Friday, April 22, 2011

PARC - 2011 Pan American Championships - Finals are set

Rhonda Rajsich (USA) defeated Paola Longoria (Mexico), the defending Pan American Champion, 15-11, 6-15, 11-5, in the semi-finals Friday at the XXIV Pan American Championships in Managua, Nicaragua. Rajsich and Longoria are the #2 and #1 players, respectively, on the Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) tour. It's the second consecutive international event that Rajsich has beaten Longoria at, as she also won at last year's World Championships in South Korea.

A Mexican may yet win women's singles though, as Samantha Salas ended Angela Grisar's (Chile) run in the tournament in convincing fashion, taking the mathc in two straight games 15-3, 15-0. Salas will play Rajsich on Saturday.

The top seed and defending champions are both out on the men's side as well, as they lost on Thursday. American Chris Crowther defeated top seed Gilberto Meija, 15-8, 15-8, while Canadian Vincent Gagnon took out last year's gold medalist Bolivian Ricardo Monroy, 5-15, 15-14, 11-5.

In the semi-finals Friday, Crowther beat Alejandro Herrera of Colombia, 15-1, 15-6, while Daniel De La Rosa of Mexico defeated Gagnon, 15-13, 15-4, to set up an American-Mexican standoff in the final on Saturday.

In men's doubles, the young American team of Jansen Allen and Tony Carson upset Canadian veterans Mike Green and Kris Odegard, 7-15, 15-13, 11-7. The Canadians were two points from the match, when they led 13-11 in game two, but the Americans wouldn't roll over helped by two successful appeals of Canadian shots.

In the tie-breaker, Allen and Carson got up early, leading 8-1. Green and Odegard came back to make it 9-7, but the Americans then finished it off, winning 11-7.

Allen and Carson will play another veteran team in the final, as Mexicans Javiar Moreno and Polo Gutierrez beat Daniel Maggi and Shai Manzuri of Argentina, 15-5, 15-8.

The top two seeds will meet in the women's doubles final, as Krystal Csuk and Rajsich (USA) beat Bolivians Jenny Daza and Carola Loma, 15-10, 15-7, in one semi-final and Mexicans Longoria and Salas beat Canadians Josee Grand'Maitre and Brandi Jacobson Prentice, 15-10, 15-0, in the other.

The draws from Nicaragua are available on line, and some of the matches can be seen via the Pan American Racquetball Confederation.

2011 Pan American Championships - Managua, Nicaragua

Women's Singles - Semi-finals

Rhonda Rajsich (USA) d. Paola Longoria (MEX), 15-11, 6-15, 11-5
Samantha Salas (MEX) d. Angela Grisar (CHILE), 15-0, 15-3

Men's Singles - Quarter finals - Thursday

Chris Crowther (USA) d. Gilberto Meija (MEX), 15-8, 15-8
Alejandro Herrera (COL) d. Cesar Castillo (VEN), 15-8, 5-15, 11-8

Daniel De La Rosa (MEX) d. Carols Keller (BOL), 15-2, 15-8
Vincent Gagnon (CAN) d. Ricardo Monroy (BOL), 5-15, 15-14, 11-5

Men's Singles - Quarter finals - Friday

Chris Crowther (USA) d. Alejandro Herrera (COL), 15-1, 15-6
Daniel De La Rosa (MEX) d. Vincent Gagnon (CAN), 15-13, 15-4

Women's Doubles - Semi-finals

Krystal Csuk & Rhonda Rajsich (USA) d. Jenny Daza & Carola Loma (BOL), 15-10, 15-7
Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (MEX) d. Josee Grand'Maitre & Brandi Jacobson Prentice (CAN), 15-10, 15-0

Men's Doubles - Semi-finals

Javiar Moreno & Polo Gutierrez (MEX) d. Daniel Maggi & Shai Manzuri (ARG), 15-5, 15-8
Jansen Allen & Tony Carson (USA) d. Mike Green & Kris Odegard (CAN), 7-15, 15-13, 11-7

Follow the bouncing ball....

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