Saturday, March 30, 2019

Salas & Vargas in LPRT singles final, Mendez & Vargas win doubles at 2019 American Iris Bolivia Open

Maria Jose Vargas, the 3rd seed, upset the 2nd seed Alexandra Herrera, 11-3, 11-6, 7-11, 5-11, 11-9, in the semi-finals of the 2019 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) American Iris Bolivia Open in Cochabamba, Bolivia. She’ll play top seed Samantha Salas, who defeated surprise semi-finalist 12th seed Angelica Barrios, 11-3, 2-11, 11-6, 11-5.

In the LPRT Doubles final Saturday night, Vargas and Natalia Mendez won the title by defeating Salas and Rhonda Rajsich, 15-8, 15-11. The Bolivian natives who now play internationally for Argentina were in control throughout the final with leads of 10-2 and 14-6 in game one, and then 9-6 and 13-8 in game two.

The Vargas and Herrera semi was an odd one, as Vargas started the match well, winning the first two games, and then it was Herrera’s turn to carry the play, and win games three and four. Of those first four games, only game three was close, as they were tied at 7-7, but that was after Herrera led 6-0. Although Vargas caught up at 7-7, she didn’t get any more points that game.

But the tie-breaker was were close. After being tied at 2-2, Herrera eked ahead to lead 4-3 after 14 rallies. She got four more points on consecutive rallies to lead 8-3, even though Vargas took a timeout in the middle of those rallies. Herrera's 8th point came off an ace drive serve to the right.

Vargas got the serve back when Herrera skipped a forehand shot on the next rally. Vargas changed her position in the service box slightly from the right side of the service box to just right of center. Not a big change, but it seemed to make her drive serves more effective, as she scored three straight points on consecutive rallies to trail 8-6. Herrera then called a timeout.

When play resumed, Vargas got one more point with a forehand winner that got her within one of Herrera at 8-7. But she was called for an avoidable hinder on the next rally, so Herrera got the serve back. A Vargas forehand winner denied Herrera scoring, and she then tied the score at 8-8 with backhand winner.

A patented Herrera backhand pinch got the left-hander a sideout. She scored a 9th point with a drive Z serve to the left side that popped out of the corner. Herrera hit that serve again, and Vargas hit a winning backhand return. It would be the last Herrera serve.

Vargas tied the score again at 9-9 with a forehand wide angle pass. Herrera called a timeout, which often leads to a winning rally, but not in this case, as Vargas hit a forehand winner when play resumed to put her on match point at 10-9. The next rally was a long one with both players making good gets. Indeed, Herrera - uncharacteristically - went to the floor to make a shot, and then was able to make a shot while still on the floor! But Vargas was able to win the rally with a forehand down the left side, and take the game, 11-9, and match, 3-2.

The singles final will be Sunday at 1 PM. 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 - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Samantha Salas d. 12 Angelica Barrios, 11-3, 2-11, 11-6, 11-5
3 Maria Jose Vargas d. 2 Alexandra Herrera, 11-3, 11-6, 7-11, 5-11, 11-9

LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

1 Samantha Salas v. 3 Maria Jose Vargas - 11 AM

LPRT Doubles - Final - Saturday

3 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas v. 1 Rhonda Rajsich & Samantha Salas, 15-8, 15-11

Follow the bouncing ball….

No comments: