Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Team USA for 2018 Pan American Championships

USA Racquetball has announced its team for the 2018 Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile from March 23 to 31. Rhonda Rajsich, the reigning Pan American Champion in Women’s Singles, will be there to defend her title. The veteran will be joined by Janel Tisinger, David Horn - a Pan Am Championship silver medalist last year in Men’s Doubles - and Thomas Carter. All players will play both singles and doubles.

Rajsich will be representing Team USA for the 23rd time in her career. Only Cheryl Gudinas (27) and Jackie Paraiso (24) have had USA on their backs more often. But Rajsich has got to 23 over 17 years, which is one behind Paraiso who got to 24 over 21 years. Gudinas’s international career spanned 23 years.

In contrast, Carter will be making his first appearance on Team USA. He’s a left hander, so that will give the USA a lefty-righty doubles team. By our count, Carter is the 105th racquetball player to represent the USA.

Horn and Tisinger have both been on the team several times: 6 times for Horn and 5 for Tisinger. Yet they’ve only been on the team together once before - at the 2014 Pan Am Championships, which was Horn’s first time on the team. That was Tisinger’s second with her first coming back in 2007 at the Pan Am Championships.

Tisinger’s first team appearance was a successful one, as she teamed with Rajsich to win Women’s Doubles. Since then, Tisinger has won Women’s Doubles with Aimee Ruiz at the 2016 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships, when they upset Mexicans Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas in the final. She’s only played singles once for the USA, and that was in 2014, when she lost to Susana Acosta in the Round of 16.

Horn’s yet to top the podium for the USA, although he is the #1 player on the World Racquetball Tour (WRT). He’s been in the finals of Men’s Doubles twice: last year with Jake Bredenbeck and in 2014 with Jose Rojas. His best singles result has been the quarterfinals, which he’s reached three times, including last year when he lost to Andres Acuña, who was playing at home in Costa Rica.

Supporting the players will be coach Dave Ellis, trainer Brent Huff and team leader Cheryl Kirk.

Follow the bouncing ball….

No comments: