The 31st Engineer Battalion swept the 2019 Commander’s Cup Singles Racquetball Tournament, with Thomas Risi, representing Company C, 31st Engr. Bn., claiming the first-place trophy and Jeff O’Loughlin, representing Company D, 31st Engr. Bn., taking the second-place trophy.
Both captains, Risi and O’Loughlin are the commanders of their respective companies who regularly compete against each other on the racquetball courts at DFC. During the Feb. 12 tournament, they found themselves facing each other in the championship match.
O’Loughlin won the first game, 15-8, while Risi won the second game, 15-8. Risi won the tiebreaker, 15-5.
“It really felt good to get to come out and play, especially against a friend,” Risi said. “As company commanders, we (enjoy) the opportunity to come out and play racquetball. This Commander’s Cup tournament brought us together again.”
Beating O’Loughlin, “wasn’t easy,” according to Risi.
“He’s a tough opponent,” Risi said.
Likewise, O’Loughlin said that playing against Risi was as challenging as it was fun.
“I fully expected (us) to go to three games,” O’Loughlin said. “Tom’s a great player. We’ve known each other for six years — even before we were company commanders. We play each other regularly — we even practiced together to get ready for the tournament. It’s a friendly rivalry.”
The tournament was the fifth event in the 2019 Commander’s Cup Series. The series continues at 9 a.m. Saturday with the annual Commander’s Cup Swim Meet at the DFC Natatorium.