Friday, April 20, 2018

Round of 16 at 2018 LPRT Battle at the Alamo

More upsets at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Battle at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas with 13th seed Monserrat Mejia making the biggest one by defeating 4th seed Rhonda Rajsich, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-3, in the Round of 16. She’ll play another upset winner in the quarterfinals in 12th seed Maria Vargas, who beat 5th seed Alexandra Herrera, 7-11, 11-1, 11-1, 13-11.

Thirty-first seed Yasmine Sabja continued her run in the tournament, as she knocked off 15th seed Adrienne Haynes in the Round of 16, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4. Next up for Sabja will be 7th seed Natalia Mendez, who beat 10th seed Carla Muñoz, 11-6, 12-10, 11-8.

The upset that almost happened but didn’t would have been the biggest of all, as 17th seed Gabriela Martinez took LPRT #1 Paola Longoria to a fifth game with the top seed making a narrow escape, winning 11-5, 9-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-1. After three really good games by the Guatemalan teenager, Martinez, the tie-breaker was anti-climatic, as Longoria shot better and Martinez gave her opportunities to do so.

There were some close doubles matches, but no upsets in the quarterfinals. But on the bottom of the draw there were two tie-breakers. In one, 2nd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Monserrat Mejia held off 7th seeds Natalia Mendez and Maria Vargas, 15-7, 13-15, 11-4, and in the other 3rd seeds Ana Laura Flores and Jessica Parrilla narrowly defeated 6th seeds Michelle De La Rosa and Carla Muñoz, 15-14, 9-15, 11-9.

On the top of the draw, 4th seeds Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros won in two games over 5th seeds Sheryl Lotts and Rhonda Rajsich, but it could hardly have been closer with the final score line reading 15-13, 15-14.

In the final match of the night, top seeds Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas beat 9th seeds Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez in two straight games, 15-9, 15-2.

The quarterfinals will be Saturday morning (10 AM & 11:05 AM) and semi-finals Saturday at 4:30 PM and 5:35 PM. The singles final will be Sunday at noon with the doubles final to follow. All times Central. Check out the LPRT Facebook page for the action or the LPRT LiveStream channel.

2018 Battle at the Alamo
San Antonio, Texas - April 20-22, 2018


LPRT Singles - Round of 16 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria d. 17 Gabriela Martinez, 11-5, 9-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-1
8 Nancy Enriquez d. 9 Cristina Amaya, 11-2, 11-6, 11-9

12 Maria Vargas d. 5 Alexandra Herrera, 7-11, 11-1, 11-1, 13-11
13 Monserrat Mejia d. 4 Rhonda Rajsich, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-3

3 Jessica Parrilla d. 19 Montserrat Perez, 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9
6 Samantha Salas d. 11 Adriana Riveros, 12-10, 11-5, 11-6

7 Natalia Mendez d. 10 Carla Muñoz, 11-6, 12-10, 11-8
31 Yasmine Sabja d. 15 Adrianne Haynes, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4

LPRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria v. 8 Nancy Enriquez - 11:05 AM
12 Maria Vargas v. 13 Monserrat Mejia - 11:05 PM

3 Jessica Parrilla v. 6 Samantha Salas - 10 AM
7 Natalia Mendez v. 15 Adrianne Haynes - 10 AM

LPRT Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas - BYE
9 Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez d. 8 Montserrat Perez & Erin Rivera, 15-2, 15-0

5 Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
4 Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros - BYE

3 Ana Laura Flores & Jessica Parrilla - BYE
6 Michelle De La Rosa & Carla Muñoz d. 11 Daniela Molina & Masiel Rivera, 15-9, 15-2

7 Natalia Mendez & Maria Vargas v. 10 Nancy Enriquez & Brenda Laime, 14-15, 15-13, 11-6
2 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia - BYE

LPRT Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 9 Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-9, 15-2
4 Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros d. 5 Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich, 15-13, 15-14

3 Ana Laura Flores & Jessica Parrilla d. 6 Michelle De La Rosa & Carla Muñoz, 15-14, 9-15, 11-9
2 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia d. 7 Natalia Mendez & Maria Vargas, 15-7, 13-15, 11-4

LPRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 4 Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros - 7:45 PM
2 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia v. 3 Ana Laura Flores & Jessica Parrilla - 6:40 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Round of 32 at 2018 LPRT Battle of the Alamo

There were a couple of upsets in the Round of 32 at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Battle at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, and the largest one is Yasmine Sabja walkover win against LPRT #2 Frédérique Lambert, who it seems wasn’t able to make it to San Antonio. Lambert was to play doubles with Jessica Parrilla, but her name has been replaced by Ana Laura Flores.

Sabja will play Adrienne Haynes in the Round of 16, as Haynes beat Erin Rivera, 11-3, 11-4, 11-3.

Two other small upsets happened in the 32s. Nineteenth seed Montserrat Perez knocked off 14th seed Maria Renee Rodriguez, 11-2, 11-9, 12-10, and 17th seed Gabriela Martinez eked out win over 16th seed Sheryl Lotts in five games, 11-3, 11-0, 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 [sic].

Martinez will take on LPRT #1 Paola Longoria in the 16s this evening, and Perez will play Parrilla.

The tournament continues Friday afternoon with the singles Round of 16. The quarterfinals will be Saturday morning (10 AM & 11:05 AM) and semi-finals Saturday at 4:30 PM and 5:35 PM. The singles final will be Sunday at noon with the doubles final to follow. All times Central. Check out the LPRT YouTube channel for the action or the LPRT LiveStream channel.

2018 Battle at the Alamo
San Antonio, Texas - April 20-22, 2018


LPRT Singles - Round of 32 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria - BYE
17 Gabriela Martinez d. 16 Sheryl Lotts, 11-3, 11-0, 11-7, 11-3, 11-4 [sic]

9 Cristina Amaya d. 24 Carolina Rivera, 11-3, 11-3, 11-4
8 Nancy Enriquez d. 25 Daniela Molina, 11-0, 11-3, 11-0

5 Alexandra Herrera d. 28 Diana Aguilar, 11-4, 11-1, 11-6
12 Maria Vargas d. 21 Lucia Gonzalez, 11-5, 11-8, 11-1

13 Monserrat Mejia d. 20 Cassandra Lee, 11-6, 11-4, 11-1
4 Rhonda Rajsich d. 29 Arrisa Hanson, 11-0, 11-1, 11-2

3 Jessica Parrilla d. 30 Maria Paz Riquelme, 11-5, 11-3, 11-3
19 Montserrat Perez d. 14 Maria Renee Rodriguez, 11-2, 11-9, 12-10

11 Adriana Riveros d. 22 Brenda Laime, 11-1, 11-0, 3-11, 11-7
6 Samantha Salas d. 27 Michelle De La Rosa, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4

7 Natalia Mendez d. 26 Masiel Rivera, forfeit
10 Carla Muñoz d. 23 Ana Laura Flores, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5

15 Adrianne Haynes d. 18 Erin Rivera, 11-3, 11-4, 11-3
31 Yasmine Sabja d. 2 Frédérique Lambert, forfeit

LPRT Singles - Round of 16 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria v. 17 Gabriela Martinez - 7:45 PM
8 Nancy Enriquez v. 9 Cristina Amaya - 5:35 PM

5 Alexandra Herrera v. 12 Maria Vargas - 3:25 PM
4 Rhonda Rajsich v. 13 Monserrat Mejia - 3:25 PM

3 Jessica Parrilla v. 19 Montserrat Perez - 4:30 PM
6 Samantha Salas v. 11 Adriana Riveros - 4:30 PM

7 Natalia Mendez v. 10 Carla Muñoz - 5:35 PM
15 Adrianne Haynes v. 31 Yasmine Sabja - 6:40 PM

LPRT Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas - BYE
8 Montserrat Perez & Erin Rivera v. 9 Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez - 2:20 PM

5 Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
4 Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros - BYE

3 Ana Laura Flores & Jessica Parrilla - BYE
6 Michelle De La Rosa & Carla Muñoz v. 11 Daniela Molina & Masiel Rivera - 2:20 PM

7 Natalia Mendez & Maria Vargas v. 10 Nancy Enriquez & Brenda Laime - 2:20 PM
2 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

Thursday, April 19, 2018

2018 LPRT Battle of the Alamo - Preview

The Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) resumes its 2017-18 season this weekend at the Battle at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas with one of its largest fields of the season: 31 players, including the top 13 players and 18 of the top 20. Leading the field, of course, is LPRT #1 Paola Longoria, who is undefeated this season.

However, there are two people in the field who have beat Longoria last month, as both 4th seed Rhonda Rajsich and 12th seed Maria Vargas defeated Longoria during the 2018 Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile in March. Vargas also won the last LPRT event, which Longoria wasn’t at. Vargas’s relatively low seeding in San Antonio is due to her only playing three events this season, but she’s been as high as #2 on the LPRT in the past.

The top of the draw is loaded with Longoria, Rajsich and Vargas all on top, as well as LPRT #5 Alexandra Herrera and two former International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Champion silver medalists in Nancy Enriquez (2010) and Gabriela Martinez (2016).

Nonetheless, there are good players on the bottom of the draw too with LPRT #2 Frédérique Lambert, #3 Jessica Parrilla, and #6 Samantha Salas. But Salas will have a more difficult than usual first round match, as she’ll play Michelle De La Rosa - née Key - in the Round of 32 on Friday morning. De La Rosa is a former top 10 LPRT player, but who is only playing her second event this season.

They’ll also play doubles in San Antonio, and Longoria and Salas have reunited after not playing together at either the last LPRT event they both attended or at the Pan Am Championships last month in Temuco, where Longoria and Herrera teamed up and won gold in Women’s Doubles. It was a surprise when they weren’t playing together, so it’s a bit of surprise that they are back together.

Longoria and Salas could have their work cut out for each other, as they may play Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez in their first match, and Martinez and Rodriguez beat Longoria and Herrera in Temuco during the preliminary round and then went tie-breaker with them in the final. But for that match to happen in San Antonio, Martinez and Rodriguez will have to first beat Montserrat Perez and Erin Rivera in the Round of 16 Friday.

The tournament starts Friday morning with the singles Round of 32 with the first round of doubles happening Friday afternoon followed by the singles Round of 16 Friday afternoon. The quarterfinals will be Saturday morning (10 AM & 11:05 AM) and semi-finals Saturday at 4:30 PM and 5:35 PM. The singles final will be Sunday at noon with the doubles final to follow. All times Central. Check out the LPRT YouTube channel for the action or the LPRT LiveStream channel.

2018 Battle at the Alamo
San Antonio, Texas - April 20-22, 2018


LPRT Singles - Round of 32 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria - BYE
16 Sheryl Lotts v. 17 Gabriela Martinez - 1:15 PM

9 Cristina Amaya v. 24 Carolina Rivera - 12:10 PM
8 Nancy Enriquez v. 25 Daniela Molina - 12:10 PM

5 Alexandra Herrera v. 28 Diana Aguilar - 10 AM
12 Maria Vargas v. 21 Lucia Gonzalez - 10 AM

13 Monserrat Mejia v. 20 Cassandra Lee - 10 AM
4 Rhonda Rajsich v. 29 Arrisa Hanson - 10 AM

3 Jessica Parrilla v. 30 Maria Paz Riquelme - 11:05 AM
14 Maria Renee Rodriguez v. 19 Montserrat Perez - 11:05 AM

11 Adriana Riveros v. 22 Brenda Laime - 11:05 AM
6 Samantha Salas v. 27 Michelle De La Rosa - 11:05 AM

7 Natalia Mendez v. 26 Masiel Rivera - 12:10 PM
10 Carla Muñoz v. 23 Ana Laura Flores - 12:10 PM

15 Adrianne Haynes v. 18 Erin Rivera - 1:15 PM
2 Frédérique Lambert v. Yasmine Sabja - 1:15 PM

LPRT Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas - BYE
8 Montserrat Perez & Erin Rivera v. 9 Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez - 2:20 PM

5 Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
4 Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros - BYE

3 Frédérique Lambert & Jessica Parrilla - BYE
6 Michelle De La Rosa & Carla Muñoz v. 11 Daniela Molina & Masiel Rivera - 2:20 PM

7 Natalia Mendez & Maria Vargas v. 10 Nancy Enriquez & Brenda Laime - 2:20 PM
2 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mexico defeats USA to win 2018 WRT Challenge Cup

Mexico defeated the USA, three matches to two, to win the World Racquetball Tour's (WRT's) first Challenge Cup on the weekend in Fremont, California. The Challenge Cup saw two Mexican players play two USA players in a team competition. Jake Bredenbeck and David Horn represented the USA with Rodrigo Montoya and Alejandro Cardona representing Mexico in a format like that used in Davis Cup (men) and Federation Cup (women) tennis competitions with each player playing singles twice as well as doubles. Mexico and USA split their first singles matches, and then the USA won the doubles to lead 2-1. But Mexico came back to win the event with two victories in the last two singles matches.

They split the matches in the first round of singles, as Bredenbeck defeated Cardona, 12-15, 15-1, 11-3, and Montoya beat Horn, 15-3, 15-7.

In tennis, it’s often said that doubles decides the winner in Davis Cup or Fed Cup battles, and in this Challenge Cup the doubles winner was going to be up 2-1 after they split the singles matches. The USA took the doubles match, but only narrowly, as Bredenbeck and Horn won 15-9, 4-15, 11-9, over Cardona and Montoya.

The Americans were ahead early at 5-1 and 8-3, but the Mexicans came back and took a lead at 9-8. But the USA got a sideout, and then won three straight points to end it, 11-9. Mexico took a timeout at 10-9, but to no avail. Thus, the USA held the advantage going into the second round of singles on Sunday.

In the second round of singles (or reverse singles), Cardona and Horn played first, and as in the doubles, they went breaker with Cardona squeaking out a one point victory, 15-13, 11-15, 11-10. In game three, Horn had the early lead at 5-2, but seemed to pick up a leg injury that limited him in the mid-game, as Cardona took the lead at 8-5, and then 9-7.

But Horn kept fighting, trying to do as much as he could given his condition, and got the serve back and tied the score 9-9. But Cardona took the serve back, and got to 10-9 with a solid forehand down the line shot. Horn fought off the first match point with a forehand shot from left to right, and then hit a crack serve on the right side that was just over the line for an ace.

He tried to do it again, but was short. Cardona won the rally after Horn’s second serve with a backhand cross court pass. The match winning point came as Cardona hit a second serve Z to the left side, and Horn put his backhand return into the floor.

Cardona’s win meant the Challenge Cup came down to the last match, and Montoya again came through for Mexico - just as he had in the first round of singles - as he beat Bredenbeck, 15-8, 15-12.

By the current WRT rankings, the USA should have been favoured, as Bredenbeck is #1 and Horn #2 with Montoya #4 and Cardona #5, although both the Mexicans have been ranked #1 in the past, as has Horn. Thus, the players were all close in skill level, which made for some great matches.

Thoughts on Team Competitions

The WRT Challenge Cup was an interesting competition, but it’s something we’ve seen before in racquetball. The Men’s and Women’s Team Competitions at the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships used to be a best of three matches: 2 singles and 1 doubles, although they have eliminated that at the last two World Championships and instead awarded points for player performances in singles and doubles to determine the team winners. But while Worlds doesn’t have a true team competition anymore, the 2015 Pan American Games did.

However team competitions are fun. Often in an individual sport like racquetball it can be awkward to cheer for one player over another, because that seems like a personal insult against one of them. But when the players are on teams, especially representing their countries, then it becomes clear who to cheer for - or against, which no longer feels like a personal insult to a player.

One twist on this Challenge Cup would be to expand it to more than four players, and maybe more than two countries. Perhaps the Intercollegiate model that uses a team of six players could be adopted, so that there were six singles matches in round one, then three doubles matches, then a reverse six singles matches to finish off.

And you could have a team of six USA-Canada players against a team of six Latin American players to make a broader field, which would make it more like golf's Ryder Cup or President's Cup, although both the USA and Mexico could likely come up with six quality players on their own.

Upcoming WRT events

The next two WRT events will be the Georgia Open in Atlanta, May 17-20, and then the Torneo Internacional in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, June 14-16. If you missed any of the action from Fremont, check out the WRT Facebook page or their YouTube channel.

2018 WRT Challenge Cup, April 14-15
Fremont, California


Singles - Round 1

Jake Bredenbeck (USA) d. Alejandro Cardona (Mexico), 12-15, 15-1, 11-3
Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. David Horn (USA), 15-3, 15-7

Doubles - Round 2

USA d. Mexico, 15-9, 4-15, 11-9

Singles - Round 3

Alejandro Cardona (Mexico) d. David Horn (USA), 15-13, 11-15, 11-10
Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. Jake Bredenbeck (USA), 15-8, 15-12

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Landa wins 2018 IRT Cincinnati tournament, joins exclusive club

Alejandro Landa won his 2nd International Racquetball Tour (IRT) tournament Sunday, when he defeated Alvaro Beltran, 11-15, 11-7, 11-8, in the final of the IRT Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio. Landa won his first career IRT event earlier this season at the Lewis Drug Pro-Am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The win lifts Landa into elite company, as he now has a winning record in IRT finals (2-1). According to the Pro Racquetball Stats database only eight other players (who have been in multiple finals) have winning records in finals.

Unsurprisingly, Kane Waselenchuk has the best record in final matches, winning an astounding 109 times against 10 losses (91.6%). But the player with the second best final winning percentage may be a surprise, as it’s Brett Harnett, who won 16 times against 5 losses over 21 finals (76.2%). That’s ahead of Marty Hogan (60-22, 73.2%), Sudsy Monchik (43-24, 64.2%), Cliff Swain (71-42, 62.8%), Charlie Brumfield (16-11, 59.3%), Gregg Peck (4-3, 57.1%) and Jason Mannino (22-18, 55%).

(note: Sebastian Franco and Charlie Pratt have 100% records in finals, but have only played once).

Early in the final, it did not look like Landa was going to join that company, as Beltran played very well in game one, and controlled it most of the way. But it was a long game. For example with Beltran up 9-6, the game stalled, as they played twelve rallies at that score, and after eleven of them, Beltran took a timeout.

Landa broke the deadlock, but he was only able to score once, making it 9-7, before Beltran took the serve back with a forehand pinch return off a Landa drive serve to the right side. That led to four unanswered points, as Beltran made it 13-7.

However, Landa responded with a run of three points to cut the deficit to 13-10. But another winning serve return by Beltran - this time a backhand pinch off a drive Z to the left - stopped Landa’s run.

They traded a few sideouts, and then Beltran made it 14-10 with a great backhand splat shot. Beltran’s backhand pinch shots were very good in game one. Landa did prevent Beltran’s first game point with a forehand return down the line off one of Beltran’s signature lob serves to the right side.

Landa put one more point on the board to make it 14-11, but then a backhand cross court shot got Beltran the serve back. He ended the game with a backhand shot that hit Landa, and the referee judged it to be a straight in shot, so Landa was given a penalty hinder, and Beltran got his 15th point, winning game one 15-11.

Game two started out like game one, as Beltran took the early lead at 5-1. But Landa came back and tied it at 6-6. They were back and forth in the mid-part of game two with 17 rallies taking place to score 4 points in going from 6-6 to 9-7 in favour of Landa.

But from there, Landa rolled, scoring six unanswered points with Beltran serving only once during that period. After being down early in game two, Landa outscored Beltran 14-2, and he definitely had momentum going into the tie-breaker.

In the breaker, Landa’s momentum continued, as he went up 6-1, although that took 27 rallies, so it didn’t happen quickly. Beltran kept fighting, but he didn’t get within two until Landa was already on game point at 10-8.

After being unsuccessful on his first two match points, Landa called a timeout before his third. When play resumed a long rally ensued, which included a great diving get by Landa, but it was ended by Beltran with a flat forehand pinch shot.

But Beltran couldn’t capitalize on that opportunity, as Landa drove a serve return into the middle that forced Beltran to try to hit it between his legs, which resulted in a skip.

On match point #4, Landa won it with a backhand down the line that was just out of Beltran’s reach. He had lob served to the left side, and Beltran returned it straight in, but the return was in the middle of the court, which allowed Landa to drive it down the left side close to the wall, and out of Beltran’s reach.

If you missed the action from Cincinnati, you can see some of it via the IRT YouTube channel, although the latest videos are currently mislabelled as “2018 Shamrock Shootout.”

The 2017-18 IRT season concludes later this month at the Florida IRT Regional Championships in Sarasota, Florida, April 26-29. But the IRT players are also participating in the World Doubles Open Championship in Denver, May 2-6.

2018 IRT Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids, April 5-8, 2018
Cincinnati, Ohio


Final

4) Alejandro Landa d. 3) Alvaro Beltran, 11-15, 15-7, 11-8

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Beltran & Landa to square off for 2018 IRT Cincinnati crown

Alejandro Landa will have a chance to win his 2nd tournament of the season and 2nd of his career Sunday at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, as he upset top seed Rocky Carson in the semi-finals, 8-15, 15-6, 11-5. Landa won his first career IRT event in January at the Lewis Drug Pro-Am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Alvaro Beltran will face Landa in the final, as Beltran defeated Mario Mercado, 15-13, 15-10, in the other semi-final.

The final will be noon Sunday (eastern time), and can be seen on the IRT Network.

2018 IRT Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids, April 5-8, 2018
Cincinnati, Ohio


Semi-finals - Saturday

4) Alejandro Landa d. 1) Rocky Carson, 8-15 15-6, 11-5
3) Alvaro Beltran d. 7) Mario Mercado, 15-13, 15-10

Final - Sunday

3) Alvaro Beltran v. 4) Alejandro Landa - Noon

Follow the bouncing ball….

No upsets in quarterfinals at 2018 IRT Cincinnati tournament

There was some good play in the quarterfinals of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, but nothing dramatic and no upsets, as the higher seeded players all moved on to the semi-finals in two straight games, including top seed Rocky Carson, who beat 8th seed Sebastian Franco, 15-12, 15-7.

Carson will play 4th seed Alejandro Landa in the semis, as Landa defeated Jose Diaz, 15-9, 15-3.

The other semi-final will see 3rd seed Alvaro Beltran take on 7th seed Mario Mercado. In the quarters, Beltran beat Samuel Murray, 15-5, 15-9, and Mercado took out Gerardo Franco (no relation to Sebastian), 15-11, 15-9.

The semi-finals will be 5 PM and 6 PM Saturday, and can be seen on IRT Network. The final will be noon Sunday. All times eastern.

2018 IRT Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids, April 5-8, 2018
Cincinnati, Ohio


Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Rocky Carson d. 8) Sebastian Franco, 15-12, 15-7
4) Alejandro Landa d. Jose Diaz, 15-9, 15-3

3) Alvaro Beltran d. 6) Samuel Murray, 15-5, 15-9
7) Mario Mercado d. Gerardo Franco, 15-11, 15-9

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Rocky Carson v. 4) Alejandro Landa - 6 PM
3) Alvaro Beltran v. 7) Mario Mercado - 5 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, April 6, 2018

Franco defeats De La Rosa to reach quarterfinals at 2018 IRT Cincinnati

Another round, another young Mexican making some noise at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, as Gerardo Franco upset the 2nd seed Daniel De La Rosa, 14-15, 15-10, 11-10, to reach the quarterfinals for the second time in his young career.

Franco will play Mario Mercado in the quarters, as Mercado defeated Felipe Camacho, 15-13, 15-10.

Jose Diaz caused the other upset of the Round of 16 Friday, as he beat 5th seed Jansen Allen, 15-9, 15-8. Diaz will face 4th seed Alejandro Landa in the quarters, as Landa won a tie-breaker against another young Mexican, Sebastian Fernandez, 14-15, 15-3, 11-4.

In their match, Franco led De La Rosa for the second half of game one, and had game point at 14-10. But Franco couldn’t close it out, as the veteran De La Rosa came back to steal the game, 15-14. Franco again led early in game two, and reached 14-10, but this time there was no comeback from De La Rosa.

In the breaker, Franco once again took the early lead at 5-1. But this time De La Rosa responded sooner, and he tied the game at 6-6, and then led 7-6. Franco’s turn to respond, and he did by regaining the lead with three straight points to make it 9-7.

De La Rosa managed to tie it again, getting to 9-9 by diving to hit a forehand cross court pass shot. Franco called a timeout, and when play resumed he took the serve back with a great backhand pinch shot. Franco was hitting his backhand pinch very well in this match, and hit another to make it 10-9.

Franco drove serve to the left on his first match point, and De La Rosa hit a great backhand splat return winner to get the serve back. On the next rally, De La Rosa held up believing Franco was in the way of his shot, and the referee agreed, assessing a penalty hinder against Franco and putting De La Rosa on match point at 10-10.

But Franco fought off that point with a reaction backhand rekill that was flat, which gave Franco his second match point. He again drove serve to the left, which was short. On second serve, he hit a lob to the left, and a rally ensued. De La Rosa drove the ball down the right side, and Franco dove to keep it in play, hitting the ball to the ceiling. That led to a set up off the back wall in the back right corner, and De La Rosa skipped his forehand shot down the line.

It was a crucial error that gave the game to Franco, 11-10, and match, 2-1.

The quarterfinals will be 10 and 11 AM Saturday morning, and can be seen on IRT Network as well as the IRT Facebook page and YouTube, according to a tweet from the IRT. The semi-finals will be 5 PM and 6 PM Saturday with the final at noon Sunday. All times eastern.

2018 IRT Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids, April 5-8, 2018
Cincinnati, Ohio


Round of 16 - Friday

1) Rocky Carson d. Thomas Carter, 15-5, 15-6
8) Sebastian Franco d. David Horn, 15-14, 15-12

Jose Diaz d. 5) Jansen Allen, 15-9, 15-8
4) Alejandro Landa d. Sebastian Fernandez, 14-15, 15-3, 11-4

3) Alvaro Beltran d. Adam Manilla, 15-6, 15-13
6) Samuel Murray d. Hiroshi Shimizu, 15-8, 15-2

7) Mario Mercado d. Felipe Camacho, 15-13, 15-10
2) Gerardo Franco d. Daniel De La Rosa, 14-15, 15-10, 11-10

Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Rocky Carson v. 8) Sebastian Franco - 11 AM
4) Alejandro Landa v. Jose Diaz - 11 AM

3) Alvaro Beltran v. 6) Samuel Murray - 10 AM
7) Mario Mercado v. Gerardo Franco - 10 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Fernandez upsets Bredenbeck in 32s at IRT Cincinnati

There have been a few surprises at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio, but perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that it’s young Mexican players who have creating those surprises. The greatest of which is Sebastian Fernandez’s upset win over Jake Bredenbeck, 15-13, 8-15, 11-10. The win puts the Mexican teenager into the Round of 16 for the third time in his fifth career IRT event.

Joining Fernandez in the 16s is his compatriot Gerardo Franco, who beat Robert Collins, 15-8, 15-3. Franco will play Daniel De La Rosa in the Round of 16.

There was one other upset in the last round of qualifying, but Japanese veteran Hiroshi Shimizu got the win over Charles Pratt by default. Nonetheless, Shimizu is through to the 16s, where he’ll face Canadian Samuel Murray.

The Round of 16 begins 6 PM Friday evening, and can be seen on IRT Network as well as the IRT Facebook page and YouTube, according to a tweet from the IRT. The quarterfinals will be 10 and 11 AM Saturday morning. The semi-finals will be 5 PM and 6 PM Saturday with the final at noon Sunday. All times eastern.

2018 IRT Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids, April 5-8, 2018
Cincinnati, Ohio


Qualifying Round 2 / Round of 32 - Friday morning

Q8) Thomas Carter d. Nicholas Riffel, 15-6, 14-15, 11-2
Q1) David Horn d. Mauricio Zelada, 15-13, 15-11

Q4) Jose Diaz d. Troy Warigon, 15-12, 15-9
Q5) Sebastian Fernandez d. Jake Bredenbeck, 15-13, 8-15, 11-10

Q6) Adam Manilla d. Scott McClellan, 15-2, 15-6
Q3) Hiroshi Shimizu d. Charles Pratt, forfeit

Q2) Felipe Camacho v. Miguel Rodriguez Jr., 15-6, 15-13
Q7) Gerardo Franco d. Robert Collins, 15-8, 15-3

Round of 16 - Friday evening

1) Rocky Carson v. Thomas Carter - 7 PM
8) Sebastian Franco v. David Horn - 7 PM

5) Jansen Allen v. Jose Diaz - 7 PM
4) Alejandro Landa v. Sebastian Fernandez - 7 PM

3) Alvaro Beltran v. Adam Manilla - 6 PM
6) Samuel Murray v. Hiroshi Shimizu - 6 PM

7) Mario Mercado v. Felipe Camacho - 6 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa v. Gerardo Franco - 6 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Round of 64 at the 2018 IRT Raising Some Racquet for Kids tournament

Japanese veteran Hiroshi Shimizu defeated Fabrizio Mora, 11-15, 15-8, 11-7, in the Round of 64 at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids tournament in Cincinnati, Ohio. The win pits Shimizu against Charles Pratt in the Round of 32 Friday morning.

Look for the action on the IRT Network from the 2nd Round of Qualifying on Friday morning at 11 AM with the Round of 16 from 6 PM Friday afternoon. The quarterfinals will be 10 and 11 AM Saturday morning. The semi-finals will be at 5 PM and 6 PM Saturday with the final at noon Sunday. All times eastern. For action on Thursday, check out the IRT Facebook page.

2018 IRT Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids, April 5-8, 2018
Cincinnati, Ohio


Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday evening

Mauricio Zelada d. Juan Martinez III, 15-6, 15-7
Troy Warigon d. Rom Dresbach, 15-10, 15-2
Sebastian Fernandez d. Erick Cuevas Fernandez, 15-5, 15-9

Hiroshi Shimizu d. Fabrizio Mora, 11-15, 15-8, 11-7
Miguel Rodriguez Jr. d. Ferd Samson, 15-5, 15-6

Qualifying Round 2 - Friday morning

Q8) Thomas Carter v. Nicholas Riffel - Noon
Q1) David Horn v. Mauricio Zelada - Noon

Q4) Jose Diaz v. Troy Warigon - Noon
Q5) Jake Bredenbeck v. Sebastian Fernandez - Noon

Q6) Adam Manilla v. Scott McClellan - 11 AM
Q3) Charles Pratt v. Hiroshi Shimizu - 11 AM

Q2) Felipe Camacho v. Miguel Rodriguez Jr. - 11 AM
Q7) Robert Collins v. Gerardo Franco - 11 AM

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Rocky Carson v. Q8 - 7 PM
8) Sebastian Franco v. Q1 - 7 PM

5) Jansen Allen v. Q4 - 7 PM
4) Alejandro Landa v. Q5 - 7 PM

3) Alvaro Beltran v. Q6 - 6 PM
6) Samuel Murray v. Q3 - 6 PM

7) Mario Mercado v. Q2 - 6 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa v. Q7 - 6 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Thursday, April 5, 2018

2018 IRT Cincinnati - Preview

The penultimate event of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2017-18 season begins today in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids event takes place. Rocky Carson is the top seed in Cincinnati, as Kane Waselenchuk is yet to return to the IRT since injuring his knee in January.

The IRT did come out with a release on March 22 indicating Waselenchuk was cleared to play after having a grade 2 MCL sprain. But results from an MRI on his knee indicate he has a cyst on his meniscus that “will require surgery in the future,” although playing on it now won’t cause more damage. So hopefully Waselenchuk will be back in action soon, but it seems this weekend was too soon.

The IRT is on a streak. Six (6!) different players have won the last six IRT events. Will that streak continue? That streak is even more incredible considering that Rocky Carson and Alvaro Beltran - the IRT’s #2 and #4 players - are not included in it. The streak started in November with Waselenchuk, then Charles Pratt won in December, Daniel De La Rosa and Alejandro Landa in January, and Sebastian Franco and Andree Parrilla in March.

One thing that won’t happen this weekend is there won’t be back to back winners on tour, as Parrilla is not in Cincinnati, although David Horn, who was runner up to Parrilla in Lombard, Illinois, is there.

Cincinnati is the second last event of the season with the Florida IRT Regional Championships April 26-29 set to be the last one. Carson may be able to finish as the #1 player this season, given that Waselenchuk has missed five events. But Carson has a lot of points to defend, because he won the Ohio event last season and finished second in Florida. Waselenchuk missed Ohio last season and won Florida, so he doesn’t have as many points to defend.

All in all it should be an exciting weekend of IRT racquetball, and we’re looking forward to it.

Look for the action on the IRT Network from the 2nd Round of Qualifying on Friday morning at 11 AM with the Round of 16 from 6 PM Friday afternoon. The quarterfinals will be 10 and 11 AM Saturday morning. The semi-finals will be at 5 PM and 6 PM Saturday with the final at noon Sunday. All times eastern. For action on Thursday, check out the IRT Facebook page.

2018 IRT Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids, April 5-8, 2018
Cincinnati, Ohio


Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday evening

Mauricio Zelada v. Juan Martinez III - 6 PM
Troy Warigon v. Rom Dresbach - 6 PM
Sebastian Fernandez v. Erick Cuevas Fernandez - 6 PM

Fabrizio Mora v. Hiroshi Shimizu - 6 PM
Miguel Rodriguez Jr. v. Ferd Samson - 8 PM

Qualifying Round 2 - Friday morning

Q8) Thomas Carter v. Nicholas Riffel - Noon
Q1) David Horn v. Mauricio Zelada or Juan Martinez III - Noon

Q4) Jose Diaz v. Troy Warigon or Rom Desbach - Noon
Q5) Jake Bredenbeck v. Sebastian Fernandez or Erick Cuevas Fernandez - Noon

Q6) Adam Manilla v. Scott McClellan - 11 AM
Q3) Charles Pratt v. Fabrizio Mora or Hiroshi Shimizu - 11 AM

Q2) Felipe Camacho v. Miguel Rodriguez Jr. v. Ferd Samson - 11 AM
Q7) Robert Collins v. Gerardo Franco - 11 AM

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Rocky Carson v. Q8 - 7 PM
8) Sebastian Franco v. Q1 - 7 PM

5) Jansen Allen v. Q4 - 7 PM
4) Alejandro Landa v. Q5 - 7 PM

3) Alvaro Beltran v. Q6 - 6 PM
6) Samuel Murray v. Q3 - 6 PM

7) Mario Mercado v. Q2 - 6 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa v. Q7 - 6 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, April 1, 2018

2018 Pan American Championships - Results Summary

The 2018 Pan American Racquetball Championships concluded Saturday in Temuco, Chile, and we have a summary of the medalists below, as well as the team points standings. It’s no surprise that Mexico topped the standings for both men’s and women’s competitions (and thus overall), and few would have been surprised by the strong showings by Bolivia and the USA, who were 2nd and 3rd in both the men’s and overall team standings. In the women’s standings, USA was also 3rd with Bolivia 5th.

However, few would likely have predicted Guatemala to come 2nd in the women’s standings. But a silver medal showing in Women’s Doubles by Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez and a bronze medal in Women’s Singles for Martinez helped put them there, as well as put them 4th in the overall standings.

Future International Events

The International Racquetball Federation (IRF) announced that the 2018 World Championships, which were to be in Haining, China, have been moved to Cali, Colombia, August, 10-18. Apparently, the local Chinese organizing committee had some trouble securing government permits, so they were unable to host the event.

But before that the South American Games begin late next month in Cochabamba, Bolivia, May 26-June 6. Then the Central American and Caribbean Games will be in Barranquilla, Colombia, July 19-August 3. Racquetball is scheduled to be held at the beginning of those games, so players who compete in Barranquilla and at Worlds in Cali will have about two weeks between the competitions.

The 2018 World Junior Championships are to be in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, November 10-17, with the 2019 Pan American Championships in Chihuahua, Mexico, which should run April 13-20, 2019.

XXXI Pan American Racquetball Championships
Temuco, Chile - March 24-31, 2018


Women's Singles

GOLD - Rhonda Rajsich (USA)
SILVER - Paola Longoria (Mexico)
BRONZE - Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) and Samantha Salas (Mexico)

Men's Singles

GOLD - Carlos Keller (Bolivia)
SILVER - David Horn (USA)
BRONZE - Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) and Andree Parrilla (Mexico)

Women's Doubles

GOLD - Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria (Mexico)
SILVER - Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala)
BRONZE - Stefanny Barrios & Jenny Daza (Bolivia) and Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD - Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico)
SILVER - Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia)
BRONZE - Nicolas Bousquet & Samuel Murray (Canada) and Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador)

Women's Team

1) Mexico - 416
2) Guatemala - 276
3) USA - 268
4) Argentina - 184
5) Bolivia - 180
6) Chile - 150
7) Colombia - 122
8) Canada - 100
9) Ecuador - 82
10) Cuba - 76
11) Costa Rica - 28

Men's Team

1) Mexico - 392
2) Bolivia - 348
3) USA - 218
4) Canada - 188
5) Ecuador - 168
6) Costa Rica - 156
7) Guatemala - 94
7) Chile - 94
7) Cuba - 94
10) Argentina - 76
10) Colombia - 76
12) Honduras - 48

Overall Team

1) Mexico - 808
2) Bolivia - 528
3) USA - 486
4) Guatemala - 370
5) Canada - 288
6) Argentina - 260
7) Ecuador - 250
8) Chile - 244
9) Colombia - 198
10) Costa Rica - 184
11) Cuba - 170
12) Honduras - 48

Follow the bouncing ball....

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Mexico sweeps doubles at 2018 Pan American Championships

Mexico teams swept the gold medals at the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile, although both men’s and women’s teams needed to come from behind to win in tie-breakers, as their opponents won the first games of the finals. In Women’s Doubles, Mexicans Alexandra Herrera and Paola Longoria defeated Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez of Guatemala, 9-15, 15-1, 11-8, which was a measure of revenge as the Guatemalans beat the Mexicans in the preliminary round earlier in the week.

In Men’s Doubles, Alvaro Beltran and Rodrigo Montoya of Mexico defeated Bolivans Roland Keller and Conrrado Moscoso, 13-15, 15-10, 11-6. Beltran’s win lifts him into a tie for most Pan American Championships - singles and doubles combined - with five: 3 in Men’s Singles and now 2 in Men’s Doubles. The other men with five are Bill Sell (USA) with one in singles and four in doubles, and Javier Moreno (Mexico), who got them all in doubles including one with Beltran in 2015.

Longoria’s gold extended her lead as most decorated woman at the Pan American Championships. This year’s doubles title was her 6th, which combined with her 7 singles titles puts her three ahead of American Jackie Paraiso’s 10 (1 singles, 9 doubles).

XXXI Pan American Racquetball Championships
Temuco, Chile - March 24-31, 2018


Women's Doubles - Final - Saturday

6) Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. 1) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala), 9-15, 15-1, 11-8

Men’s Doubles - Final - Saturday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. 6) Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia), 13-15, 15-10, 11-6

Follow the bouncing ball....

Rajsich & Keller win singles at 2018 Pan American Championships

Rhonda Rajsich of the USA successfully defended her Women’s Singles title at the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile with one of the best performances of her life. Yet she still needed a tie-breaker to defeat Paola Longoria of Mexico, 15-3, 14-15, 11-7. Carlos Keller of Bolivia won the Men’s Singles title by defeating David Horn of the USA, 15-12, 5-15, 11-7. He’s just the 2nd Bolivian to win Men’s Singles at the Pan American Championships.

Rajsich’s win is her 4th Pan Am Championship Women’s Singles title with the others coming in 2007, 2011 and last year. Her 4 Women’s Singles titles is tied for second most at the Pan Am Championships with Michelle Gould and Cheryl Gudinas. Longoria has the most with seven.

Rajsich was so good in game one, where she was up 14-1 and won 15-3, that you wondered whether she could keep up that level of play. Because you knew that in game two Longoria was going to do what good players: come out harder. And that she did.

But Rajsich did lead early in game two, 3-0, and then Longoria responded to lead 7-4. However, Rajsich wasn’t letting up either, and she caught up and went ahead 12-10. Longoria got the serve back with a flat forehand pinch shot, and ran three points on as many rallies to lead 13-12.

Rajsich took the serve back with a backhand winner and then called a timeout. But coming out of the timeout, Longoria won the rally with backhand of her own. She then forced Rajsich into a skip, so got her first game point, 14-12. However, Longoria was called for an avoidable hinder on the next rally. She appealed, but the line judges upheld the referee’s call.

Rajsich scored two points with winning shots - a backhand cross court followed by a forehand wide angle pass - to tie the game and serve for the match at 14-14. She drove serve to the left side - a serve she used a lot in the match - and it led to a set up off the backwall. With the match on her racquet, Rajsich skipped a forehand shot by sliding the ball into the front wall, suggesting that even champions can get nervous.

With the serve back, Longoria won the next rally - her second game point - with a forehand cross court from left to right. Curiously in the match, she used that technique - hitting her forehand when on left side - a lot. It was almost as if Longoria didn’t trust her backhand, even though she did make some good backhand shots.

In the tie-breaker, Rajsich again was dominant, as Longoria didn’t get a point until the 20th rally, which made the score 7-1 in Rajsich’s favor. Rajsich immediately got the serve back with a backhand shot hop pinch shot. She continued to score points, and Rajsich got her second match point at 10-1.

Longoria prevented the game - and match - from ending there with a backhand cross court shot that cracked out, forcing Rajsich to skip a forehand shot. From there Longoria put a few points on the board, and when the score was 10-4, Rajsich got the serve back, and called a timeout.

But again she couldn’t get the last point, as Longoria hit a winner off Rajsich’s Z serve. Longoria kept scoring, putting three more points on the scoreboard that made it 10-7. Rajsich got the serve back again, and again called a timeout.

Yet Rajsich couldn’t finish it off again, as Longoria hit a backhand cross court winner. But Rajisch got the serve right back with a forehand return off Longoria’s lob serve on the right side, which was a serve she used for much of the match.

On her sixth match point, Rajsich was finally able to end it, as she hit a pinch shot to the front left corner. Longoria appealed for a hinder on the play, but line judges upheld the referee’s call of no hinder.

Men's Final

The men’s final was not as clean as the women’s, in that neither player was dominant in the match, although Horn won game two comfortably. Keller’s play followed the same pattern as in his semi-final: win game one, lose game two, win the tie-breaker.

They were close early in game one, but Horn pulled ahead to lead 10-6 and 12-8, at which point Keller called a timeout. He got the serve back when play resumed, and scored four points on consecutive rallies to tie the game 12-12.

They exchanged sideouts, then Keller scored again, 13-12. Horn called a timeout. Another exchange of sideouts, and a Keller point, 14-12. Horn calls timeout. A pair of hinders, and another exchange of sideouts. Then Keller ends it with a service winner: a drive serve to the right side that Horn can only get his racquet on.

Horn’s game two win set up the breaker, which developed slowly. How slowly? 22 rallies produced only 6 points. Unfortunately for Horn, five of those points were for Keller, who led 5-1. Eleven rallies later, and Horn tied the game, 5-5.

Horn broke that tie with a pinch shot winner to make it 6-5. But he couldn’t build on it, and soon Keller tied it at 6-6 with a forehand pinch shot of his own. He got four unanswered points to reach match point at 10-6, and reach is appropriate here, as Keller’s 10th point was a result of him reaching out with his long body stepping forward to hit a backhand cross court. Horn called timeout.

To say this match wasn’t as clean as the women’s final is not to say there weren’t some great shots, and perhaps none was more impressive than what Horn did on the next rally. Facing match point, Horn hit the ball behind his back in the middle of the court for a roll out. He exclaimed “WOOOO!” afterwards, and it was a “WOOOO!” kind of shot.

Horn scored a point on the next rally to make it 10-7, and then they exchanged sideouts leading to Keller’s third match point. On that rally, Keller dove four - yes 4! - times, and on the third, which was a diving get, and Keller got out of the way of Horn’s shot - mostly, but Horn signalled for a hinder. Yet he still kept playing, and drove the ball to the right side. Keller dove to get it (that was his fourth dive), and slammed it back across court for the match winner.

Or so it seemed.

But Horn appealed that there should have been a hinder on the rally, and his request was upheld, so they played the point over. On that rally, both players stayed on their feet, and after Horn drove a ball wide from right to left, Keller was able to get to the ball, as it came back to the right side. From deep in the court, Keller hit a clear kill shot winner to become the 2018 Pan American Champion.

The only Bolivian - or South American - to win Men's Singles previously is Ricardo Monroy, who did it back in 2010.

XXXI Pan American Racquetball Championships
Temuco, Chile - March 24-31, 2018


Women's Singles - Final - Saturday

8) Rhonda Rajsich (USA) d. 10) Paola Longoria (Mexico), 15-3, 14-15, 11-7

Men's Singles - Final - Saturday

5) Carlos Keller (Bolivia) d. 2) David Horn (USA), 15-12, 5-15, 11-7

Follow the bouncing ball....

Friday, March 30, 2018

Mexico could sweep doubles at 2018 Pan American Championships

While most of the singles semi-finals were close, the doubles semi-finals weren’t so close at the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile. In Women’s Doubles, top seeds Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez of Guatemala knocked off the host country’s Carla Muñoz and Josefa Parada in two straight games, 15-5, 15-2, and will face the Mexican team of Alexandra Herrera and Paola Longoria, who were straight game winners over Bolivians Stefanny Barrios and Jenny Daza, 15-8, 15-8.

On the men’s side, Alvaro Beltran and Rodrigo Montoya of Mexico will face Bolivians Roland Keller and Conrrado Moscoso in the final. The Mexicans defeated Canadians Nicolas Bousquet and Samuel Murray of Canada, 15-3, 15-13, in one semi-final, while Bolivia beat Juan Francisco Cueva and Jose Daniel Ugalde of Ecuador, 15-8, 15-1.

The Guatemala-Chile women’s semi was more like a game of 2 versus 1 than a doubles game, as Muñoz took most of the shots for Chile. We’re not sure you’d need more than two hands to count the number of times Parada hit the ball. They used the I formation for serve return with Muñoz returning all the serves.

In Chile’s defence, Parada is only 17 (she’ll be 18 next month), so still inexperienced, and certainly less skilled than her partner or her opponents. The big question really is how Chile beat the USA’s Rhonda Rajsich and Janel Tisinger in the quarterfinals, because we have to assume they used the same strategy in that match as they used against Guatemala.

In the other women’s semi, Bolivia was close to Mexico in the first half of each game. In fact, Bolivia led 4-0 in game one. Mexico only led by one at 9-8 in each game. But Herrera and Longoria got the last six points in both games without surrendering one. Again there were some questionable hinder calls in the match that went Mexico’s way, including on match point, when Longoria held up and got an avoidable that Bolivia didn’t appeal. But it wasn’t seven points worth of calls their way, as Bolivia made too many errors in the match to take either of the games.

On the men’s side, Canada almost took Mexico to a tie-breaker. Mexico played very well to win the first game, 15-3, and they were up 9-2 in the second. But Bousquet and Murray didn’t quit, and slowly cut into Mexico’s lead.

Down 12-6, Canada outscored Mexico 7-2 to get within one at 14-13 down. They had stopped Mexico’s first match point at 14-10, and then scored three points themselves with one winner by Bousquet and two from Murray, including a great forehand short hop kill shot.

But on the next rally, Murray skipped a shot, giving Mexico back the serve. On Mexico’s second match point, Montoya won it with a backhand pinch shot.

XXXI Pan American Racquetball Championships
Temuco, Chile - March 24-31, 2018


Women's Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

1) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) d. 4) Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile), 15-5, 15-2
6) Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. 2) Stefanny Barrios & Jenny Daza (Bolivia), 15-8, 15-8

Women's Doubles - Final - Saturday

1) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) v. 6) Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria (Mexico) - 1 PM

Men’s Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. 4) Nicolas Bousquet & Samuel Murray (Canada), 15-3, 15-13
6) Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) d. 2) Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador), 15-8, 15-1

Men’s Doubles - Final - Saturday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) v. 6) Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) - 2:30 PM

* Note: Temuco is 1 hour ahead of Eastern time, so 1 PM above would be noon Eastern.

Follow the bouncing ball....

Singles finals set: Rajsich vs. Longoria & Horn vs. Keller at 2018 Pan American Championships

Rhonda Rajsich of the USA will have a chance to defend her Women’s Singles title at the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile, and Paola Longoria of Mexico will be her opponent in the final for the second consecutive year and fourth overall in this competition. They also met back in 2013 and 2008, and both of those were won by Longoria. Rajsich will try to even the record with a win on Saturday. In the Men’s Singles final, David Horn of the USA will face Carlos Keller of Bolivia.

In the semi-finals, Rajsich defeated Gabriela Martinez of Guatemala, 15-13, 15-10, while Longoria got the best of her team-mate Samantha Salas, 15-10, 15-5. On the men’s side, Horn narrowly defeated Andree Parrilla of Mexico, 15-13 15-14, while Keller upset the top seeded Mexican Rodrigo Montoya, 15-6, 2-15, 11-4.

Early in her semi, Rajsich was down and a title defence seemed unlikely, as Martinez was up 12-3 in game one. But the champ took a timeout, and slowly put some points on the board. At 12-8, Martinez called a timeout, and she got the serve back when play resumed, which led to another point and a 13-8 lead.

But Martinez wouldn’t score again, and in fact, only served once more, as Rajsich scored seven unanswered points to pull out game one, 15-13.

Game two played out exactly the same. Martinez was up 8-1. Rajsich tied it at 8-8. Then they were back and forth until 10-10. Rajsich took it from there to close out the game, 15-10, and the match in two straight games.

In the other women’s semi-final, Longoria also won in two straight games, but Salas did have a lead early in game two at 5-1. However, Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) and three time reigning International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Champion, came back strong, although she was helped by some generous hinder calls by the referee.

But a bit of referee generosity doesn't account for 14 unanswered points, which is what Longoria strung together to win game two. Salas seemed to go for too much as the game went along, which often resulted in outright errors or set ups for Longoria.

The game ended unusually, because Salas stepped out of one of her shoes. Even though it didn’t disrupt play, and Longoria skipped her shot, Salas was assessed an avoidable hinder for littering - in a sense - on the field of play.

In the men’s semi-finals, Keller upset the top seeded Mexican Rodrigo Montoya, 15-6, 2-15, 11-4. It was a strange match in the sense that momentum swung hard from one player to the other. Keller was a buzzsaw in game one, playing brilliantly. Yet in game two he had trouble doing anything, and Montoya ran away with it, setting up a tie-breaker.

Often when there are two lopsided first games, the tie-breaker is close, and it was early, as they were tied 2-2. But then Keller jumped ahead winning five straight rallies to lead 7-2. Montoya got the serve back there, and a winning backhand shot made it 7-3.

But Keller got the serve back with a backhand winner of his own, and two rallies later, he led 9-3. Montoya called a timeout, but that didn’t stop Keller from getting to match point, 10-3, on the ensuing rally, as he hit a flat forehand pinch shot from about three feet from the front wall, which isn’t easy.

Montoya did prevent Keller from winning on match point one with a winning forehand cross court shot. He served an ace to the back left corner to make it 10-4, but Keller got the serve back on the next rally with a forehand shot down the left side. Another forehand winner ended the game, 11-4, and match, 2-1.

Keller will have a chance to be the 2nd Bolivian to win Men's Singles at the Pan American Championships. Ricardo Monroy was the first back in 2010.

Horn and Parrilla were close throughout their match, but the balance did shift from one player to the other. Early in game one, Horn led 6-3. Then Parrilla put together a run and tied it at 6-6. They went back and forth until 9-9, when Parrilla edged ahead to lead 13-9 for the biggest lead of the game.

Yet Horn held Parrilla there, and scored six points on almost as many rallies to squeak out game one, 15-13. Horn ended most of those late rallies with forehand pinch shots, although the game winner was a drive serve to the left that handcuffed Parrilla, so he couldn’t return it.

In game two, they were close early again, but it was Parrilla who took the 6-3 lead. He extended it to 9-3 and it looked like they’d need a third game. However, Horn, who got the serve back with an amazing behind the back pinch roll out standing right beside the left wall, had other ideas. We're not sure how Horn did smash his racquet into the left wall in going for the behind the back shot.

He slowly got closer to Parrilla, and caught up at 10-10. They looked to be tied again at 11-11, but a frustrated Parrilla hit the ball into the back wall after a rally and was assessed a technical, so Horn led 11-10. They tied again at 12-12. Parrilla broke that tie with a forehand winner, and followed it up with a backhand winner to reach game point at 14-12. Horn called timeout.

A backhand pinch shot by Horn staved off Parrilla’s first game point, when play resumed. But a soft backhand at the front got Parrilla a second game point, which ended in a hinder. The 3rd went by the boards via a ridiculously good backhand pinch return by Horn, who followed that up with a forehand reverse pinch winner to get within one at 14-13. Parrilla called timeout.

But when play resumed Parrilla skipped a forehand pinch shot, which is generally his favourite shot, so it was an uncharacteristic error. That made it 14-14. After a hinder, a long rally ensued that ended when Parrilla again skipped a shot. This time he skipped a backhand, and it gave the game and match to Horn, 15-13, 15-14.

Thus, Horn and Keller will face off in the Men’s Singles final Saturday. It’ll be only the third time in the last 12 years without a Mexican in the final, and the first since 2015, when the USA’s Jose Diaz beat his team-mate Jake Bredenbeck in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The other time was when Temuco last hosted the championships in 2012, and Canadian Mike Green defeated Fernando Rios of Ecuador for Men’s Singles gold.

XXXI Pan American Racquetball Championships
Temuco, Chile - March 24-31, 2018


Women's Singles - Semi-finals - Friday

8) Rhonda Rajsich (USA) d. 4) Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala), 15-13, 15-10
10) Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. 3) Samantha Salas (Mexico), 15-10, 15-5

Women's Singles - Final - Saturday

8) Rhonda Rajsich (USA) v. 10) Paola Longoria (Mexico) - 11 AM

Men's Singles - Semi-finals - Friday

5) Carlos Keller (Bolivia) d. 1) Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico), 15-6, 2-15, 11-4
2) David Horn (USA) d. 3) Andree Parrilla (Mexico), 15-13, 15-14

Men's Singles - Final - Saturday

2) David Horn (USA) v. 5) Carlos Keller (Bolivia) - Noon

* Note: Temuco is 1 hour ahead of Eastern time, so Noon above would be 11 AM eastern.

Follow the bouncing ball....

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Doubles quarterfinals at 2018 Pan American Championships

Carla Muñoz and Josefa Parada got the host country of Chile on the podium at the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile, as they defeated the USA team of Rhonda Rajsich and Janel Tisinger, 15-14, 15-2, in the quarterfinals of Women’s Doubles. The Chileans will play the top seeds Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez of Guatemala in the semi-finals, as the Guatemalans defeated Colombians Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros, 15-11, 15-4, in their quarterfinal match. Amaya apparently picked up a slight injury while warming up for the match, which may have impacted her performance.

The other semis will be between Bolivians Stefanny Barrios and Jenny Daza and Alexandra Herrera and Paola Longoria of Mexico. The Bolivians needed a tie-breaker to fend off the Cuban team of Yurisleidis Araujo and Maria Viera Gonzales, 13-15, 15-12, 11-7.

But the most anticipated match of the quarters was Herrera and Longoria versus Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas of Argentina, which went to the Mexicans 15-14, 15-6. However, it wasn’t without controversy.

The first game was great, and Argentina was ahead in the middle of the game at 11-7. Mexico came back to tie it 11-11, and they were tied again at 12-12 and 13-13. Herrera skipped a shot to put Argentina on game point at 14-13.

That’s when the controversy happened, as on the next rally Longoria held up for a shot, and was awarded an avoidable hinder by the referee, although there seemed to be plenty of room to swing. Argentina appealed the call, but one of the line judges agreed with the referee, so the call stood.

It’s not uncommon for Longoria to do this, as she assumes she’s correct about it being an avoidable. But in The Racquetball Blog’s opinion it was a hinder at most, and frankly, hardly that. Indeed, there was a similar situation in game two, where Longoria took the shot.

But, hey, why take our word for it, when you can make up your own mind by going to the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Facebook page and looking up the match. The rally with the questionable avoidable begins about 32:40, and the rally with a similar situation, where Longoria took the shot is about 41:00 (Longoria’s shot immediately after Vargas goes to the floor to hit the ball).

We don’t believe that one call determines a match, as games are to 15, not 1, but that avoidable gave the serve back to the Mexicans, who closed out the game on the next two rallies, 15-14. Then they ran with the momentum to go up 8-0 in game two. Argentina did get on the board before it was over, but never closer than six points, as Mexico won game two by a comfortable 15-6 score line.

Hinders are always judgment calls, and line judges can help a referee get it right, but still opinions can differ about what “right” actually is.

We don’t think there was anything controversial on the men’s side, in part because only one of the matches was at all close. In that match, Juan Francisco Cueva and Jose Daniel Ugalde of Ecuador defeated Fernando Kurzbard and Daniel Maggi of Argentina, 15-11, 15-13.

Ecuador will face Bolivians Roland Keller and Conrrado Moscoso, who defeated Felipe Camacho and Teobaldo Fumero of Costa Rica, 15-2, 15-5. The Bolivians played very well. Sometimes spectacularly well, as Moscoso hit a diving backhand pinch winner in game two that made it 9-2, and later in that game he hit a between the legs pinch shot for a winner while facing the back wall, as the ball took an awkward bounce out of the back corner.

On the top side of the draw, it’ll be Mexico versus Canada in the other semi-final, as in the quarters Alvaro Beltran and Rodrigo Montoya of Mexico defeated Edwin Galicia and Christian Wer of Guatemala, 15-3, 15-13, and Nicolas Bousquet and Samuel Murray of Canada beat Thomas Carter and David Horn of the USA, 15-10, 15-4.

For live streaming of matches - or to watch them after the fact - check out the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Facebook page.

XXXI Pan American Racquetball Championships
Temuco, Chile - March 24-31, 2018


Women's Doubles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) d. 8) Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros (Colombia), 15-11, 15-4
4) Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile) d. 5) Rhonda Rajsich & Janel Tisinger (USA), 15-14, 15-2

6) Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. 3) Natalia Mendez & Maria José Vargas (Argentina), 15-14, 15-6
2) Stefanny Barrios & Jenny Daza (Bolivia) d. 10) Yurisleidis Araujo & Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba), 13-15, 15-12, 11-7

Women's Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

1) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) v. 4) Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile) - 2 PM
2) Stefanny Barrios & Jenny Daza (Bolivia) v. 6) Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria (Mexico) - 3 PM

Men’s Doubles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. 9) Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer (Guatemala), 15-3, 15-13
4) Nicolas Bousquet & Samuel Murray (Canada) d. 5) Thomas Carter & David Horn (USA), 15-10, 15-4

6) Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) d. 3) Felipe Camacho & Teobaldo Fumero (Costa Rica), 15-2, 15-5
2) Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) d. 7) Fernando Kurzbard & Daniel Maggi (Argentina), 15-11, 15-13

Men’s Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) v. 4) Nicolas Bousquet & Samuel Murray (Canada) - 4 PM
2) Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) v. 6) Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) - 4 PM

* Note: Temuco is 1 hour ahead of Eastern time, so 4 PM above would be 3 PM eastern.

Follow the bouncing ball....

Rajsich on track to defend title at 2018 Pan American Championships

Rhonda Rajsich of the USA is the defending Women’s Singles Champion at the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile, and she knocked off the top seed Maria Jose Vargas of Argentina, 15-10, 15-5, in the quarterfinals Thursday to keep her hopes of successfully defending the title alive. She’ll play Gabriela Martinez of Guatemala in the semi-finals Friday in what will be a rematch from the 2016 World Championships, when the Guatemalan teenager upset the American veteran.

In Thursday's quarterfinals, Martinez needed a tie-breaker to get by Natalia Mendez of Argentina, 15-12, 10-15, 11-2.

Rajsich had a good start in game one against Vargas, going up 6-2. Vargas never got closer than four points the rest of the game. She continued to put up the good fight against Rajsich, but wasn’t as good as the American on the day, as Rajsich took the first game 15-10. Game two was similar with Rajsich up 6-1, and again the closest Vargas got was four points at 7-3, as Rajsich went on to win 15-5.

On the other side of the draw, Paola Longoria of Mexico broke Bolivian Jasmine Sabja’s glass slipper, but it wasn’t easy for the Mexican, who won 15-12, 15-6. Not easy because Sabja led for most game one, and by as many as four points at 10-6 and 11-7. However, Longoria caught up at 11-11, and after they were tied 12-12, she finished it off 15-12.

Having survived game one, Longoria jumped out to a big lead in game two, as the young Bolivian seemed deflated. Longoria was up 9-0 before Sabja scored, but then she strung a few points together, helped by using a backhand Z serve to Longoria’s backhand that the Mexican clearly did not like.

So even though Longoria got the serve back at 9-5, there was hope the Bolivian could make it even closer with that serve. Unfortunately, Sabja didn’t serve again until 13-5. And when she did serve again, Sabja hit a drive serve to the right, which she used some in game one. It seemed like an unusual choice, except she hit it for an ace.

But Sabja couldn’t do it twice, and Longoria got the serve back on the next rally, as she went on to win game two, 15-6.

In the semi-finals, Longoria will play her team-mate and former doubles partner Samantha Salas, who needed a tie-breaker to fend off Colombian Cristina Amaya, 15-13, 7-15, 11-7.

On the men’s side, the closest match involved top seed Rodrigo Montoya of Mexico who defeated Costa Rican Andres Acuña in two close games, 15-12, 15-14. Word is that Acuña was ahead 14-7 in game two only to see Montoya come all the way back and finish the game off after saving multiple game points.

Montoya will play Carlos Keller of Bolivia in the semi-finals. Keller denied Cuban Maikel Mollet what would have been the first medal for a Cuban at the Pan Am Championships with 15-7, 15-7 win.

The other semi will be a rematch of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Shamrock Shootout from earlier this month, as Mexican Andree Parrilla will take on American David Horn. In that match, Parrilla came out on top, winning his first IRT event. But it wasn’t Horn’s best performance, and we're certain he'll want to do better on Friday.

To get to the semis, Parrilla defeated Francisco Troncoso of Chile, 15-10, 15-6, and Horn beat Canadian Pedro Castro, 15-7, 15-2. Castro was up 7-2 in game one, only to see Horn win 13 straight points, and take the game 15-7. After the match, we heard that Castro picked up an injury during the match, which could explain his lack of enthusiasm in game two. Nevertheless, Horn did play well, and will look to do that again in the semi against Parrilla.

XXXI Pan American Racquetball Championships
Temuco, Chile - March 24-31, 2018


Women's Singles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

8) Rhonda Rajsich (USA) d. 1) Maria José Vargas (Argentina), 15-10, 15-5
4) Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) d. 12) Natalia Mendez (Argentina), 15-12, 10-15, 11-2

3) Samantha Salas (Mexico) d. 6) Cristina Amaya (Colombia), 15-13, 7-15, 11-7
10) Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. 15) Jasmine Sabja (Bolivia), 15-12, 15-6

Women's Singles - Semi-finals - Friday

4) Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) v. 8) Rhonda Rajsich (USA) - 11 AM
3) Samantha Salas (Mexico) v. 10) Paola Longoria (Mexico) - 10 AM

Men's Singles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. 9) Andres Acuña (Costa Rica), 15-12, 15-14
5) Carlos Keller (Bolivia) d. 4) Maikel Mollet (Cuba), 15-7, 15-7

3) Andree Parrilla (Mexico) v. 6) Francisco Troncoso (Chile), 15-10, 15-6
2) David Horn (USA) d. 7) Pedro Castro (Canada), 15-7, 15-2

Men's Singles - Semi-finals - Friday

1) Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) v. 5) Carlos Keller (Bolivia) - Noon
2) David Horn (USA) v. 3) Andree Parrilla (Mexico) - 1 PM

* Note: Temuco is 1 hour ahead of Eastern time, so 1 PM above would be noon eastern.

Follow the bouncing ball....

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Doubles Round of 16 results from 2018 Pan American Championships

No big surprises in the first round of the elimination round of doubles play at the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile, although in Women’s Doubles Cubans Yurisleidis Araujo and Maria Viera Gonzales beat Canadians Michèle Morissette and Christine Richardson, 15-6, 15-2, which was an upset by the seeding: 10 over 7. The Cubans will play Bolivians Stefanny Barrios and Jenny Daza in the quarterfinals.

The top seeds in Women’s Doubles, Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez of Guatemala, will face Colombians Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros in the quarters, as Colombia defeated the Ecuador team of Maria Paz Muñoz and Ana Lucia Sarmiento, 15-5, 15-6.

But perhaps the Women’s Doubles match of the round will be Natalia Mendez and Maria José Vargas of Argentina against Alexandra Herrera and Paola Longoria of Mexico in what will be the first match of the round for both teams.

In Men’s Doubles, the USA team of Thomas Carter and David Horn beat the Cuban team of Maikel Mollet and Enier Chacon Gomez, 15-2, 15-7, and will take on Canadians Nicolas Bousquet and Samuel Murray in the quarterfinals.

Another quarterfinal of note will be Bolivians Roland Keller and Conrrado Moscoso versus Costa Ricans Felipe Camacho and Teobaldo Fumero. Bolivia defeated Set Cubillos and Andres Gomez of Colombia, 15-11, 15-6, on Wednesday to set up that match.

According to the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Facebook page they have a tentative schedule to live stream three doubles matches: Guatemala versus Colombia in Women’s Doubles at noon; Argentina versus Mexico in Women’s Doubles at 1 PM, which should be a great match; and Costa Rica versus Bolivia in Men’s Doubles at 2 PM. All times are central.

XXXI Pan American Racquetball Championships
Temuco, Chile - March 24-31, 2018


Women's Doubles - Round of 16

1) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) - BYE
8) Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros (Colombia) d. 9) Maria Paz Muñoz & Ana Lucia Sarmiento (Ecuador), 15-5, 15-6

5) Rhonda Rajsich & Janel Tisinger (USA) - BYE
4) Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile) - BYE

3) Natalia Mendez & Maria José Vargas (Argentina) - BYE
6) Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria (Mexico) - BYE

10) Yurisleidis Araujo & Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba) d. 7) Michèle Morissette & Christine Richardson (Canada), 15-6, 15-2
2) Stefanny Barrios & Jenny Daza (Bolivia) - BYE

Women's Doubles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) v. 8) Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros (Colombia) - 2 PM
4) Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile) v. 5) Rhonda Rajsich & Janel Tisinger (USA) - 2 PM

3) Natalia Mendez & Maria José Vargas (Argentina) v. 6) Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria (Mexico)
2) Stefanny Barrios & Jenny Daza (Bolivia) v. 10) Yurisleidis Araujo & Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba)

Men’s Doubles - Round of 16

1) Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) - BYE
9) Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer (Guatemala) d. 8) Carlos Medrano & Marco Sarmiento (Honduras), 15-2, 15-2

5) Thomas Carter & David Horn (USA) d. 12) Enier Chacon Gomez & Maikel Mollet (Cuba), 15-2, 15-7
4) Nicolas Bousquet & Samuel Murray (Canada) - BYE

3) Felipe Camacho & Teobaldo Fumero (Costa Rica) - BYE
6) Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) d. 11) Andres Gomez & Set Cubillos (Colombia), 15-11, 15-6

7) Fernando Kurzbard & Daniel Maggi (Argentina) d. 10) Johan Igor & Francisco Troncoso (Chile), 15-3, 15-4
2) Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) - BYE

Men’s Doubles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) v. 9) Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer (Guatemala) - 4 PM
4) Nicolas Bousquet & Samuel Murray (Canada) v. 5) Thomas Carter & David Horn (USA) - 4 PM

3) Felipe Camacho & Teobaldo Fumero (Costa Rica) v. 6) Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) - 4 PM
2) Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) v. 7) Fernando Kurzbard & Daniel Maggi (Argentina) - 4 PM

* Note: Temuco is 1 hour ahead of Eastern time, so 4 PM above would be 3 PM eastern.

Follow the bouncing ball....

2018 Pan American Championships - Elimination Round complete

The elimination rounds have begun at the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile, and in the Men’s Singles Round of 32 there was only one small upset as 17th seed Kadim Carrasco of Bolivia narrowly defeated 16th seed Thomas Carter of USA, 15-14, 15-12. Carrasco will play #1 seed Rodrigo Montoya of Mexico Wednesday afternoon.

The story is similar on the women’s side, as the only upset so far has come in the 16/17 match with 17th seed Maricruz Ortiz of Costa Rica beating 16th seed Yurisleidis Araujo of Cuba, 15-5, 15-10.

But in the Women’s Singles Round of 16, 15th seed Jasmine Sabja of Bolivia knocked off the 2nd seed Maria Paz Muñoz from Ecuador, 15-8, 15-5. That’s a great win for Sabja, but her reward is a match against Paola Longoria of Mexico, who lost to Maria Jose Vargas in the Group Stage so is seeded 10th in the elimination round, and beat Janel Tisinger of the USA, 15-5, 15-5.

Also winning by an upset was Natalia Mendez of Argentina, seeded 12th, defeating 5th seed Carla Muñoz of Chile, in two close games, 15-11, 15-13.

In other action, top seed Vargas (Argentina) beat Ortiz (Costa Rica), 15-2, 15-6, to set up a quarterfinal match with American veteran Rhonda Rajsich, who was a winner over Canadian Jen Saunders, 15-6, 15-8.

In the Men’s Singles Round of 16, the only upset came in the 8/9 match, as Costa Rican Andres Acuña beat Trevor Webb (Canada), 15-4, 15-4. Acuña will play top seed Rodrigo Montoya of Mexico in the quarterfinals. Montoya defeated Bolivian Kadim Carrasco, 15-7, 15-3, in the 16s.

There were three tie-breakers in the men’s 16s. Home country favourite Francisco Troncoso (Chile) came back from a game down to defeat Gabriel Garcia of Costa Rica, 8-15, 15-12, 11-4. Troncoso will play Andree Parrilla of Mexico in the quarters as Parrilla beat Christian Chavez (Ecuador), 15-2, 15-9.

Also, Carlos Keller of Bolivia needed three games to fend off Edwin Galicia of Guatemala, 15-7, 7-15, 11-5. Keller will now play Cuban sensation Maikel Mollet, who was a straight game winner over Andres Gomez of Colombia, 15-13, 15-4.

Finally, Canadian Pedro Castro won a close tie-breaker with Jose Daniel Ugalde of Ecuador, 15-8, 4-15, 11-9, to set up a showdown with 2nd seed David Horn of the USA, as Horn beat Set Cubillos of Colombia, 15-9, 15-6.

The quarterfinals will be Thursday with the semi-finals on Friday and finals on Saturday.

According to the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Facebook page they have a tentative schedule to live stream three four singles matches: Longoria (Mexico) versus Sabja (Bolivia) in Women’s Singles at 8 AM; Vargas (Argentina) versus Rajsich (USA) in Women’s Singles at 9 AM; Keller (Bolivia) versus Mollet (Cuba) in Men’s Singles at 10 AM; and Horn (USA versus Castro (Canada) in Men’s Singles at 11 AM. All times are central.

XXXI Pan American Racquetball Championships
Temuco, Chile - March 24-31, 2018

Women's Singles - Round of 32
- Wednesday

1) Maria José Vargas (Argentina) - BYE
17) Maricruz Ortiz (Costa Rica) d. 16) Yurisleidis Araujo (Cuba), 15-5, 15-10

9) Jen Saunders (Canada) - BYE
8) Rhonda Rajsich (USA) - BYE

5) Carla Muñoz (Chile) - BYE
12) Natalia Mendez (Argentina) d. 21) Maria José Muñoz (Ecuador), 15-1, 15-3

13) Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) d. 20) Josefa Parada (Chile), 15-2, 15-2
4) Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) - BYE

3) Samantha Salas (Mexico) - BYE
14) Valeria Centallas (Bolivia) v. 19) Maria Paz Riquelme (Colombia), 15-2, 15-6

11)Alexis Iwaasa (Canada) - BYE
6) Cristina Amaya (Colombia) - BYE

7) Janel Tisinger (USA) - BYE
10) Paola Longoria (Mexico) - BYE

15) Jasmine Sabja (Bolivia) d. 18) Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba), 15-2, 15-6
2) Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecuador) - BYE

Women's Singles - Round of 16 - Wednesday

1) Maria José Vargas (Argentina) d. 17) Maricruz Ortiz (Costa Rica), 15-2, 15-6
8) Rhonda Rajsich (USA) d. 9) Jen Saunders (Canada), 15-6, 15-8

12) Natalia Mendez (Argentina) d. 5) Carla Muñoz (Chile), 15-11, 15-13
4) Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) d. 13) Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala), 15-4, 15-7

3) Samantha Salas (Mexico) d. 14) Valeria Centallas (Bolivia), 15-13, 14-15, 11-4
6) Cristina Amaya (Colombia) d. 11)Alexis Iwaasa (Canada), 15-7, 15-9

10) Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. 7) Janel Tisinger (USA), 15-5, 15-5
15) Jasmine Sabja (Bolivia) d. 2) Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecuador), 15-8, 15-5

Women's Singles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Maria José Vargas (Argentina) v. 8) Rhonda Rajsich (USA) - 11 AM
4) Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) v. 12) Natalia Mendez (Argentina) - 11 AM

3) Samantha Salas (Mexico) v. 6) Cristina Amaya (Colombia) - 10 AM
10) Paola Longoria (Mexico) v. 15) Jasmine Sabja (Bolivia) - 10 AM

Men's Singles - Round of 32 - Wednesday

1) Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) - BYE
17) Kadim Carrasco (Bolivia) d. 16) Thomas Carter (USA), 15-14, 15-12

9) Andres Acuña (Costa Rica) d. 24) Enier Chacon Gomez (Cuba), 15-14, 15-7
8) Trevor Webb (Canada) - BYE

5) Carlos Keller (Bolivia) - BYE
12) Edwin Galicia (Guatemala) d. 21) Carlos Medrano (Honduras), 15-3, 4-15, 11-2

13) Andres Gomez (Colombia) d. 20) Shai Manzuri (Argentina), 15-7, 15-13
4) Maikel Mollet (Cuba) - BYE

3) Andree Parrilla (Mexico) - BYE
14) Christian Chavez (Ecuador) d. 19) Rodrigo Salgado (Chile), 15-8, 8-15, 11-7

11) Gabriel Garcia (Costa Rica) d. 22) Juan Jose Salvatierra (Guatemala), 15-5, 15-8
6) Francisco Troncoso (Chile) - BYE

7) Pedro Castro (Canada) - BYE
10) Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) d. 23) Marco Sarmiento (Honduras), 15-2, 15-8

15) Set Cubillos (Colombia) d. 18) Fernando Kurzbard (Argentina), 15-4, 15-9
2) David Horn (USA) - BYE

Men's Singles - Round of 16 - Wednesday

1) Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. 17) Kadim Carrasco (Bolivia), 15-7, 15-3
9) Andres Acuña (Costa Rica) d. 8) Trevor Webb (Canada), 15-4, 15-4

5) Carlos Keller (Bolivia) d. 12) Edwin Galicia (Guatemala), 15-7, 7-15, 11-5
4) Maikel Mollet (Cuba) d. 13) Andres Gomez (Colombia), 15-13, 15-4

3) Andree Parrilla (Mexico) d. 14) Christian Chavez (Ecuador), 15-2, 15-9
6) Francisco Troncoso (Chile) d. 11) Gabriel Garcia (Costa Rica), 8-15, 15-12, 11-4

7) Pedro Castro (Canada) d. 10) Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador), 15-8, 4-15, 11-9
2) David Horn (USA) d. 15) Set Cubillos (Colombia), 15-9, 15-6

Men's Singles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) v. 9) Andres Acuña (Costa Rica) - Noon
4) Maikel Mollet (Cuba) v. 5) Carlos Keller (Bolivia) - Noon

3) Andree Parrilla (Mexico) v. 6) Francisco Troncoso (Chile) - 1 PM
2) David Horn (USA) v. 7) Pedro Castro (Canada) - 1 PM

* Note: Temuco is 1 hour ahead of Eastern time, so 4 PM above would be 3 PM eastern.

Follow the bouncing ball....

Monday, March 26, 2018

2018 Pan American Championships - Doubles Draws

The doubles draws are out for the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile, and there will be some tasty matches right off the hop. Specifically, in the quarterfinals of Women’s Doubles Natalia Mendez and Maria José Vargas of Argentina will play Alexandra Herrera and Paola Longoria of Mexico as what will be the first match of the round for both teams.

Also, the Colombian team of Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros will face Maria Paz Muñoz and Ana Lucia Sarmiento of Ecuador in the first round with the winner to take on top seeds Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez of Guatemala.

In Men’s Doubles, the USA team of Thomas Carter and David Horn are seeded 5th and will take on the Cuban team of Maikel Mollet and Enier Chacon Gomez. The Cubans have been no pushovers this year, so the Americans have their work cut out for them. The winner will face Canadians Nicolas Bousquet and Samuel Murray in the quarterfinals.

Another possible quarterfinal of note will be between Bolivians Roland Keller and Conrrado Moscoso and Costa Ricans Felipe Camacho and Teobaldo Fumero, although Bolivia needs to defeat Set Cubillos and Andres Gomez of Colombia in the first round to set that up.

The top seeds in Men’s Doubles are Alvaro Beltran and Rodrigo Montoya with Juan Francisco Cueva and Jose Daniel Ugalde of Ecuador the 2nd seeds.

Tuesday will be an off day, as the players will prepare for the elimination round, which will begin on Wednesday.

XXXI Pan American Racquetball Championships
Temuco, Chile - March 24-31, 2018

Women's Doubles - Round of 16


1) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) - BYE
8) Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros (Colombia) v. 9) Maria Paz Muñoz & Ana Lucia Sarmiento (Ecuador)

5) Rhonda Rajsich & Janel Tisinger (USA) - BYE
4) Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile) - BYE

3) Natalia Mendez & Maria José Vargas (Argentina) - BYE
6) Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria (Mexico) - BYE

7) Michèle Morissette & Christine Richardson (Canada) v. 10) Yurisleidis Araujo & Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba)
2) Stefanny Barrios & Jenny Daza (Bolivia) - BYE

Men’s Doubles - Round of 16

1) Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) - BYE
8) Carlos Medrano & Marco Sarmiento (Honduras) d. 9) Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer (Guatemala)

5) Thomas Carter & David Horn (USA) v. 12) Enier Chacon Gomez & Maikel Mollet (Cuba)
4) Nicolas Bousquet & Samuel Murray (Canada) - BYE

3) Felipe Camacho & Teobaldo Fumero (Costa Rica) - BYE
6) Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) v. 11) Andres Gomez & Set Cubillos (Colombia)

7) Fernando Kurzbard & Daniel Maggi (Argentina) v. 10) Johan Igor & Francisco Troncoso (Chile)
2) Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball....

2018 Pan Am Championships - Singles Draws

Maria Jose Vargas of Argentina is the #1 in Women’s Singles for the elimination round at the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile. Defending Pan Am Women’s Singles Champion, Paola Longoria of Mexico is seeded 10th, as she lost to Vargas in the Group Stage, so she lost her top seeding.

Thus, Longoria will play Janel Tisinger of the USA in her first elimination round match, which will be in the Round of 16. The winner will likely face 2nd seed Maria Paz Muñoz of Ecuador in the quarterfinals with a Samantha Salas of Mexico or Cristina Amaya of Colombia awaiting the winner in the semi-finals. So, the two Mexicans could face off before the final.

That’s not a great situation, but it’s better than Guatemala’s, as 4th seed Gabriela Martinez may play 13th seed Maria Renee Rodriguez in the Round of 16. This ‘may’ happen but Rodriguez needs to defeat Josefa Parada of Chile first.

Elsewhere in the draw, veterans Rhonda Rajsich of the USA, seeded 8th, and Jen Saunders of Canada, seeded 8th, will face off in the Round of 16. The winner will likely face #1 seed Maria José Vargas of Argentina in the quarterfinals.

Our man to watch - Maikel Mollet of Cuba - is the 4th seed in Men’s Singles with Mexicans Rodrigo Montoya and Andree Parrilla the 1st and 3rd seeds, respectively, and American David Horn 2nd seed. Mollet’s seeding likely means a showdown with 5th seed Carlos Keller of Bolivia in the quarterfinals.

Other matches to watch for include Bolivian Kadim Carrasco and the USA’s Thomas Carter in the Round of 32. The winner will play #1 seed Rodrigo Montoya of Mexico. Also, Pedro Castro of Canada will probably play Jose Daniel Ugalde of Ecuador in the Round of 16.

The elimination round begins Wednesday morning.

XXXI Pan American Racquetball Championships
Temuco, Chile - March 24-31, 2018

Women's Singles - Round of 32


1) Maria José Vargas (Argentina) - BYE
16) Yurisleidis Araujo (Cuba) v. 17) Maricruz Ortiz (Costa Rica)

9) Jen Saunders (Canada) - BYE
8) Rhonda Rajsich (USA) - BYE

5) Carla Muñoz (Chile) - BYE
12) Natalia Mendez (Argentina) v. 21) Maria José Muñoz (Ecuador)

13) Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) v. 20) Josefa Parada (Chile)
4) Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) - BYE

3) Samantha Salas (Mexico) - BYE
14) Valeria Centallas (Bolivia) v. 19) Maria Paz Riquelme (Colombia), 15-2, 15-6

11)Alexis Iwaasa (Canada) - BYE
6) Cristina Amaya (Colombia) - BYE

7) Janel Tisinger (USA) - BYE
10) Paola Longoria (Mexico) - BYE

15) Jasmine Sabja (Bolivia) v. 18) Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba)
2) Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecuador) - BYE

Men's Singles - Round of 32

1) Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) - BYE
16) Thomas Carter (USA) v. 17) Kadim Carrasco (Bolivia)

9) Andres Acuña (Costa Rica) v. 24) Enier Chacon Gomez (Cuba)
8) Trevor Webb (Canada) - BYE

5) Carlos Keller (Bolivia) - BYE
12) Edwin Galicia (Guatemala) v. 21) Carlos Medrano (Honduras)

13) Andres Gomez (Colombia) v. 20) Shai Manzuri (Argentina)
4) Maikel Mollet (Cuba) - BYE

3) Andree Parrilla (Mexico) - BYE
14) Christian Chavez (Ecuador) v. 19) Rodrigo Salgado (Chile)

11) Gabriel Garcia (Costa Rica) v. 22) Juan Jose Salvatierra (Guatemala)
6) Francisco Troncoso (Chile) - BYE

7) Pedro Castro (Canada) - BYE
10) Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) v. 23) Marco Sarmiento (Honduras)

15) Set Cubillos (Colombia) v. 18) Fernando Kurzbard (Argentina)
2) David Horn (USA) - BYE

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2018 Pan American Championships - Day 3

Paola Longoria of Mexico is not having her best tournament so far XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile, as she’s lost twice, once in doubles and once in singles, which is two more times than she usually loses in a tournament. The doubles loss came on Saturday, and today she lost in Women’s Singles to Maria Jose Vargas, 12-15, 15-13, 11-9.

This was the last day of the group stage, so Longoria’s loss doesn’t mean that she’s eliminated, but Vargas’s win, combined with a win yesterday over Valeria Centallas of Bolivia, means that she won Group A, and will be the #1 seed for the elimination round. It’s uncertain where Longoria will fit into the draw, and could be on the same side of the draw as her team-mate, Samantha Salas, who won her last group stage match against Natalia Mendez of Argentina, 15-10, 15-6.

In other women’s action, Carla Muñoz of Chile won twice. She defeated Rhonda Rajsich (USA), 15-10, 12-15, 11-6, in Women’s Singles to win their group, and then teamed up with Josefa Parada to beat Maria Paz Muñoz and Ana Lucia Sarmiento of Ecuador, 10-15, 15-3, 11-5. For her part, Rajsich and Janel Tisinger got a win over Colombians Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros, 15-12, 15-11, to win their group.

On the men’s side, Maikel Mollet of Cuba continues to be a story, as Monday he upset Jose Daniel Ugalde of Ecuador, 15-7, 15-7, which means he’ll win that Group D even though he was the lowest seeded player in the group (based on Cuba’s performance in recent years). Also in Group D, Thomas Carter of the USA got his first win of the tournament by defeating Juan Jose Salvatierra of Guatemala, 15-13, 11-15, 11-9.

Tuesday will be an off day, as the players will prepare for the elimination round, which will begin on Wednesday.

XXXI Pan American Racquetball Championships
Temuco, Chile - March 24-31, 2018

Women's Singles

Group A


Maria José Vargas (Argentina) d. Paola Longoria (Mexico), 12-15, 15-13, 11-9
Valeria Centallas (Bolivia) - BYE

Group B

Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecuador) d. Jen Saunders (Canada), 15-1, 15-10
Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) - BYE

Group C

Samantha Salas (Mexico) d. Natalia Mendez (Argentina), 15-10, 15-6
Jasmine Sabja (Bolivia) - BYE

Group D

Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) d. Yurisleidis Araujo (Cuba), 15-3, 15-6
Alexis Iwaasa (Canada) d. Maria José Muñoz (Ecuador), 15-7, 15-8

Group E

Carla Muñoz (Chile) d. Rhonda Rajsich (USA), 15-10, 12-15, 11-6
Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba) d. Maria Paz Riquelme (Colombia), 15-2, 15-6

Group F

Cristina Amaya (Colombia) d. Maricruz Ortiz (Costa Rica), 15-7, 15-8
Janel Tisinger (USA) d. Josefa Parada (Chile), 15-3, 15-2

Women's Doubles

Group A


Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. Michèle Morissette & Christine Richardson (Canada), 15-5, 15-5
Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) - BYE

Group B

Rhonda Rajsich & Janel Tisinger (USA) d. Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros (Colombia), 15-12, 15-11
Stefanny Barrios & Jenny Daza (Bolivia) - BYE

Group C

Natalia Mendez & Maria José Vargas (Argentina) d. Yurisleidis Araujo & Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba), 15-1, 15 8
Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile) d. Maria Paz Muñoz & Ana Lucia Sarmiento (Ecuador), 10-15, 15-3, 11-5

Men's Singles

Group A


Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. Andres Gomez (Colombia), 15-0, 15-0
Gabriel Garcia (Costa Rica) d. Marco Sarmiento (Honduras), 15-7, 15-6

Group B

David Horn (USA) d. Edwin Galicia (Guatemala), 15-6, 11-15, 11-1
Christian Chavez (Ecuador) d. Enier Chacon Gomez (Cuba), 7-15, 15-3, 11-7

Group C

Andree Parrilla (Mexico) d. Set Cubillos (Colombia), 15-7, 15-3
Andres Acuña (Costa Rica) d. Carlos Medrano (Honduras), 15-6, 15-8

Group D

Maikel Mollet (Cuba) d. Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador), 15-7, 15-7
Thomas Carter (USA) d. Juan Jose Salvatierra (Guatemala), 15-13, 11-15, 11-9

Group E

Carlos Keller (Bolivia) d. Fernando Kurzbard (Argentina), 15-6, 15-9
Trevor Webb (Canada) d. Rodrigo Salgado (Chile), 15-4, 15-3

Group F

Pedro Castro (Canada) d. Francisco Troncoso (Chile), 14-15, 15-14, 11-3
Kadim Carrasco (Bolivia) d. Shai Manzuri (Argentina), 15-0, 15-2

Men’s Doubles

Group A


Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia), 15-5, 13-15, 11-3
Fernando Kurzbard & Daniel Maggi (Argentina) d. Enier Chacon Gomez & Maikel Mollet (Cuba), 15-5, 11-15, 11-7

Group B

Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) d. Carlos Medrano & Marco Sarmiento (Honduras), 15-11, 15-3
Thomas Carter & David Horn (USA) d. Andres Gomez & Set Cubillos (Colombia), 15-4, 15-11

Group C

Nicolas Bousquet & Samuel Murray (Canada) d. Johan Igor & Francisco Troncoso (Chile), 15-11, 15-0
Felipe Camacho & Teobaldo Fumero (Costa Rica) d. Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer (Guatemala), 15-11, 15-7

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