Monday, April 23, 2018

Weekend round up: Wins for De La Rosa, Parrilla & Muñoz

Daniel De La Rosa defeated Andree Parrilla, 15-14, 15-12, to win the Battle at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, a Tier 4 event on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) on the weekend. In the semi-finals, De La Rosa beat Javier Mar, 14-15, 15-5, 11-3, and Parrilla defeated David Horn, 12-15, 15-12, 11-8.

Parrilla did win Men’s Open with an injury forfeit decision over Mar. In the semis, Parrilla defeated Eduardo Portillo, 14-15, 15-13, 11-1, and Mar beat John Rhodes, 15-2, 15-6.

Carla Muñoz won Women’s Open in San Antonio by defeating Lucia Gonzalez in the final, 15-6, 15-10. But the big win in Women’s Open was Yasmine Sabja taking out Cristina Amaya, who was the 2nd seed, in the first round, 15-11, 15-14.

Finally in San Antonio, Daniel De La Rosa did perhaps the most dangerous thing in racquetball: he played doubles with his wife. But it worked out for him and Michelle De La Rosa (née Key), as they won Mixed Doubles by coming back from a game down to defeat Paola Longoria and Edson Martinez, 13-15, 15-7, 11-3.

The big event this week is the last event of the 2017-18 IRT season: the Florida IRT Regional Championships in Sarasota, April 26-29. And, yes, Kane Waselenchuk is entered. So, fingers crossed that he’ll play.

2018 Battle at the Alamo
San Antonio, Texas - April 20-22, 2018

IRT Singles - Final

Daniel De La Rosa d. Andree Parrilla, 15-14, 15-12

IRT Singles - Semi-finals

Daniel De La Rosa d. Javier Mar, 14-15, 15-5, 11-3
Andree Parrilla d. David Horn, 12-15, 15-12, 11-8

IRT Singles - Quarterfinals

Daniel De La Rosa d. Erik Mendoza, 15-7, 15-3
Javier Mar d. Alejandro Almada, 15-3, 15-6
David Horn d. Edson Martinez, 15-13, 9-15, 11-10
Andree Parrilla d. Eduardo Portillo, 15-10, 15-9

Men’s Singles - Final

Andree Parrilla d. Javier Mar, injury forfeit

Men’s Singles - Semi-finals

Andree Parrilla d. Eduardo Portillo, 14-15, 15-13, 11-1
Javier Mar d. John Rhodes, 15-2, 15-6

Women’s Singles - Final

Carla Muñoz d. Lucia Gonzalez, 15-6, 15-10

Women’s Singles - Semi-finals

Carla Muñoz d. Diana Aguilar, 15-10, 15-11
Lucia Gonzalez d. Yasmine Sabja, 4-15, 15-4, 11-9

Mixed Doubles - Final

Daniel De La Rosa & Michelle De La Rosa d. Paola Longoria & Edson Martinez, 13-15, 15-7, 11-3

Mixed Doubles - Semi-finals

Daniel De La Rosa & Michelle De La Rosa d. Daniel Bautista & Lucia Gonzalez, 15-3, 15-10
Paola Longoria & Edson Martinez d. Andree Parrilla & Jessica Parrilla, 15-6, 15-7

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Salas defeats Longoria to win 2018 LPRT Battle at the Alamo

Samantha Salas defeated Paola Longoria, 5-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-4, to win the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Battle at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, which was an outcome that did not seem likely after Longoria - the LPRT’s #1 player - was dominant in the first two games. But just as she had in their last LPRT match back in June 2017 in Chihuahua, Mexico, Salas came back from 0-2 down to win in five games to collect her 3rd career title.

Salas and Longoria teamed to win the LPRT Doubles title in San Antonio. They beat Alexandra Herrera and Monserrat Mejia in the final, 15-6, 15-2.

Salas did get the first three points of the singles final, but Longoria tied it at 4-4, and then took over the match, as she outscored Salas 18-7 from that point until the end of game two, winning both game one and two 11-5.

However, Salas kept fighting, and again took the early lead in game three, 4-1. Longoria responded, and tied the game, 4-4, and then took the lead 5-4. From there they were back and forth, tying each other at 6-6, 7-7 and 9-9.

Salas got the serve back at that point, when Longoria uncharacteristically skipped a forehand pinch shot, which was unforced. Longoria pinched the ball well during the match. Salas got to game point with a backhand winner, but she skipped her first game point trying to go for a forehand pinch winner.

She got the serve right back, though, but needed to appeal for a two bounce get by Longoria to do so. The line judges overturned the referee’s call of a good get by Longoria. Salas won game three on her second game point when Longoria skipped a backhand shot.

From there, Salas never trailed, and was only tied with Longoria at 1-1 in game four. Longoria did get within one of Salas at 8-7 and 10-9 late in game four, which made for a nervy finish. But Salas used lob Z serves to the left side - Longoria’s backhand to finish off game four, winning it when Longoria skipped a forehand shot.

In game five, Salas jumped out to a 7-0 lead and then 9-1. Longoria did get some points but was only cut it to 9-4 before Salas reached match point at 10-4 with a forehand cross court shot that cracked out on the left side. Then after a short drive serve, Salas hit another lob Z to the left, and it led to a set up on the right side, and she flat rolled a forehand for the victory.

The LPRT) Battle at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, as they won their respective singles semi-finals, and are in the doubles final together. This will be their first meeting on tour since last June in Chihuahua, Mexico, when Salas came back from two games down to defeat Longoria in the semi-finals. Salas went on to win the event for her 2nd LPRT title.

In the semi-finals, Longoria, the LPRT’s #1 player, defeated Maria Vargas in three games, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9, and Salas beat Natalia Mendez, 12-10, 11-4, 11-6.

Although Vargas had leads in both game two and three against Longoria, it didn’t really feel like she was going to win the match. In game two, Vargas was up 5-2, but Longoria tied it at 5-5 and went ahead 7-5. However, Vargas fought back, and tied it at 9-8.

Longoria tied it again at 9-9, but it took six rallies, which was indicative of how long game two was. They played 32 rallies to go from 5-5 to the end, which did come on Longoria’s first game point, as she hit a great forehand splat from deep in the court. It was the kind of shot that when you see it, you’re not sure if it was good, but know that if it was good it was great, as it rolled at the front wall.

Vargas was undaunted, as she took a 5-1 lead in game three. But again they played a lot of rallies - 22 in fact - to just have scored 6 points. Longoria worked her way back into the game, and tied Vargas at 7-7.

When Longoria got to 8-7, Vargas took a timeout. But four rallies later Longoria was on match point at 10-7. Characteristic for the match was that the end didn’t come quickly, as Vargas fought off two match points and closed the gap to one at 10-9.

Longoria called a timeout at that point, and got the serve back with a winning backhand pinch serve return off a poor 2nd serve lob to the left by Vargas. However, Vargas again fought off Longoria’s third match point with a backhand winner.

Longoria prevented Vargas from tying the match with a forehand winner, and then with her fourth match point, she hit a forehand winner to get to her 7th LPRT final this season. Longoria is undefeated this season. .

Salas, like Longoria, was tested in her match against Mendez, but always seemed like she was going to carry the day. Mendez had a chance to make it otherwise, as she had two game points in game one, but couldn’t finish get that last point, as Salas came back from 10-7 down to win 12-10.

In game two, Mendez had the early lead at 4-1, only to see Salas score 10 unanswered points. Again in game three, Mendez held the lead at 4-0 and 6-3, and Salas closed it out with 8 unanswered points to win 11-6.

Neither of the doubles semi-finals were close. Top seeds Longoria and Salas defeated Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros, 15-6, 15-9, and 2nd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Monserrat Mejia beat Ana Laura Flores and Jessica Parrilla, 15-4, 15-2, so it’ll be #1 versus #2 in the final.

The singles final will be Sunday at noon with the doubles final to follow. All times Central. Check out the LPRT Facebook page for the action or the LPRT LiveStream channel.

2018 Battle at the Alamo
San Antonio, Texas - April 20-22, 2018

LPRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria d. 12 Maria Vargas, 11-7, 11-9, 11-9
6 Samantha Salas d. 7 Natalia Mendez, 12-10, 11-4, 11-6

LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria v. 6 Samantha Salas - Noon

LPRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 4 Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros, 15-6, 15-9
2 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia d. 3 Ana Laura Flores & Jessica Parrilla, 15-4, 15-2

LPRT Doubles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 2 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia - 1:05 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….