3WallBall 2023 Pro and Open Division Recap
by Todd Boss
The 2023 KWM Gutterman 3Wall Ball Outdoor Championships are in the books. It was a fun weekend in Las Vegas on the grounds of The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod, with players from all over the country competing in Racquetball, Paddleball, and Handball.
Congrats to the Pro Racquetball division winners:
– Men’s Pro 3-Wall Doubles: Daniel De La Rosa & Alejandro Landa
– Women’s Pro 3-Wall Doubles: Montse Mejia & Alexandra Herrera
– Mixed Pro 3-Wall Doubles: Daniel De La Rosa & Hollie Scott
– Men’s Pro 1-Wall Doubles: Eduardo Portillo & Benny Goldenberg
– Women’s Pro 1-Wall Doubles: Brenda Laime Jalil & Carla Muñoz
– Mixed Pro 1-Wall Doubles: Daniel De La Rosa & Hollie Scott
– Men’s 3-Wall Singles: Alan Natera
– Women’s 3-Wall Singles: Montse Mejia
It was a big weekend for Daniel De La Rosa who entered four divisions and won all four (3 Pro Racquetball divisions plus a Paddleball division). De La Rosa teamed with fellow U.S. National Team member Scott to win both Mixed Pro titles and, for the first time ever, do a clean sweep of all four Mixed Pro titles at the three outdoor majors in 2023. This is a fantastic achievement of consistent play across multiple outdoor surfaces.
Mejia took the 3-Wall Singles/Doubles double, her second straight 3-Wall outdoor singles title, and is becoming a force in outdoor just as she is in indoor.
Congrats to the winners of the other major Racquetball divisions held this weekend:
– CPRT Pro Doubles: Alvaro Beltran & Rick "Soda Man" Koll
– Combined 75+ Men's Doubles: Cesar Chavez & Alejandro Landa
– Centurion/Combined 100+ Men's Doubles: Tony Burg & Scott St. Clair
– Men’s Open Doubles: Cesar Chavez & Emmett Coe
– Women's Open Doubles: Sonja Septon (competed as a King of the Court)
– Mixed Open Doubles: Mike Harmon & Sarah Noyes
– King of the Court Legends competition: Keith Minor
R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=40677
Here's a narrative recap of the Pro draws.
- Men's 3-Wall Pro Doubles: De La Rosa won this title for the 6th time in 7 years, teaming this year with the very improved Landa to take the title over last year's finalists Adam Manilla & Nick Riffel. Ever since winning the USA National title in February, De La Rosa and Landa have teamed up both professionally and in Outdoor events and should be a favorite in Chile at the upcoming Pan American Games. Adam and Nick, as they did last year, rolled into the final playing smart tactical racquetball and were not seriously challenged until running into De La Rosa. Daniel continues to show why he's the best all-around player in the world at the moment, killing everything in his reach all weekend and leading his team to victory.
There were a couple of notable early round matches in the Men’s Pro Doubles draw. In the opening round, #13 seeds from Gainesville, Chris & Jack McDonald, absolutely pulverized the #4 seeds Kane Waselenchuk & Alvaro Beltran 8, 4, surprising the crowd who had turned out to watch two legends of the sport. Chris (who has made the Pro final in Men's Doubles three times in his career) was just lights out and the brother-brother team created a tactical nightmare for the IRT veterans who had no answers for the McDonalds’ pace and aggression. Later on in the quarters, 1-Wall specialists Robert Sostre & Benny Goldenberg faced the 3-Wall veterans Greg Solis & Patrick Allin, and the two teams played a fantastic, brutal 11, (11), 10 match in the 95-degree sun. There was little between the teams on the day, and the crowd was treated to an awesome match.
- Women's 3-Wall Pro Doubles: Ten of the currently ranked top 17 LPRT pros were in Las Vegas, and the Pro draws were littered with the sport's top females mixing it up with outdoor veterans. In the Pro Doubles, current #1 Mejia, relatively new to outdoor, continued to impress, taking her first outdoor Pro Doubles title with the improving Herrera. They topped Hollie Scott & Kelani Lawrence in a tightly contested 11-8 final.
- Mixed 3-Wall Pro Doubles: The final Pro match competed at the event lived up to its billing as the highly anticipated rematch of De La Rosa & Scott versus Kane Waselenchuk & Michelle Key (who had all met the day before in the 1-Wall Mixed final) became a highlight show of shot-making from all parties. DLR and Scott ground out a 15-10 win in game one and then ran away with it in game two as DLR finger-wagged his way through one kill shot after another. Nonetheless, Kane and Key were an impressive team, and Kane will only improve in the 3-Wall discipline going forward. It was fantastic having the 13-time IRT Pro champ at this event, and I hope he continues to play the outdoor majors.
- Men's 1-Wall Pro Doubles: The ever-improving Eduardo “Lalo” Portillo joined forces with New York 1-Wall veteran Benny Goldenberg to grind out a title over the #1 seeds and multi-time champions of this event, Robert Sostre & William Rolon, in a slugfest on the show court.
- Women's 1-Wall Pro Doubles: Carla Muñoz won her second straight Vegas 1-Wall Women’s Pro Doubles title, teaming with Brenda Laime to take the final over the eventual 3-Wall champs Herrera & Mejia. After edging them 11-10 in game one, they blew out the two top LPRT pros 11-1 in game two for the win. This was a great division, with each of the six teams featuring a past Pro Doubles outdoor champion.
- Mixed 1-Wall Pro Doubles: The semis of the Mixed 1-Wall Pro Doubles tournament featured men who had combined for a grand total of 20 year-end IRT #1 titles (between Kane, Cliff Swain, and DLR). The action on the court bore that out. Waselenchuk, who recently relocated to San Antonio and who has been playing with the big 1-Wall community there, showed just how quickly he's picking up the discipline, but the more experienced outdoor player DLR drove his team to the win.
Other Racquetball Divisions:
- CPRT Pro Doubles: Alvaro Beltran & Rick "Soda Man" Koll outlasted Rocky Carson and Jesus Ustarroz in the CPRT final, with the two veteran IRT champions battling it out on one side while the west coast outdoor specialists battled it out on the other.
- Combined 75+ Men's Doubles: Cesar Chavez and Alex Landa ground out a tough win over the Gainesville-based McDonald brothers Chris & Jack in one of the very last matches played on Sunday.
- Centurion/Combined 100+ Men's Doubles: Tony Burg & Scott St. Clair, who are tough enough in 40+ or 75+, cruised to the 100+ win.
- Men’s Open Doubles: Cesar Chavez & Emmett Coe: SoCal's Chavez got the double, pairing with Coe to take the Open title. They topped DJ Mendoza & Rhys Andersen in the final.
- Women's Open Doubles: Sonja Septon took the Open Doubles title. How did she do that by herself, you ask? Well, because the competitors played it as a "King of the Court" style where each of the six entrants played a full doubles match paired with each of the other 5. It gives everyone a ton of play. LPRT Commissioner T. J. Baumbaugh came in 2nd.
- Mixed Open Doubles: Mike Harmon & Sarah Noyes from Florida took the four-team Mixed Open draw, with NorCal's Walter Ramos and Erica Williams coming in 2nd.
- King of the Court Legends competition: Keith Minor topped the IRT legends-heavy King of the Court division and won the "Belt" for next year. It was awesome to see all the KOTC competitors all weekend.
Match reports in the Pro Racquetball Stats database by division (Racquetball divisions only).
– Men’s Pro 3-Wall Doubles: https://rball.pro/2hq
– Women’s Pro 3-Wall Doubles: https://rball.pro/u28
– Mixed Pro 3-Wall Doubles: https://rball.pro/fy6
– Men’s Pro 1-Wall Doubles: https://rball.pro/usc
– Women’s Pro 1-Wall Doubles: https://rball.pro/m12
– Mixed Pro 1-Wall Doubles: https://rball.pro/tkt
– Men’s 3-Wall Singles: https://rball.pro/b9t
– Women’s 3-Wall Singles: https://rball.pro/13m
Here are the Triple Crown reports in the database, showing all the winners of all divisions over the years.
– Men's Doubles Triple Crown: https://rball.pro/pdb
– Women's Doubles Triple Crown: https://rball.pro/5pw
– Mixed Doubles Triple Crown: https://rball.pro/bhn
– Men's Singles Triple Crown: https://rball.pro/49e
– Women's Singles Triple Crown: https://rball.pro/hl6
Thanks for all the streaming during the weekend from both pro tours, especially the work all weekend from broadcasters Favio Soto and Pablo Fajre and the IRT Live crew, as well as Jerry J Josey Jr., JT RBall, and T. J. Baumbaugh along with guest stars on the LPRT feed.
Thanks to Tournament Directors Mike Coulter (MC Vegas) for putting this event on, as well has his entire 3Wall Ball team. Peggine Tellez, Jen O'Meara, and Peter McMillin worked tirelessly all weekend along with dozens of other volunteers at the front desk and behind the scenes to make this tourney happen.
Thanks to the primary Sponsors KWM Gutterman, Pro Kennex, Age Solutions, LPL Financial, and Randy Root. Thanks also to the dozen other sponsors who helped either with products or finances. Without you, we do not have a pro sport, and without you we don't have 3WallBall. Thank you for all you do.