(Goalie Rob Gambino, Captain Alex Laws, and Junior NT player Aaron Hamm led Carolina Team Handball to a victory of their Alumni to win the 2019 Tar Heel Invitational)
The first poll of the 2019/20 season has been completed and Army West Point Black find themselves the unanimous #1 College Men’s team in the country again; However, there are more teams than ever who feel they can knock off the defending champions.
Coming in at #2 in November’s poll is Carolina Team Handball, last year’s CNC Silver Medalist. With their core having gained another year of experience together — and having beaten their own Alumni team earlier this season in Chapel Hill — they feel they have what it takes to defeat Army West Point at College Nationals next April.
…And before you ask: No, we don’t know the location for 2020 College Nationals yet.
West Virginia University — who missed last season College Nationals due to finals — checks in at #3 for the first poll of the season. While having an undefeated record in 2018/2019, West Virginia has tasted a few early defeats; Columbus Armada, Army West Point Black, and NYC2. In the midst of making the leap to the 1st Division of the Northeast Team Handball League, the experienced Mountaineers are perhaps the most technically gifted college team in the country.
US Air Force Academy checks in at #4. While having lost to Army West Point Black in the Commander-in-Chief game and going winless at the Michael Lipov X in Chicago, Air Force Team Handball has one of the strongest strength-of-schedules of any team in the country. This rough start will likely pay dividends as they move on to Texas Cup, Falcon Cup, and ultimately College Nationals. Historically, this team has had the tools like none other to defeat Army West Point Black, and this year may be no different.
Ohio State-Scarlet checks in at #5. The team’s sole blemish at the college level came to West Virginia University at the Buckeye Fall Classic; wins and ties over Columbus Armada-Nina and everyone else they’ve played suggests a strong squad, one capable of re-establishing The Ohio State University as National Championship contenders.
Also receiving votes are 2018/19 surprise outfit Texas A&M (debuting at Texas Cup) and the University of Virginia. Both of these teams, along with PITT Panthers, should be considered as teams which could defeat Army West Point Black next April.
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