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....

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Murray & Saunders double winners at 2019 Canadian Championships

Samuel Murray and Jennifer Saunders were double winners at the 2019 Racquetball Canada National Championships in Langley, British Colombia, as they both won singles and doubles. In the Men's Open final, Murray beat Coby Iwaasa, 15-3, 15-6, while Saunders was equally impressive in her Women's Open victory over Christine Richardson, winning 15-4, 15-1. Murray was the defending Men's Open Champion, and it's his 2nd win. Saunders won for the 11th time, extending her Canadian record of women's titles and tying Mike Green for most singles titles by a man or woman.

Earlier in the week, Murray won the Men's Open Doubles title with his brother Tommy Murray, as they defeated another brother team in James Landeryou and Tim Landeryou, 17-15, 10-15, 11-1. It's the first time brothers have won the Canadian title, and likely the first time a major racquetball final has been between two sets of brothers.

In the Women's Open Doubles competition, Saunders and Danielle Drury came out on top of a four team round robin competition. They defeated the 2nd place team of Richardson and Michèle Morissette, 15-12, 6-15, 11-7. It's Saunders and Drury's 2nd title together, as they also won in 2015. Overall, it was Saunders's 13th Women's Doubles title, which is 2nd most behind Josée Grand'Maître's 15. Saunders and Grand'Maître won ten times together.

2019 Racquetball Canada National Championships
May 19-25, Langley, British Colombia

Men's Open Championship


1) Samuel Murray d. 2) Coby Iwaasa, 15-3, 15-6

3rd Place

3) Tim Landeryou d. 5) Trevor Webb, 15-8, 15-7

5th Place

4) Pedro Castro d. 7) Lee Connell, 11-15, 15-6, 11-7

7th Place

8) Tanner Prentice d. 6) Nicolas Bousquet, forfeit

9th Place

13) Ian Frattinger d. 10) Sean Sauvé, 8-15, 15-4, 11-8

Women's Open - Championship

1) Jennifer Saunders d. 2) Christine Richardson, 15-4, 15-1

3rd Place

4) Danielle Drury d. 3) Michèle Morissette, 11-15, 15-10, 11-9

5th Place

5) Erin Geereart d. 7) Juliette Parent, 9-15, 15-13, 11-9

7th Place

9) Cassie Prentice d. 6) Linda Ellerington, 12-15, 15-5, 11-7

Men's Open Doubles

Final


4) Samuel Murray & Tommy Murray d. 2) James Landeryou & Tim Landeryou, 17-15, 10-15, 11-1

Third Place

1) Coby Iwaasa & Trevor Webb d. 3) Nicolas Bousquet & Pedro Castro, 15-11, 15-9

Fifth Place

5) Lee Connell & Tanner Prentice d. 6) Ian Frattinger & Sean Sauvé, 15-4, 16-14

Women's Open Doubles

Women's Open Doubles - Standings

1. Danielle Drury & Jennifer Saunders - 3-0
2. Michèle Morissette & Christine Richardson - 2-1
3. Juliette Parent & Marjolaine Parent - 1-2
4. Erin Geereart & Cassie Prentice - 0-3

Follow the bouncing ball….

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Parrilla wins twice, Acuña & Camacho take doubles at 2019 Costa Rica Open

Andree Parrilla played 8 matches last weekend at the 2019 Costa Rica Open - a Tier 2 event on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), and he won all of them, taking both the IRT title as well as the Men's Open title. He defeated Alvaro Beltran in the IRT final, 11-15, 15-9, 11-2, and beat Mario Mercado in the Men's Open final, 15-8, 15-7.

In the IRT semi-finals, both Parrilla and Beltran were upset winners, as they took out the top two seeds. Parrilla beat 2nd seed Alejandro Landa, 15-8, 15-11, and Beltran knocked off top seed Rocky Carson, 15-10, 2-15, 11-2. In the Open semi-finals, Parrilla beat David Horn, 15-6, 15-8, and Mario Mercado knocked off 2nd seed Andres Acuña, 7-15, 15-13, 11-8.

Parrilla's toughest match in Open was his first match in the Round of 16, when he played Rodrigo Montoya, winning 15-14, 15-12. Mercado also had a tough route to the final, as he was the 6th seed and needed three breakers to get there. In the 16s he defeated Alejandro Landa, 15-12, 11-15, 11-8, and also needed three games to fend off Alan Natera, 15-13, 5-15, 11-3, before facing Acuña in the semis.

Acuña was also a winner on the weekend, as he and Felipe Camacho won Men's Open Doubles by squeaking out a tie-breaker against Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya, 6-15, 15-13, 11-10. In the semi-finals, Acuña and Camacho defeated Horn and Mercado, 13-15, 15-13, 11-9, while Mar and Montoya knocked off the top seeds Alvaro Beltran and Alejandro Landa, 11-15, 15-10, 11-7.

2019 IRT Costa Rica Open
May 15-18, 2019 - San Jose, Costa Rica

IRT Division - Final


3) Andree Parrilla d. 4) Alvaro Beltran, 11-15, 15-9, 11-2

Semi-finals

4) Alvaro Beltran d. 1) Rocky Carson, 15-10, 2-15, 11-2
3) Andree Parrilla d. 2) Alejandro Landa, 15-8, 15-11

Quarterfinals

1) Rocky Carson d. 9) Andres Acuña, 15-6, 15-4
4) Alvaro Beltran d. 5) Rodrigo Montoya, 15-13, 1-15, 11-10

3) Andree Parrilla d. 11) Ernesto Ochoa, 15-9, 13-15, 11-7
2) Alejandro Landa d. 10) Javier Mar, 15-14, 15-13

Men's Open - Final

1) Andree Parrilla d. 6) Mario Mercado, 15-8, 15-7

Semi-finals

1) Andree Parrilla d. 4) David Horn, 15-6, 15-8
6) Mario Mercado d. 2) Andres Acuña, 7-15, 15-13, 11-8

Quarterfinals

1) Andree Parrilla d. 25) Felipe Alonso, 15-6, 15-3
4) David Horn d. 21) Ernesto Ochoa, 15-14, 15-14

6) Mario Mercado d. 19) Alan Natera, 15-13, 5-15, 11-3
2) Andres Acuña d. 7) Gabriel Garcia, forfeit

Open Doubles - Final

2) Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho d. 4) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya, 6-15, 15-13, 11-10

Semi-finals

4) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya d. 1) Alvaro Beltran & Alejandro Landa, 11-15, 15-10, 11-7
2) Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho d. 4) David Horn & Mario Mercado, 13-15, 15-13, 11-9

Follow the bouncing ball….

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Ganim to step down as UnitedHealthCare US Open Executive Director

Doug Ganim announced Monday that he will be retiring as the Executive Director of the UnitedHealthCare US Open, the largest racquetball tournament in the world, following the 2020 US Open. This was not unexpected, as there was a strong rumour at last year’s US Open that Ganim was planning retirement.

The US Open began in 1996 in Memphis, and ran there until 2007 with the Memphis Racquet Club as the main facility. In 2008, the US Open was moved to Minneapolis, where it has been ever since with the Life Time Fitness - Target Centre club as the main facility.

We understand that planning the US Open is very large undertaking, and it will be difficult to replace Ganim, who carries much of the burden in that planning. Indeed, it may be impossible to replace him, and that may result in a re-imagining of the event after Ganim steps down.

We don’t how much money USA Racquetball, which owns the US Open, makes from the event. A cost-benefit analysis will likely need to be done in making plans for what to do after 2020. It could be that the benefits are not worth the costs to make the event happen.

Ganim’s announcement comes early so that people have “enough notice to make sure [they can] plan in advance to attend in 2019 and 2020.” He plans to go out with a bang and wants you to be a part of it. The Racquetball Blog has been at every US Open since we began and our people were at several before that, so we know first hand how great the US Open is.

Also, the US Open is the only true annual Grand Slam event in racquetball. That is, the only annually held racquetball event that has both the men’s and women’s pro tours - the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) and Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), respectively - participating. That’s a special thing, and if there is no Grand Slam event after 2020, it would create a large hole in the racquetball community.

We look forward to attending both the 2019 and 2020 UnitedHealthCare US Opens, and wish Ganim the best with planning them, as well as in his plans for after 2020.

Follow the bouncing ball….

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Tisinger-Ledkins tests positive

Janel Tisinger-Ledkins tested positive for a banned substance at the 2019 USA Racquetball Doubles Championships, and as a result has been banned from competition for 16 months and disqualified from National Doubles. Thus, she and Aimee Ruiz have had their 2019 title vacated. Michelle De La Rosa and Danielle Maddux, who were runners up to Tisinger-Ledkins and Ruiz, will now be the 2019 Women’s Doubles Champions.

Tisinger-Ledkins’s positive test notice was posted on the USA Racquetball website rather discreetly with the headline “USAR Posting April 29 2019.” Only in paragraph three of the post does the pin drop that Tisinger-Ledkins tested positive.

She was found to have “octopamine sulfate, a metabolite of octopamine” in her system. Octopamine is a stimulant prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency for in competition use. Tisinger-Ledkins will not contest the sanction, and unwittingly took the substance, as it is an ingredient in “a supplement I have been taking,” she said.

Tisinger-Ledkins offered her “profound and sincere apologies to my doubles partner, Aimee Ruiz, who had nothing to do with this situation but is still subject along with me to loss [sic] of our National Doubles title. She deserves none of this.”

By winning the 2019 USA National Doubles title, Ruiz and Tisinger-Ledkins were possible US team members for the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru this summer. Now that won’t happen for Tisinger-Ledkins, and seems unlikely for Ruiz, who doesn’t have any other results to help her qualify for the team.

The Pan Am Games are the largest multi-sport event that includes racquetball, and it’s the only high level competition Ruiz - a three time International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Women’s Doubles World Champion - has not participated in. Ruiz is 44, and this was probably her last opportunity to go to Pan Ams, which is a quadrennial event. We can only imagine how disappointing it must be to not make the team because of a partner’s error.

Drug testing has become common place with elite athletes, and players aspiring to that level need to be aware of what is OK and what isn’t. Tisinger-Ledkins offered this advice to “my fellow athletes that it is critical to be vigilant and aware at all times regarding anything you put into your bodies. My hope is that my experience will prevent others from having to deal with this challenge in their own lives.”

Follow the bouncing ball….

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

2019 Pan Am Games Qualification

The 2019 Pan American Championships finished late last month in Barranquilla, Colombia, and it was the qualifying event for the 2019 Pan American Games that will take place in Lima, Peru this summer. The results from Barranquilla were used to determine how many players each country can send to Lima.

The qualification results have now been posted on the IRF Website. Most countries have qualified to send two players to Lima, so those two will need to play both singles and doubles. But there are a few exceptions.

Peru, as the host country, qualified to have three men in the Pan Am Games, as they had three men competing in Barranquilla. Mexico and the USA can also send three men to Lima, and Bolivia can send four, as they won gold in both Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles in Barranquilla.

On the women’s side, Mexico can send four women to Lima, as they won both Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles at the Pan American Championships. Argentina, Bolivia and Colombia can send three women. Note: the qualification slots are not tied to specific players, so the players who will be in Lima need not be those who were in Barranquilla.

Team results

Only one country at the Pan American Championships was in the top three in both the Men’s and Women’s competitions: Mexico, who won the Women’s event and tied for 2nd in the Men’s event. (note: winning here is simply the combined number of points from a country’s players’ performances in singles and doubles). Bolivia topped the Men’s event with the USA tied for 2nd with Mexico. Argentina was 2nd in the Women’s event with Colombia 3rd.

There were two multiple medalists in Barranquilla. Mexican Paola Longoria won gold in both Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles, while Costa Rican Andres Acuña was a bronze medalist in both Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles.

If you want to watch some of the matches that happened in Barranquilla, check out the IRF Facebook page. Often the IRF will put the videos up on their IRF YouTube channel, but that doesn’t seem to have been done as yet.

Number of players qualified for 2019 Pan American Games, Lima, Peru

Men


Peru - 3
Bolivia - 4
Mexico - 3
USA - 3
Canada - 2
Costa Rica - 2
Colombia - 2
Ecuador - 2
Dominican Republic - 2
Cuba - 2
Guatemala - 2
Argentina - 2
Chile - 1

Women

Mexico - 4
Argentina - 3
Bolivia - 3
Colombia - 3
Ecuador - 2
USA - 2
Canada - 2
Dominican Republic - 2
Cuba - 2
Guatemala - 2
Chile - 2
Venezuela - 2
Costa Rica - 1

XXXII Pan American Racquetball Championships
Barranquilla, Colombia - April 12-20, 2019

Team results

Men’s Team


1) Bolivia - 432
2) Mexico - 272
2) USA - 272
4) Costa Rica - 226
5) Canada - 208
6) Ecuador - 120
7) Dominican Republic - 118
8) Colombia - 110
9) Guatemala - 100
10) Cuba - 90
11) Argentina - 84
12) Chile - 56
13) Venezuela - 48
14) Peru - 40
14) Honduras - 40

Women’s Team

1) Mexico - 432
2) Argentina - 272
3) Colombia - 224
4) Bolivia - 212
5) Ecuador - 180
6) USA - 140
7) Canada - 116
8) Dominican Republic - 110
9) Cuba - 100
10) Guatemala - 90
11) Chile - 82
11) Venezuela - 82
13) Costa Rica - 18

Combined Team

1) Mexico - 704
2) Bolivia - 644
3) USA - 412
4) Argentina - 356
5) Colombia - 334
6) Canada - 324
7) Ecuador - 300
8) Costa Rica - 244
9) Dominican Republic - 228
10) Guatemala - 190
10) Cuba - 190
12) Chile - 138
13) Venezuela - 130
14) Peru - 40
14) Honduras - 40

Individual Results Summary

Women's Singles

GOLD - Paola Longoria (Mexico)
SILVER - María José Vargas (Argentina)
BRONZE - Maria Paz Muñoz (Ecuador) and Natalia Mendez (Argentina)

Men's Singles

GOLD - Carlos Keller (Bolivia)
SILVER - Charles Pratt (USA)
BRONZE - Alvaro Beltran (Mexico) and Andres Acuña (Costa Rica)

Women's Doubles

GOLD - Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mexico)
SILVER - Valeria Centellas & Yazmine Sabja (Bolivia)
BRONZE - Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros (Colombia) and Danielle Drury & Jennifer Saunders (Canada)

Men's Doubles

GOLD - Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso (Bolivia)
SILVER - Coby Iwaasa & Samuel Murray (Canada)
BRONZE - Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya (Mexico) and Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho (Costa Rica)

Follow the bouncing ball….

Monday, May 6, 2019

Syosset Open Wind Up - De La Rosa & Salas win Mixed

Daniel De La Rosa and Samantha Salas, the 2nd seeds, defeated 8th seeds Alvaro Beltran and Monserrat Mejia, 15-12, 15-5, to win Pro Mixed Doubles at the 2019 Syosset Open in Syosset, New York on Sunday. It was a unique feature to a rare tournament that featured both the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) and International Racquetball Tour (IRT).

Adriana Riveros won Women’s Open at the Syosset Open by defeating Hollie Scott in the final, 10-15, 15-10, 11-3. Gerardo Franco won Men’s Open, and also in a tie-breaker, as he went the distance with Eduardo Garay, 15-14, 14-15, 11-1.

In the Men’s Open semi-finals, Franco defeated Andres Acuña, 15-2, 11-15, 11-2, and Garay beat Nick Montalbano, 15-10, 15-2.

Oscar Nieto and Eduardo Portillo won Men’s Open, as they defeated Acuña and Felipe Camacho, 10-15, 15-6, 11-2. In the semis, Nieto and Portillo beat Javier Mar and Alan Natera, 15-12, 4-15, 11-2, and Acuña and Camacho beat Maurice Miller and Troy Warigon, 15-10, 11-15, 11-7.

2019 IRT Syosset Open, May 2-5, 2019
Syosset, New York


Pro Mixed Doubles - Final - Sunday

2) Daniel De La Rosa & Samantha Salas d. 8) Alvaro Beltran & Monserrat Mejia, 15-12, 15-5

Women’s Open - Final

1) Adriana Riveros d. 2) Hollie Scott, 10-15, 15-10, 11-3

Men’s Open - Final

2) Gerardo Franco d. 4) Eduardo Garay, 15-14, 14-15, 11-1

Semi-finals

4) Eduardo Garay d. 9) Nick Montalbano, 15-10, 15-2
2) Gerardo Franco d. 6) Andres Acuña, 15-2, 11-15, 11-2

Quarterfinals

9) Nick Montalbano d. 1) Sebastian Fernandez, 15-10, 0-15, 11-9
4) Eduardo Garay d. 5) Mauro Rojas, 15-6, 15-10

6) Andres Acuña d. 3) Mario Mercado, 15-8, 15-7
2) Gerardo Franco d. 7) Alan Natera, 15-8, 15-11

Men’s Open Doubles - Final

3) Oscar Nieto & Eduardo Portillo d. 4) Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho, 10-15, 15-6, 11-2

Semi-finals

4) Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho d. 1) Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon, 15-10, 11-15, 11-7.
3) Oscar Nieto & Eduardo Portillo d. 2) Javier Mar & Alan Natera, 15-12, 4-15, 11-2

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Longoria defeats Salas to win 2019 LPRT Syosset Open

Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), continued her undefeated season Sunday, as she defeated Samantha Salas, 11-3, 5-11, 11-5, 3-11, 11-2, to win the 2019 Syosset Open in Syosset, New York. Longoria has won 8 of the 9 LPRT events this season, missing one due to injury. Salas has been runner up to Longoria 7 times, and was also runner up at the event Longoria wasn’t at. They are clearly the #1 and #2 LPRT players.

It was an unusual match that lasted over 90 minutes. Both players made great shots and gets, but none of the games was especially close. They were close early in games two and three, as they were tied 5-5 in game two and 4-4 in game three, but each time one of the players then ran out to a big lead and won the game. They were also close in game three, as Salas only led by one at 4-3. But Longoria didn’t score after that point, and served only twice as Salas won the game 11-3 to force a tie-breaker.

Then the breaker wasn’t close, as Longoria ran out to a 7-1 lead, and went on to win it comfortably at 11-2. Interestingly, Longoria, who usually drives serves on first serve and often hits drives on second serve also, hit lob serves to Salas's backhand that nicked off the left wall on first serve for much of the match, including the last few rallies of game five.

The last event of the 2018-19 LPRT season will be the Teamroot.com Classic in Overland Park, Kansas, June 14-16. If you missed the action from Syosset, you can watch it via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel or the LPRT LiveStream channel.

2019 Syosset Open
Syosset, New York - May 2-5, 2019


LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria d. 2 Samantha Salas, 11-3, 5-11, 11-5, 3-11, 11-2

Follow the bouncing ball….

Waselenchuk defeats Carson to win 2019 IRT Syosset Open

Kane Waselenchuk defeated his long time rival Rocky Carson, 15-3, 15-4, to win the 2019 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Syosset Open. The win assures Waselenchuk that he will finish the 2018-19 IRT season at #1 for the 13th time, which is a record. It’s more than twice as many times as the player with the second most season ending #1 rankings: Cliff Swain, who did it six times.

Waselenchuk said “I knew I had to come out with a better game at the beginning” than how he played in the semi-finals against Andree Parrilla on Saturday, when Waselenchuk lost game one to Parrilla. “Rocky’s been playing well the last couple of tournaments,” said Waselenchuk, so he knew he was in for a battle. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and his game.”

And it was a vintage performance by Waselenchuk, as he was making the creative shots that help separate him from the rest of the field. Also, he served more effectively than he did early against Parrilla. For example, he ended both game one and game two with drive serve aces to the right side.

Afterwards, Waselenchuk related how he and Carson had been talking at their hotel prior to the match. “We were talking about how old we are, and the fact that we’re still able to do this, and we’re still #1 and 2 in the world.” Waselenchuk is 37 and Carson will turn 40 later this month. “When I was 25, 26 years old, if you’d told me I’d be 37 and the #1 player in the world, I probably wouldn’t have believed you,” said Waselenchuk.

However, “the belief within myself is tremendous. I believe in myself, and through hard work, it’s happened,” he said. Waselenchuk added he’s “just happy I can still play at a high level like this.”

Final Rankings

The Syosset Open was the last Tier 1 of the 2018-19 IRT season, but there are a few more lower tier events over the next month. However, there will be little change in the rankings from those that come out on Monday and the end of the season. Did anyone help themselves in Syosset?

Alvaro Beltran was ranked 6th coming into the weekend, but less than 6 points behind #5 Daniel De La Rosa. Beltran was a quarterfinalist in Syosset, while De La Rosa lost in the Round of 16, so Beltran should move into the #5 spot. If De La Rosa finishes 6th, it will be the first time he’s out the top 5 since the 2012-13 season, when he was 9th.

Similarly, Samuel Murray and Sebastian Franco were less than 10 points apart, in 7th and 8th, respectively. Murray reached the quarters this weekend, while Franco lost in the 16s, so Murray should finish 7th and Franco 8th. Murray was 8th last season, so he’ll move up one spot this season, while Franco will be two spots lower, after being 6th last season.

There won’t likely be any other ranking changes based from this weekend. Waselenchuk will finish #1, Carson #2, and then Alejandro Landa will be #3 and Parrilla #4. Beltran will round out the top 5. The next five should be De La Rosa in 6th, Murray 7th, Franco 8th, and Rodrigo Montoya in 9th and Mario Mercado in 10th.

The IRT plans to announce its 2019-20 season schedule in early June. If you missed the Syosset Open final, you can watch via the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page.

2019 IRT Syosset Open, May 2-5, 2019
Syosset, New York


Final - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 2) Rocky Carson, 15-3, 15-4

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Beltran & Mejia versus De La Rosa & Salas in Pro Mixed Final at 2019 Syosset Open

Veteran Alvaro Beltran and teenager Monserrat Mejia got another upset win in Pro Mixed Doubles at the 2019 Syosset Open in Syosset, New York Saturday night, as this time they knocked off 4th seeds Paola Longoria and Rodrigo Montoya in the semi-finals, 9-15, 15-8, 11-4. In the final, Beltran and Mejia will play 2nd seeds Daniel De La Rosa and Samantha Salas, who ended the nice run by the young team of Eduardo Portillo and Hollie Scott with a straight game victory, 15-9, 15-4.

The Mixed Doubles final will be 2 PM Eastern Sunday, and we’re sure it will be streamed, but not sure where. Look for it at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) website or the International Racquetball Tour Facebook page.

2019 IRT Syosset Open, May 2-5, 2019
Syosset, New York


Pro Mixed Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

8) Alvaro Beltran & Monserrat Mejia d. 4) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya, 9-15, 15-8, 11-4
2) Daniel De La Rosa & Samantha Salas d. 11) Eduardo Portillo & Hollie Scott, 15-9, 15-4

Pro Mixed Doubles - Final - Sunday

2) Daniel De La Rosa & Samantha Salas v. 8) Alvaro Beltran & Monserrat Mejia - 2 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Longoria & Salas to face off in final at 2019 LPRT Syosset Open

Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), needed five games to defeat long time rival Rhonda Rajsich in the semi-finals of the 2019 Syosset Open in Syosset, New York, as Rajsich won the first two games and then Longoria took the next three, winning 4-15, 13-15, 11-2, 11-3, 11-1. Longoria will play Samantha Salas in the final Sunday, as Salas, the LPRT’s #2 player, beat LPRT #3 Maria Jose Vargas in the other semi, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8.

After losing the first game to Rajsich, Longoria looked like she was going to level their match at 1-1, as she was up 10-4 in game two. However, Rajsich - characteristically - didn’t quit, and came all the way back to tie Longoria at 10-10, and then went up 11-10. But a Longoria forehand winner got her the serve back.

Rajsich gifted Longoria a point that tied the game at 11-11, and then Longoria got her 4th game point at 12-11. But it was Rajsich’s turn to hit a forehand winner to prevent game point. She tied the game with a backhand cross court shot from the front court. Longoria took the serve back with a backhand pinch shot, and then she took the lead 13-12. But Longoria’s 5th game point went by, as she couldn’t pick a Rajsich ceiling ball off the left wall. It was a difficult chance.

Then there was a moment of controversy, as Rajsich hit a serve that the referee called good and a point for Rajsich. However, Longoria appealed that the serve was short, and she won the appeal, so it was 2nd serve for Rajsich. Yet Rajsich didn’t seem to be aware of Longoria’s appeal and its result, as she lined up to drive serve again, and served it short.

Rajsich went to hit her 2nd serve, but she was then informed that she had just hit her 2nd serve, which was news to her. This was a crucial call, as Longoria was ahead 13-12, so getting the serve back meant she was again on game point - for the 6th time. In our opinion, the referee was at fault for not clearly informing Rajsich that she was on 2nd serve. In the referee’s defense, there doesn’t seem to be a microphone into the court, so communication with the players is not ideal.

Nonetheless, it seemed harsh to take the serve away from Rajsich for what seemed to be a miscommunication error by the referee. But perhaps justice was served, as Longoria skipped a forehand shot on the ensuing rally. With the serve back, Rajsich won three consecutive rallies to take game two, 15-13. She ended it with an ace serve that Longoria unsuccessfully appealed.

Rajsich carried that momentum over into game three, as she scored the first two points to lead 2-0. But that was as much as she got, as Longoria ran off 11 unanswered points to win 11-2. It was more of the same in game four, as Longoria took a 7-0 lead. Rajsich then broke Longoria’s streak of 18 straight points, but was only able to score three points before Longoria ended the game, 11-3.

In the tie-breaker, Longoria also went out to a 7-0 lead. Rajsich served six times while Longoria was piling up those points, but she couldn’t score. At that point, it was a long way back, and Longoria was in a groove. She kept the pressure on Rajsich, and won the match on her first match point opportunity with a backhand pinch shot that made it 11-1.

In contrast, Salas led almost the entire match against Vargas, who really only made it close near the end of the third game, when she got within one at 9-8. But Salas didn’t let Vargas get any closer.

The final will be Sunday at noon. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel or the LPRT LiveStream channel.

2019 Syosset Open
Syosset, New York - May 2-5, 2019


LPRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria d. 5 Rhonda Rajsich, 4-11, 13-15, 11-2, 11-3, 11-1
2 Samantha Salas d. 3 Maria Jose Vargas, 11-5, 11-4, 11-8

LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria v. 2 Samantha Salas - Noon

Follow the bouncing ball….

Waselenchuk survives semis versus Parrilla at 2019 IRT Syosset Open

It’s rare that you can say Kane Waselenchuk, the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), gutted out a match, as so often he’s crushed his opponents. But gut it out is what he did Saturday in the semi-finals of the 2019 IRT Syosset Open, as he came back from a game down to defeat IRT #4 Andree Parrilla, 9-15, 15-11, 11-0.

Parrilla played well against Waselenchuk, and afterwards Waselenchuk said “he put away the set ups that I was giving him” in game one. Parrilla didn’t miss many shots. Waselenchuk felt that Parrills had “just over a handful of skips” in the match. He credited Parrilla for making his shots, but Waselenchuk was not sharp early in the match. “Other than the tie-breaker, I really didn’t deserve to win that match,” said Waselenchuk.

But when you’re in tough, you need to make “an adjustment,” Waselenchuk said. He felt he was overhitting early. Then in the second game, it was “fighting,” said Waselenchuk. “Just keep fighting.”

In the tie-breaker, Waselenchuk felt a sense of “calmness” come over him, and that good things were going to happen. Waselenchuk also felt he got a few bounces in the breaker that he hadn’t gotten earlier in the match. Waselenchuk did get some free points in game three with back to back drive serve aces, one to the right and one to the left. He wasn’t getting that early in the match either.

Overall, we’re impressed by how well Parrilla played. He took a game off Waselenchuk, and is only the second player to do so since the IRT changed its match format from best of 5 games to best of 3 games in January 2018. Yet, he’ll probably rue a chance to beat the IRT’s #1 player.

Looking at the match score line, you could easily think that the 11-0 score in game three was a statement of quality by Waselenchuk. But really the match was a statement in persistence, and fighting through difficulty. On the racquetball court, Waselenchuk has rarely found himself in difficult spots, but he was in one today, and managed to get himself out of it.

The final will be 1 PM Sunday, and look for it at the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Syosset Open, May 2-5, 2019
Syosset, New York


Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 4) Andree Parrilla, 9-15, 15-11, 11-0
2) Rocky Carson v. 3) Alejandro Landa - 2 PM

Final - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 2) Rocky Carson or 3) Alejandro Landa - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Top three into LPRT semi-finals at 2019 Syosset Open

The top three players on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) are through to the semi-finals at the 2019 Syosset Open in Syosset, New York, including #1 Paola Longoria, who beat Frédérique Lambert in the quarterfinals, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3. She’ll play 5th seed Rhonda Rajsich in the semis, as Rajsich came back from two games down to upset 4th seed Alexandra Herrera, 9-11, 8-11, 11-0, 11-6, 11-3.

The other semi-finals will be LPRT #2 Samantha Salas versus #3 Maria Jose Vargas. In the quarters, Salas defeated Cristina Amaya, 11-5, 11-6, 11-2, and Vargas beat Natalia Mendez, 11-3, 11-5, 11-7.

The semi-finals will be Saturday at 5 PM and 6 PM, and the final will be Sunday at noon. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel or the LPRT LiveStream channel.

2019 Syosset Open
Syosset, New York - May 2-5, 2019


LPRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria d. 8 Frédérique Lambert, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3
5 Rhonda Rajsich d. 4 Alexandra Herrera, 9-11, 8-11, 11-0, 11-6, 11-3

3 Maria Jose Vargas d. 6 Natalia Mendez, 11-3, 11-5, 11-7
2 Samantha Salas d. 10 Cristina Amaya, 11-5, 11-6, 11-2

LPRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria v. 5 Rhonda Rajsich - 6 PM
2 Samantha Salas v. 3 Maria Jose Vargas - 5 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Upsets in quarterfinals of Pro Mixed Doubles at 2019 Syosset Open

Veteran Alvaro Beltran and teenager Monserrat Mejia knocked off the top seeds Alejandro Landa and Maria Jose Vargas, 7-15, 15-11, 11-6, in the quarterfinals of Pro Mixed Doubles at the 2019 Syosset Open in Syosset, New York Saturday morning. Beltran and Mejia will play 4th seeds Paola Longoria and Rodrigo Montoya in the semi-finals Saturday night. Longoria and Montoya also needed a tie-breaker to defeat 5th Frédérique Lambert and Samuel Murray, 14-15, 15-6, 11-6.

Landa and Vargas were down in the breaker, but came back to level it at 6-6. However, the lost serve at that point, and then made three errors - two skips by Landa and one by Vargas - to give the advantage to Beltran and Mejia. Then Beltran closed it out with two backhand pinch shots, the second of them was from the back court and won the match.

A battle of young versus younger went to the younger team, as 11th seeds Eduardo Portillo and Hollie Scott won a tie-breaker against 3rd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Andree Parrilla, 12-15, 15-10, 11-6.

Portillo and Scott will play 2nd seeds Daniel De La Rosa and Samantha Salas in the semi-finals, as De La Rosa and Salas beat Jake Bredenbeck and Yazmine Sabja in the quarterfinals, 15-6, 15-10.

The Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) is carrying more of the doubles matches, so check out their media outlets: the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel or the LPRT LiveStream channel. The Mixed Doubles semi-finals will be 7 and 8 PM Saturday with the Mixed Doubles final at 2 PM Sunday. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Syosset Open, May 2-5, 2019
Syosset, New York


Pro Mixed Doubles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

8) Alvaro Beltran & Monserrat Mejia d. 1) Alejandro Landa & Maria Jose Vargas, 7-15, 15-11, 11-6
4) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya d. 5) Frédérique Lambert & Samuel Murray, 14-15, 15-6, 11-6

11) Eduardo Portillo & Hollie Scott d. 3) Alexandra Herrera & Andree Parrilla, 12-15, 15-10, 11-6
2) Daniel De La Rosa & Samantha Salas d. 7) Jake Bredenbeck & Yazmine Sabja, 15-6, 15-10

Pro Mixed Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

4) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya v. 8) Alvaro Beltran & Monserrat Mejia - 7 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa & Samantha Salas v. 11) Eduardo Portillo & Hollie Scott - 8 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, May 3, 2019

Mixed Doubles Round of 16 at the 2019 Syosset Open

The young team of Eduardo Portillo and Hollie Scott caused the only upset in Pro Mixed Doubles at the 2019 Syosset Open in Syosset, New York, as they beat 6th seeds Cristina Amaya and Mario Mercado, 15-13, 15-6, in the Round of 16. Portillo and Scott will play 3rd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Andree Parrilla in the quarterfinals, as Herrera and Parrilla defeated Cecilia Pratt and Charlie Pratt, 15-4, 15-6, in the 16s.

There were three tie-breakers in the Round of 16, and one involved the 2nd seeds Daniel De La Rosa and Samantha Salas needed three games to defeat 15th seeds Natalia Mendez and Alan Natura, 15-12, 14-15, 11-3. De La Rosa and Salas will play Jake Bredenbeck and Yazmine Sabja in the quarterfinals, and Bredenbeck and Sabja also needed three games to advance out of the Round of 16 against Eduardo Garay and Adriana Riveros, winning 15-13, 2-15, 11-5.

The third tie-breaker saw the 5th seeds Frédérique Lambert and Samuel Murray come back from a game down to defeat 12th seeds Sebastian Fernandez and Ana Laura Flores, 5-15, 15-8, 11-9. Lambert and Murray will play 4th seeds Paola Longoria and Rodrigo Montoya in the quarters, as Longoria and Montoya beat Set Cubillos and Brenda Laime, 15-8, 15-7.

The International Racquetball Tour (IRT) and the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) are both streaming mixed matches, so check out both of their media outlets. The IRT media outlets are The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel and the IRT Facebook page, while the LPRT outlets are the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel or the LPRT LiveStream channel. The Mixed Doubles quarterfinals will be Saturday morning at 10 AM. The semi-finals will be 7 and 8 PM Saturday with the Mixed Doubles final at 2 PM Sunday. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Syosset Open, May 2-5, 2019
Syosset, New York


Pro Mixed Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alejandro Landa & Maria Jose Vargas d. 16) Sebastian Franco & Samantha Simmons, 15-14, 15-6
8) Alvaro Beltran & Monserrat Mejia d. 9) Adam Manilla & Masiel Rivera, 15-9, 15-12

5) Frédérique Lambert & Samuel Murray d. 12) Sebastian Fernandez & Ana Laura Flores, 5-15, 15-8, 11-9
4) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya d. 13) Set Cubillos & Brenda Laime, 15-8, 15-7

3) Alexandra Herrera & Andree Parrilla d. 14) Cecilia Pratt & Charlie Pratt, 15-4, 15-6
11) Eduardo Portillo & Hollie Scott d. 6) Cristina Amaya & Mario Mercado, 15-13, 15-6

7) Jake Bredenbeck & Yazmine Sabja d. 10) Eduardo Garay & Adriana Riveros, 15-13, 2-15, 11-5
2) Daniel De La Rosa & Samantha Salas d. 15) Natalia Mendez & Alan Natura, 15-12, 14-15, 11-3

Pro Mixed Doubles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Alejandro Landa & Maria Jose Vargas v. 8) Alvaro Beltran & Monserrat Mejia - 10 AM
4) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya v. 5) Frédérique Lambert & Samuel Murray - 10 AM

3) Alexandra Herrera & Andree Parrilla v. 11) Eduardo Portillo & Hollie Scott - 10 AM
2) Daniel De La Rosa & Samantha Salas v. 7) Jake Bredenbeck & Yazmine Sabja - 10 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

LPRT Quarterfinals set for 2019 Syosset Open

Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), survived her Round of 16 match, in which she battled both 16th seed Monserrat Mejia and difficult court conditions that required multiple breaks to wipe down the floor and sometimes the walls at the 2019 Syosset Open in Syosset, New York. She eked out the W over Mejia in five games, winning 4-11, 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-1.

It looked like Longoria was going to win it in four games, but Mejia - the current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Girls U18 World Junior Champion who defeated Longoria two months ago at the Mexican National Team Selection Event - wasn’t going to go quietly, as she came back from 9-1 down to win game four 11-9.

But in the breaker, Longoria took a big lead, and didn’t give it up. But credit to Mejia for not quitting, which given her game four comeback she should never do. Indeed, the rally of the match happened with Mejia serving at 1-6, because during that rally she made two shots from her knees and made two diving gets to keep the ball in play. It was her third dive that was unsuccessful, and ended the rally.

The end was a bit of a whimper for such a great match, as Longoria drove the ball in the center of the court, which was right where Mejia was standing. It handcuffed her, so Mejia wasn’t able to keep the rally going, and game five ended at 11-1.

Fifth seed Rhonda Rajsich also played five games, as she came back from two games down to defeat 12th seed Brenda Laime, 6-11, 5-11, 11-0, 11-8, 11-4. Rajsich will play 4th seed Alexandra Herrera in the quarterfinals, as Herrera was a straight game winner over 20th seed Maricruz Ortiz, 11-3, 11-2, 11-6.

The 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. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel or the LPRT LiveStream channel.

2019 Syosset Open
Syosset, New York - May 2-5, 2019


LPRT Singles - Round of 16 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria d. 16 Monserrat Mejia, 4-11, 11-6, 11-4, 9-11, 11-1
8 Frédérique Lambert d. 9 Adriana Riveros, 12-10, 9-11, 8-11 [sic]

5 Rhonda Rajsich d. 12 Brenda Laime, 6-11, 5-11, 11-0, 11-8, 11-4
4 Alexandra Herrera d. 20 Maricruz Ortiz, 11-3, 11-2, 11-6

3 Maria Jose Vargas d. 14 Yazmine Sabja, 12-10, 11-2, 11-9
6 Natalia Mendez d. 11 Masiel Rivera, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9

10 Cristina Amaya d. 7 Nancy Enriquez, 11-5, 11-6, 6-11 [sic]
2 Samantha Salas d. 15 Ana Laura Flores, 11-4, 11-4, 11-8

LPRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria v. 8 Frédérique Lambert - Noon
4 Alexandra Herrera v. 5 Rhonda Rajsich - Noon

3 Maria Jose Vargas v. 6 Natalia Mendez - 11 AM
2 Samantha Salas v. 10 Cristina Amaya - 11 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Top 4 IRT players into semi-finals at 2019 Syosset Open

The top four International Racquetball Tour (IRT) players have made it through to the semi-finals of the Syosset Open, which is the last event of the 2018-19 IRT season, in Syosset, New York. IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk defeated Javier Mar in the quarterfinals, 15-6, 15-3. He’ll play IRT #4 Andree Parrilla in the semi-finals. Parrilla needed a tie-breaker to beat Jake Bredenbeck, 15-6, 14-15, 11-7.

After being down 7-1 in the breaker, Bredenbeck cut the lead to two at 9-7, getting his 7th point with a drive serve ace to the right side. But Parrilla got the serve back, and then scored his 10th point with a great backhand side wall to front wall shot from deep in the court.

Yet Bredenbeck wasn’t done, as he fought off two match points with backhand winners. But he couldn’t score, and Parrilla hit one of his characteristic forehand pinch shots to get a third match point. But before serving that point, he called a timeout.

On his third match point, Parrilla changed his serve. Standing on the left side of the service box, where he’d usually hit Z serves, but this time he hit a drive serve to the right side that jammed off the wall. Bredenbeck returned it, but his return came off the back wall, setting Parrilla up for a backhand winner that ended the match.

Rocky Carson, the #2 IRT player, defeated 7th seed Samuel Murray, 15-9, 15-5, in the quarters, and will play IRT #3 Alejandro Landa, who had a comfortable win over 6th seed Alvaro Beltran, 15-4, 15-4.

The semi-finals will be 1 and 2 PM Saturday, and look for them at the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The final will be 1 PM Sunday. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Syosset Open, May 2-5, 2019
Syosset, New York


Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. Javier Mar, 15-6, 15-3
4) Andree Parrilla d. Jake Bredenbeck, 15-6, 14-15, 11-7

3) Alejandro Landa d. 6) Alvaro Beltran, 15-4, 15-4
2) Rocky Carson d. 7) Samuel Murray, 15-9, 15-5

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 4) Andree Parrilla - 1 PM
2) Rocky Carson v. 3) Alejandro Landa - 2 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Mixed doubles at 2019 Syosset Open

The rare feature of the 2019 Syosset Open is that Pro Mixed Doubles is being played by players on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) and the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT). There are some fun teams, including the #1 seeds Alejandro Landa and Maria Jose Vargas, who are the 3rd ranked players on their respective pro tours.

Landa and Vargas will play their first match tonight in the Round of 16 against 16th seeds Sebastian Franco and Samantha Simmons, who needed a tie-breaker to defeat 17th seeds Maurice Miller and Michèle Morissette, 6-15, 15-13, 11-1, in the Round of 32.

Second seeds Daniel De La Rosa and Samantha Salas will play 15th seeds Natalia Mendez and Alan Natura in the 16s, as Mendez and Natura defeated 18th seeds Felipe Camacho and Maricruz Ortiz, 15-12, 15-10.

The first round of mixed doubles was streamed via the IRT media outlets, so look to them to see more of the matches: The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The Round of 16 will be Friday evening at 7 and 8 PM with the quarterfinals Saturday morning at 10 AM. The semi-finals will be 7 and 8 PM Saturday with the mixed doubles final at 2 PM Sunday. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Syosset Open, May 2-5, 2019
Syosset, New York


Pro Mixed Doubles - Round of 32 - Friday

1) Alejandro Landa & Maria Jose Vargas - BYE
16) Sebastian Franco & Samantha Simmons d. 17) Maurice Miller & Michèle Morissette, 6-15, 15-13, 11-1

9) Adam Manilla & Masiel Rivera - BYE
8) Alvaro Beltran & Monserrat Mejia - BYE

5) Frédérique Lambert & Samuel Murray - BYE
12) Sebastian Fernandez & Ana Laura Flores - BYE

13) Set Cubillos & Brenda Laime d. 20) Carlos Jose Galvez & Cassi Lee, 15-9, 15-6
4) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya - BYE

3) Alexandra Herrera & Andree Parrilla - BYE
14) Cecilia Pratt & Charlie Pratt d. 19) Nancy Enriquez & Rocco Forgione, 15-11, 15-9

11) Eduardo Portillo & Hollie Scott - BYE
6) Cristina Amaya & Mario Mercado - BYE

7) Jake Bredenbeck & Yazmine Sabja - BYE
10) Eduardo Garay & Adriana Riveros - BYE

15) Natalia Mendez & Alan Natura d. 18) Felipe Camacho & Maricruz Ortiz, 15-12, 15-10
2) Daniel De La Rosa & Samantha Salas - BYE

Pro Mixed Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alejandro Landa & Maria Jose Vargas v. 16) Sebastian Franco & Samantha Simmons - 7 PM
8) Alvaro Beltran & Monserrat Mejia v. 9) Adam Manilla & Masiel Rivera - 7 PM

5) Frédérique Lambert & Samuel Murray v. 12) Sebastian Fernandez & Ana Laura Flores - 7 PM
4) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya v. 13) Set Cubillos & Brenda Laime - 7 PM

3) Alexandra Herrera & Andree Parrilla v. 14) Cecilia Pratt & Charlie Pratt - 8 PM
6) Cristina Amaya & Mario Mercado v. 11) Eduardo Portillo & Hollie Scott - 8 PM

7) Jake Bredenbeck & Yazmine Sabja v. 10) Eduardo Garay & Adriana Riveros - 8 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa & Samantha Salas v. 15) Natalia Mendez & Alan Natura - 8 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

2019 IRT Syosset Open Round of 16

The International Racquetball Tour’s (IRT’s) #1 player, Kane Waselenchuk, got off to a good start at the Syosset Open in Syosset, New York, as he won his Round of 16 match comfortably against Eduardo Portillo, 15-4, 15-4. Waselenchuk will play Javier Mar in the quarterfinals Friday afternoon, as Mar upset the 8th seed Sebastian Franco, 15-7, 15-13, in the 16s.

Jake Bredenbeck was also an upset winner in the Round of 16, as he knocked off IRT #5 Daniel De La Rosa, 15-5, 10-15, 11-2. In the quarters, Bredenbeck will play IRT #4 Andree Parrilla, who was a straight game winner over David Horn, 15-14, 15-7.

There were no upsets on the bottom half of the draw, but two matches went tie-breaker. Sixth seed Alvaro Beltran needed three games to defeat Andres Acuña, 15-11, 12-15, 11-6. He’ll play IRT #3 Alejandro Landa in the quarterfinals, as Landa beat Thomas Carter, 15-5, 15-6, in the 16s.

Seventh seed Samuel Murray came back from a game down to defeat Sebastian Fernandez, 13-15, 15-6, 11-6, and set up a quarterfinal match with IRT #2 Rocky Carson, who was a straight game winner over Jansen Allen, 15-4, 15-10, in the Round of 16.

Look for all the action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The quarterfinals are Friday starting at 3 PM. The semi-finals will be 1 and 2 PM Saturday with the final at 1 PM Sunday. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Syosset Open, May 2-5, 2019
Syosset, New York


Round of 16 - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. Eduardo Portillo, 15-4, 15-4
Javier Mar d. 8) Sebastian Franco, 15-7, 15-13

Jake Bredenbeck d. 5) Daniel De La Rosa, 15-5, 10-15, 11-2
4) Andree Parrilla d. David Horn, 15-14, 15-7

3) Alejandro Landa d. Thomas Carter, 15-5, 15-6
6) Alvaro Beltran d.. Andres Acuña, 15-11, 12-15, 11-6

7) Samuel Murray d. Sebastian Fernandez, 13-15, 15-6, 11-6
2) Rocky Carson d. Jansen Allen, 15-4, 15-10

Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. Javier Mar - 3 PM
4) Andree Parrilla v. Jake Bredenbeck - 6 PM

3) Alejandro Landa v. 6) Alvaro Beltran - 5 PM
2) Rocky Carson v. 7) Samuel Murray - 4 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

2019 LPRT Syosset Open - Round of 32

The 2019 Syosset Open Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Round of 32 matches went by quickly with only one requiring more than the minimum three games. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that the 16/17 match wasn’t very close, as 16th seed Monserrat Mejia took out 17th seed Hollie Scott in straight games, 11-4, 11-2, 11-4. Scott had some good results of late, but Mejia went through her like a buzzsaw.

Mejia will next play LPRT #1 Paola Longoria, who lost to Mejia two months ago at the Mexican National Team Selection Event. You can be sure Longoria does not want that to happen again.

The only match in the 32s to take four games was Brenda Laime’s win over Michèle Morissette, as Laime dropped the first game and then won the next three, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6. She’ll play LPRT #5 Rhonda Rajsich in the Round of 16.

The Round of 16 will be Friday afternoon. The 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. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel or the LPRT LiveStream channel.

2019 Syosset Open
Syosset, New York - May 2-5, 2019


LPRT Singles - Round of 32 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria - BYE
16 Monserrat Mejia d. 17 Hollie Scott, 11-4, 11-2, 11-4

9 Adriana Riveros - BYE
8 Frédérique Lambert - BYE

5 Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
12 Brenda Laime d. 21 Michèle Morissette, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-6

20 Maricruz Ortiz d. 13 Cassi Lee, 11-2, 11-4, 11-7
4 Alexandra Herrera - BYE

3 Maria Jose Vargas - BYE
14 Yazmine Sabja d. 19 Daniela Molina, forfeit

11 Masiel Rivera - BYE
6 Natalia Mendez - BYE

7 Nancy Enriquez - BYE
10 Cristina Amaya - BYE

15 Ana Laura Flores d. 18 Cecilia Pratt, 11-8, 11-6, 11-3
2 Samantha Salas - BYE

LPRT Singles - Round of 16 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria v. 16 Monserrat Mejia - 6 PM
8 Frédérique Lambert v. 9 Adriana Riveros - 6 PM

5 Rhonda Rajsich v. 12 Brenda Laime - 3 PM
4 Alexandra Herrera v. 20 Maricruz Ortiz - 3 PM

3 Maria Jose Vargas v. 14 Yazmine Sabja - 4 PM
6 Natalia Mendez v. 11 Masiel Rivera - 4 PM

7 Nancy Enriquez v. 10 Cristina Amaya - 5 PM
2 Samantha Salas v. 15 Ana Laura Flores - 5 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Thursday, May 2, 2019

2019 IRT Syosset Open - Preliminary Round Results

Andrés Gómez had the first big upset in qualifying at the 2019 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Syosset Open in Syosset, New York, as he defeated IRT #10 Mario Mercado, 14-15, 15-7, 11-9, in the second round of qualifying - the Round of 64. Sadly for Gómez his good fortune was short lived, as he lost in the third round of qualifying to Sebastian Fernandez, 15-8, 15-0. Fernandez will play Samuel Murray in the Round of 16 on Friday.

But the bigger upset may have been Javier Mar’s win over Rodrigo Montoya, 15-12, 15-7, as Montoya is the current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Men’s Singles World Champion. However, Mar is very familiar with Montoya’s game, as they played doubles together last month at the 2019 Pan American Championships in Barranquilla, Colombia, where they were bronze medalists.

The 16/17 seed game went tie-breaker, as you might expect, and the 17th seed Eduardo Portillo squeaked by 16th seed Adam Manilla, 11-15, 15-12, 11-8. Manilla’s a left-hander, and Portillo will face another one in the Round of 16, as he’ll play IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk Friday morning.

Also in qualifying, Andres Acuña beat Jose Diaz, 15-4, 15-12, which was an upset. Acuña will play Alvaro Beltran in the Round of 16 Friday. Also, Jake Bredenbeck fended off Charlie Pratt in three games, 15-8, 6-15, 11-1, and David Horn defeated Felipe Camacho, 15-11, 15-11. In the 16s, Bredenbeck will play Daniel De La Rosa, and Horn plays Andree Parrilla, who soundly beat him last weekend, so Horn will be looking to make a better showing in Syosset.

Look for all the action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The Round of 16 will be Friday morning at 10 and 11 AM with the quarterfinals Friday starting at 3 PM. The semi-finals will be 1 and 2 PM Saturday with the final at 1 PM Sunday. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Syosset Open, May 2-5, 2019
Syosset, New York


Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday

Rodrigo Montoya - BYE
Alan Natera d. Christian Longoria, forfeit

Eduardo Garay - BYE
Javier Mar - BYE

Eduardo Portillo - BYE
Nicholas Riffel d. Sean Sauvé, 15-3, 8-0, injury forfeit

Nick Montalbano d. Michael Leduc, 11-15, 15-10, 11-4
Adam Manilla - BYE

David Horn - BYE
Mauricio Zelada d. Rocco Forgione, 15-9, 15-2

Troy Warigon - BYE
Felipe Camacho - BYE

Charlie Pratt - BYE
Kadim Carrasco - BYE

Joe Kelley d. Sergio Acuña, 15-6, 15-4
Jake Bredenbeck - BYE

Jose Diaz - BYE
Oscar Nieto v. Robert Arellano, 15-10, 15-6

Maurice Miller - BYE
Andres Acuña - BYE

Thomas Carter - BYE
Scott McClellan - BYE

Set Cubillos d. Carlos Jose Galvez, 15-7, 15-9
Gerardo Franco - BYE

Jansen Allen - BYE
Pedro Castro d. Michael Arterburn, forfeit

Justus Benson - BYE
Robert Collins - BYE

Mauro Rojas - BYE
Sebastian Fernandez - BYE

Andrés Gómez d. David Austin, 15-3, 15-12
Mario Mercado - BYE

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday

Rodrigo Montoya d. Alan Natera, 15-2, 15-2
Javier Mar d. Eduardo Garay, 15-5, 15-10

Eduardo Portillo d. Nicholas Riffel, 15-7, 12-8, injury forfeit
Adam Manilla d. Nick Montalbano, 15-5, 15-3

David Horn d. Mauricio Zelada, 12-15, 15-9, 11-8
Felipe Camacho d. Troy Warigon, 15-4, 15-9

Charlie Pratt d. Kadim Carrasco, 15-6, 15-8
Jake Bredenbeck d. Joe Kelley, 15-8, 15-1

Jose Diaz d. Oscar Nieto, 15-13, 15-11
Andres Acuña d. Maurice Miller, 15-3, 15-7

Thomas Carter d. Scott McClellan, 15-6, 15-10
Gerardo Franco d. Set Cubillos, 15-4, 15-11

Jansen Allen d. Pedro Castro, 15-10, 15-5
Robert Collins d. Justus Benson, 15-9, 15-9

Sebastian Fernandez d. Mauro Rojas, 15-10, 15-6
Andrés Gómez d. Mario Mercado, 14-15, 15-7, 11-9

Qualifying Round 3 - Thursday

Q8 - Eduardo Portillo d. Adam Manilla, 11-15, 15-12, 11-8
Q1 - Javier Mar d. Rodrigo Montoya, 15-12, 15-7

Q4 - Jake Bredenbeck d. Charlie Pratt, 15-8, 6-15, 11-1
Q5 - David Horn d. Felipe Camacho, 15-11, 15-11

Q6 - Thomas Carter d. Gerardo Franco, 15-1, 15-10
Q3 - Andres Acuña d. Jose Diaz, 15-4, 15-12

Q2 - Sebastian Fernandez d. Andrés Gómez, 15-8, 15-0
Q7 - Jansen Allen d. Robert Collins, 15-11, 15-10

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. Eduardo Portillo - 10 AM
8) Sebastian Franco v. Javier Mar - 10 AM

5) Daniel De La Rosa v. Jake Bredenbeck - 10 AM
4) Andree Parrilla v. David Horn - 10 AM

3) Alejandro Landa v. Thomas Carter - 11 AM
6) Alvaro Beltran v.. Andres Acuña - 11 AM

7) Samuel Murray v. Sebastian Fernandez - 11 AM
2) Rocky Carson v. Jansen Allen - 11 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

2019 IRT Syosset Open - Preview

The 2018-19 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) season wraps up in Syosset, New York this weekend with the Syosset Open. The IRT is going out with a bang, as there are 49 players in the draw. Moreover, the Syosset Open is also a Tier 1 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) event, and they are playing Mixed Pro Doubles in Syosset. Thus, it will be a special weekend in Syosset.

IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk will try to cement his standing atop the IRT rankings. He needs to finish better than #2 Rocky Carson, who broke Waselenchuk’s 9 season streak of #1 season ending rankings last season. Yet for the first time since May 2016, Waselenchuk is playing a tournament without coming off a win in the previous tournament. Last week in Florida, Waselenchuk lost in the quarterfinals to Alvaro Beltran.

It’s the first time he’d lost a match that he played in (rather than defaulted) since Waselenchuk retired during the fifth game of a match in 2016 against Jake Bredenbeck, which perhaps ironically was also in Florida. Last week was only Waselenchuk’s 3rd loss since he returned to the tour in the fall of 2008. He couldn’t lose a 2nd week in a row, could he?

We wouldn’t advise on betting on a second consecutive loss for Waselenchuk, but If you were looking for a reason for it to happen, you needn’t look past the fact that Syosset is where he has the worst record: 6 wins against 5 losses. But two of those are defaults in the Round of 16, and two others are defaults after playing. In 2012, he retired in the final versus Carson, while in 2011 Waselenchuk won his way into the semi-finals, but then defaulted to Jack Huczek. Only Mike Guidry has beaten Waselenchuk in a completed match in Syosset, but that was way back in 2003.

So, even though it’s Syosset, we fully expect Waselenchuk to bounce back from his loss last weekend to win once again.

Match scheduling

As mentioned above, this weekend’s Syosset Open has one of the largest draws on tour. Thus, there’s going to be three rounds of qualifying matches before 8 players earn the passage into the Round of 16 and play one of the top 8 players, who have byes into the Round of 16. Thus, Alan Natera - for example - needs to play three matches to get to the 16s, where as a reward he’ll get to play Waselenchuk. Congratulations!

If that doesn’t seem crazy enough, Natera’s three matches are scheduled two (2!) hours apart, and the Round of 16 match will be barely 12 hours after the start time of the 3rd match. That’s craziness, and that’s without considering Natera’s opponents. First he’ll face Christian Longoria, a good young Mexican player, and if he beats him, then Natera will go up against Rodrigo Montoya, who’s only the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Men’s Singles World Champion. If Natera beats Montoya, he’ll need to win again against either Javier Mar or Eduardo Garay to reach the 16s.

Natera is coming off a good weekend last week, when he won both singles and mixed pro doubles at the Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio. You’d like to think that he could use that momentum to get a good result in Syosset, but Natera will be hard pressed to get to the Round of 16. If he does manage to get there, which might require a minor miracle, he’ll need a major miracle to beat Waselenchuk, especially as Natera will likely be playing his 4th match in less than 18 hours.

Is that a reasonable way to set up a tournament?

Look for all the action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. There will be three round of qualifying on Thursday. The Round of 16 will be Friday morning at 10 and 11 AM with the quarterfinals Friday starting at 3 PM. The semi-finals will be 1 and 2 PM Saturday with the final at 1 PM Sunday. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Syosset Open, May 2-5, 2019
Syosset, New York


Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday

Rodrigo Montoya - BYE
Christian Longoria v. Alan Natera - 4 PM

Eduardo Garay - BYE
Javier Mar - BYE

Eduardo Portillo - BYE
Nicholas Riffel v. Sean Sauvé - 4 PM

Nick Montalbano v. Michael Leduc - 4 PM
Adam Manilla - BYE

David Horn - BYE
Mauricio Zelada v. Rocco Forgione - 3 PM

Troy Warigon - BYE
Felipe Camacho - BYE

Charlie Pratt - BYE
Kadim Carrasco - BYE

Sergio Acuña v. Joe Kelley - 3 PM
Jake Bredenbeck - BYE

Jose Diaz - BYE
Oscar Nieto v. Robert Arellano - 3 PM

Maurice Miller - BYE
Andres Acuña - BYE

Thomas Carter - BYE
Scott McClellan - BYE

Set Cubillos v. Carlos Jose Galvez - 3 PM
Gerardo Franco - BYE

Jansen Allen - BYE
Michael Arterburn v. Pedro Castro 4 PM

Justus Benson - BYE
Robert Collins - BYE

Mauro Rojas - BYE
Sebastian Fernandez - BYE

David Austin v. Andrés Gómez - 4 PM
Mario Mercado - BYE

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday

Rodrigo Montoya v. Christian Longoria or Alan Natera - 6 PM
Javier Mar v. Eduardo Garay - 6 PM

Eduardo Portillo v. Nicholas Riffel or Sean Sauvé - 6 PM
Adam Manilla v. Nick Montalbano or Michael Leduc - 6 PM

David Horn v. Mauricio Zelada or Rocco Forgione - 5 PM
Felipe Camacho v. Troy Warigon - 5 PM

Charlie Pratt v. Kadim Carrasco - 5 PM
Jake Bredenbeck v. Sergio Acuña or Joe Kelley - 5 PM

Jose Diaz v. Oscar Nieto v. Robert Arellano - 5 PM
Andres Acuña v. Maurice Miller - 5 PM

Thomas Carter v. Scott McClellan - 5 PM
Gerardo Franco v. Set Cubillos or Carlos Jose Galvez - 5 PM

Jansen Allen v. Michael Arterburn or Pedro Castro 6 PM
Robert Collins v. Justus Benson - 6 PM

Mauro Rojas v. Sebastian Fernandez - 6 PM
Mario Mercado v. David Austin or Andrés Gómez - 6 PM

Qualifying Round 3 - Thursday

Q8 - Rodrigo Montoya or Christian Longoria or Alan Natera v. Javier Mar or Eduardo Garay - 8 PM
Q1 - Eduardo Portillo or Nicholas Riffel or Sean Sauvé v. Adam Manilla or Nick Montalbano or Michael Leduc - 8 PM

Q4 - David Horn or Mauricio Zelada or Rocco Forgione v. Felipe Camacho or Troy Warigon - 7 PM
Q5 - Charlie Pratt or Kadim Carrasco v. Jake Bredenbeck or Sergio Acuña or Joe Kelley - 7 PM

Q6 - Jose Diaz or Oscar Nieto or Robert Arellano v. Andres Acuña or Maurice Miller - 7 PM
Q3 - Thomas Carter or Scott McClellan v. Gerardo Franco or Set Cubillos or Carlos Jose Galvez - 7 PM

Q2 - Jansen Allen or Michael Arterburn or Pedro Castro v. Robert Collins or Justus Benson - 8 PM
Q7 - Mauro Rojas or Sebastian Fernandez v. Mario Mercado or David Austin or Andrés Gómez - 8 PM

Round of 16 - Friday

Kane Waselenchuk v. Q8 - 10 AM
Sebastian Franco v. Q1 - 10 AM

Daniel De La Rosa v. Q4 - 10 AM
Andree Parrilla v. Q5 - 10 AM

Alejandro Landa v. Q6 - 11 AM
Alvaro Beltran v.. Q3 - 11 AM

Samuel Murray v. Q2 - 11 AM
Rocky Carson v. Q7 - 11 AM

Pro Mixed Doubles - Round of 32 - Friday

1) Alejandro Landa & Maria Jose Vargas - BYE
16) Sebastian Franco & Samantha Simmons v. 17) Maurice Miller & Daniela Molina - 1 PM

9) Adam Manilla & Masiel Rivera - BYE
8) Alvaro Beltran & Monserrat Mejia - BYE

5) Frédérique Lambert & Samuel Murray - BYE
12) Sebastian Fernandez & Ana Laura Flores - BYE

13) Set Cubillos & Brenda Laime v. 20) Carlos Jose Galvez & Cassi Lee - 1 PM
4) Paola Longoria & Rodrigo Montoya - BYE

3) Alexandra Herrera & Andree Parrilla - BYE
14) Cecilia Pratt & Charlie Pratt v. 19) Nancy Enriquez & Rocco Forgione - 1 PM

11) Eduardo Portillo & Hollie Scott - BYE
6) Cristina Amaya & Mario Mercado - BYE

7) Jake Bredenbeck & Yazmine Sabja - BYE
10) Eduardo Garay & Adriana Riveros - BYE

15) Natalia Mendez & Alan Natura v. 18) Felipe Camacho & Maricruz Ortiz - 1 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa & Samantha Salas - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

2019 LPRT Syosset Open - Preview

The Syosset Open is the penultimate event of the 2018-19 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) season, which will be held in Syosset, New York beginning on Friday. Fourteen of the top 15 LPRT players will be in Syosset, but they may all be vying for 2nd place if LPRT #1 Paola Longoria is in the form that she showed the last week at the LPRT Battle at the Alamo in San Antonio, as well last month at the 2019 Pan American Championships in Barranquilla, Colombia, where she was a double gold medalist by winning singles and doubles. Longoria won doubles in Barranquilla with LPRT #2 Samantha Salas, who has been Longoria’s biggest rival this season. Salas has finished 2nd behind Longoria six times this season.

Still Longoria’s path to another win looks difficult, as she’ll likely face Monserrat Mejia in the Round of 16, and Mejia defeated Longoria earlier this year at the Mexico National Team Selection Event. Then Longoria will play either Adriana Riveros or Frédérique Lambert, who has beaten Longoria, albeit only once and that was a few years ago. In the semi-finals either Rhonda Rajsich or Alexandra Herrera will likely be waiting for Longoria. But if she does make the final, Longoria will likely be up against either LPRT #2 Salas or #3 Maria Jose Vargas.

The Syosset Open is also an International Racquetball Tour (IRT) event. It’s rare for both the IRT and LPRT to be at the same tournament, so it will be a special weekend. Moreover, they are playing Mixed Pro Doubles in Syosset, which should be fun. There are 20 teams in Pro Mixed Doubles.

The tournament starts Friday morning with the Round of 32. The Round of 16 will be Friday afternoon. The 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. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel or its LiveStream channel.

2019 Syosset Open
Syosset, New York - May 2-5, 2019


LPRT Singles - Round of 32 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria - BYE
16 Monserrat Mejia v. 17 Hollie Scott - 11 AM

9 Adriana Riveros - BYE
8 Frédérique Lambert - BYE

5 Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
12 Brenda Laime v. 21 Michèle Morissette - 10 AM

13 Cassi Lee v. 20 Maricruz Ortiz - 10 AM
4 Alexandra Herrera - BYE

3 Maria Jose Vargas - BYE
14 Yazmine Sabja v. 19 Daniela Molina - Noon

11 Masiel Rivera - BYE
6 Natalia Mendez - BYE

7 Nancy Enriquez - BYE
10 Cristina Amaya - BYE

15 Ana Laura Flores v. 18 Cecilia Pratt - 11 AM
2 Samantha Salas - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Weekend round up: Wins for Natera, Riveros & Garay

Last weekend’s Battle at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas was a Tier 4 event on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT). Sixth seed Alan Natera was the surprise winner, as he upset top seed Gerardo Franco in the final, 15-10, 15-5. In the semi-finals, Natera defeated 7th seed Alejandro Cardona, 15-12, 12-15, 11-10, and Franco beat 5th seed Erik Garcia, 15-3, 15-7.

Natera also got the better of Franco in the Pro Mixed Doubles Final in San Antonio, as he and Monserrat Mejia defeated Franco and Paola Longoria, 15-7, 15-7. In the semis, Natera and Mejia beat Javier Estrada and Alexandra Herrera, 15-3, 15-14, while Franco and Longoria defeated Ana Laura Flores and Raul Valadez, 15-8, 15-9.

Adriana Riveros won Women’s Open at The Battle at the Alamo, as she beat Susana Acosta, 15-12, 15-7. Both Riveros and Acosta needed three games to advance to the final, as Riveros went tie-breaker with Maria Renee Rodriguez in the semi-finals, winning 13-15, 15-4, 11-0, and Acosta hung on to upset 2nd seed Cristina Amaya, 15-12, 8-15, 11-6.

Over in Sarasota, Eduardo Garay won Men’s Open at the Florida Pro-Am, as Mike Harmon had to default in the tie-breaker of their match due to injury. Harmon had won the first game, Garay the second, and Garay was ahead in the breaker when Harmon had to call it quits, making the final scoreline, 12-15, 15-10, 5-1, injury default.

In the semi-finals, Garay defeated Mario Mercado, 11-15, 15-11, 11-2, and Harmon beat Andres Acuña, 15-10, 15-12.

Garay had a chance to win both Open Singles and Doubles in Sarasota, but he and Mercado fell to David Horn and Rodrigo Montoya in the doubles final, 15-10, 15-8.

The focus of the racquetball world will be on Syosset, New York this weekend, where the Syosset Open will happen. The Syosset Open is both an IRT event and an Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) event. It’s rare for both the IRT and LPRT to be at the same tournament, so it will be a special weekend. Moreover, they are playing Mixed Pro Doubles in Syosset, which should be fun.

There are 20 teams in Mixed Pro Doubles, with 21 players in the LPRT draw and 49 players in the IRT draw, making the Syosset Open one of the largest IRT’s draws this season. Play will begin on Thursday in Syosset.

2019 Battle at the Alamo
San Antonio, Texas - April 26-28

Women’s Open Final


1) Adriana Riveros d. 6) Susana Acosta, 15-12, 15-7

Semi-finals

1) Adriana Riveros d. 5) Maria Renee Rodriguez, 13-15, 15-4, 11-0
6) Susana Acosta d. 2) Cristina Amaya, 15-12, 8-15, 11-6

Men’s IRT Final

6) Alan Natera d. 1) Gerardo Franco, 15-10, 15-5

Semi-finals

1) Gerardo Franco d. 5) Erik Garcia, 15-3, 15-7
6) Alan Natera d. 7) Alejandro Cardona, 15-12, 12-15, 11-10

Pro Mixed Doubles Final

11) Monserrat Mejia & Alan Natera d. 1) Gerardo Franco & Paola Longoria, 15-7, 15-7

Semi-finals

1) Gerardo Franco & Paola Longoria d. 12) Ana Laura Flores & Raul Valadez, 15-8, 15-9
11) Monserrat Mejia & Alan Natera d. 7) Javier Estrada & Alexandra Herrera, 15-3, 15-14

Quarterfinals

1) Gerardo Franco & Paola Longoria d. 8) Alejandro Cardona & Maria Jose Vargas, 15-4, 8-15, 11-8
12) Ana Laura Flores & Raul Valadez d. 13) Nancy Enriquez & Jesus Quevedo, 15-5, 15-11

11) Monserrat Mejia & Alan Natera d. 3) Erik Garcia & Brenda Laime, 10-15, 15-10, 11-6
7) Javier Estrada & Alexandra Herrera d. 2) Yesid Bazoberry & Adriana Riveros, 15-3, 15-5

2019 Florida Pro-Am, April 25-27
Sarasota, Florida

Men’s Open Final


3) Eduardo Garay d. 9) Mike Harmon, 12-15, 15-10, 5-1, injury default

Semi-finals

9) Mike Harmon d. 4) Andres Acuña, 15-10, 15-12
3) Eduardo Garay d. 2) Mario Mercado, 11-15, 15-11, 11-2

Quarterfinals

9) Mike Harmon d. 1) Maurice Miller, 6-15, 15-13, 11-7
4) Andres Acuña d. 21) Kadim Carrasco, 15-11, 15-10

3) Eduardo Garay d. 11) Justus Benson, forfeit
2) Mario Mercado d. 10) Set Cubillos, 15-3, 15-1

Men’s Open Doubles Final

2) David Horn & Rodrigo Montoya d. 1) Eduardo Garay & Mario Mercado, 15-10, 15-8

Semi-finals

1) Eduardo Garay & Mario Mercado d. 4) Eduardo Portillo & Oscar Nieto, 15-13, 14-15, 11-7
2) David Horn & Rodrigo Montoya d. 6) Dylan Pruitt & Kyle Ulliman, 15-3, 15-5

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Landa defeats Beltran to win 2019 IRT Florida Pro-Am final

Alejandro Landa won the 2019 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Florida Pro-Am in Sarasota, Florida on Saturday by beating Alvaro Beltran in the final, 15-13, 15-12. Landa's win is the 3rd of his career, and it's the second time he has beaten Beltran in a final. Overall, Landa is 3-1 in finals. The others all came last season.

The IRT will be back in action next weekend, when the Syosset Open happens in Syosset, New York, May 2-5. The Syosset Open is also a Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) event, and they are going to play LPRT & IRT mixed doubles in Syosset, which should be fun.

2019 IRT Florida Pro-Am, April 25-27
Sarasota, Florida


Final - Saturday

3) Alejandro Landa d. 8) Alvaro Beltran, 15-13, 15-12

Follow the bouncing ball….

Longoria defeats Salas to win 2019 LPRT Battle at the Alamo

Paola Longoria's undefeated Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) season continues, as the #1 LPRT player won the Battle at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas Sunday. Longoria defeated Samantha Salas, 12-10, 11-5, 11-4, in the final. She reached the final with a win over LPRT #5 Rhonda Rajsich in the semi-finals, 12-10, 11-7, 11-6, while Salas - the LPRT's #2 player - defeated LPRT #3 Maria Jose Vargas, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4, in the other semi.

In game one of the final, it looked like Salas might carry the day, as she overcame an early 5-0 lead by Longoria to lead 9-6. Salas got to game point at 10-8 with a flat forehand winner. But on the next rally, she skipped a backhand shot after being forced into the back left corner by Longoria.

After Longoria scored a point with a backhand cross court shot from the right side that made it 10-9, Salas got her 2nd game point opportunity, but Longoria forced her into skipping another backhand shot. Salas got the serve right back with another flat forehand. Longoria hit a forehand pinch shot to fend off Salas's 3rd game point.

Longoria then won three consecutive rallies starting each of them with a lob nick serve to the left side - Salas's backhand side. That led to two winners by Longoria and one error by Salas that Longoria forced her into by driving a backhand shot cross court. With those three points, Longoria closed out game one, 12-10.

Game two had a similar structure to game one early, as Longoria had a small lead, but they were tied at 5-5. Unlike game one, Longoria then won six unanswered points to take game two, 11-5.

Longoria led all the way in game three, with Salas getting close at 6-4. But Salas scored no points after that, as a backhand skip by Salas made it 10-4, and gave Longoria her 1st match point. Longoria won it on the next rally with a backhand reverse pinch shot.

The victory is Longoria's 7th of the season. She missed the last LPRT event due to an injury, but with a win in San Antonio and a victory in both Women's Singles and Women's Doubles (with Salas) earlier this month at the 2019 Pan American Racquetball Championships, it seems Longoria is fully fit, which spells trouble for all the other players. She played 12 games in San Antonio, and gave up only 49 points - a little over 4 points a game on average.

The LPRT's next event is the Syosset Open in Syosset, New York, May 2-5, which will also be an International Racquetball Tour (IRT) event, and they are going to play LPRT & IRT mixed doubles in Syosset, which should be fun. If you missed the action from San Antonio, you can watch the matches via the LPRT LiveStream channel.

2019 LPRT Battle at the Alamo
San Antonio, Texas - April 26-28


Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria d. 2) Samantha Salas, 12-10, 11-5, 11-4

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria d. 5) Rhonda Rajsich, 12-10, 11-7, 11-6
2) Samantha Salas d. 3) Maria Jose Vargas, 11-9, 11-4, 11-4

Follow the bouncing ball….