Sunday, March 22, 2015

Longoria wins twice at LPRT CNRA State Singles

Paola Longoria was a double winner Sunday at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) CNRA State Singles Championships in Fountain Valley, California, as she won both the singles division and the doubles division with Samantha Salas.

In singles, Longoria, the LPRT’s #1 player, defeated Maria Jose Vargas, LPRT #2, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6, for her 7th title of the season. Five of those title have come against Vargas in the final.

Longoria had 4-1 leads in both games one and two, but Vargas came back and tied it up both times. In game one, there were tied at 5-5 and at 6-6 in game two. But Longoria held firm late in those games to take them.

She generally hit drive serves to Vargas, but the last point of game two came off a half lob serve to Vargas’s backhand, which resulted in a skipped return. Longoria returned to that serve early in game three, and went from a 4-3 lead to a 9-4 lead.

Vargas got a couple of points back after that, but Longoria wasn’t threatened as she closed it out in three straight games.

On paper the doubles final shouldn’t have been close, as it was Longoria and Salas - the reigning three time World Champions - against Cristina Amaya and Sofia Rascon, the 6th and 12th ranked LPRT players who had not played doubles together before this weekend.

However, the doubles final was a very competitive match that Longoria and Salas were fortunate to win in two games, 15-12, 15-13.

Amaya and Rascon led in the middle of game one, 7-4, but Longoria and Salas tied it at 10-10, and managed to stay in the lead after that. Game two was streaky, as Amaya and Rascon were up 3-1, down 7-3 and up again 11-7.

The World Champions came back to tie it 11-11, and then went ahead 12-11. They went back and forth from there, and thirteen rallies later, Amaya and Rascon were ahead 13-12.

But when Longoria and Salas got the serve back they scored three straight points to win the game and match. The last two points came from Salas. She hit a great forehand reverse pinch from high for the 14th point and then on a long scrabbly rally hit a ball that took a big bounce off the back wall, which Amaya went for but couldn’t make a play on. It wasn’t the prettiest end to a great match, but it counted.

For much of the match, Amaya hit off speed 1/2 z serves to Longoria (they were both playing the left side with their partners on the right), and it was effective, but late in game two the balls were goint more to the back wall rather than the side wall. That is, the ball wasn’t really making a z, so the serve wasn’t as effective as it had been earlier.

The LPRT’s next Tier 1 event is the Mile High Pro-Am in Denver April 17-19.

LPRT CNRA State Singles
March 20-22, 2015, Fountain Valley, California


1) Paola Longoria d. 2) Maria Jose Vargas, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6

Doubles - Final (seedings)

2) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 5) Cristina Amaya & Sofia Rascon, 15-12, 15-13

Follow the bouncing ball....

No comments: