Monday, November 19, 2018

Weekend Round Up - Horn & Amaya win in Illinois

David Horn won the 2018 Turkey Shoot Open - a Tier 5 event on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) - in Lombard, Illinois on the weekend by defeating Jake Bredenbeck in the final, 15-8, 13-15, 11-3. Horn beat Geoff Goldblatt, 15-3, 15-9, in one semi-final, while Bredenbeck defeated Thomas Carter, 15-13, 15-6, in the other.

Cristina Amaya won the Women’s Open division of the Turkey Shoot, as she got an injury forfeit win over Adriana Riveros in the final. In the semi-finals, Amaya defeated Kelani Bailey Lawrence, 15-14, 5-15, 11-0, and Riveros beat Valeria Centellas in two close games, 15-10, 15-14.

Centellas’s performance in Illinois was impressive, as she was coming off a week of racquetball at the 2018 World Junior Championships in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, where she won gold in both Girl’s U16 Singles and Doubles. In Women’s Open at the Turkey Shoot, she beat Sharon Jackson and Lexi York before falling to Riveros in two close games.

It’s Thanksgiving in the USA this week, so no big tournaments there. But the 1st Racquetball Canada National Team Selection Event of the season will happen in Valleyfield, Québec this weekend.

2018 Turkey Shoot, November 16-18, 2018
Lombard, Illinois


Women’s Open Final

1) Cristina Amaya d. 2) Adriana Riveros, injury forfeit

Semi-finals

1) Cristina Amaya d. 5) Kelani Bailey Lawrence, 15-14, 5-15, 11-0
2) Adriana Riveros d. 14) Valeria Centellas, 15-10, 15-14

Quarterfinals

1) Cristina Amaya d. 9) Susana Acosta, 15-10, 15-7
5) Kelani Bailey Lawrence d. 4) Sheryl Lotts, 12-15, 15-9, 11-0
14) Valeria Centellas d. 11) Lexi York, 15-14, 15-9
2) Adriana Riveros d. 7) Stefanny Barrios, 12-15, 15-12, 11-6

Men’s Pro Singles - Final

1) David Horn d. 2) Jake Bredenbeck, 15-8, 13-15, 11-3

Semi-finals

1) David Horn d. 4) Geoff Goldblatt, 15-3, 15-9
2) Jake Bredenbeck d. 3) Thomas Carter, 15-13, 15-6

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Longoria defeats Salas to win 2018 LPRT Turkey Shoot Open

Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), captured the 2018 LPRT Turkey Shoot Open in Lombard, Illinois by defeating LPRT #2 Samantha Salas, 10-12, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7, in a hard fought final. Longoria and Salas have met in all four LPRT finals this season with Longoria winning each time with the previous three wins in three straight games.

It looked like that story line would repeat today, as Longoria got to 10 first in a long first game, when she led 10-6. But a Salas backhand return prevented that game point. Salas scored got her 7th point, but then hit an unsuccessful ceiling ball to give the serve back to Longoria.

However, Longoria’s 2nd game point failed when she skipped a forehand pinch shot while being a little off balance. After Salas hit a drive serve to the right side for an ace, making it 10-8, Longoria called a time out. That didn’t stop the Salas train, as she got three more points on consecutive rallies - two forehand winners and another drive serve ace, which went to the left side.

Then on her 1st game point, Salas made an unforced error by skipping a forehand shot. But Longoria didn’t take advantage of that opportunity, because she skipped a drive serve, which is a very rare error. Salas won the game with a backhand cross court shot that was the third shot after a drive serve to the left and a backhand return down the line.

Longoria seemed very displeased at losing that game, and she stayed on the court hitting balls after it was over.

In game two, Longoria jumped out to a 5-0 lead, and maintained the advantage to win 11-3. She made a tactical change from drive serving to lob serving to the left side: Salas’s backhand side, and it was effective.

Longoria had the early lead in game three also, when she went up 5-1. Salas dug in and cut the lead to two at 5-3. However, Salas got no closer, as Longoria then took the score to 8-3, and won it at 11-4.

In game four, they were toe to toe, and tied at 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Longoria was generally ahead, but Salas had the lead at 7-6, so it looked like she might force a tie-breaking fifth game. Longoria, however, got the serve back with a soft forehand pinch shot. Salas had a great opportunity to take the serve right back, as she got a set up off the back wall on her backhand, yet she plowed it right into the floor. Annoyed Salas called a timeout.

Longoria saw her advantage, and she seized it. When play resumed, Longoria won the next three rallies all with backhand winners to take the fourth game 11-7, and win the match 3-1. The match winning rally began with a lob to the left side that Salas returned down the line, and then set up to cover the line. However, Longoria hit her backhand cross court, and although Salas dove for the ball, she couldn’t get to it.

Longoria and Salas teamed up to win the doubles title, as they beat 2nd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Carla Muñoz, 15-2, 15-9. Herrera and Muñoz were up 9-5 in game two, but Longoria and Salas scored 10 straight points to win it in two straight games.

LPRT Turkey Shoot matches are archived at the LPRT LiveStream channel, the LPRT Facebook page or the LPRT YouTube channel. The LPRT will be back in action next month, when they play LPRT Christmas Classic in Laurel, Maryland, December 14-16.

2018 LPRT Turkey Shoot, November 16-18, 2018
Lombard, Illinois


Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria d. 2) Samantha Salas, 10-12, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7

Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 2) Alexandra Herrera & Carla Muñoz, 15-2, 15-9

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Longoria & Salas into final at 2018 LPRT Turkey Shoot Open

Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), is through to the final at the 2018 LPRT Turkey Shoot Open in Lombard, Illinois after she beat 4th seed Maria Jose Vargas, 11-5, 11-2, 11-7, in the semi-finals. Longoria will play LPRT #2 Samantha Salas in the final, as Salas came back from a game down to defeat 3rd seed Alexandra Herrera, 3-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-5, in the other semi-final.

Longoria and Vargas were toe to toe early in game one. But Longoria took a timeout leading 5-4, and when play resumed she hit three consecutive drive serve aces to lead 8-4 and crack the game open. Longoria outscored Vargas 17-3, including those aces, after she took that timeout to the end of the second game.

Credit Vargas for not rolling over, as she played tough in game three. Longoria was up 6-2 and 7-3, but Vargas cut the difference to one, when she trailed 8-7. Vargas lost the next rally on a baffling no hinder call that we thought could have been an avoidable against Longoria, who’d hit the ball back to herself and Vargas couldn’t swing because Longoria was in the way.

Vargas only served once after that, as Longoria got the final three points of the game and match. She reached match point with an ace serve that Longoria drove into the left wall to jam out just over the short line. Longoria won it with a backhand after a weak serve return from Vargas that Longoria forced by driving the ball to the left side. Classic three shot rally.

Aside from losing the first game, Salas was also dominant in her match against the left-handed Herrera. They were tied at 5-5 in game three, but that was as close as Herrera got - and she didn’t score a point after that in that game.

Longoria and Salas will be partners, as well as foes, Sunday, as they’ll play together in the doubles final against Herrera and Carla Muñoz. In Saturday’s doubles semi-finals, Longoria and Salas - the #1 seeds - beat Sheryl Lotts and Rhonda Rajsich, 15-11, 15-8, and Herrera and Muñoz - the #2 seeds - defeated Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas, 15-10, 15-12.

Both semis were close up to the mid game, only to see the higher seeds pull away at the end. Lotts and Rajsich actually led late in game one against Longoria and Salas, but they couldn’t close it out. Longoria and Salas used that momentum to take an early lead in game two, but Lotts and Rajsich came back to within one, but that was as close as they could get as the top seeds finished off the match in two straight games.

The singles final will be live via the LPRT LiveStream channel, the LPRT Facebook page or the LPRT YouTube channel at noon Sunday with the doubles final to follow at 1 PM. All times central.

2018 LPRT Turkey Shoot, November 16-18, 2018
Lombard, Illinois


Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria d. 4) Maria Jose Vargas, 11-5, 11-2, 11-7
2) Samantha Salas d. 3) Alexandra Herrera, 3-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-5

Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria v. Samantha Salas - Noon

Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 5) Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich, 15-11, 15-8
2) Alexandra Herrera & Carla Muñoz v. 3) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas, 15-10, 15-12

Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 2) Alexandra Herrera & Carla Muñoz - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….