Monday, August 20, 2012

2012-13 LPRT Season Preview

Women's pro racquetball will have a different look in 2012-13 as the Ladies Pro Racquetball Tour (LPRT) has replaced the Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO). But the season schedule looks like it will be largely the same as last season, and it kicks off this coming weekend with the Texas Open in Dallas.

Thus, we've got a review of last season for you, first by player and then by event.

WPRO Rank - Player - Wins - 2nds - Semi-finals - Quarter-finals

1) Paola Longoria, 7 wins
2) Rhonda Rajsich, 1 wins, 7 seconds
3) Kerri Wachtel, 5 semi, 3 quarters
4) Krystal Csuk, 3 semis, 3 quarters
5) Adrienne Fisher, 2 semis, 4 quarters

6) Susy Acosta, 1 semis, 4 quarters
7) Jennifer Saunders, 6 quarters
8) Cristina Amaya, 5 quarters
9) Kristen Bellows, 2 semis, 2 quarters
10) Cheryl Gudinas, 2 semis, 2 quarters

11) Da'monique Davis, 2 quarters
12) Samantha Salas, 1 second, 1 semi-final
24) Angela Grisar, 1 quarter

2011-2012 (Tier 1 and Grand Slam Events)
Event - Final - Semi Finalists

Texas Open - Rajsich d. Salas, Semis: Gudinas, Wachtel
US Open - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Salas, Wachtel
Puget Sound - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Acosta, Bellows
Christmas Classic - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Fisher, Csuk
California Open - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Fisher, Wachtel
Denver - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Csuk, Wachtel
San Antonio - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Gudinas, Bellows
SCS Title & Escrow Pro-Am - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Csuk, Wachtel

Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO)
2011-12 Statistical Abstract

Matches going 3 games:
97 (56.7%)
Matches going 4 games: 46 (26.9%)
Matches going 5 games: 25 (14.6%)
Total matches: 171 (1 result an injury forfeit)

Most Points in a match: 102 by Kristen Bellows & Susana Acosta at San Antonio, where Bellows won 12-10, 11-13, 5-11, 11-7, 12-10
2nd Most Points in a match: 99 by Mercedes Arias & Tracy Hawthorne at Christmas Classic, where Arias won 14-16, 4-11, 11-9, 12-10, 11-1

Fewest points in a match: 36 in Cheryl Gudinas's victory over Debbie Beldring, 11-0, 11-1, 11-2 in the US Open
2nd fewest: 37 on four occasions: (i) Rhonda Rajsich d. Sharon Jackson at Texas Open, 11-4, 11-0, 11-0, (ii) Paola Longoria d. Grace Hughes at Christmas Classic, 11-1, 11-0, 11-3, (iii) Paola Longoria d. Sarah Warhaftig at Denver, 11-4, 11-0, 11-0, and (iv) Paola Longoria d. Sarah Warhaftig at Herndon, 11-0, 11-1, 11-3

Most Points in a win: 53 by Angela Grisar v. Adrienne Fisher at Texas Open
2nd Most Points in a win: 52 by Mercedes Arias v. Tracy Hawthorne at Christmas Classic

Most Points in a loss: 51 by Susana Acosta v. Kristen Bellows at San Antonio
2nd Most Points in a loss: 49 by Grace Hughes v. Islhey Paredes Guillen at Denver
3rd Most Points in a loss: 47 by Tracy Hawthorne v. Mercedes Arias at Christmas Classic

Smallest difference in total points between match winner & loser:
-3 on three occasions: (i) Islhey Paredes Guillen d. Grace Hughes at Denver, 11-9, 3-11, 11-7, 8-11, 13-11, (ii) Paola Longoria d. Rhonda Rajsich at Herndon, 7-11, 3-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8, & (iii) Da'Monique Davis d. Carla Muñoz at Texas Open, 11-9, 1-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4
2nd smallest difference in total points:
-2 by Krystal Csuk d. Keely Franks at Herndon, 3-11, 11-4, 2-11, 11-6, 11-8

Will Longoria's Dominance Continue?

In last year's preview, we wrote of a rivalry between Paola Longoria and Rhonda Rajsich, and they did meet in 7 of the 8 finals last season. But Longoria won all seven of those matches, as well as their meetings in last year's Pan Am Games and this summer's World Championships.

Thus, Longoria has become the dominant women's racquetball player.

Will that continue? It's difficult to see a reason why it wouldn't, especially as Longoria is also the youngest player in the top 10. She's 11 years younger than Rajsich, 14 years younger than Wachtel, 6 years younger than Csuk, and 22 years younger than Gudinas.

Last year, Samantha Salas looked a likely rival for Longoria, but then Salas's season got derailed with a shoulder injury. If Salas is healthy, then she could be a rival for Longoria.

Other young players who might be able to step up their games are Jessica Parrilla, who defeated Gudinas in the team event at Worlds, and Frédérique Lambert, who beat Rajsich in the Pan Am Championships earlier this year.

We'd like to say there's a young American player (or players) who could possibly be a rival, but none have had breakthrough performances like Parrilla and Lambert, so we can't say that.

Off court changes: It's the LPRT now, not the WPRO

The biggest change in the off-season has been the announcement that the WPRO has been replaced with the LPRT. It's not entirely clear what this will mean in practice other than that Gigi Rock, who was the WPRO Commissioner last season after replacing Sharon Feaster, is no longer involved.

According to the LRPT website, which is only one page currently, there will be 11 LPRT events this season. Most of the events from last season are back this season with the additions of event in Mexico, Dayton, Ohio and Overland Park, Kansas.

And it all begins this weekend in Dallas with the Texas Open.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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