Thursday, April 2, 2015

Surprises on 2nd Elimination Day at 2015 Pan Am Championships

A wild day of racquetball at the XXVIII Pan American Racquetball Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic has seen both the Mexican Men's Singles players - Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa - bow out of the tournament in the quarterfinals, so Mexico will not medal in Men's Singles, when many would have thought they'd take gold and silver.

Both Beltran and De La Rosa lost in straight games. Beltran was defeated by Bolivian Carlos Keller, 15-12, 15-11, and Conrado Moscoso - silver medalist at last year's World Championships - beat De La Rosa, 15-14, 15-11.

The Bolivians will face the Americans in the semi-finals, as Jose Diaz defeated Noslen Jimenez of Cuba, 15-12, 15-6, and Jake Bredenbeck pulled out a dramatic tie-breaker against Colombian Sebastian Franco, 13-15, 15-7, 11-10. Thus, Bolivia and the USA will split the medals in Men's Singles.

Mexico has not been shut out of the Pan Am Championships medals in Men's Singles since at least 2006.

However, there won't be a medal for either of them in Women's Singles. Mexican Paola Longoria ousted the last Bolivian women in the draw, Carola Loma, 15-3, 15-4, and Veronica Sotomayor of Ecuador defeated the sole remaining American Rhonda Rajsich, 15-2, 11-15, 11-2, although Rajsich put up quite the battle, as she was down 11-3 in game two after losing the first. Then Rajsich scored 12 unanswered points to force a tie-breaker.

But in the breaker it was all Sotomayor, as she won it by a comfortable margin.

In the other Women's Singles quarterfinals, María José Vargas of Argentina defeated Maria Paz Muñoz of Ecuador, 15-3, 15-2, and Cristina Amaya of Colombia beat Samantha Salas of Mexico, 15-5, 6-15, 11-5. Thus, the medals in Women's Singles will be split between four countries.

Tie-breakers were the order of the day in doubles as of the eight quarterfinal matches in Men's and Women's Doubles six of them went tie-breaker.

On women's side, World Champions Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas of Mexico did not need a breaker, as they defeated Veronica Sotomayor and Maria Paz Muñoz of Ecuador, 15-9, 15-10. Mexico will play Colombia in the semi-finals, as Cristina Amaya and Carolina Gomez came back to beat Angela Grisar and Carla Muñoz of Chile, 9-15, 15-12, 11-7.

On the other side of the draw, Carola Loma and Adriana Riveros of Bolivia also came back to defeat Maria Renee Rodriguez and Ana Gabriela Martinez of Guatemala, 6-15, 15-7, 11-7. Bolivia will face Argentina in the semis, as Maria Jose Vargas and Véronique Guillemette overcame Americans Rhonda Rajsich and Sheryl Lotts, 15-7 9-15, 11-5.

Argentina was in control throughout game one against the USA, and they were ahead 5-0 early in game two. But both Americans were serving to Guillemette in game two, and they came back to tie it up at 5-5. They remained close until 9-9.

The Americans then edged ahead to make it 11-9. The Argentines got the serve back, but were unable to score, as Rajsich sided them out with a behind the back shot for a winner. Lotts then served four lobs to Guillemette, who was playing the left side with Vargas on the right, and they were going tie-breaker.

But in the breaker, Argentina led all the way. First at 2-0, then 5-3 and 6-4. The USA got within one at 6-5, but that was as close as they got, as Argentina won it 11-5.

The loss coupled with Rajsich's loss earlier in the day means the USA is shut out of medals in women's competition for the second consecutive Pan Am Championships. The USA won Women's Singles every year from 1988 to 2003, 14 in a row. In the 12 years since they've won only 4 times.

The story in Women's Doubles is similar. The USA won 11 straight from 1989 to 2001. Since then they've won 6 times in 14 years.

In Men's Doubles, top seeds Alvaro Beltran and Javier Moreno of Mexico dropped the first game of their quarter versus Americans Anthony Herrera and David Horn, but then recovered to win in three games, 7-15, 15-6, 11-6. The USA led initially in the breaker at 4-2. Then Mexico went ahead 6-4. The Americans tied it at 6-6, but couldn't get any more points despite regaining serve twice more.

Mexico will play the host nation in the semi-finals, as Dominicans Luis Perez and Ramon De Leon beat Colombians Sebastian Franco and Juan Carlos Torres, 15-11, 14-15, 11-8. The match ended when the Dominicans appealed a Torres serve return that the referee called good. The line-judges disagreed with the call, seeing the return as a skip.

Venezuelans Cesar Castro and Cesar Castillo defeated Daniel Maggi and Shai Manzuri of Argentina), 15-7, 15-9 (correction from earlier: Jorge Hirsekorn was in the group stage matches for Venezuela, but was injured and Venezuela was allowed to substitute in Castillo to replace him).

Venezuela will play a relatively young team in the semi-finals, as Costa Ricans Felipe Camacho and Teobaldo Fumero came back to beat Canadians Vincent Gagnon and Mike Green in three games, 2-15, 15-11, 11-8. After getting blown out in game one, Costa Rica took an early lead in game two at 6-2 and built it up to 13-4 and then 14-5.

The Canadians didn't quit, and looked like they might come all the way back with some great serving from Green. But they fell short, and a third game was needed.

In game three, Costa Rica again went up early at 3-0, and 6-2. They got to match point at 10-2. Then Canada scored four points to make it 10-6. Costa Rica called a timeout, but Canada scored two more points for 10-8.

Then Costa Rica got the serve back, and after going half down, Camacho was able to hit the winning shot: a forehand pinch into the front right corner to send them to the semis against Venezuala.

There is live streaming of matches Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Look for the link on the International Racquetball Federation website.

XXVIII Pan American Racquetball Championships
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic - March 28-April 4, 2015


Women's Singles - Quarterfinals

1) Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. 8) Carola Loma (Bolivia), 15-3, 15-4
4) María José Vargas (Argentina) v. 5) Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecuador), 15-3, 15-2

11) Cristina Amaya (Colombia) d. 3) Samantha Salas (Mexico), 15-5, 6-15, 11-5
7) Veronica Sotomayor (Ecuador) d. 2) Rhonda Rajsich (USA), 15-2, 11-15, 11-2

Women's Singles - Semi-finals

1) Paola Longoria (Mexico) v. 4) María José Vargas (Argentina)
7) Veronica Sotomayor (Ecuador) v. 11) Cristina Amaya (Colombia)

Men's Singles - Quarterfinals

8) Carlos Keller (Bolivia) d. 1) Alvaro Beltran (Mexico), 15-12, 15-11
5) Jake Bredenbeck (USA) d. 4) Sebastian Franco (Colombia), 13-15, 15-7, 11-10

6) Conrado Moscoso (Bolivia) d. 3) Daniel De La Rosa (Mexico), 15-14, 15-11
7) Jose Diaz (USA) d. 18) Noslen Jimenez (Cuba), 15-12, 15-6

Men's Singles - Semi-finals

5) Jake Bredenbeck (USA) v. 8) Carlos Keller (Bolivia)
6) Conrado Moscoso (Bolivia) v. 7) Jose Diaz (USA)

Women's Doubles - Quarterfinals

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mexico) d. 8) Veronica Sotomayor & Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecuador), 15-9, 15-10
4) Cristina Amaya & Carolina Gomez (Colombia) d. 5) Angela Grisar & Carla Muñoz (Chile), 9-15, 15-12, 11-7

6) Maria Jose Vargas & Véronique Guillemette (Argentina) d. 3) Rhonda Rajsich & Sheryl Lotts (USA), 15-7 9-15, 11-5
2) Carola Loma & Adriana Riveros (Bolivia) d. 7) Maria Renee Rodriguez & Ana Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala), 6-15, 15-7, 11-7

Women's Doubles - Semi-finals

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mexico) v. 4) Cristina Amaya & Carolina Gomez (Colombia)
2) Carola Loma & Adriana Riveros (Bolivia) v. 6) Maria Jose Vargas & Véronique Guillemette (Argentina)

Men's Doubles - Quarterfinals

1) Alvaro Beltran & Javier Moreno (Mexico) d. 8) Anthony Herrera & David Horn (USA), 7-15, 15-6, 11-6
5) Luis Perez & Ramon De Leon (Dominican Rep.) d. 4) Sebastian Franco & Juan Carlos Torres (Colombia), 15-11, 14-15, 11-8

3) Felipe Camacho & Teobaldo Fumero (Costa Rica) d. 6) Vincent Gagnon & Mike Green (Canada), 2-15, 15-11, 11-8
2) Cesar Castro & Cesar Castillo (Venezuela) d. 7) Daniel Maggi & Shai Manzuri (Argentina), 15-7, 15-9

Men's Doubles - Semi-finals

1) Alvaro Beltran & Javier Moreno (Mexico) v. 5) Luis Perez & Ramon De Leon (Dominican Rep.)
2) Cesar Castro & Cesar Castillo (Venezuela) d. 3) Felipe Camacho & Teobaldo Fumero (Costa Rica)

Follow the bouncing ball....

1 comment:

Leafsfan rff said...

Hi do you know which countries qualified for the 2015 Pan American Games?