Wednesday, February 18, 2015

LPRT 2015 Winter Classic Preview

The 10th Annual Winter Classic goes this weekend in Overland Park, Kansas, and once again it’s a Tier 1 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) event. Eighteen players are in the draw, including 13 of the top 15 LPRT players, including LPRT #1 Paola Longoria, #2 Maria Jose Vargas, and #3 Rhonda Rajsich, who have all had wins on tour this season.

Also in the draw is 10th seed Veronica Sotomayor, who’s missed the last few events. She’ll face veteran Cheryl Gudinas in the Round of 16 with the winner likely to play Vargas in the quarterfinals.

Also of note in the the draw, there are only two players over 30 years of age - Rajsich and Gudinas - so the field is one of the youngest in years. The LPRT youth movement has been helped by their scholarship program, which helps younger players to compete on tour. It’s a great program for the players, but also for the tour, as it raises the quality of the play, which makes it more attractive to the fans.

And the quality is there in Kansas, as there are eight players who were World Junior Champions in Girl’s U18, including the current Girl’s U18 World Junior Champion Alexandra Herrera. The other seven are Longoria (2007, 2008), Rajsich (1996) and Vargas (2012), as well as Adrienne Haynes (2002, 2003), Michelle Key (2006), Frédérique Lambert (2011), Samantha Salas (2004).

The action starts Friday afternoon and evening. Matches can be viewed via the LPRT Network.

LPRT 10th Annual Winter Classic
February 20-22, 2015 - Overland Park, Kansas

First Round

16) Maria Paz Muñoz v. 17) Kimberly Thomas
15) Carlos Muñoz v. 18) Cecilia Orozco

Round of 16 (seedings)

1) Paola Longoria v. 16) Maria Paz Muñoz or 17) Kimberly Thomas
8) Da'monique Davis v. 9) Michelle Key

5) Frédérique Lambert v. 12) Sheryl Lotts
4) Samantha Salas v. 13) Alexandra Herrera

3) Rhonda Rajsich v. 14) Adrienne Haynes
6) Cristina Amaya v, 11) Sofia Rascon

7) Cheryl Gudinas v. 10) Veronica Sotomayor
2) Maria Jose Vargas v. 15) Carlos Muñoz v. 18) Cecilia Orozco

Follow the bouncing ball....

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