Armando Duchesne is known as a tough out in one-wall circles, and now he has three national titles to his credit.
George Alicea-Ruiz was a newcomer to the national one-wall but not to one-wall handball.
"I grew up in New York and played one-wall through high school," said Alicea-Ruiz.
Duchesne/Alicea-Ruiz proved to be a formidable pairing, winning three straight matches to take the 60-plus doubles.
After moving to Virginia, Alicea-Ruiz picked up four-wall and travels to play three-wall as well.
And when he comes back to New York to visit, Alicea-Ruiz plays with Duchesne and the guys at Bailey Park.
"We knew Armando would be tough," said Abe Haiman after losing in the final with Richard Kocher. "But George killed us after the middle of the first game."
Like most four-wallers, it's hard keeping the ball on the court. But after some initial difficulty, Alicea-Ruiz took charge.
"We figured we'd play him after the start, but he took over, hitting aces and kills the rest of the way," Haiman said.
Elated after the final, Alicea-Ruiz was proud to have his first title.
But judging from the way he dominated the national final, it doesn't figure to be his last.
First round: Armando Duchesne/George Alicea-Ruiz (N.Y./Va.) dTim Murray/Bob Dyke (Fla./Va.) 2, 5.
Semis: Duchesne/Alicea-Ruiz d. Bill Malyakas/Elliott Joseph (N.Y.) 11, 15; Richard Kocher/Abe Haiman (N.Y.) d. Glenn Hall/Rick Anderson (Md.) 14, 10.
Final: Duchesne/Alicea-Ruiz d. Kocher/Haiman 15, 7.