Friday, March 29, 2019

2019 LPRT Bolivia American Iris Open - Quarterfinals

Angelica Barrios did it again! She knocked off another top 5 seed at the 2019 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Bolivia American Iris Open in Cochabamba, Bolivia. This time Barrios came back from a game down to beat 4th seed Rhonda Rajsich, 5-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-6, in the quarterfinals. Barrios was playing in her first LPRT quarterfinal, and will play her first semi-final Saturday against top seed Samantha Salas.

Salas had as close a match as possible yet won in three straight games over 9th seed Yazmine Sabja, 12-10, 12-10, 13-11. Sabja fought off three game points in game one. They went back and forth six times at 9-9 in game two. Sabja finally had a game point of her own in game three, when she had three of them leading 11-10. But Salas fought all of those off, and then on her second match point, won the game and match with a forehand on the left side of the court.

The bottom of the draw has gone to form, as 2nd seed Alexandra Herrera will face 3rd seed Maria Jose Vargas in the semi-finals. In the quarters, Herrera defeated Maisel Rivera, 2-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-2, and Vargas beat her doubles partner Natalia Mendez, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4.


Reportedly, Rajsich hurt her knee is singles. They had medical staff at the tournament, and she went to an MRI, but the initial diagnosis was not good. In fact, she was advised not to play doubles. However, Rajsich hasn’t defaulted a match ever, and she wasn’t going to let this be the first one. So, she played with Salas, and they defeated Brenda Laime and Masiel Rivera, 15-10, 15-11.

The young team of Laime and Rivera had the lead early in game one at 6-2. But the veterans Rajsich and Salas caught up, and they were back and forth in the middle of the game with ties at 7-7 and 9-9. Then the vets eked ahead at 13-9, and were able to close it out when Salas hit a forehand cross court winner to make it 15-10.

In game two, Rajsich and Salas took an early lead at 4-1 and then ran it up to 14-2. Rajsich skipped a backhand shot to give up the serve, but the writing was on the wall. However, it took awhile to be read, as Laime and Rivera dug in, and came back to 14-11. But the vets took the serve back, and Salas was able to finish it with a forehand winner from center court over to the right side.

That’s a great win for Rajsich and Salas, but we have to be concerned about Rajsich’s health, especially with the Pan American Championships coming up next month. She is the 2 time defending Pan Am Champion in Women’s Singles.

In the final, they’ll face 3rd seeds Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas, who were upset winners over 2nd seeds Nancy Enriquez and Alexandra Herrera, 15-7, 12-15, 11-5. After a 2-2 tie early in game one, Mendez and Vargas led the rest of the game winning it with a Vargas forehand to the left side that cracked out.

The converse happened in game two, as Enriquez and Herrera led from 2-2 on. An Enriquez forehand shot ended the game, and forced the tie-breaker.

In the breaker, Enriquez and Herrera had the early lead at 4-2, but Mendez and Vargas caught up at 4-4. They then took the lead at 9-4 with a Vargas service winner from a drive Z serve to the back left corner that Herrera couldn’t return successfully. A backhand pinch by Enriquez got her side the serve back, and they scored a point to make it 9-5.

However, Herrera skipped a forehand shot to surrender the serve. Mendez hit a forehand winner to the right side that cracked out to put her team on match point. Then she hit another forehand winner to the right side from a front court position that won her and Vargas the game, 11-5, and match two games to one.

The singles semi-finals will Saturday at 11 AM and 1 PM. The singles final will be Sunday at 1 PM with the doubles final scheduled for 6 PM Saturday. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel or its LiveStream channel.

2019 LPRT Open Bolivia American Iris
Cochabamba, Bolivia - March 27-31, 2019

LPRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1 Samantha Salas d. 9 Yazmine Sabja, 12-10, 12-10, 13-11
12 Angelica Barrios d. 4 Rhonda Rajsich, 5-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-6

3 Maria Jose Vargas d. 6 Natalia Mendez, 11-6, 11-5, 11-4
2 Alexandra Herrera v. 10 Masiel Rivera, 2-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-2

LPRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Samantha Salas v. 12 Angelica Barrios - 1 PM
2 Alexandra Herrera v. 3 Maria Jose Vargas - 11 AM

LPRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

1 Rhonda Rajsich & Samantha Salas d. 5 Brenda Laime & Masiel Rivera, 15-10, 15-11
3 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas d. 2 Nancy Enriquez & Alexandra Herrera, 15-7, 12-15, 11-5

LPRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

1 Rhonda Rajsich & Samantha Salas v. 3 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas - 7 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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