Sunday, November 18, 2018

Longoria defeats Salas to win 2018 LPRT Turkey Shoot Open

Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), captured the 2018 LPRT Turkey Shoot Open in Lombard, Illinois by defeating LPRT #2 Samantha Salas, 10-12, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7, in a hard fought final. Longoria and Salas have met in all four LPRT finals this season with Longoria winning each time with the previous three wins in three straight games.

It looked like that story line would repeat today, as Longoria got to 10 first in a long first game, when she led 10-6. But a Salas backhand return prevented that game point. Salas scored got her 7th point, but then hit an unsuccessful ceiling ball to give the serve back to Longoria.

However, Longoria’s 2nd game point failed when she skipped a forehand pinch shot while being a little off balance. After Salas hit a drive serve to the right side for an ace, making it 10-8, Longoria called a time out. That didn’t stop the Salas train, as she got three more points on consecutive rallies - two forehand winners and another drive serve ace, which went to the left side.

Then on her 1st game point, Salas made an unforced error by skipping a forehand shot. But Longoria didn’t take advantage of that opportunity, because she skipped a drive serve, which is a very rare error. Salas won the game with a backhand cross court shot that was the third shot after a drive serve to the left and a backhand return down the line.

Longoria seemed very displeased at losing that game, and she stayed on the court hitting balls after it was over.

In game two, Longoria jumped out to a 5-0 lead, and maintained the advantage to win 11-3. She made a tactical change from drive serving to lob serving to the left side: Salas’s backhand side, and it was effective.

Longoria had the early lead in game three also, when she went up 5-1. Salas dug in and cut the lead to two at 5-3. However, Salas got no closer, as Longoria then took the score to 8-3, and won it at 11-4.

In game four, they were toe to toe, and tied at 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Longoria was generally ahead, but Salas had the lead at 7-6, so it looked like she might force a tie-breaking fifth game. Longoria, however, got the serve back with a soft forehand pinch shot. Salas had a great opportunity to take the serve right back, as she got a set up off the back wall on her backhand, yet she plowed it right into the floor. Annoyed Salas called a timeout.

Longoria saw her advantage, and she seized it. When play resumed, Longoria won the next three rallies all with backhand winners to take the fourth game 11-7, and win the match 3-1. The match winning rally began with a lob to the left side that Salas returned down the line, and then set up to cover the line. However, Longoria hit her backhand cross court, and although Salas dove for the ball, she couldn’t get to it.

Longoria and Salas teamed up to win the doubles title, as they beat 2nd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Carla Muñoz, 15-2, 15-9. Herrera and Muñoz were up 9-5 in game two, but Longoria and Salas scored 10 straight points to win it in two straight games.

LPRT Turkey Shoot matches are archived at the LPRT LiveStream channel, the LPRT Facebook page or the LPRT YouTube channel. The LPRT will be back in action next month, when they play LPRT Christmas Classic in Laurel, Maryland, December 14-16.

2018 LPRT Turkey Shoot, November 16-18, 2018
Lombard, Illinois

Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria d. 2) Samantha Salas, 10-12, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7

Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 2) Alexandra Herrera & Carla Muñoz, 15-2, 15-9

Follow the bouncing ball….

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