They are in the second day of the preliminary round competition at the 20th World Junior Racquetball Championships hosted by the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The most interesting results so far come from the Girls 18 & under division. Maria Paz Munoz of Ecuador, who won Girls 16 & under in 2007, has won her first two games, defeating American Danielle Key, 15-12, 15-4, yesterday and Mexican Jessica Parrilla, 15-14, 14-15, 11-10, today.
Thus, Munoz will likely finish at the top of the group and get a favorable seeding for the elimination round. She'll play Pamela Sierra of Honduras on Thursday, but Sierra has lost to both Key and Parrilla, so Munoz will likely be victorious. Key and Parrilla will face off for second place in the group on Thursday.
In the other Girls 18 & under groups, Sheryl Lotts (USA) will likely finish first in group 1, as she has two wins and no losses. Lotts will play Jessica Maldonado of Mexico on Thursday, but Maldonado has one win and one loss.
Maldonado lost to Cristina Cordova of Ecuador, 15-7, 15-13, on Tuesday, and Lotts beat Cordova on Wednesday, 15-9, 15-6. So you'd expect Lotts would beat Maldonado Thursday, but funnier things have happened in sports, and a win for Maldonado could put her top of the group given that she would be tied with Lotts at 2 wins and 1 loss and won the head to head battle. Though if Cordova wins her match against the other player in the group, Marcela Segreda of Costa Rica, on Thursday then there would be a three way tie, and who knows who'll come out on top then.
In group 2 of Girls 18 & under, Yazmine Sabja of Bolivia and Christine Richardson of Canada both have 2 wins and no losses so their match on Thursday will determine who finishes 1st in the group.
Finally, Carolina Oña of Bolivia in control of group 4, as she has won both her matches. So a victory over Canadian Valérie Fallu on Thursday will put her in 1st. However, a Fallu victory could create another three way tie, as in group 1, if Majella Haverty of Ireland also defeats Chilean Carolina Troncoso in the other match on Thursday.
No huge surprises in the other age divisions so far.
The preliminary round concludes on Thursday with the elimination round beginning on Friday and running through the weekend. The finals are on Sunday.
Follow the bouncing ball....