Thursday, April 16, 2015

LPRT Mile High Pro-Am Preview

The draw for this weekend's Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) the Mile High Pro/Am in Denver has been released. There are several interesting potential matches in a field that has 18 of the top 21 LPRT players, including the top 14 players.

The biggest question may be can anyone defeat Paola Longoria, the LPRT's #1 player, who has won seven LPRT events this season. She's been defeated twice - by LPRT #3 Rhonda Rajsich and LPRT #4 Frédérique Lambert, which is twice more than she lost in the previous three seasons.

Thus, Longoria's the favourite anytime she's in the draw.

But aside from her matches there are others to look for in Denver. One is a potential quarterfinal battle between Lambert and 5th ranked Samantha Salas. They are very close in the rankings, and although Lambert is narrowly ahead of Salas, she's never defeated the Salas. She'd love to do so in Denver.

Other potential matches of interest include Cristina Amaya versus Veronica Sotomayor. Amaya is the higher ranked player, but Sotomayor defeated her earlier this month in the semi-finals of the Pan American Championships. Thus, Amaya will want to win for revenge, and Sotomayor will want to show that win wasn't a fluke.

Then there will be some Round of 16 matches that will have implications for the US Team race between Da'monique Davis, Michelle Key and Cheryl Gudinas. Davis plays Mexican Sofia Rason in the 8/9 match, and that will be a close one. Key and Gudinas will play in the 16 provided Gudinas defeats unranked Andrea Martinez Gonzalez.

USA Racquetball awards two spots on its National Team to the two highest ranked LPRT players at season's end. Rajsich will claim one of those spots, and the second is down to Davis, Key and Gudinas with Sheryl Lotts having an outside chance.

Key is currently ahead in the race, but it's close, so an outstanding performance by any of the four in Denver could give them an advantage going into the last two events of the season: next weekend's Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, and then the Ektelon Pro Nationals in Herndon, Virginia May 15-17.

With the world's top racquetball players in Denver, there are sure to be excellent matches all weekend long. If you're not there, you can watch the action via the LPRT Network.

LPRT Mile High Pro-Am
Denver, Colorado

(with seeding)

Round of 32

1 Paola Longoria - BYE
16 Kim Thomas v. 17 Lucia Gonzalez

9 Sofia Rascon - BYE
8 Da'monique Davis - BYE

5 Samantha Salas - BYE
12 Susana Acosta v. 21 Jordan Cooperrider

13 Sheryl Lotts v. 20 Gabriela Martinez
4 Frédérique Lambert - BYE

3 Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
14 Alexandra Herrera v. 19 T. J. Baumbaugh

11 Veronica Sotomayor v. 22 Erika Manilla
6 Cristina Amaya - BYE

7 Michelle Key - BYE
10 Cheryl Gudinas v. 23 Andrea Martinez Gonzalez

15 Adrienne Haynes v. 18 Maria Paz Muñoz
2 Maria Jose Vargas - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball....

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