Sunday, December 13, 2015

Longoria wins 24th Annual NES Associates Christmas Classic

Paola Longoria the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) put one of the most dominant performances you're ever likely to see on a racquetball court in the final of the 24th Annual NES Associates Christmas Classic in Arlington, Virginia, as she beat LPRT #2 Maria Jose Vargas, 11-1, 11-1, 11-0.

There were only twenty rallies in game one, 21 in game two and a mere 19 in the game three. Vargas only served four times in games one and three and six times in game two.

The omen for how the match would go came on the first rally, as Longoria hit a drive serve to the left - Vargas's backhand - for an ace. She hit one more ace that game, and three more in game two, as well as four service winners in the match.

Longoria also won the LPRT Doubles event with Alexandra Herrera, as they defeated Susana Acosta and Samantha Salas in the final, 15-8, 15-13, which featured two Mexican teams with one right handed and one left handed player.

In game one of the final, they were close early, and then tied at 6-6. From that point Herrera and Longoria got eight straight points, including six on consecutive rallies, which put them on game point at 14-6. Salas hit two winners to fend off the game points, and get the serve back.

Two skips by Herrera made the score 14-8, but the left-hander then hit two pinch winners to get the serve back. They won the game on the next rally, as Longoria hit a touch forehand pinch shot in the front court.

In game two, Acosta and Salas took an early lead at 3-0, but Herrera and Longoria came back and tied the game 3-3, and went ahead 7-5. Then Acosta and Salas scored the next six points to lead 12-7, and it looked like they were going to force a tie-breaker.

But Longoria got her side the serve back by cutting off an Acosta Z serve that was going to Herrera's side with a backhand down the line shot. With the serve back, Herrera hit a Z serve to Acosta that she didn't return, and followed that up with winners in three of the next four rallies. In the other of those rallies ended with a winner from Longoria, and the score was tied 12-12.

Another Longoria winner put them ahead 13-12. But Herrera was forced into skipping a forehand on the next rally, giving the serve back to Acosta and Salas, who tied the score at 13-13 after Acosta hit a forehand reverse pinch.

Salas then skipped a ball, losing their side the serve, so they called timeout.

But that didn't help Acosta and Salas, as Longoria hit a pinch shot from the front court to make it 14-13, and got the game winner with a forehand cross court shot that cracked out along the left side wall, 15-13.

The next LPRT event will be the Mercedes Benz of Cincinnati Pro-Am in Cincinnati, Ohio, January 29-31, 2016.

2015 24th Annual NES Associates Christmas Classic, December 11-13
Arlington, Virginia

Final - Singles

1) Paola Longoria d. 2) Maria Jose Vargas, 11-1, 11-1, 11-0

Final - Doubles

2) Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria d. 1) Susana Acosta & Samantha Salas, 15-8, 15-13

Follow the bouncing ball….

No comments: