Sunday, March 29, 2009

WPRO - Longoria wins Terrapin Shootout

Paola Longoria won the 2009 Terrapin Shootout in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the second last tournament on the Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) tour in a final lasting almost two hours, as she defeated the current WPRO #1 Rhonda Rajsich, 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8. With the win, it's believed Longoria will become the #1 WPRO player. She was #2 going into the Terrapin Shootout.

The first three games were all close, and Longoria hardly led at all in the match until she won game three. In game one, they were tied at 4, and then Rajsich managed to get a 9-5 advantage that she held to win 11-6. In that game, Rajsich often served a backhand half lob to Longoria's backhand, and throughout the match Rajsich mostly used half lob and lob serves.

Game two was neck and neck right up to 8-8. Then Rajsich, the current World Champion, finished it off at 11-8, and with a two games to none advantage, it looked like she would defend her #1 WPRO ranking.

Game three was also back and forth. Rajsich needed some injury time early on, as she got a cut on her little finger. But she was up 8-7, before Longoria regained the lead and took it to 10-7. Rajsich got one more point back before Longoria finished off game three 11-9.

In game four, Longoria took an early lead at 5-2, and increased it to 8-2, and 9-4 and then 10-7. But Rajsich wouldn't give in easily, and Longoria needed five chances to finish off the fourth game and force a tie-breaker, eventually winning game four 11-9.

In game five, Rajsich jumped out to a 4-0 lead, only to see Longoria get it all back and then some to lead 5-4. A few more rallies, and Rajsich took a time out, down 5-7. But the time out didn't halt Longoria's momentum as she continued to hit the ball confidently and took a 10-5 lead.

But Rajsich got the serve back, and got three quick points to get back into the game. The third of those points came on an avoidable hinder call against Longoria. At that point, still up 10-8, Longoria called a time out.

When play resumed, Longoria got the serve back, and finished off the game and match, winning game five 11-8.

In the match, Longoria hit primarily drive serves and drive Z serves to the left side, although she did lob serve some in game one.

The WPRO season will conclude next month with the Ektelon WPRO World Championships in Stockton, California, April 24-26.

WPRO Terrapin Shootout - Gaithersburg, Maryland

Paola Longoria d. Rhonda Rajsich, 6-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8

Follow the bouncing ball....

No comments: