Maverick Combined Club Handball Team Finishes Second at National Tournament

March 04, 2020 | Sports

a group of people posing for a photo

The 2020 Minnesota State Mankato combined men's and women's club handball team:

Front row (left to right) – Justin Klein, Michael Gaulton, Jake Johnson, Tom Klapperich, Matt Bartholomew, Sam Ure, and Matt Johnson; Second row (left to right) – coach John Stoffel, Crystal Theobald, Paige Kennedy, Claire Hagstrom, Kendra Kaupa, Ciana Ni Churraoin, Molly Hlebichuk, Alexis Anderson; Back row (left to right) – Joelle Anderson, Andrew Christiansen, Maddie Kennedy, Andrew Unick, coach Mike Wells

Mankato, Minn. – The Minnesota State University, Mankato combined men’s and women’s handball teams finished as runner-up to Missouri State University at the 2020 United States Handball Association’s national collegiate handball tournament, held Feb. 19-23 at the University of Texas at Austin.  

The Maverick women’s team finished runner-up in the nation to Missouri State University, while the men’s team finished fifth in the tournament.

Individual notes: 

  • Ciana Ni Churraoin repeated as the women’s open champion and earned All-American honors for the second straight year. 
  • Junior Michael Gaulton achieved All-American for the third straight year. 
  • Senior Maddie Kennedy achieved All-American honors.
  • Ciana Ni Churraoin and Maddie Kennedy teamed to finish runner-up in the women’s open doubles championship. 
  • Sophomore Andrew Unick won an individual national title in the men’s B2 division.
  • Sophomore Andrew Christiansen won an individual national title in the men’s C1 division.
  • Junior Paige Kennedy was runner-up in the women’s B1 division.
  • Freshman Alexis Anderson and junior Molly Hlebichuk teamed to finish as runner-up in the women’s B division. 

Competition brackets are available on the United States Handball Association’s website.

For more information, contact Minnesota State Mankato handball coach Mike Wells by email at

The Minnesota State Mankato handball club is one of the sport clubs offered through the University’s Office of Campus Recreation.

The mission of the Office of Campus Recreation is to promote long-term healthy lifestyle behavior through participation in multi-faceted recreational, educational and leisure opportunities.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,297 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.

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