Saturday, February 13, 2016

Ruiz & Tisinger, Bredenbeck & Diaz win USA Racquetball Doubles Championships

Aimee Ruiz and Janel Tisinger won their 3rd USA Women’s Doubles title in four years Saturday at the USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships in Tempe, Arizona, but it was by the narrowest of margins possible, as only a single point separated them and Rhonda Rajsich and Sheryl Lotts. After splitting the first two games 15-12 each - Ruiz and Tisinger winning the first and Rajsich and Lotts the second, Ruiz and Tisinger squeaked out the tie-breaker, 11-10.

It looked like Ruiz and Tisinger would win in two straight games, as they were ahead for most of game two, leading 8-2 and 12-9. But Lotts and Rajsich scored six straight points to win game two and force a tie-breaker.

Lotts and Rajsich’s scoring streak continued in the breaker, as they took a 7-0 lead, and it looked like Rajsich would win the title for second consecutive year; she won it last year with Kim Waselenchuk.

However, Rajsich was forced into skipping a shot that gave the serve back to Ruiz and Tisinger, who proceeded to score eight straight points, to go from 0-7 down to 8-7 up. Perhaps the shot of the match came during that streak, when a ball came out of the back right corner that Tisinger turned on and hit a flat backhand pinch shot to the front left corner.

From that point, the teams went back and forth. Rajsich tied it at 8-8 with a backhand reverse pinch, and Lotts put them ahead, 9-8, with a drive z to Tisinger on the right side that wasn’t returned. Ruiz’s shot of the match came on the next rally, when she hit a side-side-front shot that died in the front right corner.

A Tisinger kill shot get them the serve back, and Ruiz tied it at 9-9 with a touch shot in the front court. Lotts and Tisinger traded winning pinch shots, with Tisinger’s making the score 10-9. Lotts hit another winner - a cross court shot - to get the serve back, and keep the match going.

Rajsich tied the score at 10-10 with a backhand down the line, but they couldn’t get the match winning point, as Tisinger hit two winners. Then it was Rajsich’s turn to stave off elimination with a cross court shot.

But on the next rally, Lotts skipped a forehand shot that gave Ruiz and Tisinger their 11th point, and a ticket to Cali, Colombia for the 2016 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships this July, when Ruiz will try to win her 3rd World Championship in Women’s Doubles, but first with Tisinger.

It was a long match. Game one was 30 min, game two 24 min and game three was 19 min. In game three, Rajsich made the most winners with eight, followed by Tisinger with six. Lotts and Ruiz both hit five winners each. But perhaps significantly, Lotts and Rajsich each made three errors, while Ruiz and Tisinger only made three errors combined (two by Tisinger and one by Ruiz).

Joining them on Team USA should be Jake Bredenbeck and Jose Diaz, who won their first USA Racquetball Doubles title by defeating Jansen Allen and Rocky Carson in two close games, 15-14, 15-11. Allen was going for his second consecutive title, and third overall, and Carson was trying to win his ninth. But they will have to wait for another year to add to their championship trophy case, as the young team of Bredenbeck and Diaz denied them this year.

Carson and Rajsich will both have a chance for titles Sunday, as each are in their respective singles finals. Carson plays Jose Rojas in the Men’s Singles final, after he defeated Diaz, 15-7, 15-10, and Rojas beat his brother Marco, 15-9, 15-6.

Rajsich was a comfortable winner against Cheryl Gudinas, 15-4, 15-4, and will face Sharon Jackson in the final, after Jackson won a tie-breaker against Sheryl Lotts, 15-11, 14-15, 11-8.

The singles finals will be Sunday Play continues Saturday, and you can watch them live from Tempe via the USA Racquetball website.

2016 USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships
Tempe, Arizona
US National Team Divisions

Men's Doubles

Final - Saturday

3) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz d. 1) Jansen Allen & Rocky Carson, 15-14, 15-11

3rd place - Saturday

5) Anthony Herrera & David Horn d. 2) Marco Rojas & Jose Rojas, forfeit

Women's Doubles

Final - Saturday

1) Aimee Ruiz & Janel Tisinger d. 2) Rhonda Rajsich & Sheryl Lotts, 15-12, 12-15, 11-10

3rd place - Saturday

5) Da’monique Davis & Jacqueline Paraiso d. 3) Danielle Key & Michelle Key, 15-11, 15-10

Men’s Singles

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Jose Rojas d. 5) Marco Rojas, 15-9, 15-6
2) Rocky Carson d. 6) Jose Diaz, 15-7, 15-10

Final - Sunday

1) Jose Rojas v. 2) Rocky Carson - 1:15 PM MST

Women's Singles

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Rhonda Rajsich d. 4) Cheryl Gudinas, 15-4, 15-4
2) Sharon Jackson d. 6) Sheryl Lotts, 15-11, 14-15, 11-8

Final - Saturday

1) Rhonda Rajsich v. 2) Sharon Jackson - 12:05 PM MST

Follow the bouncing ball....

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