Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Say it ain’t so! - LPRT changes match formats

The Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) announced this week via Facebook that they will be changing their match format to a best of 3 games - first two to 15, tie-breaker to 11 - from the best of 5 games format with each game played to 11. This format is effective immediately, so it will be in place at the start of the 2019-20 LPRT season, which begins next week with the Paola Longoria Experience in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, August 22-25.

Reasoning for the change was based on being consistent with other racquetball organizations. International Racquetball Federation (IRF) events use a best of 3 format, and the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) switched to the best of 3 format in January 2018 from the best of 5 format. Reportedly a vote on the LPRT format change was unanimous in favour of the change.

At the risk of sounding like the guys in the balcony on The Muppet Show, we have to ask “Does NOBODY care about TRADITION?!?!!” The best of 5 format has been used for decades in racquetball. Why abandon that? Just to be like everyone else? Is that a valid reason to making the switch?

When there is a major change like this one has to ask what is the problem being solved? Was there really a problem? The best of 5 format has been used in pro racquetball since the early 1990s. It distinguished the pro matches from non-pro matches. Best of 5 was part of the pro racquetball brand. Why abandon that? Are people really confused by whether matches are played to 11 or 15?

Now, while we'd prefer if the pro tours continued to play best of 5 games, as we'd previously stated when the IRT made this switch, rather than best of 3 games, we’re not too upset about the number of games in a match. But what we are massive proponents of is WINNING BY 2 POINTS. With the switch to a best of 3 games format, the LPRT will also have those games won by 1 point rather than 2, as in the previous best of 5 games format.

Winning by one point is inconsistent with every other sport that plays games to a limit (e.g., to 11, 15, 21, etc.). Every other sport - volleyball, tennis, squash - uses a win by 2 rule. Why not racquetball? We don’t have a good answer for that, and neither would any racquetball organization for why they insist on being different.

Canada remains the bastion of sensibility, where matches are played under a win by 2 rule. That just makes sense for a game in which serving is such a major factor. One serve - or one bad return - could be the decisive play of a match, when playing win by 1, and that’s just not good enough. Pretty much everyone in sport agrees on this.

Except racquetball people.

Follow the bouncing ball….

Monday, August 12, 2019

Summary of 2019 Pan American Games

The 2019 Pan American Games ended yesterday in Lima, Peru. Thus, the next Pan Am Games quadrennial begins today with the culmination being the XIX Pan Am Games in Santiago, Chile from October 22-November 5, 2023. Let’s review what happened in Lima before we look ahead to Santiago.

Mexicans won five of the six events in Lima, sweeping the four individual events - Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles - and winning Women’s Team gold. They only came up short in the Men’s Team event, losing in the semi-finals. This was as impressive as it was unsurprising. Mexico has been the power to reckon with in racquetball for some time now, surpassing the USA as the #1 racquetball country.

Bolivia won gold in the Men’s Team event, which was the first gold for them at the Pan Am Games. Colombia was runner up in the Men’s Team event, capturing their first Pan Am Games silver medal. Also, Costa Rica won their first Pan Am Games medal, a bronze in Men’s Doubles, as did Guatemala: a silver in Women's Doubles. On the negative side, the USA came home from Lima without a gold medal, which was a first. Canada came home without a medal at all, another first.

Who will be in Santiago?

Lima may have been the last Pan Am Games for some players. Alvaro Beltran (Mexico) and Rocky Carson (USA) are both 40 (Beltran will be 41 in October). Rhonda Rajsich is a year older. Shai Mazuri (Argentina) and Jennifer Saunders (Canada) are also over 40. Will they be able to compete at this level in four years time?

There are also some significant players over 30: Cristina Amaya (Colombia), Felipe Camacho (Costa Rica), Fernando Kurzbard (Argentina) and Jenny Daza (Bolivia). Even Mexico’s Paola Longoria turned 30 in July, and Samantha Salas will be 33 in December.

Mexico shouldn’t worry, as there are several young Mexican players who will compete for spots on the Mexican team that will go to Santiago. Even from the team that was in Lima, Montserrat Mejia is still a teen-ager (turning 20 in December), and Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya - at 24 and 23, are not much older. With other countries, it’s more difficult to see who is coming up, even with the USA.

But there could be surprises. A few years ago Charles Pratt may not have been thought of as potential USA Team material, but he comes back from Lima with two bronze medals to go with the silver he earned in Men’s Singles at last year’s International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships. However, Pratt is also 33.

Will we see them?

While it’s great for racquetball to be included in a major multi-sport event, like the Pan American Games, it can - ironically - be the least available for racquetball fans, who have gotten spoiled from on line streaming that is done by the pro tours - both the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) and Ladies Professoinal Racquetball Tour (LPRT) - as well as at international events by the IRF.

The reason for lack of viewing at big events is clear: a major broadcaster has bought the rights for the event, so only it can show the sports. However, any broadcaster will be limited in what they can show to the public through their channel (or channels). Broadcasters are going to select sports with broader appeal, like basketball or baseball, over sports with narrower appeal, like racquetball. Thus, even though racquetball is at a big event, not much racquetball is seen by those not on site.

This must be the case with other smaller sports, so perhaps racquetball could band together with other small sports to try to address this issue with broadcasting rights holders at future events. In the past, broadcasting was expensive and difficult and only possible through televisions, but with the internet the costs and difficulty of broadcasting are way down, as computers and mobile devices are platforms for receiving broadcasts.

Small sports at multi-sport games should want to have their events seen by as many people as possible, which was difficult with old technology. But with current technology this should not be acceptable, and a solution should be found that can allow fans of small sports to see their sport showcased at major multi-sport events.

2019 Pan American Games - Lima, Peru

MEDAL SUMMARY


Men’s Singles

GOLD - Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico)
SILVER - Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico)
BRONZE - Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia)
BRONZE - Mario MERCADO (Colombia)

Women’s Singles

GOLD - Paola LONGORIA (Mexico)
SILVER - Maria José VARGAS (Argentina)
BRONZE - Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina)
BRONZE - Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia)

Men’s Doubles

GOLD - Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico)
SILVER - Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia)
BRONZE - Rocky CARSON & Charles PRATT (USA)
BRONZE - Andres ACUÑA & Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica)

Women’s Doubles

GOLD - Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico)
SILVER - Gabriela MARTINEZ & Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala)
BRONZE - Kelani LAWRENCE & Rhonda RAJSICH (USA)
BRONZE - Natalia MENDEZ & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina)

Men’s Teams

GOLD - Bolivia - Carlos KELLER, Roland KELLER and Conrrado MOSCOSO
SILVER - Colombia - Sebastian FRANCO and Mario MERCADO
BRONZE - USA - Jake BREDENBECK, Rocky CARSON, and Charles PRATT
BRONZE - Mexico - Alvaro BELTRAN, Javier MAR and Rodrigo MONTOYA

Women’s Teams

GOLD - Mexico - Paola LONGORIA, Montserrat MEJIA and Samantha SALAS
SILVER - Argentina - Maria José VARGAS and Natalia MENDEZ
BRONZE - USA - Kelani LAWRENCE & Rhonda RAJSICH
BRONZE - Bolivia - Angelica BARRIOS, Valeria CENTELLAS and Jenny DAZA

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Team finals at the 2019 Pan American Games

Mexico won a 3rd consecutive Women’s Team gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on Saturday, as they defeated Argentina in two straight matches. Bolivia won the Men's Team final two matches to one against Colombia to capture the country’s first gold medal in racquetball at the Pan Am Games. Despite the loss, Colombia’s silver medal is their first in racquetball at the Pan Am Games.

In the Women’s Team final, Paola Longoria beat Maria José Vargas, 15-4, 15-11. After a dominant first game, Longoria was down in the second, as Vargas led 9-5 and 11-6. However, Longoria - the gold medal winner in both Women’s Singles and Doubles earlier this week - came back to tie the game at 11-11, and then went on to win it 15-11, and give Mexico the first match of the final.

In the second match, Montserrat Mejia defeated Natalia Mendez, 15-12 15-10. Mendez led in the middle of game one at 7-5 and 9-7, but Mejia tied the game at 10-10 and 11-11. She then took the lead 13-11, and got to match point at 14-12. Mejia then won it 15-12.

Mejia carried that momentum into game two, as she took a 7-1 lead. But Mendez slowly worked her way back into the game, and tied the score at 10-10. But her points ran out there, as Mejia got the last five points to end the game, 15-10, the match 2-0, and the final two matches to none.

As Mexico won both singles matches, the doubles match with Longoria and Samantha Salas versus Mendez and Vargas didn’t have to be played. Longoria and Salas were the two players to win Women’s Team gold for Mexico at the last two Pan Am Games: in Toronto four years ago, and Guadalajara eight years ago. Mejia, playing in her first Pan Am Games, goes home with her first medal, and it’s gold.

The Men’s Team final came down to a deciding 3rd match, which was doubles, as they split the two singles matches. In doubles, Conrrado Moscoso and Roland Keller beat Sebastian Franco and Mario Mercado, 15-11, 15-2. The Bolivians had a lead in game one at 8-4, but Colombia came back to tie it 10-10. However, from that point on Bolivia outscored Colombia 20-3, as they closed out the first game and ran away with the second. A 9-0 lead in game two put the writing on the wall.

In the first match of the final, Moscoso beat Sebastian Franco, 15-12, 15-8. Franco actually led in game one, 5-1, but Moscoso tied the game 6-6. Franco again went ahead, 9-6, only to see Moscoso tie it again at 11-11 and 12-12, as he went on to win 15-12. Moscoso took a 7-1 lead in game two, and maintained a lead throughout the game.

That put Mercado in a must win situation against Carlos Keller in the second match of the final. Keller took the first game, 15-10, to add to the pressure on Mercado. He responded by winning game two going away, 15-3, in only 14 min, which was less than half the time it took to play the first game (31 min). Thus, Mercado forced a tie-breaking third game.

In the breaker, although they were close all the way. Keller had the lead for most of the game, but never by more than two points. Then Mercado caught up at 9-9, and he managed to close it out, 11-9, to win the match, 10-15, 15-3, 11-9, and force the tie-breaking doubles match.

Looking ahead, the next Pan American Games will be in Santiago, Chile in 2023. We fully expect that racquetball will be included in the program.

2019 Pan American Games - Lima, Peru

TEAM COMPETITION


Men’s Team - Final

BOLIVIA d. COLOMBIA - 2-1

Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. Sebastian FRANCO (Colombia), 15-12, 15-8
Mario MERCADO (Colombia) d. Carlos KELLER (Bolivia), 10-15, 15-3, 11-9
Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. Sebastian FRANCO & Mario MERCADO (Colombia), 15-11, 15-2

Women’s Team - Final

MEXICO d. ARGENTINA - 2-0

Paola LONGORIA (Mexico) d. Maria José VARGAS (Argentina), 15-4, 15-11
Montserrat MEJIA (Mexico) d. Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina), 15-12, 15-10
Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) v. Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina) & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) - not played

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, August 9, 2019

Four countries advance to team finals at 2019 Pan American Games

Four teams will go for gold on Saturday in the Men’s and Women’s Team finals as the racquetball competition concludes at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. The team event has been a Mexico-USA showdown in both Men’s and Women’s Team finals at the 2015 and 2011 Pan Am Games, but not this year. Indeed, both men’s and women’s USA teams lost in the semi-finals Friday, as did the Mexican men’s team.

However, the Mexican Women’s Team can win a 3rd consecutive gold medal, as they defeated the USA in the semi-finals in two straight matches. Paola Longoria beat Kelani Lawrence, 15-5, 15-0, and then teamed up with Samantha Salas to complete the victory with a win in doubles over Lawrence and Rhonda Rajsich, 15-5, 15-4.

Mexico will face Argentina in the final, as Argentina beat Bolivia in the other semi-final, albeit with more difficulty. Maria José Vargas won the first match over Valeria Centellas, 15-0, 15-9, and then she and Natalia Mendez held on to defeat Angelica Barrios and Jenny Daza, in a close tie-breaker, 15-10, 8-15, 11-9, which meant the last singles match between Mendez and Barrios didn’t have to be played.

Bolivia and Colombia will contest the Men’s Team final, rather than Mexico and the USA. Perhaps surprisingly, it was Colombia who were the giant killers, as they knocked off Mexico, the two time defending Men’s Team gold medalists. They did it by winning the two singles matches. First, Sebastian Franco beat veteran Alvaro Beltran, 15-14, 15-6. Mexico leveled the match by winning the doubles, when Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya defeated Franco and Mario Mercado, 15-14, 15-5. The deciding match was between Montoya and Mercado. Montoya won Men’s Singles in Lima earlier this week, and is the current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Men’s Singles World Champion as well as, so you'd think advantage Mexico.

Especially advantage Mexico after Montoya won the first game, 15-12. But Mercado came back and won game two, 15-6, to force a tie-breaker. Then in the breaker Mercado went out to a big lead, 6-1 and 10-3. Montoya made it close, but couldn’t come all the way back, as Mercado won it, 11-8, and put Colombia in a Pan Am Games final for the first time.

Coming to Lima, Colombia had one Pan Am Games medal: a bronze in the Men’s Team event in 2011. Mercado was a bronze medalist in Men’s Singles earlier this week, and now he and Franco will have a chance to win gold, and regardless of Saturday’s final, they will have tripled the number of Colombian Pan Am Games medals in racquetball: from 1 to 3.

Bolivia will be Colombia’s opponent in the final. Bolivia, like Colombia, also needed three matches to advance to the final, as they outlasted the USA men’s team. Indeed, all three of the Bolivia-USA matches went breaker. Veteran Rocky Carson won the first match of the semi-final by defeating Conrrado Moscoso in three games, 15-7, 8-15, 11-6. But Moscoso and Roland Keller were able to level the match with the USA by winning the doubles match against Carson and Charles Pratt, 12-15, 15-6, 11-6.

Thus, it came down to the second singles match between Carlos Keller of Bolivia and the USA’s Jake Bredenbeck. Again a tie-breaker was required as Keller won game one, 15-11, and Bredenbeck game two, 12-15. But as is often the case after two close games, the breaker was not close, as Keller - the current Men’s Singles Pan American Champion - won it, 11-2, booking Bolivia’s place in the final.

Four years ago in Toronto, Moscoso and the Keller brothers were bronze medalists in the Men’s Team event, after losing to Mexico in the semi-finals. Saturday they’ll have a chance to win Men’s Team gold, which would be the first Pan Am Games gold medal for Bolivia in racquetball.

The finals will begin at 11 AM Saturday. Some of the matches may be live streamed via the International Racquetball Federation page on Facebook, but not for certain due to rights holders restrictions.

2019 Pan American Games - Lima, Peru

TEAM COMPETITION


Men’s Teams - Semi-finals

COLOMBIA d. MEXICO - 2-1

Sebastian FRANCO (Colombia) d. Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico), 15-14, 15-6
Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. Sebastian FRANCO & Mario MERCADO (Colombia), 15-14, 15-5
Mario MERCADO (Colombia) d. Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico), 12-15, 15-6, 11-8

BOLIVIA d. USA - 2-1

Rocky CARSON (USA) d. Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia), 15-7, 8-15, 11-6
Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. Rocky CARSON & Charles PRATT (USA), 12-15, 15-6, 11-6
Carlos KELLER (Bolivia) d. Jake BREDENBECK (USA), 15-11, 12-15, 11-2

Men’s Teams - Final

BOLIVIA v. COLOMBIA

Women’s Teams - Semi-finals

MEXICO d. USA - 2-0

Paola LONGORIA (Mexico) d. Kelani LAWRENCE (USA), 15-5, 15-0
Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) d. Kelani LAWRENCE & Rhonda RAJSICH (USA), 15-5, 15-4
Montserrat MEJIA (Mexico) v. Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) - not played

ARGENTINA d. BOLIVIA - 2-0

Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) d. Valeria CENTELLAS (Bolivia), 15-0, 15-9
Natalia MENDEZ & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) d. Angelica BARRIOS & Jenny DAZA (Bolivia), 15-10, 8-15, 11-9
Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina) v. Angelica BARRIOS (Bolivia) - not played

Women’s Teams - Final

MEXICO v. ARGENTINA

Follow the bouncing ball….

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Quarterfinals of Team Event at 2019 Pan American Games

The quarterfinals in the team competitions at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru were all over in two straight matches, and often the matches were done in two straight games. Mexico, Bolivia and the USA are in both Men’s and Women’s Team semi-finals. Colombia is the fourth country in the Men’s Team semi-finals, while Argentina is the fourth team in the Women’s semi-final.

There were a couple of matches that went tie-breaker. In the Men’s Team battle between Colombia and Canada, their doubles match went breaker with Canada needing a win after Mario Mercado had beaten Coby Iwaasa, 15-11, 15-9, in the first match. Iwaasa and Samual Murray won the first game of the doubles match, but Mercado and Sebastian Franco came back to win the next two games, 15-12, 11-9, and take the match up in two straight matches.

In the Women’s Team event, Bolivia was up one match on Guatemala, after Angelica Barrios beat Maria Rodriguez (Guatemala), 15-9, 15-10, and their doubles match went to a tie-breaker. Barrios and Jenny Daza defeated Rodriguez and Gabriela Martinez, 11-15, 15-12, 11-10.

The team semi-finals are Friday with the finals on Saturday. Look for some of the matches to be live streamed via the International Racquetball Federation page on Facebook.

2019 Pan American Games - Lima, Peru

TEAM COMPETITION


Men’s Teams - Quarterfinals

MEXICO d. ECUADOR - 2-0

Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. José UGALDE (Ecuador), 15-1, 15-3
Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. Fernando RÍOS & José UGALDE (Ecuador), 15-12, 15-5
Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico) v. Fernando RÍOS (Ecuador) - not played

COLOMBIA d. CANADA - 2-0

Mario MERCADO (Colombia) d. Coby IWAASA (Canada), 15-11, 15-9
Sebastian FRANCO & Mario MERCADO (Colombia) d. Coby IWAASA & Samuel MURRAY (Canada), 12-15, 15-12, 11-9
Sebastian FRANCO (Colombia) v. Samuel MURRAY (Canada) - not played

USA d. COSTA RICA - 2-0

Jake BREDENBECK (USA) d. Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica), 15-5, 15-6
Rocky CARSON & Charles PRATT (USA) d. Andres ACUÑA & Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica), 15-14, 15-6
Rocky CARSON (USA) v. Andres ACUÑA (Costa Rica) - not played

BOLIVIA d. GUATEMALA - 2-0

Carlos KELLER (Bolivia) d. Edwin GALICIA (Guatemala), 15-4, 15-8
Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. Edwin GALICIA & Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala), 15-8, 15-6
Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala) - not played

Men’s Teams - Semi-finals

MEXICO v. COLOMBIA
BOLIVIA v. USA

Women’s Teams - Quarterfinals

ARGENTINA d. CANADA - 2-0

Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina) d. Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada), 15-9, 15-5
Natalia MENDEZ & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) d. Frédérique LAMBERT & Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada), 15-4, 15-5
Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) v. Frédérique LAMBERT (Canada) - not played

MEXICO d. ECUADOR - 2-0

Montserrat MEJIA (Mexico) d. Maria Jose MUÑOZ (Ecuador), 15-4, 15-9
Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) d. Maria José MUÑOZ & Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador), 15-4, 15-2
Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) v. Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador) - not played

USA d. COLOMBIA - 2-0

Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) d. Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia), 15-3, 15-9
Kelani LAWRENCE & Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) d. Cristina AMAYA & Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia), 15-12, 15-11
Kelani LAWRENCE (USA) v. Cristina AMAYA (Colombia) - not played

BOLIVIA d. GUATEMALA - 2-0

Angelica BARRIOS (Bolivia) d. Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala), 15-9, 15-10
Angelica BARRIOS & Jenny DAZA (Bolivia) d. Gabriela MARTINEZ & Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala), 11-15, 15-12, 11-10
Valeria CENTELLAS (Bolivia) v. Gabriela MARTINEZ (Guatemala) - not played

Women’s Teams - Semi-finals

MEXICO v. USA
BOLIVIA v. ARGENTINA

Follow the bouncing ball….

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Team competiton begins at 2019 Pan American Games

The racquetball team competition began Wednesday at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. All teams are involved, and the format has teams competing head to head in a best of three matches format: two singles matches and a doubles match. But the order of the matches changes from round to round. The Round of 16 has the #1 players playing singles first, then a doubles match, and if necessary, the #2 players face off to determine which country advances to the quarterfinals on Thursday.

In the Women’s Team event, Ecuador defeated Chile, 2-0, with Maria Paz Muñoz defeating Carla Muñoz, 15-8, 6-15, 11-5, and then Paz Muñoz and younger sister Maria José Muñoz beating Muñoz and Josefa Parada, 15-9, 15-12. Ecuador will play Mexico in the quarterfinals.

Similarly, Bolivia beat Cuba in two straight matches. Valeria Centellas defeated María Regla Viera, 15-7, 15-5, and then Angelica Barrios and Jenny Daza beat Loraine Felipe and Viera, 15-2, 15-8. Bolivia will play Guatemala in the quarters.

But one women’s tie did require three matches with Canada winning the two singles matches against the Dominican Republic, but losing the doubles match to advance, 2-1. Frédérique Lambert needed a tie-breaker against Merynanyelly Delgado to win the first match for Canada, 15-7, 8-15, 11-9. But then Delgado and Alejandra Jiménez beat Lambert and Jennifer Saunders, 15-12, 15-7. In the tie-breaking match, Saunders defeated Jiménez, 15-4, 15-5, so that Canada advances to the quarterfinals, when they will play Argentina.

In the Men’s Team event, two of the four match ups were settled in two matches, while the other two - between Ecuador and Cuba, and between Guatemala and Dominican Republic - needed a third match tie-breaker.

Colombia defeated the host country Peru in two straight matches. Sebastian Franco beat Jonathan Luque, 15-1, 15-3, and then he and Mario Mercado defeated Luque and Erik Mendoza, 15-2, 15-2. Also, Costa Rica beat Argentina, 2-0, with Andres Acuña a straight game winner over Shai Manzuri, 15-8, 15-2, and Acuña and Felipe Camacho defeating Fernando Kurzbard and Manzuri, 15-10, 15-13.

Eucador’s José Ugalde won the tie-breaking singles matches in two straight games over Enier Chacón of Cuba, 15-9, 15-6. Cuban Maykel Moyet won the first singles match versus Fernando Rios, 15-9, 15-11, but Rios and Ugalde won the doubles match against Chacón and Moyet, 15-12, 15-7, to level the score.

Finally, Guatemala defeated the Dominican Republic, 2-1, which must be considered a bit of an upset, as the two Dominican players were in the medal round, while neither Guatemalan player was. However, Guatemalan Edwin Galicia narrowly pulled out a tie-breaker in the final singles matches against Dominican Ramón De León, 15-7, 2-15, 11-9, after he and Juan Salvatierra won the doubles match against De León and Luis Pérez, 15-7, 8-15, 11-2. Pérez won the first singles match against Salvatierra, 15-4, 15-9.

The medal round continues Thursday, and the finals of the team competition will be Saturday. Look for some of the matches to be live streamed via the International Racquetball Federation page on Facebook.

2019 Pan American Games - Lima, Peru

TEAM COMPETITION

Men’s Teams - Round of 16


ECUADOR d. CUBA - 2-1

Maykel MOYET (Cuba) d. Fernando RÍOS (Ecuador), 15-9, 15-11
Fernando RÍOS & José UGALDE (Ecuador) d. Enier CHACÓN & Maykel MOYET (Cuba), 15-12, 15-7
José UGALDE (Ecuador) d. Enier CHACÓN (Cuba), 15-9, 15-6

COLOMBIA d. PERU - 2-0

Sebastian FRANCO (Colombia) d. Jonathan LUQUE (Peru), 15-1, 15-3
Sebastian FRANCO & Mario MERCADO (Colombia) d. Jonathan LUQUE & Erik MENDOZA (Peru), 15-2, 15-2
Mario MERCADO (Colombia) v. Erik MENDOZA (Peru) - not played

COSTA RICA d. ARGENTINA - 2-0

Andres ACUÑA (Costa Rica) d. Shai MANZURI (Argentina), 15-8, 15-2
Andres ACUÑA & Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica) d. Fernando KURZBARD & Shai MANZURI (Argentina), 15-10, 15-13
Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica) v. Fernando KURZBARD - not played

GUATEMALA d. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 2-1

Luis PÉREZ (Dominican Republic) d. Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala), 15-4, 15-9
Edwin GALICIA & Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala) d. Ramón DE LEÓN & Luis PÉREZ (Dominican Republic), 15-7, 8-15, 11-2
Edwin GALICIA (Guatemala) d. Ramón DE LEÓN (Dominican Republic), 15-7, 2-15, 11-9

Men’s Teams - Quarterfinals

MEXICO v. ECUADOR
CANADA v. COLOMBIA

USA v. COSTA RICA
BOLIVIA v. GUATEMALA

Women’s Teams - Round of 16

ECUADOR d. CHILE - 2-0

Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador) d. Carla MUÑOZ (Chile), 15-8, 6-15, 11-5
Maria José MUÑOZ & Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador) d. Carla MUÑOZ & Josefa PARADA (Chile), 15-9, 15-12

BOLIVIA d. CUBA - 2-0

Valeria CENTELLAS (Bolivia) d. María Regla VIERA (Cuba), 15-7, 15-5
Angelica BARRIOS & Jenny DAZA (Bolivia) d. Loraine FELIPE & María Regla VIERA (Cuba), 15-2, 15-8

CANADA d. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - 2-1

Frédérique LAMBERT (Canada) d. Merynanyelly DELGADO (Dominican Republic), 15-7, 8-15, 11-9
Merynanyelly DELGADO & Alejandra JIMÉNEZ (Dominican Republic) d. Frédérique LAMBERT & Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada), 15-12, 15-7
Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada) d. Alejandra JIMÉNEZ (Dominican Republic), 15-4, 15-5

Women’s Teams - Quarterfinals

MEXICO v. ECUADOR
USA v. COLOMBIA

GUATEMALA v. BOLIVIA
ARGENTINA v. CANADA

Follow the bouncing ball….

Mexico sweeps gold at 2019 Pan American Games

Mexico has swept gold in the racquetball competitions at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, winning both Men’s and Women’s Singles and both Men’s and Women’s Doubles. Paola Longoria and Rodrigo Montoya are doubles gold medalists, winning both singles and doubles. In the Women’s Singles final, Longoria defeated Maria José Vargas of Argentina, 15-7, 15-9, while Montoya beat team-mate Alvaro Beltran in the Men’s Singles final, 9-15, 15-6, 11-0. Montoya's win makes him the 3rd men's player to be both Pan Am Games gold medalist while also being International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Champion in Men's Singles after the USA's Jack Huczek and Rocky Carson.

In the doubles finals, Longoria and Samantha Salas needed a tie-breaker to defeat Guatemalans Gabriela Martinez and Maria Rodriguez, 15-5, 11-15, 11-5, to win a 3rd consecutive Pan Am Games gold medal in Women’s Doubles. Their three gold medals is the most for a Women's Doubles team at the Pan Am Games, breaking a tie they had with Joy Mackenzie and Jackie Paraiso of the USA. Montoya teamed up with Javier Mar to defeat Bolivians Roland Keller and Conrrado Moscoso, 15-10, 15-1, in the Men’s Doubles final. Keller and Moscoso were also silver medalists in Men’s Doubles four years ago in Toronto.

The 2019 Pan Am Games racquetball competition continues Wednesday afternoon, when the team competition begins with each country fielding two singles players and a doubles team in a best of three matches against each other. The finals of the team competition will be Saturday.

2019 Pan American Games - Lima, Peru

MEDAL ROUNDS


Men’s Singles - Final

3) Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. 1) Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico), 9-15, 15-6, 11-0

Women’s Singles - Final

2) Paola LONGORIA (Mexico) d. 1) Maria José VARGAS (Argentina), 15-7, 15-9

Men’s Doubles - Final

4) Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. 2) Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia), 15-10, 15-1

Women’s Doubles - Final

1) Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) d. 3) Gabriela MARTINEZ & Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala), 15-5, 11-15, 11-5

Follow the bouncing ball….

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Doubles semi-finals at 2019 Pan American Games

Mexicans Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas will have a chance to win a 3rd consecutive Pan American Games gold medal in Women’s Doubles Wednesday at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, as they defeated the USA team of Kelani Lawrence and Rhonda Rajasich, 15-6, 15-1, in the semi-finals on Tuesday. Their opponents will be the young Guatemalan team of Gabriela Martinez and Maria Rodriguez, who were upset winners over 2nd seeds Natalia Mendez and Maria José Vargas of Argentina in a tie-breaker, 15-9, 10-15, 11-1.

Mexico could sweep doubles gold in Lima, as their men’s team of Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya reached the men’s final by also defeating the USA team. However, they needed to come back from a game down to defeat Rocky Carson and Charles Pratt, 11-15, 15-9, 11-8.

Mexico’s opponents will be Bolivians Roland Keller and Conrrado Moscoso, who will be playing for Pan Am Games gold for a second consecutive time. They reached the final four years ago in Toronto, where they lost to the USA’s Jansen Allen and Jose Rojas. In their semi-final match, Bolivia - like Mexico - came back from a game down to defeat 3rd seeds Andres Acuña and Felipe Camacho of Costa Rica, 13-15, 15-12, 11-7.

The doubles finals are scheduled for Wednesday at 12:30 - women’s - and 1:30 - men’s. Then on Wednesday afternoon a team competition will begin with each country fielding two singles players and a doubles team in a best of three matches against each other. The finals of the team competition will be Saturday.

2019 Pan American Games - Lima, Peru

MEDAL ROUNDS


Men’s Doubles - Quarterfinals

1) Rocky CARSON & Charles PRATT (USA) d. 8) Sebastian FRANCO & Mario MERCADO (Colombia), 5-15, 15-7, 11-7
4) Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. 5) Coby IWAASA & Samuel MURRAY (Canada), 15-5, 15-6

3) Andres ACUÑA & Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica) d. 11) Edwin GALICIA & Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala), 15-8, 15-5
2) Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. 10) Enier CHACÓN & Maykel MOYET (Cuba), 15-3, 15-7

Men’s Doubles - Semi-finals

4) Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. 1) Rocky CARSON & Charles PRATT (USA), 11-15, 15-9, 11-8
2) Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. 3) Andres ACUÑA & Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica), 13-15, 15-12, 11-7

Men’s Doubles - Final

2) Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) v. 4) Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico)

Women’s Doubles - Quarterfinals

1) Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) d. 9) Merynanyelly DELGADO & Alejandra JIMÉNEZ (Dominican Republic), 15-2, 15-0
5) Kelani LAWRENCE & Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) d. 4) Angelica BARRIOS & Jenny DAZA (Bolivia), 15-9, 15-4

3) Gabriela MARTINEZ & Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala) d. 6) Cristina AMAYA & Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia), 15-12, 11-15, 11-8
2) Natalia MENDEZ & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) d. 10) Frédérique LAMBERT & Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada), 15-9, 15-9

Women’s Doubles - Semi-finals

1) Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) d. 5) Kelani LAWRENCE & Rhonda RAJSICH (USA), 15-6, 15-1
3) Gabriela MARTINEZ & Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala) d. 2) Natalia MENDEZ & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina), 15-9, 10-15, 11-1

Women’s Doubles - Final

1) Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) v. 3) Gabriela MARTINEZ & Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala)

Follow the bouncing ball….

2019 Pan American Games Semi-finals

Paola Longoria of Mexico and Maria José Vargas of Argentina will face off in finalis of Women’s Singles at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, in what will be a repeat of the 2015 final in Toronto, where Longoria defeated Vargas to win her 2nd gold medal in Women’s Singles at the Pan Am Games.

In the semi-finals, Vargas - the #1 seed - beat surprise semi-finalist Adriana Riveros of Colombia, the 12th seed, 15-8, 15-9. After being close early in game one, and tied at 4-4, Vargas took a lead at 8-5, and maintained that to win the first game, 15-8. In game two, they were again close early and into the mid-game, when Riveros actually led 9-8. However, Vargas got the serve back and scored six unanswered points to win game two, 15-9, and take the match in two straight games.

The first game between Longoria, the 2nd seed, and 3rd seed Natalia Mendez of Argentina was similar to the first game of the other semi-final, as they were tied at 3-3, and then Longoria took a lead at 7-5 and maintained that to win 15-10. Longoria then jumped out to a big lead in game two at 9-1. Mendez didn’t quit, but Longoria extended her lead to 13-3. But Mendez fought off four match points, as she cue the lead to four points at 14-10. However, the fifth time was the charm for Longoria, as she won the match on her fifth match point, 15-10.

Thus, Riveros and Mendez will go home with bronze medals, which are their first Pan Am Games medals. In fact, Riveros’s medal is the first for a Colombian in Women’s Singles at the Pan Am Games. Mendez is the 2nd Argentine woman to earn a medal at the Pan Am Games after Vargas’s silver from four years ago.

In Men’s Singles, 3rd seed Rodrigo Montoya of Mexico upset 2nd seed Conrrado Moscoso of Bolivia, 15-14, 15-10, to advance to the final. Although Moscoso had small leads in both games, Montoya led for most of the match. He was up 14-7 in game one, only to see Moscoso come all the way back to tie it 14-14. However, Moscoso couldn’t get that last point to steal the game, and Montoya didn’t allow him a second chance, winning game one 15-14.

In game two, they were close early, but then Montoya took a 10-6 lead. Moscoso tied it 10-10, but he would get no more points, as Montoya closed out the game 15-10, and match in two games. Montoya is trying to be the 3rd man to be both International Racquetball Federation World Champion (IRF) and Pan Am Games Gold Medalist in Men’s Singles after the USA’s Jack Huczek (at the 2003 Pan Am Games) and Rocky Carson (2011 & 2015).

Montoya will play his Mexican team-mate Alvaro Beltran, who was the top seed, in the final, as Beltran defeated 4th seed Mario Mercado of Colombia, 15-7, 15-5. The scores weren’t close, but the match took over an hour to play, suggesting it was hotly contested. In fact, Mercado fought off three game points in the first game before Beltran ended it. But Mercado got himself in a hole right off the bat in both games, going down 8-1 in game one and 7-1 in game two. That large a deficit is difficult to make up.

Beltran will be play his 2nd consecutive Pan Am Games Men’s Singles final. He lost to Rocky Carson (USA) four years ago in Toronto. Beltran’s team-mate Montoya has reached the final for the first time. With two Mexicans in the final, it will be the first Men’s Singles final with team-mates playing off in 20 years. In 1999, the USA’s Adam Karp beat his team-mate Michael Bronfeld in Winnipeg.

The finals will be Wednesday morning from 10 AM CDT. On Wednesday afternoon a team competition will begin with each country fielding two singles players and a doubles team in a best of three matches against each other. The finals of the team competition will be Saturday.

2019 Pan American Games - Lima, Peru

MEDAL ROUNDS


Men’s Singles - Semi-finals

1) Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico) d. 4) Mario MERCADO (Colombia), 15-7, 15-5
3) Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. 2) Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia), 15-14, 15-10

Men’s Singles - Final

1) Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico) v. 3) Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico)

Women’s Singles - Semi-finals

1) Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) d. 12) Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia), 15-8, 15-9
2) Paola LONGORIA (Mexico) d. 3) Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina), 15-10, 15-10

Women’s Singles - Final

1) Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) v. 2) Paola LONGORIA (Mexico)

Follow the bouncing ball….

Monday, August 5, 2019

Medal rounds begin at 2019 Pan American Games

Adriana Riveros of Colombia is the surprise semi-finalist in Women’s Singles at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, as the 12th seed defeated two higher seeds to reach the semis, and guarantee herself a medal. In the Round of 16, Riveros defeated the 5th seed Bolivian Valeria Centellas, 6-15, 15-11, 11-8, and then in the quarterfinals, she beat the 4th seed USA veteran Rhonda Rajasich, 15-10, 15-10. Riveros will play either Maria José Vargas of Argentina who defeated Kelani Lawrence of the USA, 15-9, 15-13.

Vargas and Lawrence were level at 9-9 in game one, but Vargas scored six straight points to close it out. Nonetheless, Lawrence started strong in game two going out to a 9-0 lead. However, Vargas scored 11 straight points to lead 11-9. But Lawrence tied it again at 11-11. They were back and forth from there on, tying at 12-12 and 13-13. But again it was Vargas who was able to get the last points and close out the game, 15-13, and win the match in two straight games.

On the other side of the Women’s Singles draw, Argentina’s Natalia Mendez reached the semis with two tie-breaker victories. In the Round of 16, she defeated Guatemala’s Gabriela Martinez, who is the current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Women’s Singles World Champion, 15-10, 12-15, 11-6. Then in the quarters, Mendez beat Ecuador’s Maria Paz Muñoz, 15-5, 10-15, 11-7. In that breaker, Mendez went out to a 4-1 lead. Muñoz got within one point at 4-3, but Mendez then ran five straight points to lead 9-4. Muñoz did get cut into that lead, making it 9-7, but Mendez then closed it out, 11-7.

In the semis, Mendez will play 2nd seed - and two time defending Pan Am Games gold medalist - Paola Longoria of Mexico, who beat Bolivian Angelica Barrios, 15-6, 15-4.

In Men’s Singles, the top four seeds are through to the semi-finals. Top seed Alvaro Beltran of Mexico narrowly defeated Canadian Coby Iwaasa, 15-14, 15-13, in the quarterfinals, and he’ll play Colombia’s Mario Mercado, who needed three games to defeat Jake Bredenbeck of the USA, 15-8, 8-15, 11-8. They were tied at 6-6 in the breaker, when Mercado ran four points to get to match point at 10-6. Bredenbeck denied Mercado’s first match point, but he couldn’t prevent the second, as Mercado won the breaker, 11-8.

On the other side of the draw, Bolivian Conrrado Moscoso - the 2nd seed - beat Charles Pratt of the USA, 15-7, 15-7, and 3rd seed Rodrigo Montoya defeated Samuel Murray of Canada, 15-7, 15-10.

Unimaginable

With today’s quarterfinal results there will be no USA or Canadian players on the podium in either Men's or Women's Singles at this year's Pan Am Games. That would have been unimaginable a decade ago. It’s more evidence that the centre of power in racquetball has shifted south.

Doubles

A couple of upsets in Men’s Doubles Monday. Guatemalans Edwin Galicia and Juan Salvatierra , the 11th seeds, defeated Ecuador’s Fernando Rios and José Ugalde, the 6th seeds, 15-10, 15-10. Guatemala will play 3rd seeds Andres Acuña and Felipe Camacho of Costa Rica in the quarterfinals Tuesday.

Also, 10th seeds Enier Chacón and Maykel Moyet of Cuba needed three games to defeat the 7th seeded veteran team of Fernando Kurzbard and Shai Manzuri of Argentina, 15-10, 11-15, 11-4, so they will play 2nd seeds Roland Keller and Conrrado Moscoso of Bolivia.

In Women’s Doubles, the 10th seeded Canadian team of Frédérique Lambert and Jennifer Saunders upset the 7th seeds Maria José Muñoz and Maria Paz Muñoz of Ecuador), 15-9, 9-15, 11-5. Also, the Dominican Republic’s Merynanyelly Delgado and Alejandra Jiménez, the 9th seeds, beat the 8th seeds Carla Muñoz and Josefa Parada of Chile in two straight games, 15-13, 15-10. In the quarterfinals, Canada will play 2nd seeds Argentina - Maria José Vargas and Natalia Mendez - and the Dominican Republic will play the top seeded Mexico team - Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas.

The semi-finals will be Tuesday with the finals on Wednesday morning. Then on Wednesday afternoon a team competition will begin with each country fielding two singles players and a doubles team in a best of three matches against each other. The finals of the team competition will be Saturday.

2019 Pan American Games - Lima, Peru

MEDAL ROUNDS

Men’s Singles - Round of 16


1) Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico) - BYE
8) Coby IWAASA (Canada) d. 9) Sebastian FRANCO (Colombia), 9-15, 15-13, 11-0

5) Jake BREDENBECK (USA) d. 12) Ramón DE LEÓN (Dominican Republic), 15-3, 15-9
4) Mario MERCADO (Colombia) d. 13) Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica), 15-3, 15-4

3) Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. 14) José UGALDE (Ecuador), 15-0, 15-5
6) Samuel MURRAY (Canada) d. 11) Carlos KELLER (Bolivia), 13-15, 15-14, 11-3

7) Charles PRATT (USA) d. 10) Luis PÉREZ (Dominican Republic), 13-15, 15-10, 11-5
2) Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) - BYE

Men’s Singles - Quarterfinals

1) Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico) d. 8) Coby IWAASA (Canada), 15-14, 15-13
4) Mario MERCADO (Colombia) d. 5) Jake BREDENBECK (USA), 15-8, 8-15, 11-8

3) Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. 6) Samuel MURRAY (Canada), 15-7, 15-10
2) Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. 7) Charles PRATT (USA), 15-7, 15-7

Men’s Singles - Semi-finals

1) Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico) v. 4) Mario MERCADO (Colombia)
2) Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) v. 3) Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico)

Women’s Singles - Round of 16

1) Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) - BYE
9) Kelani LAWRENCE (USA) d. 8) Carla MUÑOZ (Chile), 15-10, 11-15, 11-7

12) Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia) d. 5) Valeria CENTELLAS (Bolivia), 6-15, 15-11, 11-8
4) Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) d. 13) Merynanyelly DELGADO (Dominican Republic), 15-8, 15-14

3) Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina) d. 14) Gabriela MARTINEZ (Guatemala), 15-10, 12-15, 11-6
6) Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador) d. 11) Montserrat MEJIA (Mexico), 15-14, 7-15, 11-5

7) Angelica BARRIOS (Bolivia) d. 10) Cristina AMAYA (Colombia), 15-11, 12-15, 11-10
2) Paola LONGORIA (Mexico) - BYE

Women’s Singles - Quarterfinals

1) Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) d. 9) Kelani LAWRENCE (USA), 15-9, 15-13
12) Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia) d. 4) Rhonda RAJSICH (USA), 15-10, 15-10

3) Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina) d. 6) Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador), 15-5, 10-15, 11-7
2) Paola LONGORIA (Mexico) d. 7) Angelica BARRIOS (Bolivia), 15-6, 15-4

Women’s Singles - Semi-finals

1) Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) v. 12) Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia)
2) Paola LONGORIA (Mexico) v. 3) Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina)

Men’s Doubles - Round of 16

1) Rocky CARSON & Charles PRATT (USA) - BYE
8) Sebastian FRANCO & Mario MERCADO (Colombia) d. 9) Ramón DE LEÓN & Luis PEREZ (Dominican Republic), 15-8, 15-14

5) Coby IWAASA & Samuel MURRAY (Canada) d. 12) Jonathan LUQUE & Sebastian MENDIGURI (Peru), 15-2, 15-3
4) Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) - BYE

3) Andres ACUÑA & Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica) - BYE
11) Edwin GALICIA & Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala) d. 6) Fernando RÍOS & José UGALDE (Ecuador), 15-10, 15-10

10) Enier CHACÓN & Maykel MOYET (Cuba) d. 7) Fernando KURZBARD & Shai MANZURI (Argentina), 15-10, 11-15, 11-4
2) Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) - BYE

Men’s Doubles - Quarterfinals

1) Rocky CARSON & Charles PRATT (USA) v. 8) Sebastian FRANCO & Mario MERCADO (Colombia)
4) Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) v. 5) Coby IWAASA & Samuel MURRAY (Canada)

3) Andres ACUÑA & Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica) v. 11) Edwin GALICIA & Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala)
2) Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) v. 10) Enier CHACÓN & Maykel MOYET (Cuba)

Women’s Doubles - Round of 16

1) Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) - BYE
9) Merynanyelly DELGADO & Alejandra JIMÉNEZ (Dominican Republic) d. 8) Carla MUÑOZ & Josefa PARADA (Chile), 15-13, 15-10

5) Kelani LAWRENCE & Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) - BYE
4) Angelica BARRIOS & Jenny DAZA (Bolivia) - BYE

3) Gabriela MARTINEZ & Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala) - BYE
6) Cristina AMAYA & Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia) d. 11) Loraine FELIPE & María Regla VIERA (Cuba), 15-6, 15-4

10) Frédérique LAMBERT & Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada) d. 7) Maria José MUÑOZ & Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador), 15-9, 9-15, 11-5
2) Natalia MENDEZ & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) - BYE

Women’s Doubles - Quarterfinals

1) Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) v. 9) Merynanyelly DELGADO & Alejandra JIMÉNEZ (Dominican Republic)
4) Angelica BARRIOS & Jenny DAZA (Bolivia) v. 5) Kelani LAWRENCE & Rhonda RAJSICH (USA)

3) Gabriela MARTINEZ & Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala) v. 6) Cristina AMAYA & Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia)
2) Natalia MENDEZ & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) v. 10) Frédérique LAMBERT & Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada)

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Medal round draws for 2019 Pan American Games

The draws are out for the medal rounds at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, and we’re a little confused. Usually, the winner of Group A from the group stage is the top seed in the medal (or elimination) round, and in Women’s Singles that seems to be the case. But not so for Men’s Singles or Men’s Doubles. Why not is unknown. Maybe there was a random selection (e.g., a coin flip) to determine which group winner would be seeded 1st versus 2nd.

Being seeded #1 versus #2 looks like a big deal in the Men’s Singles draw, as the bottom half of the draw looks more loaded than the top half. Mexican Alvaro Beltran is the top seed, although he won Group B not Group A. Only two other top 10 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) players - Colombians Sebastian Franco and Mario Mercado - are on the top side.

However, on the bottom side is current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Men’s Singles World Champion Rodrigo Montoya of Mexico and current Pan American Champion Carlos Keller of Bolivia, as well as IRT event winner Charles Pratt of the USA and IRT top 10 player Samuel Murray of Canada. That’s what Bolivian Conrrado Moscoso, who won Group A but is the 2nd seed, has to face to get to the final.

To be clear, none of these guys is a slouch, and the USA’s Jake Bredenbeck and Canada's Coby Iwaasa are also on the top side. But still, one does seem preferable to the other.

In Women’s Singles, the big match of the Round of 16 will be Argentina’s Natalia Mendez versus Guatemala’s Gabriela Martinez. Mendez is #6 on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), and Martinez #11, though she didn’t play the whole LPRT season. Martinez is also the current IRF Women’s Singles World Champion.

The medal round begins Monday with the finals on Wednesday morning. Then on Wednesday afternoon a team competition will begin with each country fielding two singles players and a doubles team in a best of three matches against each other. The finals of the team competition will be Saturday.

2019 Pan American Games - Lima, Peru

MEDAL ROUNDS

Men’s Singles - Round of 16


1) Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico) - BYE
8) Coby IWAASA (Canada) v. 9) Sebastian FRANCO (Colombia)

5) Jake BREDENBECK (USA) v. 12) Ramón DE LEÓN (Dominican Republic)
4) Mario MERCADO (Colombia) v. 13) Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica)

3) Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) v. 14) José UGALDE (Ecuador)
6) Samuel MURRAY (Canada) v. 11) Carlos KELLER (Bolivia)

7) Charles PRATT (USA) v. 10) Luis PÉREZ (Dominican Republic)
2) Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) - BYE

Women’s Singles - Round of 16

1) Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) - BYE
8) Carla MUÑOZ (Chile) v. 9) Kelani LAWRENCE (USA)

5) Valeria CENTELLAS (Bolivia) v. 12) Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia)
4) Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) v. 13) Merynanyelly DELGADO (Dominican Republic)

3) Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina) v. 14) Gabriela MARTINEZ (Guatemala)
6) Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador) v. 11) Montserrat MEJIA (Mexico)

7) Angelica BARRIOS (Bolivia) v. 10) Cristina AMAYA (Colombia)
2) Paola LONGORIA (Mexico) - BYE

Men’s Doubles - Round of 16

1) Rocky CARSON & Charles PRATT (USA) - BYE
8) Sebastian FRANCO & Mario MERCADO (Colombia) v. 9) Ramón DE LEÓN & Luis PEREZ (Dominican Republic)

5) Coby IWAASA & Samuel MURRAY (Canada) v. 12) Jonathan LUQUE & Sebastian MENDIGURI (Peru)
4) Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) - BYE

3) Andres ACUÑA & Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica) - BYE
6) Fernando RÍOS & José UGALDE (Ecuador) v. 11) Edwin GALICIA & Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala)

7) Fernando KURZBARD & Shai MANZURI (Argentina) v. 10) Enier CHACÓN & Maykel MOYET (Cuba)
2) Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) - BYE

Women’s Doubles - Round of 16

1) Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) - BYE
8) Carla MUÑOZ & Josefa PARADA (Chile) v. 9) Merynanyelly DELGADO & Alejandra JIMÉNEZ (Dominican Republic)

5) Kelani LAWRENCE & Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) - BYE
4) Angelica BARRIOS & Jenny DAZA (Bolivia) - BYE

3) Gabriela MARTINEZ & Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala) - BYE
6) Cristina AMAYA & Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia) v. 11) Loraine FELIPE & María Regla VIERA (Cuba)

7) Maria José MUÑOZ & Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador) v. 10) Frédérique LAMBERT & Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada)
2) Natalia MENDEZ & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

Just 1 more point! - Day 3 of the 2019 Pan American Games

What’s one point in the big scheme of things? Not much really, but under international racquetball rules a single point can be the difference between winning and losing, but there were even greater ramifications for single points in Men’s Singles Sunday at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. In Pool A, José Ugalde of Ecuador defeated Bolivian Conrrado Moscoso, 12-15, 15-12, 11-10. A single point victory, which meant there was a three way tie in that group as both Ugalde and Moscoso were 1-1 along with Costa Rican Andres Acuña. Moreover, each match went tie-breaker, so points would have to determine the standings, which is important, because only the top two players advance to the medal round out of each group.

Moscoso scored 72 points, but gave up 71, so he’s +1. Ugalde was 68 and 68 (0), and Acuña was 64 and 65 (-1), so Ugalde and Moscoso will move on to the medal round, and Acuña will go to a consolation round. A single point between a medal possibility and no medal possibility. Moreover, this was Group A, so the winner will be the #1 seed for the medal round, and Ugalde was a point away from claiming that spot, which will instead go to Moscoso.

There were no other tie-breakers in Men’s or Women’s Singles on the final day of group stage matches in Lima.

Moscoso got a measure of revenge over Ugalde in doubles, as he and Roland Keller (Bolivia) beat Ugalde and Fernando Rios (Ecuador), 15-1, 15-1. It was an unsurprising day of Men’s Doubles, but worth noting that the Canada’s win over Argentina (Coby Iwaasa & Samuel Murray v. Fernando Kurzbard & Shai Manzuri) by a score line of 15-0, 15-0 reflects that Argentina’s Shai Manzuri suffered an eye injury earlier in the day. We believe he tried to play, as there is a match time down (only 2 min per game), but likely decided he wasn’t up to it.

Two tie-breakers in Women’s Doubles with both winning teams dropping the first game of their respective matches, but coming back to win in three. Guatemala’s Gabriela Martinez and Maria Rodriguez defeated Canadians Frédérique Lambert and Jennifer Saunders, 10-15, 15-7, 11-4, and Bolivians Angelica Barrios and Jenny Daza beat the Dominican Republic’s Merynanyelly Delgado and Alejandra Jiménez, 13-15, 15-10, 11-2.

The medal round begins Monday with the finals on Wednesday morning. Then on Wednesday afternoon a team competition will begin with each country fielding two singles players and a doubles team in a best of three matches against each other. The finals of the team competition will be Saturday.

2019 Pan American Games, Lima, Peru

Group Stage Matches - Day 3 - Sunday

Men’s Singles

Pool A


José UGALDE (Ecuador) d. Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia), 12-15, 15-12, 11-10
Andres ACUÑA (Costa Rica) - BYE

Pool B

Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico) d. Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica), 15-12, 15-9
Fernando RÍOS (Ecuador) - BYE

Pool C

Carlos KELLER (Bolivia) d. Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala), 15-1, 15-2
Mario MERCADO (Colombia) - BYE

Pool D

Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. Maykel MOYET (Cuba), 15-10, 15-6
Ramón DE LEÓN (Dominican Republic) d. Erik MENDOZA (Peru), 15-2, 15-0

Pool E

Jake BREDENBECK (USA) d. Edwin GALICIA (Guatemala), 15-12, 15-5
Sebastian FRANCO (Colombia) d. Jonathan LUQUE (Peru), 15-1, 15-3

Pool F

Samuel MURRAY (Canada) d. Enier CHACÓN (Cuba), 15-1, 15-1
Luis PÉREZ (Dominican Republic) d. Fernando KURZBARD (Argentina), 15-10, 15-3

Pool G

Coby IWAASA (Canada) d. Francisco TRONCOSO (Chile), 15-4, 15-1
Charles PRATT (USA) d. Shai MANZURI (Argentina), forfeit

Women’s Singles

Pool A


Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) d. Alejandra JIMÉNEZ (Dominican Republic), 15-0, 15-1
Gabriela MARTINEZ (Guatemala) - BYE

Pool B

Paola LONGORIA (Mexico) d. Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala), 15-2, 15-6
Merynanyelly DELGADO (Dominican Republic) - BYE

Pool C

Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina) d. Lilian ZEA (Venezuela), 15-1, 15-2
Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia) - BYE

Pool D

Montserrat MEJIA (Mexico) d. Frédérique LAMBERT (Canada), 15-10, 15-5
Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) - BYE

Pool E

Valeria CENTELLAS (Bolivia) d. María Regla VIERA (Cuba), 15-2, 15-0
Cristina AMAYA (Colombia) d. Josefa PARADA (Chile), 15-1, 15-0

Pool F

Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador) d. Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada), 15-7, 15-4
Kelani LAWRENCE (USA) d. Maricruz ORTIZ (Costa Rica), 15-13, 15-3

Pool G

Angelica BARRIOS (Bolivia) d. Loraine FELIPE (Cuba), 15-6, 15-8
Carla MUÑOZ (Chile) d. Maria José MUÑOZ (Ecuador), 15-2, 15-3

Men’s Doubles

Pool A


Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. Fernando RÍOS & José UGALDE (Ecuador), 15-1, 15-1
Sebastian FRANCO & Mario MERCADO (Colombia) d. Jonathan LUQUE & Sebastian MENDIGURI (Peru), 15-2, 15-1

Pool B

Rocky CARSON & Charles PRATT (USA) d. Edwin GALICIA & Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala), 15-6, 15-11
Coby IWAASA & Samuel MURRAY (Canada) d. Fernando KURZBARD & Shai MANZURI (Argentina), 15-0, 15-0

Pool C

Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. Enier CHACÓN & Maykel MOYET (Cuba), 15-7, 15-6
Andres ACUÑA & Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica) d. Ramón DE LEÓN & Luis PEREZ (Dominican Republic), 15-10, 15-12

Women’s Doubles

Pool A


Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) d. Kelani LAWRENCE & Rhonda RAJSICH (USA), 15-5, 15-9
Maria José MUÑOZ & Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador) - BYE

Pool B

Natalia MENDEZ & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) d. Carla MUÑOZ & Josefa PARADA (Chile), 15-3, 15-3
Cristina AMAYA & Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia) d. Loraine FELIPE & María Regla VIERA (Cuba), 15-6, 15-5

Pool C

Gabriela MARTINEZ & Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala) d. Frédérique LAMBERT & Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada), 10-15, 15-7, 11-4
Angelica BARRIOS & Jenny DAZA (Bolivia) d. Merynanyelly DELGADO & Alejandra JIMÉNEZ (Dominican Republic), 13-15, 15-10, 11-2

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, August 3, 2019

11-10 breakers on Day 2 at the 2019 Pan American Games

Day 2 of racquetball at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru brought the first two 11-10 tie-breakers. In Men’s Doubles, the Dominican Republic’s Ramón De León and Luis Perez came within a point of knocking off Mexicans Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya, as they won game one and were up 10-8 in the tie-breaker. But the Mexicans fought off four matches points to pull out the win, 8-15, 15-10, 11-10.

De León was also involved in the other 11-10 match, as he held off Cuban Maykel Moyet, 15-10, 8-15, 11-10. The result puts both players at 1-1 after two days of group stage play, but De León has the advantage with the win, as he’ll play Erik Mendoza of Peru on Sunday, while Moyet faces Mexican Rodrigo Montoya. On Saturday, Montoya beat Mendoza, 15-1, 15-0.

There were three other tie-breakers in Men’s Singles on Saturday. Costa Rica won two matches over Ecuadro, as Andres Acuña came back to defeat José Ugalde, 5-15, 15-9, 11-6, and Felipe Camacho beat Fernando Rios, 15-9, 11-15, 11-7. Also, Canadian Coby Iwaasa outlasted veteran Argentina player Shai Manzuri, 15-14, 10-15, 11-2.

There was only one tie-breaker in Women’s Singles Saturday. Merynanyelly Delgado of the Dominican Republic came back from a game down to defeat Maria Rodriguez of Guatemala, 6-15, 15-8, 11-5. However, Maria Paz Muñoz of Ecuador and Maricruz Ortiz of Costa Rica were about a close as possible over two games, as Muñoz won 15-13, 15-14.

The Dominican Republic’s Delgado also won a tie-breaker in Women’s Doubles, as she and Alejandra Jiménez came back to defeat Canadians Frédérique Lambert and Jennifer Saunders, 6-15, 15-12, 11-4. The Dominican Republic will play Bolivia Sunday, and Bolivians Angelica Barrios and Jenny Daza lost Saturday in a tie-breaker to Guatemalans Gabriela Martinez and Maria Rodriguez, 15-6, 3-15, 11-8.

Along with the Mexico-Dominican match there were couple other tie-breakers in Men’s Doubles. The USA’s Rocky Carson and Charles Pratt needed three games to defeat the veteran Argentina team of Fernando Kurzbard and Shai Manzuri, 15-11, 8-15, 11-4. Also, Canadians Coby Iwaasa and Samuel Murray went three games to beat Edwin Galicia and Juan Salavtierra of Guatemala, 15-10, 9-15, 11-0.

Group play continues Saturday in Lima. The medal round will begin Monday with the finals on Wednesday. Then on Thursday a team competition will begin with each country fielding two singles players and a doubles team in a best of three matches against each other. The finals of the team competition will be Saturday.

2019 Pan American Games, Lima, Peru

Group Stage Matches - Day 2

Men’s Singles

Pool A


Andres ACUÑA (Costa Rica) d. José UGALDE (Ecuador), 5-15, 15-9, 11-6
Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) - BYE

Pool B

Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica) d. Fernando RÍOS (Ecuador), 15-9, 11-15, 11-7
Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico) - BYE

Pool C

Mario MERCADO (Colombia) d. Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala), 15-6, 15-7
Carlos KELLER (Bolivia) - BYE

Pool D

Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. Erik MENDOZA (Peru), 15-1, 15-0
Ramón DE LEÓN (Dominican Republic) d. Maykel MOYET (Cuba), 15-10, 8-15, 11-10

Pool E

Jake BREDENBECK (USA) d. Jonathan LUQUE (Peru), 15-6, 15-1
Sebastian FRANCO (Colombia) d. Edwin GALICIA (Guatemala), 15-5, 15-11

Pool F

Samuel MURRAY (Canada) d. Fernando KURZBARD (Argentina), 15-7, 15-10
Luis PÉREZ (Dominican Republic) d. Enier CHACÓN (Cuba), 15-6, 15-5

Pool G

Coby IWAASA (Canada) d. Shai MANZURI (Argentina), 15-14, 10-15, 11-2
Charles PRATT (USA) d. Francisco TRONCOSO (Chile), 15-7, 15-2

Women’s Singles

Pool A


Gabriela MARTINEZ (Guatemala) d. Alejandra JIMÉNEZ (Dominican Republic), 15-3, 15-9
Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) - BYE

Pool B

Merynanyelly DELGADO (Dominican Republic) d. Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala), 6-15, 15-8, 11-5
Paola LONGORIA (Mexico) - BYE

Pool C

Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia) d. Lilian ZEA (Venezuela), 15-1, 15-2
Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina) - BYE

Pool D

Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) d. Frédérique LAMBERT (Canada), 15-10, 15-5
Montserrat MEJIA (Mexico) - BYE

Pool E

Valeria CENTELLAS (Bolivia) d. Josefa PARADA (Chile), 15-1, 15-6
Cristina AMAYA (Colombia) d. María Regla VIERA (Cuba), 15-2, 15-9

Pool F

Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador) d. Maricruz ORTIZ (Costa Rica), 15-13, 15-14
Kelani LAWRENCE (USA) d. Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada), 15-7, 15-5

Pool G

Angelica BARRIOS (Bolivia) d. Carla MUÑOZ (Chile), 15-10, 15-9
Maria José MUÑOZ (Ecuador) d. Loraine FELIPE (Cuba), 15-2, 15-4

Men’s Doubles

Pool A


Fernando RÍOS & José UGALDE (Ecuador) d. Sebastian FRANCO & Mario MERCADO (Colombia), 15-10, 15-9
Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. Jonathan LUQUE & Sebastian MENDIGURI (Peru), 15-0, 15-0

Pool B

Rocky CARSON & Charles PRATT (USA) d. Fernando KURZBARD & Shai MANZURI (Argentina), 15-11, 8-15, 11-4
Coby IWAASA & Samuel MURRAY (Canada) d. Edwin GALICIA & Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala), 15-10, 9-15, 11-0

Pool C

Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. Ramón DE LEÓN & Luis PEREZ (Dominican Republic), 8-15, 15-10, 11-10
Andres ACUÑA & Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica) d. Enier CHACÓN & Maykel MOYET (Cuba), 15-3, 15-1

Women’s Doubles

Pool A


Kelani LAWRENCE & Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) d. Maria José MUÑOZ & Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador), 15-10, 15-1
Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) - BYE

Pool B

Natalia MENDEZ & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) d. Loraine FELIPE & María Regla VIERA (Cuba), 15-2, 15-5
Cristina AMAYA & Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia) d. Carla MUÑOZ & Josefa PARADA (Chile), 15-5, 15-9

Pool C

Gabriela MARTINEZ & Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala) d. Angelica BARRIOS & Jenny DAZA (Bolivia), 15-6, 3-15, 11-8
Merynanyelly DELGADO & Alejandra JIMÉNEZ (Dominican Republic) d. Frédérique LAMBERT & Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada), 6-15, 15-12, 11-4

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, August 2, 2019

Play begins at 2019 Pan American Games

The racquetball competition began Friday at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, and right off the hop there are interesting results. As with other international racquetball events, the Pan Am Games has a group stage of matches that will seed players for the medal (or elimination) round. The group stage lasts three days, so the medal round will begin on Monday.

In Men’s Singles, Colombia’s Mario Mercado knocked off current Pan American Champion Carlos Keller of Bolivia, 15-14, 15-11, which should give Mercado the inside track to claim the 3rd seed in the medal round. Keller defeated the USA’s Charles Pratt to win Men’s Singles at the 2019 Pan Am Championships earlier this year, but Pratt also lost on Friday, as Canadian Coby Iwaasa defeated him in three games, 14-15, 15-11, 11-9.

In other matches, Samuel Murray - Iwaasa’s team-mate - also needed three games to win Friday, as he went the distance with Luis Pérez of the Dominican Republic, 15-13, 13-15, 11-0. Also, Conrrado Moscoso - Bolivia’s other player - needed a tie-breaker to fend off Andres Acuña of Costa Rica, 15-12, 9-15, 11-6. Finally, in a battle of two solid International Racquetball Tour (IRT) players, the USA’s Jake Bredenbeck beat Colombia’s Sebastian Franco, 15-10, 15-9.

In Women’s Singles, you could hardly get a closer match than the one played by Bolivian Valeria Centallas and Colombian Cristina Amaya, as they went three games with Cenellas narrowly coming out on top, 14-15, 15-14, 11-9. In another match that went breaker, Maria José Vargas of Argentina defeated Gabriela Martinez of Guatemala, 15-4, 12-15, 11-9.

Two somewhat surprising results were USA veteran Rhonda Rajsich beating young Mexican Montserrat Mejia, 15-4, 15-7, and Maria Paz Muñoz of Ecuador defeated Kelani Lawrence of the USA, 15-5, 15-6. Those results surprise us not by who won, but by the margin of victory, which was surprisingly decisive.

In Men’s Doubles there were two matches that went breaker on Friday. The USA’s Rocky Carson and Charles Pratt fended off Canadians Coby Iwaasa and Samuel Murray, 15-12, 10-15, 11-9. The Canadians led 9-7 in the breaker, but the USA got the serve back and won four straight points to win the match. Also, Dominicans Ramón De León and Luis Perez needed three games to defeat Cubans Enier Chacón and Maykel Moyet, 15-7, 4-15, 11-4.

Cuba and Canada were also involved in tie-breakers in Women’s Doubles. Cubans Loraine Felipe and María Regla Viera defeated Carla Muñoz and Josefa Parada of Chile, 6-15, 15-13, 11-9, while Bolivians Angelica Barrios and Jenny Daza beat Canadians Frédérique Lambert and Jennifer Saunders, 15-13, 10-15, 11-6.

Group play continues Saturday in Lima. The medal round will begin Monday with the finals on Wednesday. Then on Thursday a team competition will begin with each country fielding two singles players and a doubles team in a best of three matches against each other. The finals of the team competition will be Saturday.

2019 Pan American Games, Lima, Peru

Group Stage Matches - Day 1

Men’s Singles

Pool A


Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. Andres ACUÑA (Costa Rica), 15-12, 9-15, 11-6
José UGALDE (Ecuador) - BYE

Pool B

Alvaro BELTRAN (Mexico) d. Fernando RÍOS (Ecuador), 15-12, 15-2
Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica) - BYE

Pool C

Mario MERCADO (Colombia) d. Carlos KELLER (Bolivia), 15-14, 15-11
Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala) - BYE

Pool D

Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. Ramón DE LEÓN (Dominican Republic), 15-0, 15-7
Maykel MOYET (Cuba) d. Erik MENDOZA (Peru), 15-3, 15-2

Pool E

Jake BREDENBECK (USA) d. Sebastian FRANCO (Colombia), 15-10, 15-9
Edwin GALICIA (Guatemala) d. Jonathan LUQUE (Peru), 15-3, 15-6

Pool F

Samuel MURRAY (Canada) d. Luis PÉREZ (Dominican Republic), 15-13, 13-15, 11-0
Enier CHACÓN (Cuba) d. Fernando KURZBARD (Argentina), 15-12, 15-12

Pool G

Shai MANZURI (Argentina) d. Francisco TRONCOSO (Chile), 15-4, 15-10
Coby IWAASA (Canada) d. Charles PRATT (USA), 14-15, 15-11, 11-9

Women’s Singles

Pool A


Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) d. Gabriela MARTINEZ (Guatemala), 15-4, 12-15, 11-9
Alejandra JIMÉNEZ (Dominican Republic) - BYE

Pool B

Paola LONGORIA (Mexico) d. Merynanyelly DELGADO (Dominican Republic), 15-3, 15-2
Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala) - BYE

Pool C

Natalia MENDEZ (Argentina) d. Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia), 15-10, 15-13
Lilian ZEA (Venezuela) - BYE

Pool D

Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) d. Montserrat MEJIA (Mexico), 15-4, 15-7
Frédérique LAMBERT (Canada) - BYE

Pool E

María Regla VIERA (Cuba) d. Josefa PARADA (Chile), 15-1, 15-4
Valeria CENTELLAS (Bolivia) d. Cristina AMAYA (Colombia), 14-15, 15-14, 11-9

Pool F

Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador) d. Kelani LAWRENCE (USA), 15-5, 15-6
Maricruz ORTIZ (Costa Rica) d. Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada), 15-8, 14-15, 11-8

Pool G

Angelica BARRIOS (Bolivia) d. Maria José MUÑOZ (Ecuador), 15-3, 15-5
Carla MUÑOZ (Chile) d. Loraine FELIPE (Cuba), 15-12, 15-2

Men’s Doubles

Pool A


Fernando RÍOS & José UGALDE (Ecuador) d. Jonathan LUQUE & Sebastian MENDIGURI (Peru), 15-2, 15-1
Roland KELLER & Conrrado MOSCOSO (Bolivia) d. Sebastian FRANCO & Mario MERCADO (Colombia), 15-7, 15-4

Pool B

Rocky CARSON & Charles PRATT (USA) d. Coby IWAASA & Samuel MURRAY (Canada), 15-12, 10-15, 11-9
Fernando KURZBARD & Shai MANZURI (Argentina) d. Edwin GALICIA & Juan SALVATIERRA (Guatemala), 15-9, 15-10

Pool C

Javier MAR & Rodrigo MONTOYA (Mexico) d. Andres ACUÑA & Felipe CAMACHO (Costa Rica), 15-2, 15-0
Ramón DE LEÓN & Luis PEREZ (Dominican Republic) d. Enier CHACÓN & Maykel MOYET (Cuba), 15-7, 4-15, 11-4

Women’s Doubles

Pool A


Paola LONGORIA & Samantha SALAS (Mexico) d. d. Maria José MUÑOZ & Maria Paz MUÑOZ (Ecuador), 15-4, 15-3
Kelani LAWRENCE & Rhonda RAJSICH (USA) - BYE

Pool B

Natalia MENDEZ & Maria José VARGAS (Argentina) d. Cristina AMAYA & Adriana RIVEROS (Colombia), 15-11, 15-6
Loraine FELIPE & María Regla VIERA (Cuba) d. Carla MUÑOZ & Josefa PARADA (Chile), 6-15, 15-13, 11-9

Pool C

Angelica BARRIOS & Jenny DAZA (Bolivia) d. Frédérique LAMBERT & Jennifer SAUNDERS (Canada), 15-13, 10-15, 11-6
Gabriela MARTINEZ & Maria RODRIGUEZ (Guatemala) d. Merynanyelly DELGADO & Alejandra JIMÉNEZ (Dominican Republic), 15-1, 15-8

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, July 26, 2019

Pan Am Games Then & Now

Twenty years ago the 1999 Pan American Games were held in Winnipeg, Canada, and included racquetball for just the second time in Pan Am Games history. USA players swept gold. Adam Karp and Cheryl Gudinas won Men’s and Women’s Singles, respectively, while Doug Ganim and Drew Kachtik won Men’s Doubles with Joy MacKenzie and Jackie Paraiso winning Women’s Doubles.

It was the last tournament for Canadian Sherman Greenfeld, who was playing in his hometown. He had to play fellow Canadian Kane Waselenchuk in the quarterfinals, as Waselenchuk had lost a match in the preliminary round to Rob De Jesus of Puerto Rico. Waselenchuk had beated Greenfeld for his first Canadian National Championship two months before, but in the rematch at Pan Ams Greenfeld squeaked out a victory in a tie-breaker.

Unfortunately for Greenfeld, he wasn’t able to get to the gold medal match, as he lost to the USA’s Michael Bronfeld in the semi-finals. Then De Jesus beat Greenfeld in the bronze medal match (bronze medals have been awarded to both racquetball semi-finalists from the 2003 Games).

Next week the racquetball competition will begin at the 2019 Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. The USA would surely love to sweep gold, as they did in Winnipeg, but that seems unlikely given the improvements from the other countries over the last two decades.

Team News

There is a limit to the number of racquetball athletes that will compete in Lima. Usually for international racquetball events countries can send four players for both the men’s and women’s competitions, so two players would play singles and two would play doubles. Some countries send two or three players with one or both of them playing both singles and doubles.

But the Pan Am Games is a huge event; there were over 6100 athletes at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. Thus, entries are limited for all sports. A qualification process is required to determine how many players each country can send.

The 2019 Pan American Racquetball Championships in Barranquilla, Colombia was the qualifying event for the 2019 Pan Am Games. The results from Barranquilla determined the number of players each country qualified for Lima. Only two countries are able to send 4 athletes to Lima: Bolivia in men’s play and Mexico in women’s play.

The USA will send three men and two women. Canada two men and two women. Bolivia four and three; Mexico three and four. It’s the Mexican selection that has caused some controversy.

The Mexico team will be Javier Mar, Rodrigo Montoya and Alvaro Beltran - who played way back in those 1999 Games in Winnipeg, when he won bronze in Men’s Doubles with Javier Moreno. The controversy is that Alejandro Landa, not Beltran won the Mexican Nationals, which should have meant he was the #1 qualifier for Lima.

Apparently the logic is that Beltran did better than Landa at the Pan Am Championships in Barranquilla, so he gets to go to Lima. Beltran made the semis in Barranquilla, where Landa was upset in the quarterfinals by Costa Rican Andres Acuña. Acuña went breaker with the USA’s Charlie Pratt in the semis, and was four points from making the final. That suggests Acuña was a higher quality opponent than Luis Perez of the Dominican Republic, who was Beltran’s opponent in the quarters; Beltran won that match in two straight games.

We’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine the validity of that logic.

On the women’s side, Mexico will send Paola Longoria, Monserrat Mejia, Samantha Salas and Alexandra Herrera. Mejia defeated Longoria to win the Mexican National Championship, so was the top player in Women’s Singles at the Pan Am Championships, but like Landa, she lost in the quarters, while Longoria won the event. Thus, Mexico is putting Longoria as their #1 player in Lima, using the same kind of logic as on the men’s side. Longoria and Salas will play doubles.

Team USA will be Jake Bredenbeck, Rocky Carson and Charlie Pratt in men’s play, with Kelani Lawrence and Rhonda Rajsich in women’s play. Bredenbeck should play Men’s Singles with Carson and Pratt playing Men’s Doubles, but we’re not sure which of them will be the 2nd singles player. Lawrence and Rajsich will play both singles and doubles.

Bolivia qualified four men for Lima, but they only sent three to the Pan Am Championships. Carlos Keller and Conrrado Moscoso played Men’s Singles in Barranquilla, with Keller winning gold, and Moscoso and Roland Keller played Men’s Doubles, winning the title by beating Canadians Iwaasa and Murray in the final. We anticipate that Valeria Centellas and Yazmine Sabja will represent Bolivia in Women’s Doubles, as they are the current Women’s Doubles World Champions, and were bronze medalists in Women’s Doubles team at the 2019 Pan Am Championships, when Centellas also played Women’s Singles with Angelica Barrios.

Canada will be represented by Coby Iwaasa and Samuel Murray playing both Men’s Singles and Doubles, and Frédérique Lambert and Jen Saunders playing both Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles.

Also of note, Gabriela Martinez of Guatemala, who is the current Women’s Singles World Champion but seemed to indicate that she was stepping away from racquetball earlier this year, seems like she has been in training to represent Guatemala in Lima.

Follow the bouncing ball….

Monday, June 24, 2019

Rojas & Jacquet winners at 2019 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics

USA Racquetball’s Junior Olympic Championships were held on the weekend in Portland, Oregon, where Antonio Rojas (Stockton, CA) was a double champion and Briana Jacquet (Port Arthur, TX) closed out her junior years with a 3rd consecutive title. Rojas won both Boy’s U18 and U16, while Jacquet successfully defended her Girl’s U18 title.

Rojas needed a tie-breaker to win the U18 title, as he went the distance in defeating Micah Farmer (Trophy Club, TX), 13-15, 15-13, 11-4. But he won the U16 title in two straight games by beating Timmy Hansen (Wellington, FL), 15-6, 15-12. The Boys U14 title went to Nikhil Prasad (Fremont, CA) who came back from a game down to defeat Vedant Chauhan (San Ramon, CA), 11-15, 15-9, 11-5.

In the girl’s divisions, Jacquet beat Nikita Chauhan (San Ramon, CA), 15-7, 15-5, in what was a rematch of the 2018 final, as well as the 2017 U16 final, which Jacquet also won. Like Jacquet, Annie Roberts (Gresham, OR) won for the 3rd time in as many years, taking the a 2nd consecutive U16 title by coming back from a game down to defeat Heather Mahoney (Penngrove, CA), 8-15, 15-11, 11-9. But Mahoney won the U14 title by defeating Ava Kaiser (Lake Elmo, MN), 15-5, 14-15, 11-8.

Participation - Cause for concern?

One hundred and thirty eight players competed in Portland, which is the lowest number in 14 years that we’ve been following the tournament. It’s only three fewer players than last year’s 141, and there were two other years of 142 and 143 participation in 2012 and 2013, respectively, so this year’s level may not ring alarm bells with USA Racquetball.

But there is a curious aspect to the participation. It’s boys participation that is down, not girls. There were 87 boys this year and last at Junior Olympics, which are the first years that there have been fewer than 110 boys participating. However, for the fifth year there were at least 51 girls in the draw, so the percentage of girls has been over 30% five years running; it was 37% this year.

We’re sure that USA Racquetball would like to have more kids playing at the Junior Olympics overall, but it’s good that there are more girls playing.

2019 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics
June 19-23, 2019 - Portland, Oregon

Boy's U18 Singles - Final


Antonio Rojas (Stockton, CA) d. Micah Farmer (Trophy Club, TX), 13-15, 15-13, 11-4

3rd Place

Ben Baron (Phoenix, AZ) d. Cayden Akins (Keller, TX), 15-4, 15-6

Boy's U16 Singles - Final

Antonio Rojas (Stockton, CA) d. Timmy Hansen (Wellington, FL), 15-6, 15-12

3rd Place

Andrew Gleason (Johnston, IA) d. Krish Thakur (Tracy, CA), 15-13, 15-13

Boy's U14 Singles - Final

Nikhil Prasad (Fremont, CA) d. Vedant Chauhan (San Ramon, CA), 11-15, 15-9, 11-5

3rd Place

Josh Shea (Cortlandt Manor, NY) d. Gatlin Sutherland (Great Falls, MT), “(-115)-6, 15-7” [sic]

Girl's U18 Singles - Final

Briana Jacquet (Port Arthur, TX) d. Nikita Chauhan (San Ramon, CA), 15-7, 15-5

3rd Place

Graciana Wargo (Clearwater, FL) d. Shane Diaz (San Antonio, TX), forfeit

Girl's U16 Singles - Final

Annie Roberts (Gresham, OR) d. Heather Mahoney (Penngrove, CA), 8-15, 15-11, 11-9

3rd Place

Erin Slutzky (Chesterfield, MO) d. Shane Diaz (San Antonio, TX), 15-7, 15-3

Girl's U14 Singles - Final

Heather Mahoney (Penngrove, CA) d. Ava Kaiser (Lake Elmo, MN), 15-5, 14-15, 11-8

3rd Place

Kareena Mathew (Corvallis, OR) d. Arya Cyril (Dublin, CA), 15-2, 11-15, 11-6

Boy's U18 Doubles - Final

Dylan Pruitt (Sykesville, MD) & Josh Shea (Cortlandt Manor, NY) d. Cayden Akins (Keller, TX) & Ivan Hernandez (Norwalk, CA), 15-3, 15-13

3rd Place

Cody Boucher (Gilford, NH) & Lucas Shoemaker (Bettendorf, IA) d. Ben Baron (Phoenix, AZ) & Micah Farmer (Trophy Club, TX), forfeit

Boy's U16 Doubles - Final

Andrew Gleason (Johnston, IA) & Timmy Hansen (Wellington, FL) d. Julius Ellis (Stockton, CA) & Krish Thakur (Tracy, CA), 15-2, 14-15, 11-2

3rd Place

Kamahela Britos (Honolulu, HI) & Cody Thomas (Stockton, CA) d. Hudson Farmer (Trophy Club, TX) & Armando Perez (Pasadena, CA), 15-6, 15-0

Boy's U14 Doubles - Standings (Round Robin)

1. Vedant Chauhan (San Ramon, CA) & Josh Shea (Cortlandt Manor, NY)
2. Nikhil Prasad (Fremont, CA) & Gatlin Sutherland (Great Falls, MT)
3. Benjamin Horner (Ankeny, IA) & Krish Maini (Sun Prairie, WI)

Girl's U18 Doubles - Standings (Round Robin)

1. Nikita Chauhan (San Ramon, CA) & Erin Slutzky (Chesterfield, MO)
2. Hannah Carver (Spokane, WA) & Megan Carver (Spokane, WA)
3. Graciana Wargo (Clearwater, FL) & Shane Diaz (San Antonio, TX)

Girl's U16 Doubles - Standings (Round Robin)

1. Annie Roberts (Gresham, OR) & Alondra Canchola (Stockton, CA)
2. Heather Mahoney (Penngrove, CA) & Julia Stein (Murrysville, PA)
3. Elena Mathew (Corvallis, OR) & Kareena Mathew (Corvallis, OR)

Girl's U14 Doubles - Standings (Round Robin)

1. Ava Kaiser (Lake Elmo, MN) & Kareena Mathew (Corvallis, OR)
2. Arya Cyril (Dublin, CA) & Esha Cyril (Dublin, CA)
3. Katie Bain (Gresham, OR) & Shelby Levens (Gresham, OR)

Follow the bouncing ball….

Monday, June 17, 2019

Longoria wins singles & doubles at 2019 LPRT Teamroot.com Classic

Paola Longoria completed an undefeated season on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Sunday, as she won the Teamroot.com Classic - the last event of the 2018-19 LPRT season - in Overland Park, Kansas. Longoria defeated Samantha Salas, 10-12, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7, in the final. The win was Longoria’s 9th of the season, and eight of those final wins were against Salas.

Longoria and Salas teamed up to play doubles in Kansas, and they won the title by defeating Alexandra Herrera and Monserrat Mejia, 15-3, 14-15, 11-8, in the final.

The wins confirm Longoria as the #1 LPRT player in both singles and doubles. She has been the season ending #1 player 10 times, including the last 8 seasons, which is the more than any other player has done either overall or consecutively.

If you missed any of the action, you can watch it via the LPRT YouTube channel.

2019 Teamroot.com Classic
Overland Park, Kansas - June 14-16, 2019


LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria d. 2 Samantha Salas, 10-12, 11-5, 11-8, 11-7

LPRT Doubles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 3 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia, 15-3, 14-15, 11-8

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Longoria & Salas to faceoff in final of 2019 LPRT Teamroot.com Classic

There have been no upsets at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Teamroot.com Classic in Overland Park, Kansas on Saturday, so LPRT #1 Paola Longoria will play #2 Samantha Salas in the final on Sunday at noon. In the semi-finals, Longoria defeated LPRT #4 Alexandra Herrera, 5-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4, and Salas beat LPRT #3 Maria Jose Vargas, 5-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-3.

Salas reached the final, but she could have gone out in the quarterfinals to Nancy Enriquez, who won the first two games of their match, and had three match points in game four. But Salas fought them all off, and scored four points to go from 8-10 down to win 12-10. Salas was then able to win the tie-breaker to complete the comeback, winning 8-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6.

Also in the quarters, Vargas needed a tie-breaker to defeat her doubles partner Natalia Mendez, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4, and Herrera went four games with 5th seed Rhonda Rajsich, 11-3, 11-5, 9-11, 11-3.

The singles final will be Sunday at noon. The doubles semi-finals are Saturday night at 7 and 8 PM with the final Sunday at 1 PM. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel.

2019 Teamroot.com Classic
Overland Park, Kansas - June 14-16, 2019


LPRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria d. 8 Cristina Amaya, 11-2, 11-2, 11-4
4 Alexandra Herrera d. 5 Rhonda Rajsich, 11-3, 11-5, 9-11, 11-3

3 Maria Jose Vargas d. 6 Natalia Mendez, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4, 8-11, 11-4
2 Samantha Salas d. 7 Nancy Enriquez, 8-11, 5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6

LPRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria d. 4 Alexandra Herrera, 5-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-4
2 Samantha Salas d. 3 Maria Jose Vargas, 5-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-3

LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria v. 2 Samantha Salas - Noon

LPRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 4 Brenda Laime & Masiel Rivera, 15-5, 15-9
3 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia d. 2 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas, 15-5, 15-7

LPRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 3 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, June 14, 2019

2019 LPRT Teamroot.com Classic - Rounds of 32 and 16

The 2018-19 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) season wraps up this weekend in Overland Park, Kansas, where 22 players will compete in the Teamroot.com Classic, an event with Grand Slam level prize money. Eight of the top 9 players and 15 of the top 20 will be hoping Kansas is just like home. Paola Longoria - the LPRT’s #1 player - will be trying to complete an undefeated season. If she does so, it will be her 5th undefeated season. Longoria has already assured herself of the #1 ranking for the 8th straight season.

In earlier action, Jessica Parrilla made a successful return to the tour by defeating Adrienne Haynes, 11-5, 11-7, 11-2. Parrilla has been out with a knee injury suffered at the end of last season. In the 16/17 match, 17th seed Monserrat Mejia beat 16th seed Carla Muñoz, 11-2, 11-8, 12-10.

Also in the Round of 32, there were two matches that required 5th game tie-breakers. In one, 12th seed Cassi Lee came back from 2-1 down to defeat 21st seed Marie Gomar, 11-3, 11-13, 4-11, 11-7, 11-8, and in the other 14th Sheryl Lotts did the same in getting by 19th seed Erin Rivera, 3-11, 11-2, 10-12, 11-9, 12-10.

In doubles, 2nd seeds Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas were one point from being eliminated in the quarterfinals, as they dropped the first game to 7th seeds Nancy Enriquez and Jessica Parrilla, but they were able to pull out game two, and then won the tie-breaker, taking the match 10-15, 15-14, 11-2. Mendez and Vargas will play 3rd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Monserrat Mejia in the semi-finals Saturday night, as Herrera and Mejia beat 6th seeds Susana Acosta and Cristina Amaya, 15-7, 15-8.

Top seeds Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas defeated 9th seeds Ana Laura Flores and Erin Rivera, 15-13, 15-1, to set up a semi-final showdown with Brenda Laime and Masiel Rivera, who were straight game winners over Sheryl Lotts and Carla Muñoz, 15-11, 15-6.

The singles quarterfinals will be Saturday morning (11 AM & Noon) and semi-finals Saturday at 5 PM and 6 PM. The singles final will be Sunday at noon. The doubles semi-finals are Saturday night at 7 and 8 PM with the final Sunday at 1 PM. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel or its LiveStream channel.

2019 Teamroot.com Classic
Overland Park, Kansas - June 14-16, 2019


LPRT Singles - Round of 32 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria - BYE
17 Monserrat Mejia d. 16 Carla Muñoz, 11-2, 11-8, 12-10

9 Masiel Rivera - BYE
8 Cristina Amaya - BYE

5 Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
12 Cassi Lee d. 21 Marie Gomar, 11-3, 11-13, 4-11, 11-7, 11-8

20 Jessica Parrilla d. 13 Adrienne Haynes, 11-5, 11-7, 11-2
4 Alexandra Herrera - BYE

3 Maria Jose Vargas - BYE
14 Sheryl Lotts v. 19 Erin Rivera, 3-11, 11-2, 10-12, 11-9, 12-10

11 Ana Laura Flores - BYE
6 Natalia Mendez - BYE

7 Nancy Enriquez - BYE
10 Brenda Laime - BYE

15 Susana Acosta d. 18 Maria Renee Rodriguez, 11-7, 11-6, 11-9
2 Samantha Salas - BYE

LPRT Singles - Round of 16 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria d. 17 Monserrat Mejia, 11-3, 11-1, 11-4
8 Cristina Amaya d. 9 Masiel Rivera, 1-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-2

5 Rhonda Rajsich d. 12 Cassi Lee, 11-4, 11-3, 11-3
4 Alexandra Herrera d. 20 Jessica Parrilla, 3-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-7

3 Maria Jose Vargas d. 14 Sheryl Lotts, 11-8, 11-1, 11-5
6 Natalia Mendez d. 11 Ana Laura Flores, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9

7 Nancy Enriquez d. 10 Brenda Laime, 11-6, 11-1, 11-9
2 Samantha Salas d. 15 Susana Acosta, 11-4, 11-4, 11-2

LPRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria v. 8 Cristina Amaya - Noon
4 Alexandra Herrera v. 5 Rhonda Rajsich - Noon

3 Maria Jose Vargas v. 6 Natalia Mendez - 11 AM
2 Samantha Salas v. 7 Nancy Enriquez - 11 AM

LPRT Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas - BYE
9 Ana Laura Flores & Erin Rivera d. 8 Marie Gomar & Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-10, 15-11

5 Sheryl Lotts & Carla Muñoz - BYE
4 Brenda Laime & Masiel Rivera - BYE

3 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia - BYE
6 Susana Acosta & Cristina Amaya - BYE

7 Nancy Enriquez & Jessica Parrilla d. 10 T. J. Baumbaugh & Cassi Lee, 15-9, 15-2
2 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas - BYE

LPRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 9 Ana Laura Flores & Erin Rivera, 15-13, 15-1
4 Brenda Laime & Masiel Rivera d. 5 Sheryl Lotts & Carla Muñoz, 15-11, 15-6

3 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia d. 6 Susana Acosta & Cristina Amaya, 15-7, 15-8
2 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas d. 7 Nancy Enriquez & Jessica Parrilla, 10-15, 15-14, 11-2

LPRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 4 Brenda Laime & Masiel Rivera - 8 PM
2 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas v. 3 Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia - 7 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Bredenbeck & Bailey Lawrence win 2019 USA Racquetball National Singles

Last weekend, Jake Bredenbeck and Kelani Bailey Lawrence won the Men’s and Women’s Team Qualifying divisions, respectively, at the 2019 USA Racquetball National Singles Championships in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Bredenbeck won for the 3rd time, while Bailey Lawrence won for the first time.

In the Men’s final, Bredenbeck crushed - there’s really no other way of putting it - David Horn, 15-1, 15-1. That didn’t seem likely at the start of the match, as they were still tied at 1-1 after nine rallies. But Bredenbeck won the next seven rallies to go up 8-1. Horn called a timeout at 6-1, but that didn’t derail his opponent. Horn called two more timeouts before the game was over, but they only delayed the end, rather than switching momentum.

In game two, Bredenbeck served first, and Horn got a sideout, and then scored first. But that point was all he would get, as Bredenbeck hit a winner between his legs while facing towards the backwall to take the serve back. It was a “you know things are going your way when” kind of moment, and things certainly went Bredenebeck’s way in the final.

Afterwards, Horn said he didn’t have much in the tank, as he’d played two tie-breakers en route to the final. In the semi-finals, Horn had to hold off a comeback by 2nd seed Charlie Pratt, 15-14, 10-15, 11-7. In the quarterfinals, Horn had to comeback to defeat Thomas Carter, 14-15, 15-12, 11-7.

Bredenbeck also played a tie-breaker in the semis, when he beat 5th seed Adam Manilla, 15-12, 7-15, 11-5, but his quarterfinal match against Robert Collins wasn’t close, as Bredenbeck won, 15-4, 15-2.

Bredenbeck’s first US Team title came in 2014, when he also beat Horn in the final. Bredenbeck successfully defended that title in 2015 by defeating Marco Rojas in the final. Horn, who was the defending US Team champion, has now been runner up four times: twice to Bredenbeck, once to Rojas (in 2013) and once to Rocky Carson (2017).

Bailey Lawrence, the 5th seed, had to comeback from a game down to defeat 3rd seed Hollie Scott, 12-15, 15-8, 11-10, in the Women’s Team final. Although in game one, it looked like Bailey Lawrence was going to run away with the match, as she went up 7-0 on Scott primarily by drive serving to the right side - Scott’s forehand - hitting three for aces.

However, Scott called a timeout at that point, and slowly came back, tying the game at 8-8. Scott then went ahead 11-8. Bailey Lawrence called a timeout, but Scott stayed ahead, winning the first game 15-12.

Game two was close early, as they weren’t separated by more than two points. Bailey Lawrence led 6-5, and from there she scored eight unanswered points to reach game point at 14-5. But Scott fought off that first game point, and scored three of her own to trail 14-8.

Bailey Lawrence got a side-out, and called a timeout. But that didn’t help, as Scott got the serve right back. However, Scott couldn’t add to her total, giving the serve right back to Bailey Lawrence, who was able to end the game on her 3rd game point, winning 15-8.

In the tie-breaker, Bailey Lawrence scored first, and although they were tied at 2-2 and 4-4, Bailey Lawrence never trailed. Until the end. Scott tied the game at 9-9 with a forehand pinch shot. She took the lead for the first time on the next rally, when the ball came big off the back wall, bouncing into the front court, where Scott hit a soft backhand drop shot to get her to match point at 10-9.

Scott served for the match with a drive jam that came off the left wall, then the back wall, and allowed Bailey Lawrence to drive a forehand winner down the right side, getting herself back in the service box. Bailey Lawrence hit a drive Z serve to the left side that Scott hit a backhand return that skipped, tying the game at 10-10.

On her first match point, Bailey Lawrence drove serve to the left side. Scott hit a backhand return that came off the back wall, and Bailey Lawrence ran around it to hit a forehand cross court shot. Scott scrambled over to hit a forehand shot down the line that Bailey Lawrence was able was able to take early, hitting a low cross court shot for a winner, as Scott could not reach it. That winner made Bailey Lawrence a champion for the 1st time, taking the tie-breaker 11-10, and winning the match in three games.

Streak ends

Bailey Lawrence’s victory ends an 8 year streak of victories by Rhonda Rajsich. She was runner up to Rajsich last year, but went one better in taking the title this year. Bailey Lawrence beat the 8 time defending champion Rajsich in the semi-finals, 15-13, 9-15, 11-4, while Scott beat Cheryl Gudinas, 15-7, 15-1, in the other semi. Gudinas was the last player to win the Women’s US Team event before Rajsich, as Gudinas beat Kerri Wachtel in the 2010 final.

Bailey Lawrence won the title despite being the lower seed in all of her matches, as she was seeded 5th. In the quarterfinals, she upset 4th seed Sheryl Lotts, 15-11, 15-1, then beat 1st seed Rajsich in the semis, and 3rd seed Scott in the final. Bailey Lawrence is the first woman to do that, since Aimee Ruiz won the title in 2009, when she was the 10th seed.

In the other quarters, Scott defeated Adrienne Haynes, 15-7, 15-10, Rajsich beat 9th seed Annie Roberts, 15-6, 15-2, and Gudinas got a forfeit win over 2nd seed Erika Manilla.

If you missed any of the action from Highlands Ranch - including the finals - you can see them via the USA Racquetball LiveStream channel.

2019 USA Racquetball National Singles Championships
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
US National Team Divisions

Men's US Team Singles - Final


1) Jake Bredenbeck d. 3) David Horn, 15-1, 15-1

3rd place

2) Charlie Pratt d. 5) Adam Manilla, forfeit

Semi-finals

1) Jake Bredenbeck d. 5) Adam Manilla, 15-12, 7-15, 11-5
3) David Horn d. 2) Charlie Pratt, 15-14, 10-15, 11-7

Quarterfinals

1) Jake Bredenbeck d. 8) Robert Collins, 15-4, 15-2
5) Adam Manilla d. 13) Anthony Martin, 15-3, 15-2

3) David Horn d. 6) Thomas Carter, 14-15, 15-12, 11-7
2) Charlie Pratt d. 7) Dylan Reid, 15-14, 15-5

Round of 16

1) Jake Bredenbeck d. 17) Tyler Thielen, 15-1, 15-3
8) Robert Collins d. 9) Luis Avila, 14-15, 15-9, 11-7

5) Adam Manilla d. 12) Woody Clouse, 15-2, 15-5
13) Anthony Martin d. 4) Jose Diaz, forfeit

3) David Horn d. 14) Preston Tribble, 15-12, 15-5
6) Thomas Carter d. 11) Nicholas Riffel, 15-13, 10-15, 11-5

7) Dylan Reid d. 10) Jeff Stark, 15-8, 15-7
2) Charlie Pratt d. 15) Micah Farmer, 15-3, 15-2

Women's US Team Singles - Final

5) Kelani Bailey Lawrence d. 3) Hollie Scott, 12-15, 15-8, 11-10

3rd place

1) Rhonda Rajsich d. 7) Cheryl Gudinas, forfeit

Semi-finals

5) Kelani Bailey Lawrence d. 1) Rhonda Rajsich, 15-13, 9-15, 11-4
3) Hollie Scott d. 7) Cheryl Gudinas, 15-7, 15-1

Quarterfinals

1) Rhonda Rajsich d. 9) Annie Roberts, 15-6, 15-2
5) Kelani Bailey Lawrence d. 4) Sheryl Lotts, 15-11, 15-1

3) Hollie Scott d. 6) Adrienne Haynes, 15-7, 15-10
7) Cheryl Gudinas d. 2) Erika Manilla, forfeit

Round of 16

9) Annie Roberts d. 8) Cassi Lee, 9-15, 15-15 [sic], 11-4

Follow the bouncing ball....