Saturday, June 9, 2018

2018 LPRT Classic - Quarterfinals

Nancy Enriquez had the only upset win in the quarterfinals at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT’s) Classic in Overland Park, Kansas, as she knocked off the #3 seed Rhonda Rajsich in three close games, 12-10, 11-5, 11-8. Enriquez will play 2nd seed Frédérique Lambert, who defeated 7th seed Maria Jose Vargas in four games, 13-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-9.

On the top of the draw, doubles partners will face off in the semi-finals, as LPRT #1 Paola Longoria will face 5th seed Samantha Salas. Salas defeated Longoria in their last meeting: the final of the LPRT Battle at the Alamo in San Antonio in April. In the quarterfinals, Longoria beat 8th seed Adriana Riveros, 11-1, 11-5, 11-9, and Salas defeated 13th seed Gabriela Martinez, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9.

The Lambert-Vargas match was close, as expected. They were close throughout game one, and Vargas actually served for the game three times: once at 10-8, and twice at 11-10. But each time Lambert hit winners to deny Vargas the game. After the third time, Lambert called a timeout before serving at 10-11.

The timeout worked, as she came in and won three straight rallies to take game one, 13-11. The winner was a drive serve ace, as the ball jumped out of the back left corner right at Vargas, who had moved over to return it. But Lambert's best shot in these three rallies was a backhand rekill down the line that got her to game point at 12-11.

Vargas was unfazed by dropping game one, as she came out strong in game two, taking an early 6-0 lead. Lambert did respond with five points that cut the lead to 6-5, but that's as close as it got, as Vargas went on to win relatively comfortably, 11-6.

Tables flipped again in game three, as Lambert led 2-0 and 5-1, en route to an 11-3 win. However in game four, Vargas had the stronger start with a lead of 5-1. But that took a long time to develop, as they were at 5-1 after 20 rallies.

From there, Lambert stepped it up to tie it at 6-6, and then they went back and forth with ties at 7-7 and 9-9. Vargas tied it at 9-9 with a forehand reverse pinch, but Lambert got the serve right back. She then hit an ace drive Z serve to the right side to make it 10-9. Lambert then drove the ball to the left side, and Vargas hit a winning cross court return to deny Lambert her first match point. But Vargas skipped a backhand to give the serve right back.

Lambrt called a timeout before serving at 10-9 for a second time. Two hinders prevented her from closing it out until her third serve, which led to a backhand pinch winner, ending the game 11-9 and the match in four games.

The shot of the match came from Lambert, when she dove for a ball early in game three. Lambert, who is not known for diving, laid out in the middle of the court, and hit a backhand reverse winner to the right corner.

Lambert also made the quote of the match, as she was appealing to the referee for a wet ball serve in game one. Lambert hit one of her typical lob serves that seemed to slide along the left side wall rather than just kissing off it. But the referee didn't call a wet ball serve, so Lambert explained to her that "my serve is amazing" but not when it slides along the wall, which should have been called a wet ball. The referee wasn't persuaded by Lambert's argument.

The semi-finals go Saturday afternoon, and you can see them live via the LPRT LiveStream channel beginning at 4 and 5 PM with the singles semis. The doubles semis will follow at 6 and 7 PM. The singles final will be 11 AM Sunday with the doubles final to follow at noon.

2018 LPRT The Classic, June 8-10, 2018
Overland Park, Kansas


1) Paola Longoria d. 8) Adriana Riveros, 11-1, 11-5, 11-9
5) Samantha Salas d. 13) Gabriela Martinez, 11-8, 11-5, 11-9

6) Nancy Enriquez d. 3) Rhonda Rajsich, 12-10, 11-5, 11-8
2) Frédérique Lambert d. 7) Maria Jose Vargas, 13-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-9


1) Paola Longoria v. 5) Samantha Salas - 5 PM
2) Frédérique Lambert v. 6) Nancy Enriquez - 4 PM

Doubles - Semi-finals

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 5) Frédérique Lambert & Jen Saunders - 7 PM
2) Masiel Rivera & Adriana Riveros v. 3) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas - 6 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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