West Point and Carolina win at College Nationals

April 18, 2011, 10:44 a.m. (ET)
Perhaps it was not a surprise but it is still a remarkable achievement for the West Point Black men to now have won College Nationals five times in a row and the Carolina women for three-peating.

West Point Black ran through the tournament, rarely tested, and that continued in the final against their fellow Cadets, West Point Gold, as Black prevailed by a score of 40:28. Back court player Rickey Royal scored 11 times to pace Black which helped him earn Tournament MVP honors.

Brenden Reber chipped in seven goals for the winning cause while goalkeeper Tim Wagner continued his fine paly and took home the honor of being the tournament's most outstanding goalkeeper.

Carolina's championship came in much more dramatic fashion. The Tar Heels controlled the play in the early going, leading 10-7 at halftime before things began to unravel. Julia Taylor was ejected and West Point's aggressive play began to take effect in the second half as it did all tournament.

Tournament MVP Patricia O'Toole was instrumental in leading West Point's comeback with her seven goals and got the Cadets within a goal of Carolina. Once again, as in group play, West Point Black had a fastbreak opportunity at the end of the game which would have tied it up but they were denied by the Carolina goalkeeper.

The competition for third place was fierce on the men's side. As the hosts, Air Force Academy A, was determined to finish the tournament with a strong showing. The contest was a back-and-forth affair throughout with Air Force having their chances to win. In the end, though, Carolina's handball and tournament experience pay off as they prevailed 26:25. Carolina's Mike Mistraz led all scorers in the tournament with 41 goals.

The fifth place game saw the Aggies ot Texas A&M take on Air Force Academy B. The Aggies got within two goals but were continually stymied by Air Force's goalkeeper who earned the Falcons to a 36:30 victory.

On the women's side, Dynamo HC knocked off West Point Gold 31:11 thanks to the stellar play of goalkeeper Jenny Bandi who was named the tournament's top goalkeeper. Anja Borg also scored 10 of her tournament-leading 28 goals in the match.

USA Team Handball would like to extend special thanks to Air Force Academy head coach Mike Cavanaugh for his tremendous help in organizing the tournament.

Men
1. West Point Black
2. West Point Gold
3. Carolina
4. Air Force Academy A
5. Air Force Academy B
6. Texas A&M

Women
1. Carolina
2. West Point Black
3. Dynamo HC
4. West Point Gold