DC Diplomats: Focused, Humble, and Hungry
A name that is known up and down the East Coast, D.C. Diplomats (DCD) Team Handball, participated at the National tournament in York, PA from May 15-17 for the first time since 2010. The 2015 USATH Championships were the second ever appearance for the DCD Men’s Team, and the first time competing in the Elite Division.
The Road to Nationals
The DCD Men’s Team has proven to be among the strongest in the nation. Their team chemistry and love for handball are stronger than ever, and they traveled to the tournament with a positive and friendly attitude. They played very strong matches in the Northeast Team Handball League and participated in very competitive tournaments, preparing them for the tough Elite Division at the National Championship.
The DCD Women over the course of the season showed to have the ability to surprise any opponent. Posting the second best defensive record in the NTHL, DCD Women earned season splits with West Point Black and Boston Team Handball. The Women’s team played in a group with teams that they have never played before.
Both of the teams have the privilege to be coached by Gert van Santen, a handball veteran in the U.S. He has taught each one of the players about the essentials of handball, reminding them that the game needs to be dynamic and fluid. He has made some risky calls and decisions for both the Men’s and Women’s Teams which have paid off tremendously. He also taught the teams to be hungry for a win yet humble on the court, and to go into the game with team play in mind.
The Men’s Elite division proved to be tougher than ever. Our Men’s Team played two games on the first day, losing 22-17 to NYAC and tying 25-25 against West Point Black. On Saturday, our guys won against Chicago Inter Black 32-21, placing them to play for the bronze medal on Sunday. The bronze medal game was one of the toughest one for our men’s team, where they were able to tie in regular time, but they lost in the overtime 19-15. A 4th place finish in the Elite league is a very big motivation for our team to push hard next season and get a medal at the National tournament in 2016.
The Women’s team started the tournament with a game against LA THC, losing 16-13. Few hours later, the team played Chicago Inter (the Women’s Division Gold Medalist), where they were winning most of the game, but sadly the game ended 21-20 for Chicago Inter. The second day, our women’s team started with a great win 14-9 against SF CalHeat and then a loss against NYC 17-12. The third game of the day was against Boston, where our ladies took the win 9-8 to place 7th in the Women’s Division.
While competing at this tournament, one of our Men’s Team players, Brandon Kaminski, originally from the York, PA area was featured in the local newspaper York Daily Record as well as in the local news on Saturday night. The newspaper article provided information about the tournament, about our club and our future activities. Please visit this link to read the full article.