Tuesday, August 27, 2013

LPRT 2013-14 Season Preview

The professional racquetball season begins this weekend with the first Ladies Pro Racquetball Tour (LPRT) event of the season: the Stockton Pro-Am in Stockton, California. Thus, it's a good time to review what happened last season.

2012-13 LPRT Season (Tier 1 and Grand Slam Events)

LPRT Rank - Player - Wins - 2nds - Semi-finals - Quarter-finals
1) Paola Longoria, 11 wins
2) Rhonda Rajsich, 8 seconds, 2 semi-finals, 1 quarter-final
3) Samantha Salas, 2 second, 3 semis, 4 quarters
4) Susy Acosta, 5 semis, 3 quarters

5) Cheryl Gudinas, 4 semis, 4 quarters
6) Adrienne Fisher, 1 second, 1 semi, 2 quarters
7) Grace Hughes, 2 semis, 4 quarters
8) Kerri Wachtel, 1 semi, 3 quarters

9) Cristina Amaya, 4 quarters
10) Maria Jose Varga, 1 semi, 4 quarters
11) Krystal Csuk, 1 semi, 3 quarters
12) Da'monique Davis, 3 quarters

13) Jennifer Saunders, 4 quarters
14) T. J. Baumbaugh, 1 quarter
15) Jackie Paraiso, 1 semi, 1 quarter
16) Veronica Sotomayor, 1 semi

20) Maria Paz Muñoz, 1 quarter
24) Masiel Rivera, 1 quarter
27) Kristen Bellows, 1 quarter

2012-2013 (Tier 1 and Grand Slam Events)
Event - Final - Semi Finalists

Ektelon Texas Open Final - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Csuk, Wachtel
US Open Final - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Sotomayor, Salas
Albierto Mexicano Final - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Salas, Paraiso
Puget Sound Challenge - Longoria d. Fisher, Semis: Hughes, Gudinas
Christmas Classic Final - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Acosta, Gudinas
Wilson Tour for Hope Final - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Hughes, Acosta
Winter Classic Final - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Acosta, Fisher
Southern California Regionals Final - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Vargas, Acosta
Battle of the Alamo Final - Longoria d. Salas, Semis: Gudinas, Rajsich
SCS Title & Escrow Pro-Am Final - Longoria d. Rajsich, Semis: Salas, Acosta
Ektelon Nationals Final - Longoria d. Salas, Semis: Gudinas, Rajsich

Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT)
2012-13 Statistical Abstract

Matches going 3 games: 149 (59.8)
Matches going 4 games: 63 (25.3%)
Matches going 5 games: 25 (12.9%)
Total matches: 249 171 (3 results were forfeits & 2 matches have missing data)

Most Points in a match: 99 by Grace Hughes & Cristina Amaya at Reseda, Calif., where Hughes won 9-11, 10-12, 15-13, 11-3, 11-4
2nd Most Points in a match: (i) 98 by Cheryl Gudinas & Maria Jose Vargas at Christmas Classic, where Gudinas won 8-11, 11-4, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9, & (ii) Marian Tobon & Hailey Miller at Cincinnati, where Tobon won 13-11, 11-3, 11-13, 3-11, 12-10

Fewest points in a match: 34 in (i) Samantha Salas's victory over Cecilia Orozco, 11-0, 11-0, 11-1 in the Albierto Mexicano, & (ii) Cristina Amaya's victory over Heather Olson, 11-0, 11-0, 11-1, in the Texas Open

Most Points in a win: 56 by Grace Hughes v. Cristina Amaya at Reseda, Calif.
2nd Most Points in a win: 55 by Cheryl Gudinas v. Grace Hughes at Christmas Classic

Most Points in a loss: 50 by (i) Da'monique Davis v. Grace Hughes in Fullerton, Calif., and (ii) Maria Jose Vargas v. Samantha Salas in San Antonio

Smallest difference in total points between match winner & loser: -12 when Samantha Salas d. Maria Jose Vargas, 0-11, 13-11, 11-6, 2-11, 13-11, in San Antonia
2nd smallest difference in total points: -9 when Adrienne Fisher d. Frédérique Lambert, 0-11, 11-7, 11-8, 4-11, 13-11, in Reseda, Calif.

Longoria most dominant player on tour

Prior to last season, we wrote "it's difficult to see a reason why" Paola Longoria wouldn't continue to be the dominant LPRT player, and that's even truer this season, as Longoria swept the table last season, winning all 11 events.

If she does that again this season, Longoria will have 44 career wins, which would put her behind only Lynn Adams on the all-time women's pro racquetball list (according to our stats, which could be incomplete). She currently sits 4th on that list with 33 wins behind Adams (45), Michelle Gould (41) and Cheryl Gudinas (39).

This begs the question: ts there anyone who can defeat Longoria, who hasn't lost since May 2011?

Rhonda Rajsich is the #2 LPRT player, but she never forced Longoria to five games in any of their finals last season and only got to a fourth game three times in eight matches. Thus, Rajsich seems to be significantly behind Longoria.

Rajsich is 35 and Longoria 24, so time isn't on Rajsich's side. However, we still think it's possible for Rajsich to defeat Longoria, although she'll need to be re-doubling her efforts from last season.

Although Longoria was the dominant player last season, there were more semi-finalists and more quarter finalists than in 2011-12. There were 12 different semi-finalists in 2012-13 (Longoria, Rajsich, Salas, Acosta, Gudinas, Fisher, Hughes, Wachtel, Vargas, Csuk, Paraiso & Sotomayor) up from eight in 2011-12 (Longoria, Rajsich, Wachtel, Csuk, Fisher, Acosta, Bellows & Gudinas).

Moreover, 19 players reached the quarter finals last season, which was six more than the season before.

Thus, although there's a dominant player on the LPRT there also seems to be greater depth in the field. Add to that the creation of the LPRT Scholarship, which will be help six young players - Carolina Luque, Sharon Jackson, Michelle Key, Maria Renee Rodriguez, Aubrey Kirch O'Brien & Ceci Orozco - play on tour this season, and it's possible that the 2013-14 season could be the most competitive in some time.

And it begins Friday in Stockon, California.

Follow the bouncing ball....


Anonymous said...

Great summary, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great summary, thanks!