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

Follow the bouncing ball....

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

Follow the bouncing ball....

Sunday, March 25, 2018

2018 Pan American Championships - Day 2

On the second day of competition at the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile perhaps the biggest result is Maikel Mollet of Cuba upsetting Thomas Carter of the USA, 15-14, 5-15, 11-9. Cuba does not have a big tradition in racquetball, but they have four players in Temuco, and they look to be doing well.

Mollet has a good forehand, but a suspect backhand, yet he was able to squeak out the first game against Carter, 15-14.Carter, a left-hander playing in his first international event for Team USA, fought back well in game two, winning 15-5, and he had the lead early in game three, 5-2. But Mollet came back and tied it 8-8.

They tied again at 9-9, and then Mollet got the 10th point with a strong forehand down the left side that Carter dove to get, but was called two bounces. On the next rally, Mollet drove serve to the left - Carter’s forehand - and Carter returned it down the line, but it was away from the wall, so Mollet could get a racquet on it, and he flicked it to the front wall for a roll out. Mollet could do that 10 times and skip 5 of them, but on that one - the one that counted - it rolled, and that was the match winner.

But Carter did get a W in Men’s Doubles with partner David Horn, as they beat Carlos Medrano and Marco Sarmiento of Honduras, 15-1, 15-6.

It was a good day for Chilean Francisco Troncoso, because he beat Kadim Carrasco of Bolivia, 15-8, 15-8, and won his in Men’s Doubles match with Johan Igor over Costa Ricans Felipe Camacho and Teobaldo Fumero, 15-5, 14-15, 11-4.

Play in the group stage continues Monday with the elimination round beginning on Wednesday.

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

Women's Singles

Group A


Maria José Vargas (Argentina) d. Valeria Centallas (Bolivia), 15-7, 15-9
Paola Longoria (Mexico) - BYE

Group B

Jen Saunders (Canada) d. Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala), 15-12, 15-1
Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecuador) - BYE

Group C

Natalia Mendez (Argentina) d. Jasmine Sabja (Bolivia), 5-15, 15-8, 11-3
Samantha Salas (Mexico) - BYE

Group D

Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) d. Alexis Iwaasa (Canada), 15-2, 15-5
Yurisleidis Araujo (Cuba) d. Maria José Muñoz (Ecuador), 15-8, 14-15, 11-6

Group E

Rhonda Rajsich (USA) d. Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba), 15-4, 15-3
Carla Muñoz (Chile) d. Maria Paz Riquelme (Colombia), 15-9, 15-8

Group F

Cristina Amaya (Colombia) d. Josefa Parada (Chile), 15-0, 15-2
Janel Tisinger (USA) d. Maricruz Ortiz (Costa Rica), 15-3, 15-9

Women's Doubles

Group A


Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) d. Michèle Morissette & Christine Richardson (Canada), 15-3, 15-6
Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria (Mexico) - BYE

Group B

Stefanny Barrios & Jenny Daza (Bolivia) d. Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros (Colombia), 15-3, 15-3
Rhonda Rajsich & Janel Tisinger (USA) - BYE

Group C

Natalia Mendez & Maria José Vargas (Argentina) d. Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile), 15-6, 15-8
Maria Paz Muñoz & Ana Lucia Sarmiento (Ecuador) d. Yurisleidis Araujo & Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba), 15-14, 11-15 11-4

Men's Singles

Group A


Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. Marco Sarmiento (Honduras), 15-4, 15-3
Gabriel Garcia (Costa Rica) d. Andres Gomez (Colombia), 10-15, 15-4, 11-3

Group B

David Horn (USA) d. Enier Chacon Gomez (Cuba), 15-2, 15-6
Edwin Galicia (Guatemala) d. Christian Chavez (Ecuador), 15-6, 15-10

Group C

Andree Parrilla (Mexico) d. Carlos Medrano (Honduras), 15-5, 15-5
Andres Acuña (Costa Rica) d. Set Cubillos (Colombia), 15-13, 15-4

Group D

Maikel Mollet (Cuba) d. Thomas Carter (USA), 15-14, 5-15, 11-9
Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) d. Juan Jose Salvatierra (Guatemala), 0-15, 15-4, 11-4

Group E

Carlos Keller (Bolivia) d. Rodrigo Salgado (Chile), 15-4, 15-2
Trevor Webb (Canada) d. Fernando Kurzbard (Argentina), 15-4, 15-8

Group F

Francisco Troncoso (Chile) d. Kadim Carrasco (Bolivia), 15-8, 15-8
Pedro Castro (Canada) d. Shai Manzuri (Argentina), 15-1, 15-8

Men’s Doubles

Group A


Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. Enier Chacon Gomez & Maikel Mollet (Cuba), 15-7, 15-6
Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) d. Fernando Kurzbard & Daniel Maggi (Argentina), 15-2, 15-10

Group B

Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) d. Andres Gomez & Set Cubillos (Colombia), 15-13, 6-15, 11-9
Thomas Carter & David Horn (USA) v. Carlos Medrano & Marco Sarmiento (Honduras), 15-1, 15-6

Group C

Johan Igor & Francisco Troncoso (Chile) d. Felipe Camacho & Teobaldo Fumero (Costa Rica), 15-5, 14-15, 11-4
Nicolas Bousquet & Samuel Murray (Canada) d. Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer (Guatemala), 15-10, 15-3

Follow the bouncing ball....

Saturday, March 24, 2018

2018 Pan American Championships - Day 1 results

As play began Saturday at the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile, the big upsets were in Women’s Doubles, as the top three seeded countries all lost. Most significantly, Guatemalans Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez beat top seeded Mexicans Alexandra Herrera and Paola Longoria (Mexico), 15-8, 15-12. It’s the first time Longoria is playing doubles at an international event with someone other than Samantha Salas.

The 2nd seeded USA team of Rhonda Rajsich and Janel Tisinger also lost, but narrowly, as Stefanny Barrios and Jenny Daza of Bolivia squeaked out the win, 15-10, 5-15, 11-10. Finally, 3rd seeds Maria Paz Muñoz and Ana Lucia Sarmiento of Ecuador were beaten by the Argentine team Natalia Mendez and Maria José Vargas, 15-9, 15-11.

No surprises in Women’s Singles, but there were three tie-breakers. In one Cristina Amaya of Colombia defeated Tisinger (USA), 15-0, 11-15, 11-8. In another Muñoz (Ecuador) got the better of Rodriguez (Guatemala), 15-3, 3-15, 11-6, and finally, Canadian Alexis Iwaasa outlasted Yrisleidis Araujo of Cuba, 15-6, 3-15, 11-9.

In contrast, there was only one tie-breaker in Men’s Singles, as Kadim Carrasco of Bolivia defeated Canadian Pedro Castro, 15-10, 4-15, 11-8. But there were a couple of upsets, and both came in Group D, where Jose Daniel Ugalde of Ecuador best Thomas Carter of the USA, 15-6, 15-13 and Cuban Maikel Mollet defeated Juan Jose Salvatierra of Guatemala, 15-13, 15-5.

Ecuador also got the better of the USA in Men’s Doubles Group B, as Ugalde and Juan Francisco Cueva won in a tie-breaker, 3-15, 15-12, 11-7. Also in Group B, Carlos Medrano and Marco Sarmiento of Honduras were surprise winners over Andres Gomez and Set Cubillos of Colombia, 15-14, 15-11.

Play in the group stage continues Sunday and Monday with the elimination round beginning on Thursday.

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

Women's Singles

Group A


Paola Longoria (Mexico) d. Valeria Centallas (Bolivia), 15-10, 15-8
Maria José Vargas (Argentina) - BYE

Group B

Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecuador) d. Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala), 15-3, 3-15, 11-6
Jen Saunders (Canada) - BYE

Group C

Samantha Salas (Mexico) d. Jasmine Sabja (Bolivia), 15-11, 15-12
Natalia Mendez (Argentina) - BYE

Group D

Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala) d. Maria José Muñoz (Ecuador), 15-7, 15-2
Alexis Iwaasa (Canada) d. Yurisleidis Araujo (Cuba), 15-6, 3-15, 11-9

Group E

Rhonda Rajsich (USA) d. Maria Paz Riquelme (Colombia), 15-d, 15-4
Carla Muñoz (Chile) d. Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba), 15-2, 15-10

Group F

Cristina Amaya (Colombia) d. Janel Tisinger (USA), 15-0, 11-15, 11-8
Maricruz Ortiz (Costa Rica) d. Josefa Parada (Chile), 15-1, 15-3

Women's Doubles

Group A


Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala) d. Alexandra Herrera & Paola Longoria (Mexico), 15-8, 15-12
Michèle Morissette & Christine Richardson (Canada) - BYE

Group B

Stefanny Barrios & Jenny Daza (Bolivia) d. Rhonda Rajsich & Janel Tisinger (USA), 15-10, 5-15, 11-10
Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros (Colombia) - BYE

Group C

Natalia Mendez & Maria José Vargas (Argentina) d. Maria Paz Muñoz & Ana Lucia Sarmiento (Ecuador), 15-9, 15-11
Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile) d. Yurisleidis Araujo & Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba), 15-6, 15-11

Men's Singles

Group A


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

Group B

David Horn (USA) d. Christian Chavez (Ecuador), 15-7, 15-10
Edwin Galicia (Guatemala) d. Enier Chacon Gomez (Cuba), 15-14, 15-11

Group C

Andree Parrilla (Mexico) d. Andres Acuña (Costa Rica), 15-7, 15-8
Set Cubillos (Colombia) d. Carlos Medrano (Honduras), 15-9, 15-1

Group D

Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) d. Thomas Carter (USA), 15-6, 15-13
Maikel Mollet (Cuba) d. Juan Jose Salvatierra (Guatemala), 15-13, 15-5

Group E

Carlos Keller (Bolivia) d. Trevor Webb (Canada), 15-12, 15-6
Fernando Kurzbard (Argentina) d. Rodrigo Salgado (Chile), 15-6, 15-13

Group F

Kadim Carrasco (Bolivia) d, Pedro Castro (Canada), 15-10, 4-15, 11-8
Francisco Troncoso (Chile) d. Shai Manzuri (Argentina), 15-2, 15-6

Men’s Doubles

Group A


Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) d. Fernando Kurzbard & Daniel Maggi (Argentina), 15-5, 15-2
Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) v. Enier Chacon Gomez & Maikel Mollet (Cuba), 15-6, 15-13

Group B

Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador) d. Thomas Carter & David Horn (USA), 3-15, 15-12, 11-7
Carlos Medrano & Marco Sarmiento (Honduras) d. Andres Gomez & Set Cubillos (Colombia), 15-14, 15-11

Group C

Felipe Camacho & Teobaldo Fumero (Costa Rica) d. Nicolas Bousquet & Samuel Murray (Canada), 15-14, 1-15, 11-4
Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer (Guatemala) d. Johan Igor & Francisco Troncoso (Chile), 15-11, 15-5

Follow the bouncing ball....

2018 Pan American Championships - Day 1

Competition begins Saturday at the XXXI Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile. There will be three days of group play to set up the elimination round that will begin on Wednesday. Seeding for the group stage is based on the performances of the countries over the past three Pan American Championships, so the seedings aren’t like you’d see on the pro tours.

Case in point. In Women’s Singles, both Paola Longoria (Mexico) and Maria José Vargas (Argentina) are in the same group as are their team-mates Samantha Salas (Mexico) and Natalia Mendez (Argentina).

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

Women's Singles

Group A


Paola Longoria (Mexico) v. Valeria Centallas (Bolivia)
Maria José Vargas (Argentina) - BYE

Group B

Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecuador) v. Maria Renee Rodriguez (Guatemala)
Jen Saunders (Canada) - BYE

Group C

Samantha Salas (Mexico) v. Jasmine Sabja (Bolivia)
Natalia Mendez (Argentina) - BYE

Group D

Maria José Muñoz (Ecuador) v. Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala)
Alexis Iwaasa (Canada) v. Yurisleidis Araujo (Cuba)

Group E

Rhonda Rajsich (USA) v. Maria Paz Riquelme (Colombia)
Carla Muñoz (Chile) v. Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba)

Group F

Cristina Amaya (Colombia) v. Janel Tisinger (USA)
Maricruz Ortiz (Costa Rica) v. Josefa Parada (Chile)

Women's Doubles

Group A


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

Group B

Rhonda Rajsich & Janel Tisinger (USA) v. Stefanny Barrios & Jenny Daza (Bolivia)
Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros (Colombia) - BYE

Group C

Maria Paz Muñoz & Ana Lucia Sarmiento (Ecuador) v. Natalia Mendez & Maria José Vargas (Argentina)
Carla Muñoz & Josefa Parada (Chile) v. Yurisleidis Araujo & Maria Viera Gonzales (Cuba)

Men's Singles

Group A


Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) v. Gabriel Garcia (Costa Rica)
Andres Gomez (Colombia) v. Marco Sarmiento (Honduras)

Group B

David Horn (USA) v. Christian Chavez (Ecuador)
Edwin Galicia (Guatemala) v. Enier Chacon Gomez (Cuba)

Group C

Andree Parrilla (Mexico) v. Andres Acuña (Costa Rica)
Set Cubillos (Colombia) v. Carlos Medrano (Honduras)

Group D

Thomas Carter (USA) v. Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador)
Juan Jose Salvatierra (Guatemala) v. Maikel Mollet (Cuba)

Group E

Carlos Keller (Bolivia) v. Trevor Webb (Canada)
Fernando Kurzbard (Argentina) v. Rodrigo Salgado (Chile)

Group F

Pedro Castro (Canada) v. Kadim Carrasco (Bolivia)
Francisco Troncoso (Chile) v. Shai Manzuri (Argentina)

Men’s Doubles

Group A


Alvaro Beltran & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) v. Fernando Kurzbard & Daniel Maggi (Argentina)
Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia) v. Enier Chacon Gomez & Maikel Mollet (Cuba)

Group B

Thomas Carter & David Horn (USA) v. Juan Francisco Cueva & Jose Daniel Ugalde (Ecuador)
Andres Gomez & Set Cubillos (Colombia) v. Carlos Medrano & Marco Sarmiento (Honduras)

Group C

Felipe Camacho & Teobaldo Fumero (Costa Rica) v. Nicolas Bousquet & Samuel Murray (Canada)
Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer (Guatemala) v. Johan Igor & Francisco Troncoso (Chile)

Follow the bouncing ball....

Friday, March 23, 2018

XXXI Pan American Championships Preview

The XXXI Pan American Championships will begin on Saturday in Temuco, Chile. This the second time these championships have been in Temuco and fourth time they’ve been in Chile. They were last there in 2012, when Paola Longoria of Mexico won both Women’s Singles and Doubles with Samantha Salas with Mike Green of Canada winning Men’s Singles and Bolivians Roland Keller and Ricardo Monroy winning Men’s Doubles. That’s the only time a South American team has won Men’s Doubles at Pan Am Championships.

Last year in Costa Rica, Longoria and Salas also won Women’s Doubles, and they will be in Temuco, but will not defend that title, because Longoria and Alexandra Herrera are the Mexican Women’s Doubles team (Salas will be the second player in Women’s Singles), which is a surprising change given the considerable success Longoria and Salas have had. They’ve won gold five times at the Pan American Championships, gold three times at the World Championships, and gold twice at the Pan American Games. Changing such a successful team is puzzling.

Rhonda Rajsich, the American veteran, won Women’s Singles last year by upsetting Longoria in the final. It was a surprise win considering Longoria had won gold at 10 consecutive international events dating back to the 2011 Pan American Championships. That span included four of the previous five Pan Am Championships (she was absent in 2014), as well as on three occasions before that. Her seven Pan Am Championship Women’s Singles titles are the most ever followed by USA players Michelle Gould and Cheryl Gudinas, who have four each; Rajsich has three.

While Mexico didn’t win Women’s Singles last year, they won the other three divisions: Alejandro Landa won Men’s Singles, and teamed up with Polo Gutierrez to win Men’s Doubles, as well as Longoria and Salas’s win in Women’s Doubles. It’s possible Mexico will do that again, or even sweep the gold as they did in 2016.

The International Racquetball Federation (IRF) announced the Mexican team will be Alvaro Beltran, Rodrigo Montoya and Andree Parrilla. At the Mexican qualifying event, Daniel De La Rosa won Men’s Doubles with Beltran and was second in Men’s Singles to Montoya, but De La Rosa may have declined to play. Thus, their team in Men’s Doubles could be Beltran and Parrilla, who’s coming off his first win on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT).

The USA will be represented by four players who will play both singles and doubles. The team will be led by Rajsich, who will once again wear USA on her back, and will team with Janel Tisinger in doubles. Rajsich and Tisinger have won gold at Pan Am Championships, and have done so in Chile, though in Santiago in 2007. Rasjich will be representing the USA for the 23rd time with Tisinger making her 5th appearance on the team.

David Horn will make his 6th appearance on the USA, and he’s in form, coming off his 1st IRT final, which he lost to Parrilla. Horn was runner up in Men’s Doubles last year with Jake Bredenbeck. He’ll try to go one better this year with Thomas Carter as his partner. Carter is making his first appearance on Team USA.

The Canadian team is a mix of veterans and rookies. In the veteran category is Jennifer Saunders, who’ll play Women’s Singles, as well as Pedro Castro (Women’s Singles), Michèle Morissette (Women’s Doubles), Samuel Murray (Men’s Doubles) and Christine Richardson (Women’s Doubles). The rookies are Nicolas Bousquet, who’ll play doubles with Murray, Alexis Iwaasa, who’ll play Women’s Singles, and Trevor Webb, who’ll play Men’s Singles. This is the first event Canada has had new players since 2014, when Castro, Murray and Morissette all made their debuts.

There will be several good players from other Central and South American countries in Temuco, including Argentina's Natalia Mendez and Maria José Vargas, Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros of Colombia, Carla Muñoz of Chile, Bolivians Conrrado Moscoso, Roland Keller, Carlos Keller and Jenny Daza, Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez of Guatemala and Andres Acuña of Costa Rica.

XXX Pan American Racquetball Championships
San Jose, Costa Rica - April 8-15, 2017

Women's Singles


Gold - Rhonda Rajsich (USA)
Silver - Paola Longoria (Mexico)
Bronze - Samantha Salas (Mexico), Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala)

Women's Doubles

Gold - Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mexico)
Silver - Maria Paz Muñoz & Veronica Sotomayor (Ecuador)
Bronze - Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich (USA), Andrea Martinez & Gabriela Martinez (Guatemala)

Men's Singles

Gold - Alejandro Landa (Mexico)
Silver - Charlie Pratt (USA)
Bronze - Andres Acuña (Costa Rica), Javier Mar (Mexico)

Men's Doubles

Gold - Alejandro Landa & Javier Moreno (Mexico)
Silver - Jake Bredenbeck & David Horn (USA)
Bronze - Ramon De Leon & Luis Perez (Dominican Republic), Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia)

Follow the bouncing ball....

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Carson is IRT's #1 now, but will he be at season's end?

Rocky Carson has again ascended to the top of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) rankings that were released this week following Andree Parrilla’s win at the 2018 IRT Shamrock Shootout in Lombard, Illinois last weekend. Carson moves up to #1 from #2 despite losing in the quarterfinals to Parrilla in Illinois, as former #1 Kane Waselenchuk is still out with the knee injury he suffered in the semi-finals of the LA Open in January. Waselenchuk's now #2.

There are only two events left in the IRT season - the Mercedes-Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids in Cincinnati and the Florida IRT Regional Championships in Sarasota - so can Waselenchuk still finish #1?

We think so. The rankings work on a 12 month basis, so whether Waselenchuk can make up the 350 point deficit he has to Carson will depend on both how he and Carson do in Cincinnati and Florida, and how that compares to how they did in those events last year. Waselenchuk didn’t play Cincinnati last year, so he has no points from that event, and he won the Florida event. Carson won in Cincinnati and finished 2nd in Florida a year ago.

Thus, Carson has more points to defend than Waselenchuk, so if Waselenchuk wins in Cincinnati and Florida, then he’ll have a good chance to finish #1, especially if Carson doesn’t match his 1st and 2nd finishes from a year ago.

The wild card in this scenario is Waselenchuk’s health. How severe is his knee injury? It's bad enough that he's missed three straight tournaments over a two month period. Waselenchuk’s missed the occasional tournament over his career, but he hasn't missed three tournaments in a row since he started playing the IRT full time in the 2001-02 season.

That has to be concerning for all racquetball fans.

IRT Rankings - March 22, 2018

Rank - Player - Country - Points


1 Rocky CARSON (USA) 3051.35
2 Kane WASELENCHUK (Canada) 2700.70
3 Daniel DE LA ROSA (Mexico) 2450.18
4 Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico) 1986.02
5 Alejandro LANDA (Mexico) 1714.16

6 Samuel MURRAY (Canada) 1639.77
7 Jansen ALLEN (USA) 1631.75
8 Mario MERCADO (Colombia) 1498.01
9 Sebsatian FRANCO (Colombia) 1478.96
10 Andree PARRILLA (Mexico) 1191.94

11 David HORN (USA) 936.01
12 Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica) 825.04
13 Charles PRATT (USA) 822.14
14 Jose DIAZ (USA) 800.01
15 Jake BREDENBECK (USA) 756.00

16 Adam MANILLA (USA) 706.03
17 Robert COLLINS (USA) 649.82
18 Nicholas RIFFEL (USA) 521.02
19 Justus BENSON (USA) 520.81
20 Thomas CARTER (USA) 478.03

Throwback Thursday - Rankings version

We came across the IRT rankings from three years ago, and it’s interesting to compare it to the current rankings. First, Carson was #1 in March 2015, as he is now, yet Waselenchuk - then #2 - finished that season as #1. Also, Daniel De La Rosa and Alvaro Beltran were in the top four in 2015, as they are now, although they have flipped positions with De La Rosa 3rd and Beltran 4th now.

But of the rest of the top 10 only Jansen Allen is still there three years later, and - perhaps appropriately - Allen is 7th now just as he was in 2015.

Four of the other top 10 players in March 2015 - Ben Croft, Jose Rojas, Marco Rojas and Tony Carson - aren’t even in the top 20 now, while Charles Pratt, who was 9th in 2015, is only 13th now, although he won an IRT event this season. Given the choice between winning an event and being in the top 10 in March, Pratt would likely take the title over the ranking.

Of the players in the next 10 in 2015, Alejandro Landa has jumped up to be 5th now, but only two of the other players are still in the top 20. Jose Diaz was 13th two years ago and is 14th now, and Robert Collins was 16th two years ago and is now 17th.

IRT Rankings - March 23, 2015

Rank - Player - Country - Points


1 Rocky CARSON (USA) 3592
2 Kane WASELENCHUK (Canada) 3590
3 Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico) 2862
4 Daniel DE LA ROSA (Mexico) 2226
5 Ben CROFT (USA) 2080

6 Jose ROJAS (USA) 2046
7 Jansen ALLEN (USA) 1594
8 Marco ROJAS (USA) 1411
9 Charlie PRATT (USA) 1344
10 Tony CARSON (USA) 1158

11 Chris CROWTHER (USA) 1010
12 Alejandro LANDA (Mexico) 950
13 Jose DIAZ (USA) 759
14 Matthew MAJXNER (USA) 689
15 Danny LAVELY (USA) 688

16 Robert COLLINS (USA) 595
17 Cliff SWAIN (USA) 543
18 Tim LANDERYOU (Canada) 503
19 Coby IWAASA (Canada) 458
20 Alejandro HERRERA (Colombia) 409

The 2017-18 IRT season will next be in action April 5-8 with the Mercedes-Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids in Cincinnati, and the last singles Tier 1 event of the season will be April 26-29 at the Florida IRT Regional Championships in Sarasota.

But the season ends with a special event: the 2018 World Doubles Open Championships in Denver, May 2-6. This championship will be a combined IRT and Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) event with doubles only, but also mixed doubles, so the best of the IRT will pair up with the best of LPRT, which should be a fun time.

Follow the bouncing ball....

Monday, March 19, 2018

2018 USA Racquetball Intercollegiates Review

The 2018 USA Racquetball Intercollegiate Championships concluded on the weekend, and we’ve put this year’s top four players in the record with other top four finishers going back to 2006.

Carla Muñoz’s (Colorado State, Pueblo) three-peat in Women’s Singles makes her the third woman with three Intercollegiate titles, joining Kristen Walsh (2001, 2003 & 2004) and Tammy Brockbank (1995-1997). Muñoz could best them by winning a fourth title in her last year of eligibility in 2019.

Erika Manilla and Erin Boadway of Northern Arizona repeated as Women’s Doubles champions, and the last players to do that were Elizabeth Simmons and Lindsay Rasmussen in 2014 adn 2015. Will they have a chance to win all four years? If they do, they’ll join Sharon Jackson in accomplishing the feat, as Jackson won Women’s Doubles all four years while playing for the University of Alabama from 2009 to 2012. The first two years Jackson’s partner was Kara Mazur, while she won with Brittany Travers in 2011 and Madeleine Angles in 2012.

Erik Garcia joined the fine list of Men’s Singles Intercollegiate Champions from Colorado State, Pueblo, and he’s the first from the school to win the title since Jansen Allen in 2012. Other Colorado State, Pueblo (CSU) champions are Tony Carson (2008) and Ben Croft (2005-2007).

Garcia also captured the Men’s Doubles title with Justus Benson, which was the first doubles title for CSU since 2014, when Felipe Camacho and Brad Schopieray won the title.

Brigham Young University won the Women’s Team title, and they did so as a team, because Intercollegiates works with six players per team with the #1 players in one division, #2 players in a second division, and so on. Then there is also #1, #2 and #3 doubles. The individual results mentioned above are for the #1 division.

But BYU didn’t have great results in the #1 division, but they had six players, whose results put together got them on top of the podium. So, here’s a shout out to Krista Yourstone (2nd in #1 red division), Emmalee Packer (4th in #2 singles), Victoria Lionetti (1st in #3 singles), Chloe Durrans (4th in #4 singles [by an 11-10 breaker!]), Krystal Bowen (1st in #5 singles), and Leena Hwang (1st in #6 singles). In #1 doubles, Packer and Yourstone were quarterfinalists. Durrans and Lionetti won #2 doubles, and Bowen and Hwang won #3 doubles.

Colorado State, Pueblo won the Men’s Team and Overall Team titles.

USA Racquetball Intercollegiate Champions

Women's Singles


2018

1) Carla Muñoz (Colorado State)
2) Erika Manilla (Northern Arizona)
3) Hollie Scott (Washington)
4) Lexi York (Oregon State)

2017

1) Carla Muñoz (Colorado State)
2) Melania Sauma (Arizona State)
3) Lexi York (Oregon State)
4) Katie Nieswiadomy (Texas A&M)

2016

1) Carla Muñoz (Las Positas)
2) Kelani Bailey (Shenandoah)
3) Lexi York (Oregon State)
4) Devon Pimentelli (Bellevue College)

2015

1) Kelani Bailey (Shenandoah)
2) Elizabeth Simmons (Arizona)
3) Hannah Shnurman (Northern Colorado)
4) Rachel Creel (Oregon State)

2014

1. Devon Pimentelli (Canada College)
2. Amanda Lindsay (Oregon State)
3. Samantha Simmons (Maryland)
4. Elizabeth Simmons (Arizona)

2013

1. Kelani Bailey (Shenandoah)
2. Danielle Key (Arizona State)
3. Amanda Lindsay (Oregon State)
4. Kelly Gremley (Purdue)

2012

1. Sharon Jackson (Alabama)
2. Danielle Key (Arizona State)
3. Sheryl Lotts (Baldwin Wallace)
4. Hailey Miller (Oregon)

2011

1. Michelle Key (Arizona State)
2. Sharon Jackson (Univ. of Alabama)
3. Sheryl Lotts (Baldwin Wallace)
4. Kelly Gremley (Purdue)

2010

1. Sharon Jackson (Univ. of Alabama)
2. Michelle Key (Univ. of Arizona)
3. Sheryl Lotts (Baldwin Wallace)
4. Ashley Willhite (Oregon State)

2009

1. Sheryl Lotts (Baldwin Wallace)
2. Kara Mazer (University of Alabama)
3. Ashley Willhite (Oregon State)
4. Teresa Diaz (Delta College)

2008

1. Kara Mazer (University of Alabama)
2. Sarah Hettesheimer (Baldwin Wallace)
3. Ashley Willhite (Oregon State)
4. Sue Sublaban (Delta College)

2007

1. Kimberly Irons (Ohio University)
2. Jesi Fuller (University of New Mexico)
3. Da'monique Davis (University of Alabama)
4. Sarah Hettesheimer (Baldwin Wallace)

2006

1. Adrienne Fisher (University of Alabama)
2. Ashley Legget (Oregon State)
3. Jesi Fuller (University of New Mexico)
4. Allison Dauer (North Carolina)

Women's Doubles

2018

1) Erin Boadway & Erika Manilla (Northern Arizona)
2) Natalie Lorati & Lexi York (Oregon State)
3) Kayla Day & Carla Muñoz (Colorado State)
4) Tylynn Barker & Courtnie Duncan (Utah State)

2017

1) Erin Boadway & Erika Manilla (Northern Arizona)
2) Samantha Baker & Carla Muñoz (Colorado State)
3) Erica Lipski & Lexi York (Oregon State)
4) Madeline Gauch & Christina Hughes (Missouri)

2016

1) Erica Lipski & Lexi York (Oregon State)
2) Jordan Giljum & Madeline Gauch (Missouri)
3) Jessilee Loucks & Lindsey Raven (Brigham Young)
4) Alexis Templeton & Antonia Duran (New Mexico)

2015

1) Elizabeth Simmons & Lindsay Rasmussen (Arizona)
2) Rachel Creel & Sarah Lewis (Oregon State)
3) Anna Schwartz & Madeline Gauch (Missouri)
4) Stefanie Nissley & Kerry Ryan (Pennsylvania State)

2014

1. Elizabeth Simmons & Lindsay Rasmussen (Arizona)
2. Amanda Lindsay & Karissa Beatty (Oregon State)
3. Anna Schwartz & Rachel Schmidt (Missouri)
4. Adrienne Schneider & Sara Moulton (Brigham Young)

2013

1. Danielle Key & Devon Pimentelli (Arizona State)
2. Amanda Lindsay & Karissa Beatty (Oregon State)
3. Elizabeth Simmons & Lindsay Rasmussen (Arizona)
4. Eliza Culverwell & Mary Culverwell (Brigham Young)

2012

1. Madeleine Angles & Sharon Jackson (University of Alabama)
2. Molly Haragan & Sheryl Lotts (Baldwin Wallace)
3. Danielle Key & Izayadeth Aguayo (Arizona State)
4. Leah Redwine & Hailey Miller (University Of Oregon)

2011

1. Sharon Jackson & Brittany Travers (University of Alabama)
2. Sheryl Lotts & Tracy Hawthorne (Baldwin Wallace)
3. Hailey Miller & Leah Redwine (University of Oregon)
4. Izayadeth Aguayo & Michelle Key (Arizona State)

2010

1. Sharon Jackson & Kara Mazur (University of Alabama)
2. Sheryl Lotts & Tracy Hawthorne (Baldwin Wallace)
3. Haley Strom & Holly Hettesheimer (University Of Cincinnati)
4. Izayadeth Aguayo & Michelle Key (Arizona State)

2009

1. Sharon Jackson & Kara Mazer (University of Alabama)
2. Sarah Hettesheimer & Sheryl Lotts (Baldwin Wallace)
3. Alyssa Asay & Ashley Willhite (Oregon State)
4. Eliza Culverwell & Charlotte Macfarlane (Brigham Young)

2008

1. Alyssa Asay & Ashley Willhite (Oregon State)
2. Mallory Parry & Darla Wenger (Brigham Young)
3. Sarah Hettesheimer & Tyler Fridley (Baldwin Wallace)
4. Kara Mazer & Brittany Travers (University of Alabama)

2007

1. Da'monique Davis & Kara Mazer (University of Alabama)
2. Sarah Hettesheimer & Kristin Matushevski (Baldwin Wallace)
3. Michelle Key & Jessica Montemayor (Arizona State)
4. Mallory Parry & Katherine Affeltranger (Brigham Young)

2006

1. Ashley Legget & Ashley Willhite (Oregon State)
2. Da'monique Davis & Kelley Fisher (University of Alabama)
3. Jesi Fuller & Natalie Alexia Lopez (New Mexico State)
4. Gretchen Miller & Kristen Karl (Pennsylvania State)

Men's Singles

2018

1) Erik Garcia (Colorado State, Pueblo)
2) Alejandro Almada (Texas)
3) Sam Bredenbeck (Oregon State)
4) Kyle Ulliman (Baldwin Wallace)

2017

1) Thomas Carter (Baldwin Wallace)
2) Erik Garcia (Colorado State, Pueblo)
3) Adam Manilla (Colorado)
4) Mauro Rojas (Delta College)

2016

1) Marco Rojas (University of the Pacific)
2) David Horn (California State-Hayward)
3) Thomas Carter (Baldwin Wallace)
4) Brad Schopieray (Colorado State, Pueblo)

2015

1) Adam Manilla (Colorado)
2) Marco Rojas (University of the Pacific)
3) Dylan Reid (Washington University)
4) Brad Schopieray (Colorado State, Pueblo)

2014

1. Jose Diaz (Delta College)
2. Nick Montalbano (Colorado State, Pueblo)
3. Adam Manilla (Colorado State)
4. Joel Barshaw (Oregon State)

2013

1. Taylor Knoth (Oregon State)
2. Nick Montalbano (Colorado State, Pueblo)
3. Cole Burr (Brigham Young)
4. Jordan Matthews (North Carolina State)

2012

1. Jansen Allen (Colorado State, Pueblo)
2. Taylor Knoth (Oregon State)
3. John Craig Chisholm (Boston Univ.)
4. Jose Diaz (Delta College)

2011

1. Taylor Knoth (Oregon State)
2. Nick Montalbano (Colorado State, Pueblo)
3. Danny Lavely (Univ. of Alabama)
4. John Craig Chisholm (Boston Univ.)

2010

1. Jose Rojas (Delta College)
2. Taylor Knoth (Univ. of Oregon)
3. Joey Lakowske (Oregon State)
4. Allan Crockett (Univ. of Alabama)

2009

1. Jose Rojas (Delta College)
2. Allan Crockett (University of Alabama)
3. Tony Carson (Colorado State)
4. Anthony Herrera (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)

2008

1. Tony Carson (Colorado State, Pueblo)
2. Anthony Herrera (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs)
3. Bradly Rogers (Wichita)
4. Allan Crockett (University of Alabama)

2007

1. Ben Croft (Colorado State, Pueblo)
2. Agustin Tristan (University of Alabama)
3. Evan Ussery (University of New Mexico)
4. Phil Matthews (University of Illinois)

2006

1. Ben Croft (Colorado State, Pueblo)
2. Agustin Tristan (University of Alabama)
3. Mike Harmon (Manatee Community College)
4. Louis Vogel (University of New Mexico)

Men's Doubles

2018

1) Justus Benson & Erik Garcia (Colorado State, Pueblo)
2) Jeremy Dixon & Kyle Ulliman (Baldwin Wallace)
3) Sam Bredenbeck & Alexander DeHart (Oregon State)
4) Alejandro Almada & Jerry Yang (Texas)

2017

1) Thomas Carter & Manolo Sandoval (Baldwin Wallace)
2) Erik Garcia & Brad Schopieray (Colorado State, Pueblo)
3) Adam Manilla & Nick Riffel (Colorado)
4) Mauro Rojas & Francisco Troncoso (Delta College)

2016

1) Jose Diaz & Marco Rojas (University of the Pacific)
2) Jeremy McGlothin & Brad Schopieray (Colorado State, Pueblo)
3) Thomas Carter & Manolo Sandoval (Baldwin Wallace)
4) Matt McAdam & Nick Riffel (Colorado)

2015

1) Adam Manilla & Nick Riffel (Colorado)
2) Jacob Matthews & Brad Schopieray (Colorado State, Pueblo)
3) Joel Bradshow & Sam Reid (Oregon State)
4) Jon Lanford & Alex Howard (Texas)

2014

1. Felipe Camacho & Brad Schopieray (Colorado State, Pueblo)
2. Adam Manilla & Nick Riffel (Colorado State)
3. Joel Bradshow & Sam Reid (Oregon State)
4. Danny Sardina & Zachary Patterson (Arizona State)

2013

1. Taylor Knoth & Joel Bradshow (Oregon State)
2. Nick Montalbano & Jake Bredenbeck (Colorado State, Pueblo)
3. Cole Burr & Brian Zundel (Brigham Young)
4. Alex Fischler & Joe Koch (Missouri)

2012

1. Jansen Allen & Nick Montalbano (Colorado State, Pueblo)
2. Grant Stalley & Taylor Knoth (Oregon State)
3. Brad Falvey & Danny Lavely (Alabama)
4. Cole Burr & Joseph Blank (Brigham Young)

2011

1. Felipe Camacho & Jansen Allen (Colorado State, Pueblo)
2. Allan Crockett & Danny Lavely (University of Alabama)
3. Joey Pryor & Taylor Knoth (Oregon State)
4. Jeff Skanchy & Joseph Blank (Brigham Young)

2010

1. David Horn & Jose Rojas (Delta College)
2. Jansen Allen & Tyler Otto (Colorado State)
3. Allan Crockett & Jonathan Doyle (University of Alabama)
4. David Laforest & Joey Lakowske (Oregon State)

2009

1. Tony Carson & Jansen Allen (Colorado State)
2. Jose Rojas & Ismael Aldana Jr. (Delta College)
3. Allan Crockett & Jonathan Doyle (University of Alabama)
4. Harry Fuller & Zach Apperson (Baldwin Wallace)

2008

1. Tony Carson & Charlie Pratt (Colorado State)
2. Harry Fuller & Zach Apperson (Baldwin Wallace)
3. David Laforest & Joey Lakowske (Oregon State)
4. Allan Crockett & Jonathan Doyle (University of Alabama)

2007

1. Ben Croft & Mitch Williams (Colorado State)
2. Chris Crockett & Shane Karmelin (University of Alabama)
3. Harry Fuller & Zach Apperson (Baldwin Wallace)
4. Marco Hidalgo & Evan Ussery (New Mexico State)

2006

1. Ben Croft & Mitch Williams (Colorado State)
2. Augustin Tristan & Shane Karmelin (University of Alabama)
3. Scott Perryman & Jared Torres (Brigham Young)
4. Joe Linnell & Benjamin Toth (Ohio State)

Follow the bouncing ball....

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Muñoz & Garcia win at 2018 USA Racquetball Intercollegiate Championships

At the USA Racquetball 2018 Intercollegiate Championships at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis it was all about the repeats on the women’s side and about redemption on the men’s side. Carla Muñoz of Colorado State, Pueblo won the Women’s Singles title for a 3rd straight time with Erin Boadway and Erika Manilla of Northern Arizona repeating as Women’s Doubles champions. Erik Garcia of Colorado State, Pueblo, who was a runner up in singles and doubles last year, won those titles this year, taking the doubles final with Justus Benson.

In women’s play, Muñoz beat Manilla, 15-9, 15-8, in the singles final, while in the doubles final, Boadway and Manilla defeated Natalie Lorati and Lexi York of Oregon State, 14-15, 15-10, 11-8.

On the men’s side, Garcia beat Alejandro Almada (Texas), 15-6, 15-7, and did the double by winning the doubles title with Benson, as they defeated Jeremy Dixon and Kyle Ulliman of Baldwin Wallace University, 15-13, 15-2, in the final.

There were 182 players at this year’s Intercollegiate Championships, which the first time in recent years the total has been under 200. Participation in the last five intercollegiate championships has averaged 213 players, so this year’s participation was down 14.6%. Often the event is on one side of the country or the other, so maybe having it in the middle reduced the numbers.

But of the 182 players, 66 were women, which is 36.2%, and that’s a slightly higher percentage of women than in the last five years. The average percentage of women over the last 5 years has been 32.6%.

If you missed any of the intercollegiate action, check out the USA Racquetball LiveStream channel or on the USA Racquetball Facebook page.

2018 USA Racquetball Intercollegiate Championships
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

(with seedings)

Women's Singles - Final

1) Carla Muñoz (Colorado State) d. 3) Erika Manilla (Northern Arizona), 15-9, 15-8

Women's Singles - 3rd Place

5) Hollie Scott (Washington) d. 2) Lexi York (Oregon State), 11-15, 15-7, 11-2

Women's Singles - Semi-finals

1) Carla Muñoz (Colorado State) d. 5) Hollie Scott (Washington), 15-11, 15-5
3) Erika Manilla (Northern Arizona) d. 2) Lexi York (Oregon State), 15-7, 14-15, 11-8

Women's Doubles - Final

1) Erin Boadway & Erika Manilla (Northern Arizona) d. 3) Natalie Lorati & Lexi York (Oregon State), 14-15, 15-10, 11-8

Women's Doubles - 3rd Place

2) Kayla Day & Carla Muñoz (Colorado State) d. 5) Tylynn Barker & Courtnie Duncan (Utah State), 15-2, 15-10

Women's Doubles - Semi-finals

1) Erin Boadway & Erika Manilla (Northern Arizona) d. 5) Tylynn Barker & Courtnie Duncan (Utah State), 15-3, 15-3
3) Natalie Lorati & Lexi York (Oregon State) d. 2) Kayla Day & Carla Muñoz (Colorado State), 15-7, 12-15, 11-5

Men's Singles - Final

1) Erik Garcia (Colorado State) d. 2) Alejandro Almada (Texas), 15-6, 15-7

Men's Singles - 3rd Place

3) Sam Bredenbeck (Oregon State) d. 4) Kyle Ulliman (Baldwin Wallace), 15-13, 15-8

Men's Singles - Semi-finals

1) Erik Garcia (Colorado State) d. 4) Kyle Ulliman (Baldwin Wallace), 15-13, 15-8
2) Alejandro Almada (Texas), 15-6, 15-7 d. 3) Sam Bredenbeck (Oregon State), 15-5, 15-10

Men's Doubles - Final

2) Justus Benson & Erik Garcia (Colorado State) d. 1) Jeremy Dixon & Kyle Ulliman (Baldwin Wallace), 15-13, 15-2

Men's Doubles - 3rd Place

4) Sam Bredenbeck & Alexander DeHart (Oregon State) d. 3) Alejandro Almada & Jerry Yang (Texas), forfeit

Men's Doubles - Semi-finals

1) Jeremy Dixon & Kyle Ulliman (Baldwin Wallace) d. 4) Sam Bredenbeck & Alexander DeHart (Oregon State), 15-7, 13-15, 11-8
2) Justus Benson & Erik Garcia (Colorado State) d. 3) Alejandro Almada & Jerry Yang (Texas), 15-7, 15-11

Follow the bouncing ball....