Sunday, June 10, 2018

Longoria wins twice at 2018 LPRT Classic

Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), won twice Sunday at the Classic in Overland Park, Kansas, as she captured both the Women's Singles title and the Women's Doubles title with partner Samantha Salas. The wins will solidify Longoria as the #1 LPRT player in both singles and doubles for the 2017-18 LPRT season. Lambert won 7 tournaments this season, which concluded with the Sunday finals.

In the singles final, Longoria defeated LPRT #2 Frédérique Lambert, 11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 11-2, and she and Salas beat Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas, 15-13, 15-6, in the doubles final.

The singles final was unusual, as the first two games were mirror images of each other. In game one, Lambert got the good start with a 6-1 lead only to see Longoria score 10 unanswered points to win it, 11-6. The reverse happened in game two, when Longoria took a 6-1 lead with Lambert then scoring 10 points to win that game, 11-6, and level the match at 1-1.

In game three, they were close early with ties at 2-2 and 4-4. But then Longoria edged ahead with a point followed by an exchange of sideouts three times to make the score 7-4. Longoria scored four straight points from there, including a drive serve ace to the left side of the court, that got her to game point at 10-4. She won game three on the next rally with a forehand cross court winner.

Longoria got the first three points of game four, and really never looked back, as she went on to win, 11-2. Despite the lopsided score, there were several sideouts, so Lambert had many chances to get points. She simply didn't. Longoria won the game and match with a drive serve to the left side that caught Lambert unawares, as she had moved to the right thinking the serve was going that direction rather than where Longoria actually hit it.

In the doubles final, Mendez and Vargas led for much of game one, including at 12-9 and 13-12. However, they couldn't finish it off, as Longoria and Salas held them at 13 over four serves, as they went from 13-12 down to 14-13 up. Credit Mendez and Vargas for holding off two game points at that score, but after getting the sideout, they couldn't score themselves, as Salas hit two winners to get her side the serve back. Longoria then won it with a forehand to the left side.

After coming up short in game one, it seemed predictable that game two would not be close, and it wasn't. Longoria and Salas went up 6-0 and 11-1. Mendez and Vargas did claw a few points back before falling, 15-6. Mendez and Vargas tried a few different strategies, including switching sides (Vargas began the match on the left and Mendez on the right), and both serving to Salas, but nothing was ultimately successful against the three time World Champions.

If you missed any of the action from Kansas, go to the LPRT website and click "Live Streaming."

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

Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria d. 2) Frédérique Lambert, 11-6, 6-11, 11-4, 11-2

Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 3) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas, 15-13, 15-6

Follow the bouncing ball….

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