DCU student Fiona Tully won both the Ladies Singles and Doubles Open tournaments at the Irish Collegiate Handball Association (ICHA) in Wexford last week.
In the Ladies Singles Open, Tully played against fellow DCU women Aoife Holden and her doubles partner Ní Dhálaigh. After defeating colleges such as UL and LIT, it was an all DCU final between Tully and last year’s Ladies Single winner Aoife Holden.
“It was a bit weird playing Aoife, but I am used to playing her outside of college in county competitions,” said Tully on the Irish Collegiate Handball final.
Tully won the first round with the score of 15-9, but Holden fought back, winning the second round with a score of 9-15. There was a fierce challenge in the tie breaker, but Roscommon woman Tully came out on top, winning the ladies single open with a score of 15-12.
“It was great to win because I have lost the ladies single open twice, to two people from Kilkenny. I lost last year to the girl who I beat this year (Aoife Holden),” said Tully.
Tully and her teammate Meadhbh Ní Dhálaigh entered the Ladies Doubles hoping to retain their title from their victory last year. Beating WIT in the semi-final, the duo moved onto the final, knowing it would be a harder game against UL. After a close two games the DCU women came out victorious, winning the Trophy.
Tully, who now holds both the Double and Single Ladies Open trophies, began to play handball when she was nine years old after seeing her sister play the sport. She then followed along and soon after fell in love with the game.
Tully, who trains five to six times a week with both college and county teams hopes to progress in the Ladies Irish rankings, where she is currently in third place.
“My plan for the future is to get into the top two in the Irish rankings, I will hopefully make my breakthrough soon enough,” Tully told The College View.
Tully knows it will not be easy getting into the top two and said that Caitriona Casey and Martina McMahon, who currently hold the top two spaces in the rankings, are “amazing handball players.”
Ladies handball in DCU has been very successful in recent years, with three different DCU women winning the ICHA Handball ladies single open tournament three years in a row. The DCU handball club also flew over to the United States last February to take part in the USHA handball tournament, where they arrived back to DCU with many medals from the competition.
Image credit: DCU Handball