Monday, September 9, 2019

Weekend round up: Wins for Lotts, Garay, Miller & Warigon

Sheryl Lotts, the 2nd seed, was an upset winner over top seed Carla Muñoz, 15-13, 13-15, 11-2, in the Women’s Open final at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) By the Beach tournament in Virginia Beach, Virginia Sunday. In the semi-finals, Lotts defeated Adrienne Haynes, 15-14, 15-12, and Muñoz beat Cassi Lee, 15-9, 15-5.

Eduardo Garay won Men’s Open at the 2019 Atlanta Open, as Gerardo Franco forfeited the final. In the semi-finals, Garay, the 3rd seed, was an upset winner over 2nd seed Andres Acuña, 4-15, 15-9, 11-6, while top seed Franco beat 4th seed Set Cubillos, 15-9, 15-0.

There is no pro event this weekend, but next weekend the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) will be in Laurel, Maryland for the Valentine Open, September 19-22. The following week both IRT and LPRT players will be attending the 3 WallBall World Championships in Las Vegas, September 27-29. Then the US Open - the biggest racquetball tournament in the world - happens in Minneapolis, October 2-6.

2019 LPRT by the Beach - Chesapeake, September 6-8, 2019
Virginia Beach, Virginia


Women’s Open - Final

2) Sheryl Lotts d. 1) Carla Muñoz, 15-13, 13-15, 11-2

Semi-finals

1) Carla Muñoz d. 4) Cassi Lee, 15-9, 15-5
2) Sheryl Lotts d. 3) Adrienne Haynes, 15-14, 15-12

2019 Atlanta Open, September 5-8, 2019
Lilburn / Atlanta, Georgia


Men’s Open - Final

3) Eduardo Garay d. 1) Gerardo Franco, forfeit

Semi-finals

1) Gerardo Franco d. 4) Set Cubillos, 15-9, 15-0
3) Eduardo Garay d. 2) Andres Acuña, 4-15, 15-9, 11-6

Quarterfinals

1) Gerardo Franco d. 9) Anthony Martin, 15-10, 15-6
4) Set Cubillos d. 5) Destry Everhart, 4-15, 15-10, 11-5

3) Eduardo Garay d. 6) Shane Karmelin, 15-3, 15-3
2) Andres Acuña d. 7) Justus Benson, 15-10, 15-9

Men’s Open Doubles - Final

1) Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon d. 2) Sebastian Fernandez & Oscar Nieto, 11-15, 15-12, 11-10

Semi-finals

1) Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon d. 4) Austin Cunningham & Destry Everhart, 15-14, 15-12
2) Sebastian Fernandez & Oscar Nieto d. 3) Todd Upchurch & Mauricio Zelada, 15-9, 15-3

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Vargas defeats Longoria to win LPRT By the Beach event

Maria Jose Vargas defeated Paola Longoria, 7-15, 15-12, 11-4, to win the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) By the Beach tournament in Virginia Beach, Virginia Sunday. It’s Vargas’s first win ever over Longoria, the #1 LPRT player. They had played 24 times before Sunday, but #25 was the charm for Vargas. Afterwards, Vargas said she was “so happy” with the win.

In game one, Longoria led 8-3, but Vargas came back to within one at 8-7. However, Longoria, who was undefeated last season, held her opponent at 7 while scoring seven points of her own to win game one, 15-7. A forehand pinch shot got Longoria to game point, and she won it on the first game point, as Vargas skipped a backhand shot in returning Longoria’s drive serve to the left.

Game two was similar in that Longoria had a lead early at 6-3, and she also led 8-7. But from there Vargas grabbed the advantage, as she went up 13-8 on Longoria. There’s no quit in Longoria though, and she came back to get within one at 13-12.

They exchanged sideouts, and then Longoria went for a forehand overhead shot, which isn’t a typical shot for her, and she skipped it. That gave Vargas game point, 14-12. Vargas drove serve down the right side - which she did for much of the match - and Longoria skipped the serve return to end the game, 15-12 for Vargas, and force a tie-breaker.

In the breaker, Longoria served first, and got the first point with a forehand winner, 1-0. But a winning serve return by Vargas got her the serve, and she scored four points on consecutive rallies with two drive serve aces to the right side, and then another skipped return by Longoria off that same serve. At 4-1 down, Longoria called a timeout.

When play resumed, Vargas scored two more points with the second another drive serve ace, but to the left side. She lost serve when a penalty hinder was called against her off a serve that came too far off the side wall into the middle hindering Longoria’s return.

Longoria got two points to make the score 6-3 for Vargas, and then they exchanged sideouts again. After that Vargas put up two more points by first peeling a ball off the left wall for a winning backhand pinch shot, and then hitting another drive serve ace to the right side. With Vargas leading 8-3, Longoria called her second timeout.

A backhand cross court winner got Vargas to 9-3, when play resumed, but Longoria then hit a strong backhand shot into the middle that jammed Vargas, and got Longoria back into the service box. However, that just started another exchange of sideouts.

Longoria did break the deadlock with a forehand pinch shot that made it 9-4 for Vargas. However, Vargas got the serve back with a backhand pinch shot from deep.

She reached match point by hitting a forehand killshot from shoulder high. Vargas won on her first match point by hitting a backhand winner, making the final score 11-4.

Vargas won singles, but Longoria and Samantha Salas won doubles, as they beat Vargas and Natalia Mendez, 15-6, 15-11. After winning game one, Longoria and Salas had a 14-6 lead in game two. But Vargas and Mendez fought off four match points and got themselves back in the game. However, it was too little, too late with Longoria and Salas closing out the game and match on their fifth game point opportunity.

The next LPRT event is the 2019 US Open in Minneapolis October 2-6. But some LPRT players will also be playing at the 3 Wallball World Championships in Las Vegas, September 27-29. If you missed any of the action from Virginia Beach, check out the LPRT YouTube channel, where matches are archived.

2019 LPRT by the Beach - Chesapeake
Virginia Beach, Virginia, September 6-8, 2019


LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

3 Maria Jose Vargas d. 1 Paola Longoria, 7-15, 15-12, 11-4

LPRT Doubles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 2 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas, 15-6, 15-11

Follow the bouncing ball….

Carson defeats Parrilla to win 2019 IRT Atlanta Open

Rocky Carson defeated Andree Parrilla, 15-13, 15-8, to win the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2019 Atlanta Open - the first event of the 2019-20 IRT season. When Carson, who’s 40, first played on the IRT, Parrilla, 23, wasn’t even born. But the veteran got the better of his younger competitor on Sunday. Carson, the IRT’s #2 player, has won at least one event in 9 of the last 10 IRT seasons.

Although it was just two games, the match took a long time to play, especially game one. Eight minutes into the game, and it was still just 1-0 for Carson. Carson stayed ahead through game one, until Parrilla tied it late at 12-12. There was a sense that the young Mexican was going to eke out the game.

Carson went up 13-12 when Parrilla skipped a forehand pinch shot. But Parrilla hit a winning forehand pinch off Carson’s serve on the next rally. A great forehand volley by Parrilla again tied the score, 13-13. However, Parrilla made an unforced error on the next rally, when he skipped a forehand shot.

A Carson backhand pinch shot put him on game point at 14-13. A broken ball on the next rally delayed the end, but after that Carson won it with a backhand kill shot that hit the left side wall going to the front wall and spun back down the left side.

Game one took 44 and a half minutes.

In game two, they were close early, and Parrilla had leads at 5-2 and 6-5. But Carson held Parrilla at 6, while piling up the points to lead 13-6. From there the end was in sight, and Carson was able to close it out, 15-8.

The doubles final was a double forfeit by top seeds Daniel De La Rosa and Alvaro Beltran and 2nd seeds Alejandro Landa and Samuel Murray. No explanation for why the teams forfeited.

The Valentine Open in Laurel, Maryland, September 19-22 is the next Tier 1 event on the IRT schedule. After that some of the IRT will be at the 3 WallBall World Championships in Las Vegas, September 25-29. Then they will be in Minneapolis for the 2019 US Open, October 2-6. If you missed any of the action from Georgia, check out the IRT YouTube channel for the matches.

2019 IRT Atlanta Open, September 5-8, 2019
Lilburn / Atlanta, Georgia


Final - Sunday

2) Rocky Carson d. 4) Andree Parrilla, 15-13, 15-8

IRT Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran and 2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray, double forfeit

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Longoria & Vargas to play twice at 2019 LPRT By the Beach tournament

Paola Longoria and Maria Jose Vargas will face off in a final for the 2nd time this season on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT). This time they’ll meet in the LPRT By the Beach final in Virginia Beach, Virginia on Sunday. In the semi-finals, Longoria beat Rhonda Rajsich, 15-5, 15-3, and Vargas defeated first time semi-finalist Masiel Rivera, 15-11, 15-9.

Longoria and Vargas will actually play twice on Sunday, as they are both in the doubles final as well. Longoria and Samantha Salas beat Nancy Enriquez and Jessica Parrilla, 15-9, 15-7, while Vargas and Natalia Mendez needed three games to get past the young team of Rivera and Brenda Laime, 10-15, 15-10, 11-5.

The singles final will be Sunday at noon with the doubles final to follow at 1 PM. All times Eastern. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel.

2019 LPRT by the Beach - Chesapeake
Virginia Beach, Virginia, September 6-8, 2019


LPRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria d. 4 Rhonda Rajsich, 15-5, 15-3
3 Maria Jose Vargas d. 7 Masiel Rivera, 15-11, 15-9

LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria v. 3 Maria Jose Vargas - Noon

LPRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 4 Nancy Enriquez & Jessica Parrilla, 15-9, 15-7
2 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas d. 3 Brenda Laime & Masiel Rivera, 10-15, 15-10, 11-5

LPRT Doubles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 2 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Carson & Parrilla into 2019 IRT Atlanta Open final

Rocky Carson and Andree Parrilla will face off in the final of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2019 Atlanta Open on Sunday after they won their respective semi-finals Saturday afternoon. Carson, the IRT’s #2 player, defeated #3 Alejandro Landa, 15-12, 15-11, in one semi-final, while Parrilla took out IRT #8 Sebastian Franco, 15-7, 15-7, in the other.

Number 1 will play #2 in the doubles final, as top seeds Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa will take on 2nd seeds Landa and Samuel Murray. In the doubles semi-finals, Beltran and De La Rosa won two close games with 5th seeds Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya, 15-13, 15-12, while Landa and Murray came back from a game down to defeat Parrilla and Eduardo Portillo, 6-15, 15-12, 11-6.

In game one of their match, Beltran and De La Rosa were up 9-4 only to see Mar and Montoya come back with seven unanswered points to take the lead 11-9. The momentum swung back and forth, as Beltran and De La Rosa got the next four points to lead 13-11, then Mar and Montoya tied it at 13-13.

Beltran and De La Rosa got to game point with a penalty hinder call that Mar and Montoya appealed, but the line judges upheld the referee’s call. But they were successful it stopping Beltran and De La Rosa’s first two game points, as Montoya hit a soft backhand winner and then Mar hit a forehand pinch shot winner to get the serve back.

Unfortunately, that side out didn’t lead to points for Mar and Montoya, as De La Rosa hit a great backhand pinch shot, and then Beltran hit a forehand winner to get them their 3rd game point opportunity. Beltran hit his usually hit lob serve tight to the right wall, and Mar’s forehand return skipped, ending the game at 15-13.

Game two had a similar story line, as Beltran and De La Rosa led early, 4-1. They were tied at 4-4, and then Beltran and De La Rosa led again until a tie at 11-11. Montoya broke the tie with a backhand cross court shot that made it 12-11. But a De La Rosa forehand wide angle pass to the right side followed by a Montoya backhand skip gave the serve back to Beltran and De La Rosa.

They got their 12th point to tie it when Mar skipped a forehand serve return. A Beltran skip put his side half down, but a De La Rosa backhand winner put his side ahead 13-12. Mar got his side the serve back with a touch backhand winner. But he gave the serve back to his opponents when he first hit a forehand skip (to be fair he was diving for the ball) and then hit a ball out of play.

Beltran and De La Rosa reached match point when Montoya skipped a backhand shot. Game two ended just as game one did. Beltran served a lob to the right, and Mar made an error on the return. This time he hit a ceiling ball that didn’t reach the front wall. Oops.

The other semi-final did go to a third game, and in that game Landa and Murray took a big lead at the start, 6-1. That allowed them to win relatively comfortably after being pressed by the young team of Parrilla and Portillo. The younger team did cut the lead to 6-3 and 9-7, but that was as close at they got.

Parrilla and Portillo lost a point at 9-7, as they appealed a shot by Portillo that was called a skip, but they had no appeals left. Appealing when you have no appeals is a technical, which means a loss of one point. Landa and Murray won it on the next two rallies with Murray sealing the deal with a backhand winner.

Earlier in the day, Parrilla and Portillo were upset winners in the doubles quarterfinals, as they defeated 3rd seeds Sebastian Franco and Mario Mercado, 15-6, 15-14. The win put Parrilla and Portillo into the semi-finals against Landa and Murray, who beat Andres Acuña and Sebastian Fernandez, 15-13, 15-7.

On the top side of the draw, top seeds Beltran and De La Rosa needed a tie-breaker to get past Kadim Carrasco and Carlos Keller, winning 15-8, 14-15, 11-5.

The singles final will be noon Sunday with the doubles final to follow at 1 PM. Both times Eastern. Check out the usual IRT media outlets for live streaming: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page.

2019 IRT Atlanta Open, September 5-8, 2019
Lilburn / Atlanta, Georgia


Semi-finals - Saturday

4) Andree Parrilla d. 8) Sebastian Franco, 15-7, 15-7
2) Rocky Carson d. 3) Alejandro Landa, 15-11, 15-12

Final - Sunday

2) Rocky Carson v. 4) Andree Parrilla - Noon

IRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran d. 8) Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller, 15-8, 14-15, 11-5
5) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya d. 4) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk, forfeit

6) Andree Parrilla & Eduardo Portillo d. 3) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado, 15-6, 15-14
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 10) Sebastian Fernandez & Andres Acuña, 15-13, 15-7

IRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran d. 5) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya, 15-13, 15-12
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray d. 6) Andree Parrilla & Eduardo Portillo, 6-15, 15-11, 11-6

IRT Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran v, 2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Parrilla & Portillo into doubles semis at 2019 IRT Atlanta Open

Andree Parrilla and Edurardo Portillo were upset winners in the doubles quarterfinals Saturday at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2019 Atlanta Open, as they defeated 3rd seeds Sebastian Franco and Mario Mercado, 15-6, 15-14. Th win puts Parrilla and Portillo into the semi-finals against 2nd seeds Alejandro Landa and Samuel Murray, who beat Andres Acuña and Sebastian Fernandez, 15-13, 15-7.

On the top side of the draw, top seeds Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa needed a tie-breaker to get past Kadim Carrasco and Carlos Keller, winning 15-8, 14-15, 11-5.

The men’s doubles semi-finals will be tonight at 7 and 8 PM. The singles semi-finals are this afternoon at 3 and 4 PM. Check out the usual IRT media outlets for live streaming: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The singles final will be noon Sunday with the doubles final to follow at 1 PM. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Atlanta Open, September 5-8, 2019
Lilburn / Atlanta, Georgia


Semi-finals - Saturday

4) Andree Parrilla v. 8) Sebastian Franco - 4 PM
2) Rocky Carson v. 3) Alejandro Landa - 3 PM

IRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran d. 8) Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller, 15-8, 14-15, 11-5
5) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya d. 4) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk, forfeit

6) Andree Parrilla & Eduardo Portillo d. 3) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado, 15-6, 15-14
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 10) Sebastian Fernandez & Andres Acuña, 15-13, 15-7

IRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran v. 5) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya - 8 PM
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 6) Andree Parrilla & Eduardo Portillo - 7 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Rivera into semis for 1st time at LPRT at the Beach

Masiel Rivera was the giant killer in the quarterfinals of the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) by the Beach tournament in Virginia Beach, Virginia, as she knocked off 2nd seed Samantha Salas, 15-12, 15-14. It’s a surprising loss, as Salas rarely loses to anyone not named Paola Longoria. The win puts Rivera into the semi-finals for the first time, where she will face 3rd seed Maria Jose Vargas, who was a straight game winner over Nancy Enriquez, 15-8, 15-4.

The other semi-final will be a renewal of an old rivalry, as LPRT #1 Paola Longoria takes on 5th seed Rhonda Rajsich. Both won their quarterfinal matches in straight games. Longoria beating Brenda Laime, 15-1, 15-4, and Rajsich defeating Natalia Mendez, 15-14, 15-1.

The semi-finals are Saturday at 6:30 PM and 7:15 PM. The singles final will be Sunday at noon. The doubles semi-finals are Saturday night at 8 and 8:45 PM with the final Sunday at 1 PM. All times Eastern. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel.

2019 LPRT by the Beach - Chesapeake
Virginia Beach, Virginia, September 6-8, 2019


LPRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria d. 9 Brenda Laime, 15-1, 15-4
4 Rhonda Rajsich d. 5 Natalia Mendez, 15-14, 15-1

3 Maria Jose Vargas d. 6 Nancy Enriquez, 15-8, 15-4
7 Masiel Rivera d. 2 Samantha Salas, 15-12, 15-14

LPRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria v. 4 Rhonda Rajsich - 7:15 PM
3 Maria Jose Vargas v. 7 Masiel Rivera - 6:30 PM

LPRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 8 Cassi Lee & Megan Shelton, 15-1, 15-0
4 Nancy Enriquez & Jessica Parrilla d. 5 Kelani Lawrence & Sheryl Lotts, 7-15, 15-12, 11-8

3 Brenda Laime & Masiel Rivera d. 6 Erin Rivera & Adriana Riveros, 15-6, 13-15, 11-2
2 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas v. 7 Malia Bailey & Carla Muñoz, 15-3, 15-4

LPRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 4 Nancy Enriquez & Jessica Parrilla - 8:45 PM
2 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas v. 3 Brenda Laime & Masiel Rivera - 8 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

LPRT by the Beach Rounds of 32 and 16

Only one upset on Friday at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) by the Beach tournament in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Ninth seed Brenda Laime defeated 8th seed Adriana Riveros, 15-3, 15-14, in the Round of 16. The win puts her into the quarterfinals against LPRT #1 Paola Longoria, who was a winner over Erin Rivera, 15-6, 15-6.

There were a couple of tie-breakers Friday, including Carla Muñoz’s near upset of 5th seed Rhonda Rajsich. But the veteran Rajsich fought off match point in the second game to win it in three, 14-15, 15-14, 11-4. Also, Nancy Enriquez came back from a game down to defeat Sheryl Lotts, 12-15, 15-8, 11-0.

The singles quarterfinals will be Saturday morning beginning at 11:45 AM and 12:30 PM with the semi-finals Saturday at 6:30 PM and 7:15 PM. The singles final will be Sunday at noon. The doubles semi-finals are Saturday night at 8 and 8:45 PM with the final Sunday at 1 PM. All times Eastern. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel.

2019 LPRT by the Beach - Chesapeake
Virginia Beach, Virginia, September 6-8, 2019


LPRT Singles - Round of 32 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria - BYE
16 Erin Rivera d.17 Amie Brewer, 15-6, 15-3

9 Brenda Laime - BYE
8 Adriana Riveros - BYE

5 Natalia Mendez - BYE
12 Adrienne Haynes - BYE

13 Carla Muñoz - BYE
4 Rhonda Rajsich - BYE

3 Maria Jose Vargas - BYE
14 Kelani Lawrence d. 19 Megan Shelton, 15-2, 15-2

11 Sheryl Lotts - BYE
6 Nancy Enriquez - BYE

7 Masiel Rivera - BYE
10 Cassi Lee - BYE

15 Jessica Parrilla d. 18 Malia Bailey, 15-4, 15-5
2 Samantha Salas - BYE

LPRT Singles - Round of 16 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria d. 16 Erin Rivera, 15-6, 15-6
9 Brenda Laime d. 8 Adriana Riveros, 15-3, 15-14

5 Natalia Mendez d. 12 Adrienne Haynes, 15-10, 15-13
4 Rhonda Rajsich d. 13 Carla Muñoz, 14-15, 15-14, 11-4

3 Maria Jose Vargas d. 14 Kelani Lawrence, 15-13, 15-10
6 Nancy Enriquez d. 11 Sheryl Lotts, 12-15, 15-8, 11-0

7 Masiel Rivera d. 10 Cassi Lee, 15-10, 15-6
2 Samantha Salas d. 15 Jessica Parrilla, 15-7, 15-8

LPRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria v. 9 Brenda Laime - 12:30 PM
4 Rhonda Rajsich v. 5 Natalia Mendez - 12:30 PM

3 Maria Jose Vargas v. 6 Nancy Enriquez - 11:45 AM
2 Samantha Salas v. 7 Masiel Rivera - 11:45 AM

LPRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 8 T. J. Baubaugh & Cassi Lee - 2 PM
4 Nancy Enriquez & Jessica Parrilla v. 5 Kelani Lawrence & Sheryl Lotts - 2 PM

3 Brenda Laime & Masiel Rivera v. 6 Erin Rivera & Adriana Riveros - 1:15 PM
2 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas v. 7 Malia Bailey & Carla Muñoz - 1:15 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, September 6, 2019

Three of top 4 seeds plus 1 into semi-finals at 2019 IRT Atlanta Open

The higher seeds all won in the quarterfinals on Friday at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2019 Atlanta Open, but every match went to a tie-breaker. In three of the four, the higher seed won the first game, and then had to win in three games. But in the Sebastian-Sebastian showdown, Sebastian Franco, the 8th seed, dropped the first game to Sebastian Fernandez, and then came back to win the next two games, and take the match, 5-15, 15-6, 11-9.

Franco will face 4th seed Andree Parrilla in the semi-finals Saturday. Parrilla almost won his quarterfinal contest in two straight games, but 5th seed Alvaro Beltran squeaked out the second game by a single point, forcing a tie-breaker. The breaker went to Parrilla, who won the match 15-6, 14-15, 11-4.

On the other side of the draw, IRT #2 Rocky Carson defeated #7 Samuel Murray, 15-10, 11-15, 11-0, in the quarters, so in the semi-finals he’ll play IRT #3 Alejandro Landa, who beat #6 Daniel De La Rosa in three games, 15-5, 8-15, 11-10.

Look for all the action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The singles semi-finals will be 3 and 4 PM Saturday with the final at noon Sunday. The doubles semi-finals will be Saturday night at 7 and 8 PM with the final Sunday at 1 PM. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Atlanta Open, September 5-8, 2019
Lilburn / Atlanta, Georgia


Quarterfinals - Friday

8) Sebastian Franco d. Sebastian Fernandez, 5-15, 15-6, 11-9
4) Andree Parrilla d. 5) Alvaro Beltran, 15-6, 14-15, 11-4

3) Alejandro Landa d. 6) Daniel De La Rosa - 15-5, 8-15, 11-10
2) Rocky Carson d. 7) Samuel Murray - 15-10, 11-15, 11-0

Semi-finals - Saturday

4) Andree Parrilla v. 8) Sebastian Franco - 4 PM
2) Rocky Carson v. 3) Alejandro Landa - 3 PM

IRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran v. 8) Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller - 11 AM
5) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya d. 4) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk, forfeit

3) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado v. 6) Andree Parrilla & Eduardo Portillo - Noon
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 10) Sebastian Fernandez & Andres Acuña - Noon

Follow the bouncing ball….

IRT Atlanta Open Round of 16

No surprises in the Round of 16 at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2019 Atlanta Open. The higher seeds have all won with the already known exception of Sebastian Fernandez getting a default win over IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk, who was a late withdrawal from the event due to “personal reasons.” Fernandez will play IRT #8 Sebastian Franco, who defeated #9 Rodrigo Montoya, 15-9, 9-15, 11-7, to set up a Sebastian-Sebastian showdown.

The higher seeds won all of the other matches. IRT #2 Rocky Carson beat Eduardo Garay, 15-5, 15-9, and will face #7 Samuel Murray, who defeated Mario Mercado, 15-12, 15-11. The winner of Carson-Murray will play either #3 seed Alejandro Landa or #6 Daniel De La Rosa. Landa beat Robert Collins, 15-3, 15-9, in the 16s, while De La Rosa needed a tie-breaker to get past Eduardo Portillo, 15-12, 13-15, 11-4.

On the top half of the draw, Andree Parrilla, the IRT’s #4 player, will face veteran Alvaro Beltran in the quarterfinals. Parrilla beat Carlos Keller, 15-8, 15-8, and Beltran got a win over Gerardo Franco, 15-5, 15-14.

Look for all the action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The quarterfinals start Friday at 4 PM. The singles semi-finals will be 3 and 4 PM Saturday with the final at noon Sunday. The doubles semi-finals will be Saturday night at 7 and 8 PM with the final Sunday at 1 PM. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Atlanta Open, September 5-8, 2019
Lilburn / Atlanta, Georgia


Round of 16 - Friday

Sebastian Fernandez d. 1) Kane Waselenchuk , forfeit
8) Sebastian Franco d. Rodrigo Montoya, 15-9, 9-15, 11-7

5) Alvaro Beltran d. Gerardo Franco, 15-5, 15-14
4) Andree Parrilla d. Carlos Keller, 15-8, 15-8

3) Alejandro Landa d. Robert Collins, 15-3, 15-9
6) Daniel De La Rosa d. Eduardo Portillo, 15-12, 13-15, 11-4

7) Samuel Murray d. Mario Mercado, 15-12, 15-11
2) Rocky Carson d. Eduardo Garay, 15-5, 15-9

Quarterfinals - Friday

8) Sebastian Franco v. Sebastian Fernandez - 6 PM
4) Andree Parrilla v. 5) Alvaro Beltran - 7 PM

3) Alejandro Landa v. 6) Daniel De La Rosa - 4 PM
2) Rocky Carson v. 7) Samuel Murray - 5 PM

IRT Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran - BYE
8) Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller d. 9) Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon, 5-15, 15-11, 11-8

5) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya - BYE
4) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk - BYE

3) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado - BYE
6) Andree Parrilla & Eduardo Portillo d. 11) Lee Meinerz & Darrin Prince, 15-3, 15-5

10) Sebastian Fernandez & Andres Acuña d. 7) Gerardo Franco & Nicholas Riffel, 15-11, 10-15, 11-4
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray - BYE

IRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran v. 8) Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller - 11 AM
5) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya d. 4) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk, forfeit

3) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado v. 6) Andree Parrilla & Eduardo Portillo - Noon
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 10) Sebastian Fernandez & Andres Acuña - Noon

Follow the bouncing ball….

Thursday resutls from 2019 IRT Atlanta Open

A couple surprises on Thursday at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2019 Atlanta Open. The off court surprise was bigger, as IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk announced he wouldn’t be in Georgia due to "personal reasons," but does intend to be in Maryland for the second event of the season. Without Waselenchuk, who won 6 of the 9 events last season, the Atlanta Open is now up for grabs.

There were surprises on court also. Yesterday, we wrote how Waselenchuk’s road to victory was getting tougher, and that he’d likely have to play Javier Mar in the Round of 16. That overlooked Sebastian Fernandez, who was a silver medalist in Boy’s U18 at last year’s World Junior Championships. We had a feeling that not mentioning Fernandez could be a mistake, and he reinforced that feeling by defeating Mar on Thursday, 15-10, 15-11.

Fernandez was to play Waselenchuk in the 16s, but will now get a pass into the quarterfinals for the first time. He’ll play the winner of Sebastian Franco and Rodrigo Montoya in the quarters. Although it’s Fernandez’s first quarterfinal appearance he was playing his 7th match in the Round of 16, and has wins over Jake Bredenbeck, Samuel Murray and Charlie Pratt on his record. Not a player to be overlooked.

Another surprise from Thursday was Eduardo Garay’s win over Andres Acuña, 7-15, 15-9, 11-8. Garay’s another of the young Mexicans who are making noise, but Acuña has several notable wins on his resume, especially when representing Costa Rica at international events. Garay will play IRT #2 Rocky Carson in the Round of 16.

Perhaps the saddest thing about Waselenchuk’s absence this weekend is that he was going to play doubles with Ben Croft, which is always fun to see. There are several good teams in Georgia that they could have played against, including Mar and Rodrigo Montoya, who they would have faced in their first match. Mar and Montoya won gold in Men’s Doubles at the Pan American Games last month, so that would have been a great match. The winner would have likely faced top seeds Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa, who have had a couple of amazing matches with Waselenchuk and Croft at the last two US Opens. Would have been great to see another one of those matches.

Look for all the action via the usual IRT media outlets: 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 4 PM. The singles semi-finals will be 3 and 4 PM Saturday with the final at noon Sunday. The doubles semi-finals will be Saturday night at 7 and 8 PM with the final Sunday at 1 PM. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Atlanta Open, September 5-8, 2019
Lilburn / Atlanta, Georgia


Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday

Sebastian Fernandez d. Lee Meinerz, 15-9, 15-10
Javier Mar d. Jimmy Lan, 15-3, 15-5

Rodrigo Montoya - BYE
Maurice Miller d. Troy Warigon, 15-1, 11-15, 11-8

Mauricio Zelada d. Kadim Carrasco, 15-5, 15-14
Gerardo Franco d. Anthony Martin, 15-10, 13-15, 11-7

Thomas Carter d. Darrin Prince, 15-2, 15-8
Carlos Keller d. Oscar Nieto, 15-7, 15-9

Justus Benson d. Austin Cunningham, 15-6, 15-6
Robert Collins d. Yacoube Keita, 15-5, 15-3

Eduardo Portillo d. Floyd McDonald, 15-6, 15-6
Set Cubillos d. Nicholas Riffel, 15-13, 15-8

Scott McClellan d. Michael Arterburn, 15-1, 15-0
Mario Mercado - BYE

Andres Acuña d. Destry Everhart, 15-6, 15-7
Eduardo Garay d. Dan Fowler, forfeit

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday

Q8 - Sebastian Fernandez d. Javier Mar, 15-10, 15-11
Q1 - Rodrigo Montoya d. Maurice Miller, 15-13, 15-5

Q4 - Gerardo Franco d. Mauricio Zelada, 10-15, 15-11, 11-2
Q5 - Carlos Keller d. Thomas Carter, 15-14, 13-15, 11-6

Q6 - Robert Collins d. Justus Benson, 15-11, 15-11
Q3 - Eduardo Portillo d. Set Cubillos, 15-5, 15-0

Q2 - Mario Mercado d. Scott McClellan, 15-4, 15-3
Q7 - Eduardo Garay d. Andres Acuña, 7-15, 15-9, 11-8

Round of 16 - Friday

Sebastian Fernandez d. Kane Waselenchuk, forfeit
Sebastian Franco v. Rodrigo Montoya - 11 AM

Alvaro Beltran v. Gerardo Franco - 11 AM
Andree Parrilla v. Carlos Keller - 11 AM

Alejandro Landa v. Robert Collins - 10 AM
Daniel De La Rosa v. Eduardo Portillo - 10 AM

Samuel Murray v. Mario Mercado - 10 AM
Rocky Carson v. Eduardo Garay - 10 AM

IRT Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran - BYE
8) Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller v. 9) Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon - 1 PM

5) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya - BYE
4) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk - BYE

3) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado - BYE
6) Andree Parrilla & Eduardo Portillo v. 11) Lee Meinerz & Darrin Prince - 1 PM

7) Gerardo Franco & Nicholas Riffel v. 10) Sebastian Fernandez & Andres Acuña - 1 PM
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

Thursday, September 5, 2019

The LPRT goes to the beach

The Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) is in Virginia Beach, Virginia this weekend for the 2nd event of its 2019-20 season. It’s a new event for the LPRT, but hosted by a well known name: Malia Bailey - a four time top 10 women’s pro player and three time International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Champion in Women’s Doubles. She was also inducted into the USA Racquetball (USAR) Hall of Fame earlier this year. But Bailey isn’t just hosting the event: she’s in the draw! Both singles and doubles. There are 19 players in total competing this weekend including 9 of the top 11 LPRT players.

Paola Longoria, the LPRT’s #1 player, got off to a good start this season by winning the first event in San Luis Potosi, Mexico last month. She’ll try to make it two in a row in Virginia Beach. Standing in her way will be Samantha Salas, the LPRT’s #2 player and Longoria’s doubles partner, LPRT #3 Maria Jose Vargas and LPRT #5 veteran Rhonda Rajsich.

Longoria and Salas didn’t win doubles in San Luis Potosi last month, but the team that beat them in the final - Alexandra Herrera and Montserrat Mejia - isn’t in Virginia. Their greatest battle may come from 2nd seeds Vargas and Natalia Mendez.

Play begins Friday afternoon and evening. The singles quarterfinals will be Saturday morning beginning at 11:45 AM and 12:30 PM with the semi-finals Saturday at 6:30 PM and 7:15 PM. The singles final will be Sunday at noon. The doubles semi-finals are Saturday night at 8 and 8:45 PM with the final Sunday at 1 PM. All times Eastern. You can watch the action live via the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel.

2019 LPRT by the Beach - Chesapeake
Virginia Beach, Virginia, September 6-8, 2019


LPRT Singles - Round of 32 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria - BYE
16 Erin Rivera v.17 Amie Brewer - 5:15 PM

9 Brenda Laime - BYE
8 Adriana Riveros - BYE

5 Natalia Mendez - BYE
12 Adrienne Haynes - BYE

13 Carla Muñoz - BYE
4 Rhonda Rajsich - BYE

3 Maria Jose Vargas - BYE
14 Kelani Lawrence v. 19 Megan Shelton - 5:15 PM

11 Sheryl Lotts - BYE
6 Nancy Enriquez - BYE

7 Masiel Rivera - BYE
10 Cassi Lee - BYE

15 Jessica Parrilla v. 18 Malia Bailey - 5:15 PM
2 Samantha Salas - BYE

LPRT Singles - Round of 16 - Friday

1 Paola Longoria v. 16 Erin Rivera or 17 Amie Brewer - 9 PM
8 Adriana Riveros v. 9 Brenda Laime - 7:30 PM

5 Natalia Mendez v. 12 Adrienne Haynes - 6 PM
4 Rhonda Rajsich v. 13 Carla Muñoz - 6 PM

3 Maria Jose Vargas v. 14 Kelani Lawrence or 19 Megan Shelton - 8:15 PM
6 Nancy Enriquez v. 11 Sheryl Lotts - 6:45 PM

7 Masiel Rivera v. 10 Cassi Lee - 6:45 PM
2 Samantha Salas v. 15 Jessica Parrilla or 18 Malia Bailey - 8:15 PM

LPRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Saturday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 8 T. J. Baubaugh & Cassi Lee - 2 PM
4 Nancy Enriquez & Jessica Parrilla v. 5 Kelani Lawrence & Sheryl Lotts - 2 PM

3 Brenda Laime & Masiel Rivera v. 6 Erin Rivera & Adriana Riveros - 1:15 PM
2 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas v. 7 Malia Bailey & Carla Muñoz - 1:15 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

2019-20 IRT season kicks off in Georgia

The 2019-20 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) season begins today in Georgia with the 2019 Atlanta Open. There are 38 players in the draw, including the top 10 IRT players, as well as several notable players outside the top 10. Kane Waselenchuk, the IRT’s #1 player, won six of the nine events last season with no one else winning more than once. But Waselenchuk was beaten by Alvaro Beltran in Florida, at the the second last event of the season, and was down a game to Andree Parrilla in the semi-finals of the Syosset Open - the last event of the season.

Although he came back to defeat Parrilla, and then comfortably defeated Rocky Carson in the final, it wasn’t a strong finish to the season for Waselenchuk, who is widely acknowledged as the best men’s player ever - with 12 IRT #1 titles and 14 US Open Championships to back up that claim. However, Waselenchuk will turn 38 in November, and there is a crop of strong, young players now in their early 20s. How long can Waselenchuk continue to be the dominant IRT player?

The answer is probably for awhile still, but the task isn’t getting any easier. Consider what he’ll face this weekend. Wasalenchuk will likely face Javier Mar in the Round of 16, and Mar - a gold medal winner in Mexico in Men’s Doubles at last month’s Pan American Games - played well against Waselenchuk at last year’s US Open. Sebastian Franco or Rodrigo Montoya will likely be Waselenchuk’s hurdle in the quarterfinals.

In the semi-finals, Beltran, Parrilla or perhaps current Pan American Champion Carlos Keller will be awaiting Waselenchuk. Then in the final, he’ll probably face Rocky Carson, Alejandro Landa or Daniel De La Rosa. That’s a lot of good players. Waselenchuk won’t have to beat all of them, but he will have to beat four of them to win this weekend.

And Waselenchuk’s also playing doubles in Georgia. He and Ben Croft are seeded 4th, which seems a little low, but Croft is an infrequent player these days, and Waselenchuk only plays with Croft, so their doubles ranking is only 13th, which probably doesn’t accurately reflect their ability. But in playing two events, Waselenchuk will be doubly taxed, although most of the players are doing the same. Carson is the exception, as he’s only playing singles.

The start of a new season is always exciting, and we’re interested to see how things shake out. The top players are getting on in years - Waselenchuk at 38, IRT #2 Carson at 40 and Beltran at 41 in October - and the young guys are ambitious. You know they want to knock off the top guys, but none of whom will go quietly.

Time to make some noise.

Look for all the action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. There will be two rounds of qualifying Thursday. The Round of 16 will be Friday morning at 10 and 11 AM with the quarterfinals Friday starting at 4 PM. The singles semi-finals will be 3 and 4 PM Saturday with the final at noon Sunday. The doubles semi-finals will be Saturday night at 7 and 8 PM with the final Sunday at 1 PM. All times Eastern.

2019 IRT Atlanta Open, September 5-8, 2019
Lilburn / Atlanta, Georgia


Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday

Sebastian Fernandez v. Lee Meinerz - 6 PM
Javier Mar v. Jimmy Lan - 6 PM

Rodrigo Montoya - BYE
Maurice Miller v. Troy Warigon - 6 PM

Kadim Carrasco v. Mauricio Zelada - 6 PM
Gerardo Franco v. Anthony Martin - 6 PM

Thomas Carter v. Darrin Prince - 5 PM
Carlos Keller v. Oscar Nieto - 5 PM

Justus Benson v. Austin Cunningham - 5 PM
Robert Collins v. Yacoube Keita - 5 PM

Eduardo Portillo v. Floyd McDonald - 5 PM
Nicholas Riffel v. Set Cubillos - 4 PM

Scott McClellan v. Michael Arterburn - 4 PM
Mario Mercado - BYE

Andres Acuña v. Destry Everhart - 4 PM
Eduardo Garay v. Dan Fowler - 4 PM

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday

Q8 - Sebastian Fernandez or Lee Meinerz v. Javier Mar or Jimmy Lan - 9 PM
Q1 - Rodrigo Montoya v. Maurice Miller or Troy Warigon - 9 PM

Q4 -Kadim Carrasco or Mauricio Zelada v. Gerardo Franco or Anthony Martin - 9 PM
Q5 -Thomas Carter or Darrin Prince v. Carlos Keller or Oscar Nieto - 9 PM

Q6 - Justus Benson or Austin Cunningham v. Robert Collins or Yacoube Keita - 8 PM
Q3 - Eduardo Portillo or Floyd McDonald v. Nicholas Riffel or Set Cubillos - 8 PM

Q2 - Mario Mercado v. Scott McClellan or Michael Arterburn - 8 PM
Q7 - Andres Acuña or Destry Everhart v. Eduardo Garay or Dan Fowler - 8 PM

Round of 16 - Friday

Kane Waselenchuk v. Q8 - 11 AM
Sebastian Franco v. Q1 - 11 AM

Alvaro Beltran v. Q4 - 11 AM
Andree Parrilla v. Q5 - 11 AM

Alejandro Landa v. Q6 - 10 AM
Daniel De La Rosa v.. Q3 - 10 AM

Samuel Murray v. Q2 - 10 AM
Rocky Carson v. Q7 - 10 AM

IRT Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran - BYE
8) Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller v. 9) Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon - 1 PM

5) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya - BYE
4) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk - BYE

3) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado - BYE
6) Andree Parrilla & Eduardo Portillo v. 11) Lee Meinerz & Darrin Prince - 1 PM

7) Gerardo Franco & Nicholas Riffel v. 10) Sebastian Fernandez & Andres Acuña - 1 PM
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….