2020 National High School Championships Wrap Up

By Rachel Hyman | March 05, 2020, 2:08 p.m. (ET)

The USA Racquetball 2020 National High School Championships officially wrapped up in Portland, Oregon, this past weekend. Over 360 high school students from 10 states competed at three different clubs, playing over 1,000 matches!

A total of 47 schools competed for titles in the Overall, Boys and Girls Team divisions. Sprague High School from Salem, Oregon claimed the overall team title, while Barlow High School (Gresham, Oregon) and Saint Louis University High School (St. Louis, Missouri) won the Girls and Boys Team titles, respectively.

  

In the Girls Doubles #1 division, Annie Roberts and Kelsey Klinger (Barlow High School) took on twin sisters Arya and Esha Cyril (Quarry Lane College High School). In the first game, Roberts and Klinger got off to an early 6-0 start, resulting in a timeout being called by the Cyrils. When play began again, the sisters were able to score a few more points to tighten the gap but ultimately fell to the Barlow team, 15-8. The Cyrils started their second game out very strong with an 8-0 lead. Roberts/Klinger took a timeout and came back stronger to make the score 13-10. Roberts hit two ace serves in a row to win the title, 15-11.

"It feels so good, we practiced a lot this year and last year. I'm really proud of how we've been able to work together." -Annie Roberts

The Boys Doubles #1 finals commenced with the team of Darren Lee and Vedant Chauhan (Dougherty Valley High School) vs. Cole Hartman and Nathan Soltis (Wayzata High School).

The first game was a quick one. Hartman and Soltis scored the first point, but then Chauhan and Lee went on a 15-point run to take the win. Hartman and Soltis started off the second game with the first point again. It was back-and-forth from there, first with Chauhan and Lee on a 5-point run, followed by a 3-point run from Hartman and Soltis, and so it went. Suddenly, the score was 10-7. After a brief stop in play, Chauhan and Lee went on to win the game 15-8.

"I don't care about the gold medal. I just love playing new people. I just love this experience." -Vedant Chauhan

The Girl's Singles #1 finals featured two-time defending National High School Champion Annie Roberts (a senior at Barlow High School) against 2019 14U World Junior Champion, sophomore Heather Mahoney (Casa Grande High School). Game 1 was unexpectedly quick. Roberts started off with a 6-point run, followed by two points from Mahoney. Roberts took the first game 15-3. In game 2 Mahoney came out strong, scoring the first five points. Mahoney had no hesitation in diving all over the court during a long rally, but Roberts came out on top. With Roberts up 9-7, she committed two rare unforced errors to tie up the score at nine points apiece. Just a few moments later, Roberts took the win, 15-11.

"I'm really tired. I was just glad I had the strength to grind through this match. I feel like it's not Nationals if I'm not playing Heather, and it just gets more intense every time." -Annie Roberts

In one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament, defending champion Antonio Rojas (Langston Hughes Academy) took on Nikhil Prasad (Centerville Junior High) in the Boy's Singles #1 finals match. Prasad took the first serve and first point, but Rojas came out with an early 4-1 lead. Down 10-2 and visibly frustrated, Prasad won a long rally and scored three more points to cut the lead to 12-8. Another ace serve for Prasad, slowly chipping away at the lead, but Rojas took game 1, 15-11.

Similar to the Girl's Singles final, game two was much closer. With the score tied 10-10, Prasad took a ball to the back, turning to Rojas with a big smile and saying, "You hit hard, bro." Prasad followed with another ace serve, took the lead to 12-10 and ultimately prevailed, 15-12.

In the only finals match to go tiebreaker, Prasad came out with an early 4-0 lead. Down 7-1, Rojas called a timeout. After the timeout, Rojas hit an ace serve, bringing the score to 7-2. Rojas then went on a 5-point run and it was 10-9. After at least five back-and-forth rallies, Rojas captured the win.

"This guy has the heart of a champion, that's why he came back." -Nikhil Prasad

Down 10-1 in the tiebreaker what was going through your mind? "One at a time, that was it. Me and my dad were just saying go for it. Whatever happens, happens. Don't go home knowing you could've done more." -Antonio Rojas

Click here for all division results.