Sunday, April 22, 2018

Salas defeats Longoria to win 2018 LPRT Battle at the Alamo

Samantha Salas defeated Paola Longoria, 5-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-4, to win the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Battle at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, which was an outcome that did not seem likely after Longoria - the LPRT’s #1 player - was dominant in the first two games. But just as she had in their last LPRT match back in June 2017 in Chihuahua, Mexico, Salas came back from 0-2 down to win in five games to collect her 3rd career title.

Salas and Longoria teamed to win the LPRT Doubles title in San Antonio. They beat Alexandra Herrera and Monserrat Mejia in the final, 15-6, 15-2.

Salas did get the first three points of the singles final, but Longoria tied it at 4-4, and then took over the match, as she outscored Salas 18-7 from that point until the end of game two, winning both game one and two 11-5.

However, Salas kept fighting, and again took the early lead in game three, 4-1. Longoria responded, and tied the game, 4-4, and then took the lead 5-4. From there they were back and forth, tying each other at 6-6, 7-7 and 9-9.

Salas got the serve back at that point, when Longoria uncharacteristically skipped a forehand pinch shot, which was unforced. Longoria pinched the ball well during the match. Salas got to game point with a backhand winner, but she skipped her first game point trying to go for a forehand pinch winner.

She got the serve right back, though, but needed to appeal for a two bounce get by Longoria to do so. The line judges overturned the referee’s call of a good get by Longoria. Salas won game three on her second game point when Longoria skipped a backhand shot.

From there, Salas never trailed, and was only tied with Longoria at 1-1 in game four. Longoria did get within one of Salas at 8-7 and 10-9 late in game four, which made for a nervy finish. But Salas used lob Z serves to the left side - Longoria’s backhand to finish off game four, winning it when Longoria skipped a forehand shot.

In game five, Salas jumped out to a 7-0 lead and then 9-1. Longoria did get some points but was only cut it to 9-4 before Salas reached match point at 10-4 with a forehand cross court shot that cracked out on the left side. Then after a short drive serve, Salas hit another lob Z to the left, and it led to a set up on the right side, and she flat rolled a forehand for the victory.