Collegiate National Championships: Final Day Summary: West Point Men Take 13th Straight Title

April 28, 2019, 4:31 p.m. (ET)

(Men's MVP, Kendrick Thomas on attack vs North Carolina.  Thomas had numerous breakthrough goals in the tournament and accordingly draws the attention of two Tar Heel defenders; Photo courtesy Amy Elise Havern)

The Army- West Point Men and Women both took home the gold earlier today at the USA Team Handball Collegiate National Championships in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  For the Army Men it was their 13th consecutive title.

Women’s Bronze Medal Match

In the Women’s 3rd place match, last year’s title winners, Penn State took home the bronze medal.  The match was a low scoring affair which Penn St dominated from the start holding West Point Gold to only 3 goals and an 8-3 half time lead.  The second half was more even, but West Point couldn’t cut into Penn State’s lead and the match ended with a score of 15-9.  Tournament MVP Maria Carolina Araujo led Penn St with 7 goals and Carolyn Jolitz added 5.  Katelyn Zont led Army-West Point Gold with 4 goals.

Women’s Gold Medal Match

In the Women’s gold medal game Army West Point Black reclaimed the title they lost last year with a 19-14 win over tournament hosts, North Carolina.  The game started out evenly and the match was tied at 8-8 with five minutes remaining in the first half.  Army then went on a four goal to close out the half with a 12-8 lead.  In the second half Army held that lead never letting North Carolina getting closer than 3 goals and at times extending the lead to six goals before the final whistle and the 19-14 score.  Layla Cunningham and Ansley Davenport each scored 6 goals for West Point and Teasia Steward added 5.  Diva Desai and Patricia O’Toole led North Carolina with 4 goals each.

Women’s Awards

MVP:  Maria Carolina Araujo, Penn St

MVG: Tasia Stevens, Army- West Point

Leading Scorer: Maria Carolina Araujo, Penn St (28 goals)

Men’s Bronze Medal Match

The Men’s Bronze Medal match was arguably the most entertaining match of the day with Air Force beating Texas A&M 34-33 in a fast paced, high scoring match.  Texas A&M got the better of the match in the first half and led 18-14 at the break.  Air Force came back in the second half and had a 33-31 lead with 2 minutes remaining.  In the frenetic final two minutes of the match Texas A&M was able to tie the match at 33-33 with a goal by Zach Levandoski with 14 seconds remaining only to have Air Force’s A.J. Miller score a no angle wing shot with 6 seconds remaining for the game winner. (A right handed shot from the right side of the court, no less)

The Men’s tournament leading scorer, William Kennedy, paced Texas A&M with 12 goals.  Air Force scoring was led by Richard Vaughn and Benjamin Pagel, each with 6 goals.

Here’s a video link to the last 2 minutes:  Link (worthy of your time)

Men’s Gold Medal Match

Army West Point Black took home their 13th consecutive title with a 29-24 win over North Carolina.  Army is known for its fast break, running game, but the win today was more about their defense which frustrated and stymied a North Carolina offense that relies on breakthrough scoring.  North Carolina simply had no answer to Army’s 6-0 defensive wall and was only able to muster 7 goals in the first half.   The second half saw North Carolina cut into Army’s lead, but the outcome was never in doubt.  Army was led in scoring by Ryan Thistlewood with 10 goals, while Men’s Tournament MVP, Kendrick Thomas added 5.  North Carolina was led in scoring by Alec Wallenius-Caldwell with 6 goals and Nick Vorobiov with 5.

Men’s Awards

MVP: Kendrick Thomas, Army West Point

MV : Jordan Wenske, Texas A&M

Leading Scorer: William Kennedy, Texas A&M (46 goals)

All Results, Standings and On Demand Video links for most matchesLink