Sunday, December 16, 2018

Longoria at double winner at 2018 LPRT Christmas Classic

Paola Longoria won twice on Sunday, as she won both singles and doubles at the 2018 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Christmas Classic in Laurel, Maryland, and provided more evidence of why she is the #1 player on the LPRT. In the singles final, Longoria defeated Alexandra Herrera, 11-8, 11-4, 11-7, and then teamed up with Kelani Bailey Lawrence to beat Herrera and Frédérique Lambert in the doubles final, 15-7, 15-10.

Longoria won each of her four singles matches en route to the title in three straight games giving up an average of 3.92 points per game, including handing out two doughnuts. The win maintains Longoria's undefeated season.

Longoria usually plays doubles with fellow Mexican Samantha Salas, but Salas wasn’t in Maryland reportedly due to travel difficulties. So she teamed up with Bailey Lawrence, who is only ranked 32nd in singles and 21st in doubles on the LPRT. But Bailey Lawrence is half of the current USA Racquetball National Doubles Champions, winning the title with Sharon Jackson last February. Her low LPRT ranking is mainly due to not playing many events.

At the start of the doubles final, it looked like 2nd seeds Herrera and Lambert, who were also playing together for the first time, would cause the upset as they put 6 points on the board before Longoria and Bailey Lawrence scored. Most of those points began with Lambert hitting a drive Z serve to Bailey Lawrence, as they were both playing on the right side. However, once the top seeds Longoria and Bailey Lawrence got going they held their lefty-righty opponents (Herrera is left handed & Lambert right handed) to only one more point while scoring 15 of their own, winning 15-7.

Longoria and Bailey Lawrence took an early lead at 4-1 in game two, and never trailed from there, as they went on to win it 15-10 and take the match in two straight games.

The LPRT will next be in action in 2019 at the Sweet Caroline Open in Greenville, South Carolina, January 25-27. If you missed any of the action from Maryland, check out the LPRT YouTube channel or the LPRT LiveStream channel.

2018 LPRT Christmas Classic Pro-Am, December 14-16, 2018
Laurel, Maryland


Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria d. 3) Alexandra Herrera, 11-8, 11-4, 11-7

Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria & Kelani Bailey Lawrence d. 2) Alexandra Herrera & Frédérique Lambert, 15-7, 15-10

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Herrera & Longoria into final at 2018 LPRT Christmas Classic

Alexandra Herrera broke the glass slipper that Michelle De La Rosa was wearing at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) 2018 LPRT Christmas Classic in Laurel, Maryland, as Herrera beat De La Rosa in three straight games, 11-1, 11-0, 11-8. De La Rosa had beaten 2nd seed Frédérique Lambert and 7th seed Cristina Amaya to reach the semis, but couldn’t by 3rd seed Herrera.

Herrera will play LPRT #1 Paola Longoria in the final on Sunday, as Longoria defeated 5th seed Rhonda Rajsich in the other semi-final, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7.

Both Longoria and Herrera could be double winners Sunday, as they will face off in the LPRT doubles final also. In the semi-finals, Longoria and Kelani Bailey Lawrence defeated Sheryl Lotts and Rhonda Rajsich, 15-9, 15-8, while Herrera and Frédérique Lambert won two close games against Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas, 15-12, 15-14.

The finals will be Sunday with singles final at noon and doubles final at 1 PM eastern time. You can watch the action from Laurel live via the LPRT LiveStream channel or the LPRT Facebook page.

2018 LPRT Christmas Classic Pro-Am, December 14-16, 2018
Laurel, Maryland


Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria d. 5) Rhonda Rajsich, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7
3) Alexandra Herrera d. 15) Michelle De La Rosa, 11-1, 11-0, 11-8

Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria v. 3) Alexandra Herrera - Noon

Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria & Kelani Bailey Lawrence d. 5) Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich, 15-9, 15-8
2) Alexandra Herrera & Frédérique Lambert d. 3) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas, 15-12, 15-14

Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria & Kelani Bailey Lawrence v. 2) Alexandra Herrera & Frédérique Lambert - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

De La Rosa continues to roll at 2018 LPRT Christmas Classic

Michelle De La Rosa will play in only her second semi-final on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Saturday, as she defeated Cristina Amaya, 11-9, 11-5, 2-11, 11-4, in the quarterfinals of the 2018 LPRT Christmas Classic in Laurel, Maryland. De La Rosa’s first semi-final was over two years ago: September 2016 in the Paola Longoria Experience, when she beat then 2nd seed Rhonda Rajsich in the quarters and lost to Frédérique Lambert in semis. In Laurel, De La Rosa beat 2nd seed Lambert in the Round of 16 yesterday.

Alexandra Herrera will play De La Rosa in the semi-finals later today, as Herrera, the 3rd seed, beat 6th seed Natalia Mendez in the quarters, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8.

On the top of the draw, LPRT #1 Paola Longoria beat 8th seed Carla Muñoz, 11-4, 11-1, 11-0, in the quarterfinals, and in the semi-finals, she’ll play 5th seed Rajsich, who was an upset winner over 4th seed Maria Jose Vargas, 12-10, 11-9, 11-1, in the quarters.

The semi-finals will be Saturday afternoon at 4 PM and 5 PM, and you can watch the action from Laurel live via the LPRT LiveStream channel or the LPRT Facebook page. The doubles semis will follow at 6 and 7 PM. The singles final will be noon Sunday with the doubles final at 1 PM. All times eastern.

2018 LPRT Christmas Classic Pro-Am, December 14-16, 2018
Laurel, Maryland


Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria d. 8) Carla Muñoz, 11-4, 11-1, 11-0
5) Rhonda Rajsich d. 4) Maria Jose Vargas, 12-10, 11-9, 11-1

3) Alexandra Herrera d. 6) Natalia Mendez, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8
15) Michelle De La Rosa d. 7) Cristina Amaya, 11-9, 11-5, 2-11, 11-4

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria v. 5) Rhonda Rajsich - 5 PM
3) Alexandra Herrera v. 15) Michelle De La Rosa - 4 PM

Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria & Kelani Bailey Lawrence v. 5) Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich - 7 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera & Frédérique Lambert v. 3) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas - 6 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, December 14, 2018

De La Rosa upsets Lambert to advance to quarters at 2018 LPRT Christmas Classic

Michelle De La Rosa got the big upset of the Round of 16 at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Christmas Classic in Laurel, Maryland, as she took out 2nd seed Frédérique Lambert in decisive fashion, winning in three straight games, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7. Lambert did fight off several match points in game three, but the writing was on the wall by the point, so it was just delaying the inevitable.

De La Rosa’s puts her in the quarterfinals on Saturday, when she’ll play 7th seed Cristina Amaya, who was also a straight game winner, beating Cassi Lee, 11-3, 11-9, 11-3.

The winner of De La Rosa and Amaya will play the winner of 3rd seed Alexandra Herrera and 6th seed Natalia Mendez. in the 16s, Herrera beat Laura Brandt, 11-1, 11-1, 11-0, and Mendez defeated Danielle Maddux - De La Rosa’s younger sister - 11-8, 11-4, 11-2. Maddux had a chance to avenge that defeat in doubles, as she and De La Rosa faced Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas, but it was not to be, as Mendez and Vargas came back from a game down to win, 13-15, 15-11, 11-4.

There were two more five game matches on the top of the singles draw, as two young players pushed two veterans into tie-breakers. But the vets didn’t crumble. Fourth seed Vargas came back from 0-2 down to defeat Lucia Gonzalez, 10-12, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8, and 5th seed Rhonda Rajsich outlasted Masiel Rivera, 11-2, 11-6, 5-11, 6-11, 11-2.

Rajsich also played a tie-breaker in doubles, as she and Sheryl Lotts beat Cristina Amaya and Carla Muñoz, 6-15, 15-7, 11-5, which was a measure of revenge for Lotts, who had lost to Muñoz in singles, 12-10, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9.

The quarterfinals will be Saturday at 11 AM and noon, and you can watch the action from Laurel live via the LPRT LiveStream channel or the LPRT Facebook page. The singles semi-finals will be 4 and 5 PM followed by the doubles semis at 6 and 7 PM. The singles final will be noon Sunday with the doubles final at 1 PM. All times eastern.

2018 LPRT Christmas Classic Pro-Am, December 14-16, 2018
Laurel, Maryland


Round of 16 - Friday

1) Paola Longoria d. 16) Kelani Bailey Lawrence, 11-0, 11-4, 11-3
8) Carla Muñoz d. 9) Sheryl Lotts, 12-10, 11-6, 10-12, 11-9

5) Rhonda Rajsich d. 12) Masiel Rivera, 11-2, 11-6, 5-11, 6-11, 11-2
4) Maria Jose Vargas d. 13) Lucia Gonzalez, 10-12, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7, 11-8

3) Alexandra Herrera d. 19) Laura Brandt, 11-1, 11-1, 11-0
6) Natalia Mendez d. 22) Danielle Maddux, 11-8, 11-4, 11-2

7) Cristina Amaya d. 10) Cassi Lee, 11-3, 11-9, 11-3
15) Michelle De La Rosa d. 2) Frédérique Lambert, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7

Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria v. 8) Carla Muñoz - Noon
4) Maria Jose Vargas v. 5) Rhonda Rajsich - Noon

3) Alexandra Herrera v. 6) Natalia Mendez - 11 AM
7) Cristina Amaya v. 15) Michelle De La Rosa - 11 AM

Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Kelani Bailey Lawrence d. 8) Cassi Lee & Hollie Scott, 15-3, 15-6
5) Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich d. 4) Cristina Amaya & Carla Muñoz, 6-15, 15-7, 11-5

3) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas d. 6) Michelle De La Rosa & Danielle Maddux, 13-15, 15-11, 11-4
2) Alexandra Herrera & Frédérique Lambert d. 7) Valeria Centellas & Masiel Rivera, 15-2, 15-5

Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria & Kelani Bailey Lawrence v. 5) Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich - 7 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera & Frédérique Lambert v. 3) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas - 6 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

LPRT 2018 Christmas Classic - Round of 32

The Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Christmas Classic is underway in Laurel, Maryland, and there have already been three 5 game matches. Laura Brandt came back from 2-1 down to defeat Jennifer Dering, 11-8, 1-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4, and in a see-saw battle. Michelle De La Rosa squeaked out a victory over Hollie Scott, 11-1, 9-11, 11-4, 3-11, 12-10, and De La Rosa’s sister (their maiden name was Key), Danielle Maddux was an upset winner over Adrienne Haynes, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-4.

De La Rosa was up 10-7 on Scott, only to see Scott tie the game at 10-10. De La Rosa managed to pull it out, winning it with a forehand kill shot after a weak backhand return of a drive Z serve to the left side.

De La Rosa will play 2nd seed Frédérique Lambert in the Round of 16, while Brandt will take on 3rd seed Alexandra Herrera, and Maddux faces 6th seed Natalia Mendez.

Also of note, Lucia Gonzalez defeated Valeria Centellas in four games, 12-10, 4-11, 11-8, 12-10. Gonzalez plays 4th seed Maria Jose Vargas in the 16s.

You can watch the action from Laurel all weekend live via the LPRT LiveStream channel or the LPRT Facebook page. The Round of 16 begins at 3 PM on Friday, with the quarterfinals on Saturday at 11 AM and nnon. The semi-finals will be 4 and 5 PM. The singles final will be noon Sunday with the doubles final to follow at 1 PM. All times eastern.

2018 LPRT Christmas Classic Pro-Am, December 14-16, 2018
Laurel, Maryland


Round of 32 - Friday

1) Paola Longoria - BYE
16) Kelani Bailey Lawrence d. 17) Amie Brewer, 11-7, 11-0, 11-4

9) Sheryl Lotts - BYE
8) Carla Muñoz - BYE

5) Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
12) Masiel Rivera d. 21) Katharine Neils, 11-0, 11-8, 11-1

13) Lucia Gonzalez d. 20) Valeria Centellas, 12-10, 4-11, 11-8, 12-10
4) Maria Jose Vargas - BYE

3) Alexandra Herrera - BYE
19) Laura Brandt d. 14) Jennifer Dering, 11-8, 1-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4

22) Danielle Maddux d. 11) Adrienne Haynes, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 3-11, 11-4
6) Natalia Mendez - BYE

7) Cristina Amaya - BYE
10) Cassi Lee - BYE

15) Michelle De La Rosa d. 18) Hollie Scott, 11-1, 9-11, 11-4, 3-11, 12-10
2) Frédérique Lambert - BYE

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Paola Longoria v. 16) Kelani Bailey Lawrence - 6 PM
8) Carla Muñoz v. 9) Sheryl Lotts - 6 PM

5) Rhonda Rajsich v. 12) Masiel Rivera - 3 PM
4) Maria Jose Vargas v. 13) Lucia Gonzalez - 3 PM

3) Alexandra Herrera v. 19) Laura Brandt - 4 PM
6) Natalia Mendez v. 22) Danielle Maddux - 4 PM

7) Cristina Amaya v. 10) Cassi Lee - 5 PM
2) Frédérique Lambert v. 15) Michelle De La Rosa - 5 PM

Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Kelani Bailey Lawrence v. 8) Cassi Lee & ? - 8 PM
4) Cristina Amaya & Carla Muñoz v. 5) Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich - 8 PM

3) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas v. 6) Michelle De La Rosa & Danielle Maddux - 7 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera & Frédérique Lambert v. 7) Valeria Centellas & Masiel Rivera - 7 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Thursday, December 13, 2018

2018 LPRT Christmas Classic - Preview

The Christmas Classic in Laurel, Maryland has become a tradition on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) schedule, and the tradition continues this weekend, as 22 LPRT players will face off in Maryland for the last LPRT event of 2018. LPRT #1 Paola Longoria heads a field of 22 players that includes 8 of the top 11 LPRT players.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this weekend’s event comes in doubles, where Longoria will play with Kelani Bailey Lawrence for the 1st time, as her usual partner Samantha Salas won’t be in Maryland. Longoria had previously played with Alexandra Herrera, but Herrera is playing with Frédérique Lambert. Nonetheless, Longoria and Bailey Lawrence are the #1 seeds with Herrera and Lambert #2.

Those two teams could meet in the final, but the road to the final could be tricky for Herrera and Lambert, who will need to play first play Valeria Centellas and Masiel Rivera, and Centellas is half of the current Women’s Doubles World Champions (she won the title last August with Yazmine Sabja). If they win that match, Herrera and Lambert will have to play the winner of 3rd seeds Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas and sister act 6th seeds Michelle De La Rosa and Danielle Maddux, which will also not be an easy match.

You can watch the action from Laurel all weekend live via the LPRT LiveStream channel or the LPRT Facebook page. The Round of 16 begins at 3 PM on Friday, with the quarterfinals on Saturday at 11 AM and nnon. The semi-finals will be 4 and 5 PM. The singles final will be noon Sunday with the doubles final to follow at 1 PM. All times eastern.

2018 LPRT Christmas Classic Pro-Am, December 14-16, 2018
Laurel, Maryland


Round of 32 - Friday

1) Paola Longoria - BYE
16) Kelani Bailey Lawrence v. 17) Amie Brewer - 11 AM

9) Sheryl Lotts - BYE
8) Carla Muñoz - BYE

5) Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
12) Masiel Rivera v. 21) Katharine Neils - 10 AM

13) Lucia Gonzalez v. 20) Valeria Centellas - 10 AM
4) Maria Jose Vargas - BYE

3) Alexandra Herrera - BYE
14) Jennifer Dering v. 19) Laura Brandt - 10 AM

11) Adrienne Haynes v. 22) Danielle Maddux - 11 AM
6) Natalia Mendez - BYE

7) Cristina Amaya - BYE
10) Cassi Lee - BYE

15) Michelle De La Rosa v. 18) Hollie Scott - 11 AM
2) Frédérique Lambert - BYE

Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Kelani Bailey Lawrence v. 8) Cassi Lee & ? - 8 PM
4) Cristina Amaya & Carla Muñoz v. 5) Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich - 8 PM

3) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas v. 6) Michelle De La Rosa & Danielle Maddux - 7 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera & Frédérique Lambert v. 7) Valeria Centellas & Masiel Rivera - 7 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Waselenchuk defeats Beltran to win 2018 IRT Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions

Kane Waselenchuk defeated Alvaro Beltran, 15-6, 15-12, to win the 2018 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions in Portland, Oregon on Saturday for his 2nd win of the 2018-19 IRT season. There have only been three events so far this season, and Waselenchuk’s won two of them; he didn’t play in the first event.

Waselenchuk reached the final with a comfortable win over defending Pelham Memorial champion Charles Pratt in the semi-finals, 15-3, 15-5, while Beltran needed a tie-breaker to defeat IRT #2 Rocky Carson, 7-15, 15-10, 11-5, in the other semi.

Waselenchuk jumped out to a 5-0 lead in game one of the final, and never let Beltran get within three in that game, as he went on to win 15-6. He began the game with a drive serve to the left side for an ace, and ended it with a soft forehand shot, which are both characteristic plays for Waselenchuk.

Game two was a long battle. After 33 rallies, they were tied at 4-4. In contrast, game one had 39 rallies total. They then spent 15 rallies at 4-4 before Beltran skipped a backhand serve return of a lob Z to the left side to make it 5-4 in favor of Waselenchuk.

Waselenchuk ran the lead up to four at 10-6, so Beltran called a timeout. It looked like Waselenchuk might run away with the game, and he did extend the lead to 13-6, getting his 13th point with a drive serve ace to the right side.

But Beltran kept working, and got a couple points back, which caused Waselenchuk to call a timeout when he got the serve back at 13-8. However, coming out of the timeout, Waselenchuk skipped a forehand shot to give the serve back to Beltran.

Beltran hit a drive serve ace of his own to the left side, so to the lefthanded Waselenchuk’s forehand, and got another point when Waselenchuk skipped a forehand return of a lob nick serve to the left side, which made the score 13-10.

After an exchange of sideouts, Waselenchuk made it 14-10 with a forehand winner down the right side. But Beltran denied Waselenchuk’s first match point with a great forehand pinch return winner off a lob Z serve to the right side. That led to two more points, as good serves by Beltran forced serve return errors by Waselenchuk.

But at 14-12, Beltran hit a loose drive serve to the left that came far off the back wall to set up Waselenchuk, who drove the ball down the left side for an easy winner. Waselenchuk won the match on his second match point, as he ended a rally, where Beltran dove twice to keep the rally going, with a soft forehand in the front right court.

Game two took 63 min and there were 94 rallies, which might make it one of the longest games in IRT history.

If you missed the final, or any of the other action from Portland, go to the IRT YouTube channel. The IRT will next be in action on the first weekend of 2019, when they’ll play the LA Open in Canoga Park, California, January 3-6, 2019.

2018 IRT Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions
November 29-December 1 - Portland, Oregon


Final - Saturday

8) Kane Waselenchuk d. 6) Alvaro Beltran, 15-6, 15-12

Semi-finals - Saturday

8) Kane Waselenchuk d. Charles Pratt, 15-3, 15-5
6) Alvaro Beltran d. 2) Rocky Carson, 7-15, 15-10, 11-5

Follow the bouncing ball….

Waselenchuk & Pratt to face off in semi-finals at 2018 IRT Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions

Kane Waselenchuk took another step towards reclaiming the #1 position on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Friday at the 2018 Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions in Portland, Oregon, as he defeated current #1 Alejandro Landa, 15-9, 15-8, in the quarterfinals. Waselenchuk will play defending Pelham Memorial champion Charles Pratt in the semi-finals on Saturday after Pratt beat David Horn in two close games, 15-10, 15-14.

Waselenchuk and Landa were close early in game one of their match, and tied at 4-4. But Waselenchuk won the next five points to lead 9-4. Landa called a timeout, and took the serve back and scored two points to make it 9-6. But that was as close as he got, as Waselenchuk went on to win, 15-10.

Game two had a similar story. A tie at 3-3, and then a 8-3 lead for Waselenchuk. This time Landa came back to within one at 9-8. But when Waselenchuk took the serve back at that point he kept Landa out of the service box while scoring the last six points of the match, winning game two 15-8.

In a battle of the Team USA men’s singles players from this past summer’s International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships, Horn and Pratt went toe to toe. But except for a 2-0 lead for Horn in game one, Pratt never trailed. After winning the first game, 15-10, he took a big lead in game two at 8-1.

Horn is a battler, though, and he tied the score at 8-8, and then again at 14-14, when it looked like he was going to force a tie-breaker after fighting off two match points. But Pratt got the serve back with a forehand cross court winner. Then on match point #3, Pratt hit a drive jam serve to the left side that came off the back wall and around to the right side that went for an ace, as Horn could not catch up to it.

The other semi-final will be between familiar foes. IRT #2 Rocky Carson will play #8 Alvaro Beltran for the 48th time on tour. Carson holds a 26-21 advantage over their long careers, although this will be their first showdown in 2018. They met twice in 2017, and split those matches: Carson won in Florida in April, and Beltran in Sioux Falls, SD in January.

In the quarterfinals, Carson beat 7th seed Samuel Murray, 15-4, 15-10, while Beltran upset fellow Mexican Daniel De La Rosa, the IRT’s #3 player, 15-8, 15-8.

The semi-finals will be at 11 AM and noon Saturday, and will be streamed live on the IRT Network and the IRT YouTube channel. The final will be Saturday night at 7:00 PM. All times Pacific.

2018 IRT Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions
November 29-December 1 - Portland, Oregon


Quarterfinals - Friday

8) Kane Waselenchuk d. 1) Alejandro Landa, 15-9, 15-8
Charles Pratt d. David Horn, 15-10, 15-14

6) Alvaro Beltran d. 3) Daniel De La Rosa, 15-8, 15-8
2) Rocky Carson d. 7) Samuel Murray, 15-4, 15-10

Semi-finals - Saturday

8) Kane Waselenchuk v. Charles Pratt - Noon
2) Rocky Carson v. 6) Alvaro Beltran - 11 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….