Sunday, August 26, 2012

Longoria wins 2012 LPRT Texas Open

A new season, a new name, but the same outcome as Paola Longoria won the Texas Open - the first event of the 2012-13 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) season, and did so by defeating Rhonda Rajsich in the final, 11-8, 11-2, 12-14, 12-10.

After winning the first game, Longoria was on a roll in game two, drive serving early in that game and then switching to half lob serves, as Rajsich seemed to have lost the plot. It looked like Longoria would win in three games.

But Rajsich dug down and used a variety of serves to try to keep Longoria off balance, and had an early lead in game three at 5-2. But Longoria went back to drive serving and regained the lead at 6-5. Rajsich then ran the score to 10-7, but couldn't finish on her first game point.

That opened the door for Longoria to put together another streak, and she ran off four points to have her first match point at 11-10. The streak was stopped by a short serve, which Rajsich won on appeal after the referee didn't call it short.

Rajsich tied it at 11 with a between the legs shot over to the right side, as she was jammed when the ball came right at her in the middle of the court. But it was Longoria that got to 12 first, giving her another match point, but again she didn't convert it.

Rajsich got the serve back and tied it at 12-12, and on the next rally Rajsich hit Longoria with her racquet after following through with her backhand, as they were both in center court. It was inadvertent contact and Longoria took a few minutes of injury time.

When they continued Rajsich was able to finish off the game, 14-12, to force a fourth game.

Longoria didn't seem adversely effected by the injury, and started out game four stronger than Rajsich as Longoria took a 6-3 lead, using half lob serves. She got three more points to make it 9-3 before Rajsich called a timeout.

Rajsich got the serve back after the timeout and scored two points to make it 9-5. But Longoria regained the serve, and scored a point to again have a match point chance at 10-5.

But again Longoria didn't get it done, as Rajsich regained the serve and then came back to tie the score at 10-10. It looked like the first LPRT final of the season would be going tie-breaker.

Longoria had other ideas though, and she used her drive serve to finish off game four 12-10 and win the match.

The win continues Longoria's winning streak, as she hasn't lost since April 2011 in Stockton, Calif, when Rajsich beat her in the final.

The next LPRT event will a satellite event at the 3 Wallball World Championships September 19-23 in Las Vegas, which is an outdoor event, and then the US Open October 3-7 in Minneapolis.

LPRT 2012 Texas Open, Dallas, Texas


Paola Longoria d. Rhonda Rajsich, 11-8, 11-2, 12-14, 12-10

Follow the bouncing ball....

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