Sunday, March 8, 2015

Lambert defeats Longoria to reach LPRT New Jersey Open final

Frédérique Lambert defeated Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) for the first time in her career in the semi-finals of the New Jersey Open in Warren, New Jersey, 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5. Lambert will play in her second LPRT final on Sunday against 2nd seed Maria Jose Vargas, who beat 3rd seed Rhonda Rajisch, 11-4, 2-11, 11-9, 11-4, in the other semi.

The final will be a rematch of the 2011 World Junior U18 Championship final, which Lambert won.

Longoria's loss is a major surprise. How surprising? Longoria has been in the final of every women's pro event she's entered since September 2009, when she lost in the semi-finals of the Texas Open to Kerri Wachtel (Rajsich defeated Wachtel in the final). Thus, it's more than four and a half years since Longoria has missed a pro final.

The semi-finalists were the top four seeds in the draw, so it was no surprise that they got there, although only Rajsich won her quarterfinal match in three straight games. Longoria, Lambert and Vargas all needed four games to advance to the semis.

Vargas will be trying to win her 2nd career LPRT event Sunday, while Lambert tries to capture her first. Vargas has been in eight finals, and won once, while Lambert is in her second career final. She lost to Longoria in the final of last year's New Jersey Open.

The final will be noon on Sunday, and can be viewed live via the LPRT Network.

LPRT New Jersey Open
March 6-8, 2015, Warren, New Jersey

Quarterfinals (seedings) - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria d. 8) Veronica Sotomayor, 8-11, 11-0, 11-3, 11-7
4) Frédérique Lambert d. 21) Ximena Gonzalez, 11-6, 12-10, 13-15, 11-7

3) Rhonda Rajsich d. 11) Sofia Rascon, 11-4, 11-2, 11-6
2) Maria Jose Vargas d. 10) Susana Acosta, 3-11, 11-5, 11-5, 11-2

Semi-finals (seedings) - Saturday

4) Frédérique Lambert d. 1) Paola Longoria, 11-7, 12-10, 7-11, 11-5
2) Maria Jose Vargas d. 3) Rhonda Rajsich, 11-4, 2-11, 11-9, 11-4

Final (seedings) - Sunday

2) Maria Jose Vargas v. 4) Frédérique Lambert - Noon EDT

Follow the bouncing ball....

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