Saturday, November 17, 2018

Longoria & Salas into final at 2018 LPRT Turkey Shoot Open

Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), is through to the final at the 2018 LPRT Turkey Shoot Open in Lombard, Illinois after she beat 4th seed Maria Jose Vargas, 11-5, 11-2, 11-7, in the semi-finals. Longoria will play LPRT #2 Samantha Salas in the final, as Salas came back from a game down to defeat 3rd seed Alexandra Herrera, 3-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-5, in the other semi-final.

Longoria and Vargas were toe to toe early in game one. But Longoria took a timeout leading 5-4, and when play resumed she hit three consecutive drive serve aces to lead 8-4 and crack the game open. Longoria outscored Vargas 17-3, including those aces, after she took that timeout to the end of the second game.

Credit Vargas for not rolling over, as she played tough in game three. Longoria was up 6-2 and 7-3, but Vargas cut the difference to one, when she trailed 8-7. Vargas lost the next rally on a baffling no hinder call that we thought could have been an avoidable against Longoria, who’d hit the ball back to herself and Vargas couldn’t swing because Longoria was in the way.

Vargas only served once after that, as Longoria got the final three points of the game and match. She reached match point with an ace serve that Longoria drove into the left wall to jam out just over the short line. Longoria won it with a backhand after a weak serve return from Vargas that Longoria forced by driving the ball to the left side. Classic three shot rally.

Aside from losing the first game, Salas was also dominant in her match against the left-handed Herrera. They were tied at 5-5 in game three, but that was as close as Herrera got - and she didn’t score a point after that in that game.

Longoria and Salas will be partners, as well as foes, Sunday, as they’ll play together in the doubles final against Herrera and Carla Muñoz. In Saturday’s doubles semi-finals, Longoria and Salas - the #1 seeds - beat Sheryl Lotts and Rhonda Rajsich, 15-11, 15-8, and Herrera and Muñoz - the #2 seeds - defeated Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas, 15-10, 15-12.

Both semis were close up to the mid game, only to see the higher seeds pull away at the end. Lotts and Rajsich actually led late in game one against Longoria and Salas, but they couldn’t close it out. Longoria and Salas used that momentum to take an early lead in game two, but Lotts and Rajsich came back to within one, but that was as close as they could get as the top seeds finished off the match in two straight games.

The singles final will be live via the LPRT LiveStream channel, the LPRT Facebook page or the LPRT YouTube channel at noon Sunday with the doubles final to follow at 1 PM. All times central.

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

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria d. 4) Maria Jose Vargas, 11-5, 11-2, 11-7
2) Samantha Salas d. 3) Alexandra Herrera, 3-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-5

Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria v. Samantha Salas - Noon

Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 5) Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich, 15-11, 15-8
2) Alexandra Herrera & Carla Muñoz v. 3) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas, 15-10, 15-12

Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 2) Alexandra Herrera & Carla Muñoz - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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