said. “I've never had surgery, and I had no idea what it would feel like.”
“One thing I noticed when I got to the hospital right before pre-op was how good of spirits Heather was in,” said her father, John. “It appeared she wasn't nervous at all. She was full of smiles. We assured her that everything was going to be fine.”
After 40 minutes in surgery, Heather was on the way to her hospital room for the night. Her mother, Melodese, spent the night with her.
Heather had two-and-a-half weeks from her discharge from the hospital to their departure for her third Junior Olympics appearance. While resting, she watched racquetball on TV. When she got back to the court, she wasn't able to do drills that required her to reach over her head. Now at the tournament, she says she still a little sore sometimes when playing, but it isn't limiting her ability to move through the brackets.
Heather won the under-10 doubles championship with a cumulative score 60-16 in her two matches. She will play for the under-10 mixed doubles national championship at 1:30 p.m., MDT, on Saturday, and has matches in the under-10 singles tournament on Saturday at 4:20 p.m., MDT, and on Sunday at 2 p.m., MDT.
USA Racquetball, founded in 1969, is recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport. The organization annually conducts six national championships and sanctions hundreds of tournaments for players of all ages and skill levels. The organization also organizes the Adult and Junior National Racquetball Teams, oversees the Official Rules of Racquetball, administers National Player Rankings, manages a college scholarship program, and supports the introduction of new players to the sport.
--
Jared Verner
USA Racquetball

2014 National Singles Championships

The 2014 USA Racquetball National Singles Championships were held May 21-25, 2014 in Fullerton, CA at the Meridian Sports Club. This is the sport's premiere singles tournament and everyone was invited to play. The tournament is presented by Penn and Ektelon and offers singles divisions for skill, and age+skill for men and women.
The 2014 National Singles will also be offering The Heroes divisions which are open to active or retired fire, police, first responders and military personnel only. As another added bonus to allow more people to play, we will be offering non-championship doubles divisions such as the Centurion Doubles, (Open and A skill division) the combined age of both players that must add to be at least 100 years of age or more. The division is used in Michigan, Texas and other states with great success. This allows a number of fathers and sons to play together as well as coaches and mentors with students.

Most notably was the Men's and Women's U.S. Team Qualifying division which also determines one-year appointments to the U.S. National Team that will be competing in international and world events. The finals for those divisions were held on Saturday, May 24 as Jake Bredenbeck def. Bobby Horn, 15-14, 15-12 to capture his first ever National Championship as an adult. Rhonda Rajsich won her fourth consecutive U.S. National Team Qualifying division title by defeating Janel Tisinger, 15-10, 15-4.

Results and stories of the 9th Italian Open

9th Italian Open Racquetball 2014
The Italian Open were held in Brembate, Italy on June 7 & 8, as the 9th edition of this tournament that began as a local challenge which has grown to becoming an awaited tournament by European players and beyond!
This year 22 athletes competed in 5 categories: Men’s Open, Women’s Open,B,C & doubles.
40 matches were played with the following results:
Men’s Open
1° place Noel O’Callagan Ireland
2° place Padraic Ryder Ireland
Women’s Open
1° place Kim Roy USA
2° place Carolina Parola France
Men’s B
1° place JD Lattuca USA
2° place Carlo Papini Italy
Mens’ C
1° place Flor Gaston Bolivia
2° place Fabio Teli Italia
Doubles
1° place O’Callagan/Rayder Ireland
2° place Herry/Teli Bolivia/Italia

A special thanks goes out to Heidi Lattuca for her help in running the tournament…a true tournament director!
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For 2 days the Centro Sportivo of Brembate was in international center where Italian, Spanish, French, English, and Gaelic were spoken.
Everything flowed smoothly in a friendly yet competitive environment.
A few interesting facts:
- The youngest player was WILDEN ESPINOZA (18) Bolivian, studying in Hamburg.
- The player with the most experience was John Comerford, (69) from Ireland, on our courts for the 4th time.
- The player who traveled the furthest was Joe Conti from Hawaii, vacationing in Europe. As well as Kim Roy & Timothy Harrison from Florida.
- The largest foreign contingent was from Paris; Maxima e JM Bissau, Caroline Parole & Risto Markova.
- The most assiduous player, Ron Briggs from the Usa (who lives in Sigonella, Sicily) has only missed the 1st edition.
We thank all that attended and we look forward to having you participate in our tenth edition of the Italian Open!
Thanks to all who showed their support though they were not able to be present.
Racquetball Italia
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Aisling Hickey wins gold medal in red division

Aisling Hickey wins gold medal in red division at the Worlds 2014
By winning her finals match against Mariana Paredes (Venezuela), Aisling Hickey reaches 9th overall at the World Championships in Burlington, Canada.

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A great performance by one of Europe’s most talented female players. Congratulations to Aisling and Team Ireland !