Sunday, April 27, 2014

Longoria comes back to win LPRT's 2014 Battle of the Alamo

Paola Longoria came back from two games down to defeat Rhonda Rajsich, 6-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-7, and win the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas on Sunday. The win extends Longoria's tournament winning streak to 30 Tier 1 or Grand Slam events.

But for two games it looked like that streak was going to end, as Longoria was not sharp early in Sunday's final. Rajsich played well - though not outstandingly - and had a nice mix of serves against Longoria, including a drive serve ace to the right side that ended game two.

However, in game three Longoria began to look like the LPRT's #1 player, as she went out to a 8-0 lead against the #2 LPRT player, and went on to win that comfortably at 11-3.

With the momentum shifted, game four almost seemed to have more importance for Rajsich than Longoria, despite the face that Longoria needed to win it to extend the match to five games. Yet one had the sense that if Longoria won game four, she'd almost certainly take game five.

And again Longoria took the early lead at 5-1. Rajsich did close the gap at 6-3, but she may have been distracted by some calls that did not go her way despite appealing the referee's decisions (the LPRT does use line judges in their finals), as she never got closer than that with Longoria winning 11-5.

They were close early on in the tie-breaker, but Longoria proved her mettle once again as she took it 11-7.

It's the third time during Longoria's streak that she's comeback from 0-2 to win, and all have been against Rajsich. Also, Longoria's lost the first game of four of the last seven LPRT finals - three times to Rajsich and once to Maria Jose Vargas.

That's not a good pattern to be developing, but simultaneously Longoria is still winning, which is what matters in the end.

The 2013-14 LPRT season concludes next month in Herndon, Virginia with the 2014 Ektelon LPRT Pro Nationals on May 16-18.

The Battle of the Alamo - San Antonio, Texas
April 25-27, 2014
(with seeding)


1 Paola Longoria d. 2 Rhonda Rajsich, 6-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-7

Follow the bouncing ball....

No comments: