This year, the Cal Handball team flew to Arizona State University for 5 full days of continuous handball playing. We left Tuesday night and landed in Phoenix later that evening. Skyler successfully completed the Cal Handball Denny’s Unlimited Pancake Challenge.
Simon, Skyler, and I all played some really great games. Both Simon and Skyler finished in the Men’s Division 2 and I moved up to Women’s Division 1 B. Yeena acted as our manager and Steve filmed all the games. When we weren’t playing, we checked out the campus, ate food, and tried to calm our nerves for the next game.
I played some good games in the Division 1 B bracket. It was definitely a big step up from the Division 2 C bracket where I played last year in Missouri, but it was good experiencing challenging matches. I enjoyed playing women who obviously did not need to rely solely on their serves to gain points.
During my stay in Arizona, I had more meat in those 6 days than I had this whole semester. We even went to a Korean place one night and a Vietnamese restaurant another. The Vietnamese restaurant had karaoke until 2 AM and we made sure to make our presence known. We even karaoke-ambushed Steve and Jen. (They sang “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” and were very good sports about it.)
On Saturday, I got to sit in on the coaches’ meeting to see the inner workings of the tournament. That same night, we all went to the banquet dinner where awards were passed out and important announcements were made. After all the formal arrangements had been taken care of, we all did the USHA Harlem Shake. We then took some team photos before heading back to the hotel.
Our team did not make it to any finals so the last night at the hotel, we all relaxed and stayed up until almost 3 AM, playing card games, eating snacks, and talking. It was a nice way to bond with each other before flying back home to California.
One thing I want to make clear is that when you’re on the Cal Handball team, you do not fall asleep. We will take pictures of you. This year, it was Yeena who fell victim to our camera-ready team.
Overall, it was a great tournament and we are all excited for next year. We hope to get more recruits so that Cal can finally give the other schools a run for their money.
Some pictures below from the 60th USHA National Collegiates last year, which took place at Missouri State University. I won second in Women’s division. Lost in the tiebreaker, which was a heartbreak.