Chicago Inter Team Handball http://www.chicagointerhandball.com The Premiere Handball Club in the Chicago Area Fri, 03 Jan 2014 18:28:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Spring 2014 Schedulehttp://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/spring-2014-schedule/ http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/spring-2014-schedule/#comments Fri, 27 Dec 2013 00:37:44 +0000 http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/?p=351 Happy Handball time!  Regular practices are set to resume January 7th at 8pm. Tuesday practices will be from 8:00pm – 10:00pm and Friday practices will be from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Spring 2013 Schedule January 01/07 8:00pm 01/10 7:00pm 01/14 8:00pm 01/17 7:00pm 01/21 8:00pm 01/24 7:00pm 01/28 8:00pm 01/31 7:00pm February 02/04 8:00pm 02/07 7:00pm 02/11 8:00pm [...]

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Happy Handball time!  Regular practices are set to resume January 7th at 8pm.

Tuesday practices will be from 8:00pm – 10:00pm and Friday practices will be from 7:00pm – 9:00pm.

Spring 2013 Schedule

January

01/07 8:00pm
01/10 7:00pm
01/14 8:00pm
01/17 7:00pm
01/21 8:00pm
01/24 7:00pm
01/28 8:00pm
01/31 7:00pm

February

02/04 8:00pm
02/07 7:00pm
02/11 8:00pm
02/14 7:00pm
02/18 8:00pm
02/21 7:00pm
02/25 8:00pm
02/28 7:00pm

March

03/04 8:00pm
03/07 7:00pm
03/11 8:00pm
03/14 7:00pm
03/18 8:00pm
03/21 7:00pm
03/25 8:00pm
03/28 7:00pm

April

04/01 8:00pm
04/04 7:00pm
04/08 8:00pm
04/11 7:00pm
04/15 8:00pm
04/18 7:00pm
04/22 8:00pm
04/25 7:00pm
04/29 8:00pm

May

05/02 7:00pm
05/06 8:00pm
05/09 7:00pm
05/13 8:00pm

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Inter Women Win Michael Lipov Memorial Cuphttp://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/women-win-lipov/ http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/women-win-lipov/#comments Fri, 01 Nov 2013 15:28:41 +0000 http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/?p=346 This past weekend, Chicago Inter Handball Club (CIHC) hosted the 4th annual Michael Lipov Memorial Cup at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. This was the chance to reunite long time handball friends and welcome some new ones to kick off the 2013-2014 handball season in the US. With the support of their sponsors, including namesake [...]

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This past weekend, Chicago Inter Handball Club (CIHC) hosted the 4th annual Michael Lipov Memorial Cup at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago. This was the chance to reunite long time handball friends and welcome some new ones to kick off the 2013-2014 handball season in the US.

With the support of their sponsors, including namesake Michael Lipov’s son (Lenny) and grandson (Zachary), CIHC was able to bring in high quality referees from all over the nation to officiate a tournament that brought together seven men’s teams; United Team of Moscow, New York Athletic Club, Minnesota Team Handball, Columbus, West Point (Army Black and Gold teams), Chicago Inter and three women’s teams; Carolina, New Jersey and Chicago Inter.

The men’s teams were split into two groups (A: NYAC, Minnesota, Army Gold and B: Chicago Inter, Army Black, Moscow and Columbus) that would then crossover while the women’s teams would play each other twice each to determine the two finalists.

Friday Action

The event got off to a strong start on Friday with a clash between the experienced Moscow team and the ever-determined West Point Black team. The Russians edged the young military team 28-25 in an intense contest. This was followed up by a reinforced Minnesota team taking on the US National Champs, NYAC. After an evenly-matched first half, NYAC prevailed 25-15 after wearing down Minnesota’s determination. The hosts were then on the court to take on a newcomer to the event, Columbus. Anxious to do well at home, the local team rapidly took the lead and stayed there to win 23-14. NYAC was then back on the court, using their experience to take the better of West Point Gold, 39-20. The men’s games closed out with a double header where Chicago edged West Point Black 26-25 and Moscow dominated Columbus 41-21. Friday ended with two women’s games in which Chicago Inter edged Carolina 23-21 after a hard fought game and Carolina turned around and bested New Jersey, 33-17.

Saturday Recap

Saturday kicked off with West Point Black beating Columbus 32-27 after a hard fought game with emotions and tempers flaring. The Chicago Inter women’s team then took the court to beat New Jersey 28-9, a better fate than their male counterparts who fell to Moscow 24-28 in the following game. This result ensured Moscow first place in group B, ahead of Chicago Inter who would head into the semi-finals to face NYAC, undefeated the previous day in group A. Minnesota then clinched their final four berth by taking the better of West Point Gold, 26-23, in an exhilarating game. The New Jersey women’s team was then back on the court with losses to UNC (25-12) and Chicago Inter (30-11) but left with their head high as they held their own against far more experienced teams. West Point Gold then benefited from Columbus forfeiting their head-to-head and moved on to the 5th place game against West Point Black. The ladies’ group games ended with another tight contest between Carolina and Chicago Inter where the Carolina girls took the win, 20-17, promising an intense final the following day. It was then time for the men’s semis, with Minnesota pushing Moscow to the edge in a 26-31 loss. The home team (Chicago Inter), eager to get their revenge over Moscow in the final, was bitterly disappointed when the US champs (NYAC) knocked them out of the race, 32-25.

The day ended with a convivial social event at Skokie’s Zhivago restaurant, where players and referees were able to relax and enjoy some good food and camaraderie.

Final Results

The tournament then headed into its final day with an exciting line-up of games and did not disappoint! In an intense 5th place contest, the West Point rivalry had the cadets going full-speed for 60 minutes, ending with a 42-41 win for Army Black over Gold. The women’s league then served up a great final in which Chicago Inter took the win over Carolina, 33-24. Once again, the Chicago women were successful where the men were not as Minnesota took their first medal with a 32-30 win against their hosts in the third place game. The men’s final then offered up a great contest that NYAC brought home, 24-19, over Moscow.

The final tables were as follows:

Men’s Standings

NYAC
Moscow
Minnesota
Chicago Inter
West Point Black
West Point Gold
Columbus Ohio

Top scorer: Ethan Pickett (Chicago Inter)
Most Valuable Goalkeeper: Danny Capparelli (NYAC)
Most Valuable Player: Vladislav Kararash (Moscow)

Women’s Standings

Chicago Inter
UNC
New Jersey Ocean

Top scorer: Julia Taylor (Carolina)
Most Valuable Goalkeeper: Urszula Pawka (New Jersey)
Most Valuable Player: Camilla Andersen (Chicago Inter)

With another successful tournament under its belt, Chicago Inter Handball Club is already looking forward to hosting this event again in 2014 and, in the meantime, crossing paths with their guests on the court this season.  Thanks to all who supported our event and we hope to see you next year!

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Michael Lipov Memorial Cup 2013 Schedulehttp://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/michael-lipov-2013-schedule/ http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/michael-lipov-2013-schedule/#comments Fri, 25 Oct 2013 13:26:22 +0000 http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/?p=344 The following is the schedule for the Fourth annual Michael Lipov Memorial Cup. Good luck to all participating teams! Group A NYAC Minnesota Army Gold Group B Army Black Chicago Inter Moscow Columbus Women Inter Carolina New Jersey Friday 25-Oct Main Gym 12:00 Army Black vs Moscow 13:15 NYAC vs Minnesota 14:40 Columbus vs Chicago [...]

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The following is the schedule for the Fourth annual Michael Lipov Memorial Cup. Good luck to all participating teams!

Group A
NYAC
Minnesota
Army Gold

Group B
Army Black
Chicago Inter
Moscow
Columbus

Women
Inter
Carolina
New Jersey

Friday 25-Oct

Main Gym

12:00 Army Black vs Moscow
13:15 NYAC vs Minnesota
14:40 Columbus vs Chicago Inter
15:55 NYAC vs Army Gold
17:20 Army Black vs Chicago Inter
18:35 Inter vs Carolina
19:50 Carolina vs New Jersey

Small Gym
17:20 Moscow vs Columbus

Saturday 26-Oct

Main Gym

8:00 Columbus vs Army Black
9:15 New Jersey vs Inter
10:30 Chicago Inter vs Moscow
11:45 Minnesota vs Army Gold
13:00 Carolina vs New Jersey
14:15 3B vs 4B
15:30 2A vs 1B
16:55 Carolina vs Inter
18:20 1A vs 2B

Small Gym

14:45 New Jersey vs Inter

Sunday 27-Oct

Main Gym

9:00 5th – 6th Place
10:30 Women’s Gold Medal Match
12:00 Bronze Medal Match
13:45 Men’s Gold Medal Match

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Fall 2013 Schedule Announcedhttp://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/fall-2013-schedule-announced/ http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/fall-2013-schedule-announced/#comments Fri, 30 Aug 2013 12:45:11 +0000 http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/?p=340 It’s handball time again!  Regular practices are set to resume this Tuesday, September 3rd at 8pm. Tuesday practices will be from 8:00pm – 10:00pm and Friday practices will be from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Fall 2013 Schedule September 09/03 8:00pm * 09/06 7:00pm * 09/10 8:00pm * 09/13 7:00pm * 09/17 8:00pm 09/20 7:00pm 09/24 8:00pm 09/27 7:00pm [...]

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It’s handball time again!  Regular practices are set to resume this Tuesday, September 3rd at 8pm.

Tuesday practices will be from 8:00pm – 10:00pm and Friday practices will be from 7:00pm – 9:00pm.

Fall 2013 Schedule

September

09/03 8:00pm *
09/06 7:00pm *
09/10 8:00pm *
09/13 7:00pm *
09/17 8:00pm
09/20 7:00pm
09/24 8:00pm
09/27 7:00pm

October

10/01 8:00pm
10/04 7:00pm
10/08 8:00pm
10/11 7:00pm
10/15 8:00pm
10/18 OFF
10/22 8:00pm
10/25-10/27 Tournament
10/29 8:00pm

November

11/01 7:00pm
11/05 8:00pm
11/08 7:00pm
11/12 8:00pm
11/15
11/19 8:00pm
11/22 7:00pm
11/26 8:00pm
11/29 OFF

December

12/03 8:00pm
12/06 7:00pm
12/10 8:00pm Last practice of 2013

*Main Gym only

 

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ChicaGO Beach Blast is Epic!http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/chicago-beach-blast-is-epic/ http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/chicago-beach-blast-is-epic/#comments Fri, 28 Jun 2013 03:26:33 +0000 http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/?p=328 Nine teams convened early in the morning of Saturday, June 22 on the sands of North Avenue beach to tip off Chicago Inter’s first ever Beach Handball Tournament. After a minor sandstorm, the often fickle Chicago weather cooperated with a gorgeous day to be outside on the shores of Lake Michigan. Beach handball differs from [...]

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Nine teams convened early in the morning of Saturday, June 22 on the sands of North Avenue beach to tip off Chicago Inter’s first ever Beach Handball Tournament. After a minor sandstorm, the often fickle Chicago weather cooperated with a gorgeous day to be outside on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Beach handball differs from its indoor cousin in that its primary focus is on “fair play”, which loosely translates into a sport that is much more focused on having a good time. Being outside in the sand, changes the game tactics. Dribbling, for example, is next to impossible. And to make the game even more exciting to watch, spectacular goals, such as 360 shots or alley-oops are awards two points!

“This one was my first time playing beach handball. I really tried to have fun. And I did!” commented Chicago player Jolanta Kunickaite. “I definitely could see myself playing this sport, just little more practice on twist shots and “kempa” [the german term for an alley oop style goal] shots and I will be good to go. Maybe just a little more sunscreen on my nose.”

Katrine Byberg Burr leaps into the zone for a shot.

Katrine Byberg Burr leaps into the zone for a shot.

Playing outside (especially on the crowded North Avenue beach) has the added benefit of being right in the public eye. Beach handball is inherently a social sport and its wild antics are sure to attract a crowd. The bleachers were often full and many passersby were intrigued by this crazy (and rarely seen) sport that they stopped to watch and ask questions. “It was really fun to see all the people stopping by and watching handball for the first time” said Aida Kulasic.

The heavy favorites and eventual tournament champions were a team mostly comprised of professional players from the German Bundesliga, including TSV Hanover, HSG Wetzlar and MT Melsungen clubs. It was clear that the German players had a bit more finesse at this fancy sport. “The German team made everything seem so easy and impressed spectators with double and triple “kempas” on the court, which just made it that much more fun!” exclaimed Chicago player, Francie Moehring.

Just like indoor, no tournament is complete without a picture of everyone in the goal!

Just like indoor, no tournament is complete without a picture of everyone in the goal!

The Bulls (a Chicago Inter players team) took second place and the Hawks (another Chicago Inter players team) took third place. “I’ve been overwhelmed with the positive feedback,” reported Inter president Jacque Messel. “The atmosphere and level of play was everything we were hoping for from a beach tournament and we definitely look forward to making this an annual event.”

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Summertime ChicaGO Beach Bashhttp://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/chicago-beach-handball/ http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/chicago-beach-handball/#comments Wed, 19 Jun 2013 17:25:54 +0000 http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/?p=311 Summer is finally here!  And to celebrate, Chicago Inter is hosting its first annual beach handball event! Some big names of handball will help demonstrate the fun of beach handball ( which has awards extra points for fancy goals! ) under the beautiful Chicago skyline.  Our special guests will include: Martin Ziemer – TSV Hannover-Burgdorf [...]

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Coming soon to North Avenue Beach, Chicago

Spectacular goals coming to North Avenue Beach, Chicago

Summer is finally here!  And to celebrate, Chicago Inter is hosting its first annual beach handball event!

Some big names of handball will help demonstrate the fun of beach handball ( which has awards extra points for fancy goals! ) under the beautiful Chicago skyline.  Our special guests will include:

  • Martin Ziemer – TSV Hannover-Burgdorf
  • Tobias Riechmann – HSG Wetzlar
  • Michael Müller – HSG Wetzlar
  • Malte Schröder – MT Melsungen
  • Lars Lenhoff – TSV Hannover-Burgdorf
  • Christian Rompf – HSG Wetzlar
  • Michael Müller – HSG Wetzlar
  • Tobias Reichmann – HSG Wetzlar
  • Stefan Schröder – HSV Handball
  • Mariusz Steinhauser – Rhein Neckar Löwen
  • Denni Djozic – Rhein Neckar Löwen

The tournament, a sister event to the immensely successful Big Apple Tournament in New York city will take place on Saturday, June 22nd on the sands of Lake Michigan at the popular North Avenue Beach from 10am to 7pm.  Players from across the US and the World will unite in co-ed teams of 8 with a minimum of 2 women per team.

A second court will be available to beach-goers to try out the sport and spend some fun time with Chicago Inter.  Kids are welcome and if we have enough, we can organize mini-games.

Club President, Jacque Messel is excited to host the first-ever beach event.  ”The beach aspect of our sport is so much more visible and accessible, so this is a great opportunity to introduce Chicago to Olympic handball. ”

Stay tuned for more updates and information about how to participate.  Also be sure to check out our Facebook page and that of the Big Apple Tournament.

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Inter Men miss final 4 in 2013 Nationalshttp://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/inter-men-miss-final-4-in-2013-nationals/ http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/inter-men-miss-final-4-in-2013-nationals/#comments Tue, 28 May 2013 01:04:10 +0000 http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/?p=324 This year the Chicago Inter men’s team was looking to clinch a new podium after getting silver in Salt Lake City in 2011 and bronze in Minneapolis in 2012. The 2013 edition kicked off with a tough game against Boston, one of recent years’ strong opponents for Chicago. Faced with an excellent performance from their [...]

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This year the Chicago Inter men’s team was looking to clinch a new podium after getting silver in Salt Lake City in 2011 and bronze in Minneapolis in 2012.

The 2013 edition kicked off with a tough game against Boston, one of recent years’ strong opponents for Chicago. Faced with an excellent performance from their opponent, the Chicago players pulled together and came out with a very positive 23-21 win to boost their confidence.

The second game of the day pitted Chicago against LA Team Handball, 2012’s silver medalists. Once again, this was a strong opponent for Chicago in what was proving to be a very well-rounded 2013 US Nationals where all 7 elite teams had some quality plays. Unfortunately, a few mistakes let the game slip from the Midwestern team’s grip and, despite fighting back as much as they could, it was LA that would secure their second win of the day 33-30, ensuring their place in the final 4.

Day 2 of the Nationals would decide Chicago’s fate in the championship with a clash against their best-enemies: West Point. Having proven their thirst for victory with a convincing game win against Boston shortly after letting slip a high scoring game against LA, the Army team had no intention of giving Chicago an easy game. Meanwhile, the fire that had burned on the Chicago bench on Day 1 seemed to have been blown out by being edged out of the LA game and West Point pulled away, never to be caught up. A disappointing 10 point loss left Chicago to finish third in their group and battle for 5th place on day 3.

Disappointed by seeing their title dreams slip away once again and hamstrung by 5 injuries, Chicago went into Day 3 simply wanting to go out with honor. Against a greatly diminished Cal’Heat team, Chicago takes 5th place with a 29-17 win and high hopes for next year.

Time to focus on the beach season before getting back to work, preparing for a new season and looking ahead to the 2014 US Nationals.

Congratulations to the women’s team for securing a nail-biting win over Dynamo to bring home the gold!

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Inter Women Win 5th National Championshiphttp://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/fifth-national-championship/ http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/fifth-national-championship/#comments Sat, 25 May 2013 02:47:52 +0000 http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/?p=316 “Happiness, joy, pride, success, strength, unity, coach, teammate, friendship, love, laugh, respect, tears, belief, pain, injuries, disappointment and hard work” were all words that long-time team captain Jolanta Kunickaite would use to describe last weekend’s Club Nationals Tournament in Reno, NV. After a long weekend and six games in three days, the Chicago Inter Women’s [...]

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Captain Awesome collects all the hardware.

Captain Awesome collects all the hardware. – Photo courtesy of Peggy Ferguson

“Happiness, joy, pride, success, strength, unity, coach, teammate, friendship, love, laugh, respect, tears, belief, pain, injuries, disappointment and hard work” were all words that long-time team captain Jolanta Kunickaite would use to describe last weekend’s Club Nationals Tournament in Reno, NV. After a long weekend and six games in three days, the Chicago Inter Women’s team clinched another national championship, its 5th since 2007.

The weekend started with an early start on Friday against long-time rival New York City in a rematch of the championship game from 2011. Drawing a challenging pool schedule, the early morning game was critical. Center back Amie Jatta commented, “We had good energy… and when the communication was on you could see the defense working.” It was a tight game the whole way (setting a tone for most of the weekend) but even with its early morning kinks, Inter held on to its lead to win 15-13.

The women would defeat the speedy San Francisco Smurfs later in the afternoon, 20-13. Then they would defeat New Jersey 21-3 on Friday morning to setup a battle with the similarly undefeated and highly anticipated Los Angeles team for pool supremacy. The Inter women couldn’t adapt quickly enough to the aggressive defensive stylings of LA and would fall 15-17.

Inter women dazzle in their glowing uniforms.

Inter women dazzle in their glowing uniforms. – Photo courtesy of Peggy Ferguson

The loss to LA would pit Inter against the first-seed from the other pool, North Carolina. The two teams square off frequently and Carolina always seems to bring extra fire when playing Inter, so the ladies knew they were in for a tough semi-final. Following the success of LA’s five plus one defense, Carolina would try the same though the Inter ladies were better prepared this time. “I’m really proud of the girls. We didn’t have a huge roster this year, but they put everything they had out there and kept pushing,” commented goalie Jacque Messel. The game was indeed back and forth and extra tense at times, but the clutch penalty shots of Amie Jatta and the 7 goals from right wing, Ekaterina Martsul were critical in putting Inter on top 19-17 to go through to the finals.

In Sunday’s championship game, Inter would square off against the very technically sound, Colorado Springs Dynamo. Fresh off their own semi-finals victory over Los Angeles, the Dynamo were hungry for more and matched the Inter ladies goal for goal until the final moments when left wing, Francie Moehring found herself with the ball at the 6m line. “I actually think my mind was blank when I scored that goal, all I saw was this huge opening in front of me and I knew I had to take the shot in that moment.” Francie’s goal push the Inter ladies into a 21-20 lead with seconds left to play. “The only thought that kept racing through my mind was, we have to play tough defense now for the last few seconds, and so I sprinted back to defense.” The Dynamo managed to get a shot off as the clock dwindled down, but goalie Jacque Messel was there to make the save and preserve Inter’s victory.

2013 National Champions can do big arms if they want to.

2013 National Champions can do big arms if they want to. – Photo courtesy of Peggy Ferguson

To make the victory even sweeter, Inter’s Captain, Jolanta Kunickaite, was the second leading scorer for the weekend (with 29 goals) and was unanimously voted as the Most Valuable Player for her consitantly excellent play. “I am very thankful to all my former and current teammates and to my coach who all helped me get this award. You are the biggest part of my success,” she humbly commented on her selection. In Chicago, we know that Jolanta is an integral part of the team’s success, so it was especially rewarding to see her honored at the national level.

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Inter Ladies Take Third Despite Small Rosterhttp://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/west-point-women/ http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/west-point-women/#comments Sun, 07 Apr 2013 09:46:12 +0000 http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/?p=306 “You never know what can happen in handball.”  This is what Chicago Inter kept telling themselves as the roster seemed to keep shrinking in the final days before the Laura Walker Invitational Tournament, March 29 – 31.  First, Gabi Stilwell tears her ACL in the final practice before the trip and then team captain, Jolanta [...]

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“You never know what can happen in handball.”  This is what Chicago Inter kept telling themselves as the roster seemed to keep shrinking in the final days before the Laura Walker Invitational Tournament, March 29 – 31.  First, Gabi Stilwell tears her ACL in the final practice before the trip and then team captain, Jolanta Kunicaite, becomes too sick to travel.  Nonetheless, the ladies from Chicago pull together and commit to making it a great competition.  The tournament is one that Chicago looks forward to every year.  First Lieutenant Laura Walker was a 2003 West Point gradate and the first female graduate to be killed in combat, in Afghanistan.  The tournament is held every year in her honor.  This year, nine teams from the United States and Canada competed.

The Ladies clean up well for a dinner in honor of the tournament's name sake, LT Laura Walker.

The Ladies clean up well for a dinner in honor of the tournament’s name sake, 1LT Laura Walker.

First up is West Point Gold.  Chicago Inter struggled early as players tried to get used to playing new positions and next to new people.  Francie Moehring stepped up in the pivot position, where Jolanta usually dominates.  Francie had played pivot in Germany, but has been a left wing for many years since coming to play for Chicago.  Aurelie Bie started at the playmaker position, which seemed a bit risky since she has only played in the wing position since joining Chicago Inter.  It turned out to be a stroke of genius by Coach Felix Murokh, and she had a fantastic tournament.  Veteran player, but new to Chicago Inter, Sunny Chen proved her worth on defense as she stepped up to take on a very physical Army team.  With new players and some in new roles, Inter worked out the kinks and came out with a 16 – 11 win over the cadets.

The next game proved to be much tougher as Inter took on the younger, but experienced, Canadians from Levis  The game was evenly matched at halftime, 7 – 7, but Levis got a good start and went on a run to start the second half.  Chicago could not recover and Levis took the win, 11 – 16.  After losing a game they knew they could have won, Chicago was ready for rivals, Carolina.  This was a hard-fought and physical game from the first minute until the last.  Fast breaks from Tabby Hardison gave the team a big boost and helped set the tone for the game.  Chicago played tough defense and was supported by Jacque Messel in the goal.  It was good to see Jacque playing in her first game of the season as an injury has kept her off the court since September.  Inter was in the lead most of the game but Carolina battled back to make it an exciting finish.  Chicago was able to hold on, 18- 17, with help from a 7m save by Messel and Carolina’s last-second shot bouncing off the goalpost.

Sunday started with a cross-over game against NYC.  Chicago’s offense struggled for the entire game against the defensive wall and solid goalkeeping of NYC.  It was back and forth with Inter fighting to take advantage of fast breaks and mistakes by NYC’s defense.  Katrine Buur played a great game at the right backcourt position, but this game showed how much the team missed the rest of the players who were not able to travel.  NYC was slow to start,  offensively, but found their groove in the second half.  Costly mistakes at the end allowed NYC to grab a one goal lead and hold on to win, 12 – 13.  This was a much more bitter loss than the one against Levis and Chicago is looking forward to a rematch in Reno at USA Nationals.

Chicago ended the tournament with a 12- 4 win against Levis B, the second Canadian team from Levis.  Chicago is certainly not used to finishing third, but it still felt like a victory given the circumstances.  This team will be a force to contend with in Reno.

Exhausted, but satisfied.

Exhausted, but satisfied.

2013 Laura Walker Tournament Results

1. Levis A
2. NYC Team Handball
3. Chicago Inter
4. Levis B
5. WP Black
6. Boston
7. Carolina Blue (Alumni)
8. WP Gold
9. Carolina

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Inter Men Secure Fifth at 2013 West Point Invitationalhttp://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/men-2013-west-point-invitational/ http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/2013/men-2013-west-point-invitational/#comments Tue, 05 Mar 2013 02:09:31 +0000 http://www.chicagointerhandball.com/?p=296 Friday, March 1st Despite planning a sufficient amount of time to recover from the travel and get into the spirit of the tournament, the men’s team got off to a slow start. “We knew going in that West Point would be able to provide a high level of intensity both physically and technically,” commented Patrick [...]

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Friday, March 1st

Despite planning a sufficient amount of time to recover from the travel and get into the spirit of the tournament, the men’s team got off to a slow start. “We knew going in that West Point would be able to provide a high level of intensity both physically and technically,” commented Patrick Jalabert.  This fact would be quickly confirmed by the Cadet’s convincing 30-13 win over Air Force before stepping on to the court to tango with Inter.
The Chicago machine took time to warm up, giving the local team the opportunity to pull ahead early in the game. Despite managing to increase the level of play in the second half, WP Black did not drop the pressure and maintained a steady lead all the way to the end.  The game ended with a disappointing 7 goal loss ( 20-13 ) for the Inter men, while WP Black moved to 2-0 and its path to 1st place in the group going seemingly unchecked.

Tak Mimura flying high on a break through.

Tak Mimura flying high on a break through. Photo by Andrzej Choinski

Andrzej Choinski‘s

“We need to pull it together if we don’t want to be on our way home tomorrow!” was the main message coach Pawel communicated to the players as we remained on the court for a second consecutive game, this time against Air Force.

Once again the youthful opponents proved to have more physical intensity in their game and with one game in the bag already, Inter seemed to struggle to make its presence felt and fell to a three goal deficit in the first 10 minutes.  But the men dug deep and refused to lose a second time, and by strengthening their defensive efforts, gradually took the upper hand. Although Air Force never gave up, Inter held on to take the win 24-19 and ensure a place in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Saturday, March 2nd

With only one game on the schedule for the day, it was key that the team come fully prepared to take on the Canadian champions, Levis.  After a strong start, it seemed the team could hope for a positive outcome. Unfortunately, the defeat to WP had left its marks and the group began to lose focus and fall apart when the opponent upped the stakes and, slowly, they drew level and ahead. Once again, our strong determination brought the men back within a respectable distance in the last few minutes but the damage was done and disappointment could be read all over all of the players faces after a 28-23 loss which relegated the team to waiting for the outcome of the other quarterfinals to know if it would be playing for 5th or 7th place on Sunday.

UNknown dude attacks the defense on the dribble.

Pedrag Bezbradica attacks the defense on the dribble. Photo by Andrzej Choinski

Sunday, March 3rd

After a night on the town to relieve the pressure and regroup the team, the men regrouped to face  UNC for 5th place.  Despite the desire to go out on a win, the start of the game did not look promising. With few turnovers, UNC knew they had nothing more to prove and caught Inter off guard with some good plays that gave them an early 6-3 lead after 8 minutes.  It was, as ever, the collective will of the Inter men to not go home on a loss, that helped them battle back to a halftime lead of 12-9.  However, the second half got off to another rough start and it looked like the game might slip away.  But a change of defensive strategy (new goalie, new positioning) helped to maintain the lead and, finally, take 5th place with a 24-21 win.

A break from the traditional team in the goal pose!

A break from the traditional team in the goal pose!

This weekend ended with another win for NYC and some convincing handball from West Point Black despite their 21-20 loss to Celtique for 3rd place. It seems the contenders for a medal in Reno will be numerous and the men will have to regroup over the coming weeks.  Tuesday begins our road to Reno, hoping for a Wild Card spot and working towards a strong group.

Let’s go Inter! We know we have it in us!!!

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