Thursday, November 15, 2012

IRF World Junior Championships - Girl's Quarter finals

Aisling Hickey of Ireland was the big winner of the girl's quarter final matches at the 24th International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Junior Racquetball Championships in Canoga Park, California Thursday, as she defeated the #1 seed in Girl's U18 American Samantha Simmons, 15-4, 15-4. This means Hickey will be getting at least a bronze medal, and The Racquetball Blog believes she's the first Irish player to medal in singles at World Juniors.

Irish players have got bronze medals in doubles the last three World Junior tournaments, and twice Hickey was involved, getting bronze in Girl's U16 doubles in 2010 (with Katie Kenny) and 2009 (with Ciara Mcmanamon).

But to get to the final this year Hickey will have to defeat last year's U18 silver medalist Maria Jose Vargas of Bolivia, as Vargas defeated Mariana Tobon of Venezuela, 15-2, 15-6, on Thursday.

In the other U18 quarter final matches, American Kelani Bailey beat Ana Cristina Velez of Ecuador, 15-5, 15-5, and Bolivian Adriana Riveros Alexandra Herrera of Mexico, 15-8, 15-2.

There were three upsets in the Girl's U16 quarter finals, and the home country players were victims in two of those matches.
Canadian Michèle Morissette defeated 2nd seeded American Rebecca Nielsen, 15-13, 15-10, while 4/5 match went to 5th seed Maria Renee Rodriguez of Guatemala over 4th seed Kaitlin Simmons (USA), 15-2, 15-9.

Rodriguez will play top seed Ximena Gonzalez of Mexico, who defeated Bolivian Mariana Lopez, 15-4, 15-10, in one semi-final on Friday, while Morissette will play 6th seed Natalia Mendez of Bolivia, who defeated 3rd seed Lucia Gonzalez of Mexico, 15-13, 15-12.

The top four seeds in Girl's U14 all won their respective quarter final matches Thursday, and they all did it in two straight games.

Top seed Natalia Mendez of Bolivia defeated American Lexi York, 15-0, 15-7, but York's team-mate Erika Manilla (USA) won her match against Andrea Martinez of Guatemala, 15-5, 15-13. Mendez and Manilla will play each other in the semi-finals on Friday.

The other semi-final will be between Costa Rican Melina Sauma and Mexican Diana Aguilar after they won their respective quarter finals. Sauma was a winner against Mexican Ana Gasca, 15-5, 15-14, while Aguilar defeated Sofia Soley of Costa Rica, 15-3, 15-12.

The players in the other girl's divisions are still to play on Thursday.

The elimination round continues Thursday with the finals on Saturday. There is live streaming of some of the matches from California via the IRF website.

24th IRF World Junior Racquetball Championships
Canoga Park, California

Girl's U18 - Quarter finals

8. Aisling Hickey (Ireland) d. 1. Samantha Simmons (USA), 15-4, 15-4
4. Maria Jose Vargas (Bolivia) d. 5. Mariana Tobon (Venezuela), 15-2, 15-6

3. Kelani Bailey (USA) d. 6. Ana Cristina Velez (Ecuador), 15-5, 15-5
2. Adriana Riveros (Bolivia) v. 7. Alexandra Herrera (Mexico), 15-8, 15-2

Girl's U18 - Semi-finals

4. Maria Jose Vargas (Bolivia) v. 8. Aisling Hickey (Ireland)
2. Adriana Riveros (Bolivia) v. 3. Kelani Bailey (USA)

Girl's U16 - Quarter finals

1. Ximena Gonzalez (Mexico) d. 8. Mariana Lopez (Bolivia), 15-4, 15-10
5. Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) d. 4. Kaitlin Simmons (USA), 15-2, 15-9

6. Natalia Mendez (Bolivia) d. 3. Lucia Gonzalez (Mexico), 15-13, 15-12
10. Michèle Morissette (Canada) d. 2. Rebecca Nielsen (USA), 15-13, 15-10

Girl's U16 - Semi-finals

1. Ximena Gonzalez (Mexico) v. 5. Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala)
6. Natalia Mendez (Bolivia) v. 10. Michèle Morissette (Canada)

Girl's U14 - Quarter finals

1. Natalia Mendez (Bolivia) d. 9. Lexi York (USA), 15-0, 15-7
4. Erika Manilla (USA) d. 12. Andrea Martinez (Guatemala), 15-5, 15-13

3. Melina Sauma (Costa Rica) d. 6. Ana Gasca (Mexico), 15-5, 15-14
2. Diana Aguilar (Mexico) d. 7. Sofia Soley (Costa Rica), 15-3, 15-12

Girl's U14 - Semi-finals

1. Natalia Mendez (Bolivia) v. 4. Erika Manilla (USA)
2. Diana Aguilar (Mexico) v. 3. Melina Sauma (Costa Rica)

Follow the bouncing ball....

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