Friday, December 13, 2019

Muñoz defeats Salas at 2019 LPRT Christmas Classic

Fourteenth seed Carla Muñoz knocked off 3rd seed Samantha Salas, 15-14, 9-15, 11-1, in the Round of 16 at the 2019 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Christmas Classic in Laurel, Maryland on Friday. The win was Muñoz’s first against Salas in their third meeting on the LPRT, and puts her into the quarterfinals for the first time this season. Muñoz will play 6th seed Natalia Mendez in the quarters Saturday in what will be their 3rd meeting with Mendez winning the first two. That’s exactly where Muñoz was heading into her match with Salas.

Mendez reached the quarters by defeating 11th seed Cassi Lee, 15-2, 15-5.

Paola Longoria, the LPRT’s #1 player, beat Gabriela Martinez by a surprisingly wide margin, 15-2, 15-5. It was a rematch of the 2018 International Racquetball Federation World Championships Women’s Singles final, which Martinez won, but she hasn’t beaten Longoria in an LPRT match. They were close early in game two, with Longoria only ahead by one at 5-4, but she got the serve back at the point and scored five points on as many rallies to go up 10-4, and effectively put the game - and so the match - out of touch.

Longoria will play 8th seed Cristina Amaya in the quarterfinals, as Amaya defeated 9th seed Masiel Rivera, 15-7, 15-9, on Friday.

In other matches, 2nd seed Maria Jose Vargas was a convincing winner over 18th seed Hollie Scott, 15-6, 15-1. Vargas was two points from giving Scott a donut in game two, as she led 13-0. But Scott got the serve back, and got a point when Vargas skipped a serve return as Scott drove a serve to the back left corner - Vargas’s backhand.

Vargas will play Nancy Enriquez in the quarters, as Enriquez squeaked out a tie-breaker win over Sheryl Lotts, 15-3, 13-15, 11-10.

There were three tie-breakers in doubles, but the higher seeds came through in the end. The 2nd seeds Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas dropped the first game against 7th seeds Abril Prado and Masiel Rivera, as Rivera shot the ball very well, but came back to win, 8-15, 15-9, 11-2. Vargas’s lob Z serve to Prado on the right side was their way back into the match and helped pave the way to the win, as Prado had trouble making effective returns.

Also, 3rd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Carla Muñoz were pushed to a breaker by the new team of veterans Cristina Amaya and Rhonda Rajsich, who were the sixth seeds, as Herrera and Muñoz won, 15-10, 13-15, 11-1. Finally, 4th seeds Nancy Enriquez and Jessica Parrilla defeated 5th seeds Kelani Bailey Lawrence and Sheryl Lotts, 15-14, 13-15, 11-4.

Top seeds Longoria and Samantha Salas defeated Hollie Scott and Lexi York, 15-6, 15-5, and they’ll play Enriquez and Parrilla in one semi-final with Mendez and Vargas taking on Herrera and Muñoz in the other semi.

Check out Saturday’s matches live via the LPRT YouTube channel or the LPRT website (click “LPRT Live” at the top of the page). The singles quarterfinals on Saturday at 11 AM and noon, and the semi-finals at 5 and 6 PM. The doubles semi-finals will be Saturday night at 7 and 8 PM. The singles final will be noon Sunday with the doubles final to follow at 1 PM. All times eastern.

2019 LPRT Christmas Classic, December 13-15, 2019
Laurel, Maryland


Round of 16 - Friday

1) Paola Longoria d. 16) Gabriela Martinez, 15-2, 15-5
8) Cristina Amaya d. 9) Masiel Rivera, 15-7, 15-9

5) Rhonda Rajsich d. 12) Adrienne Haynes, 15-6, 15-6
4) Alexandra Herrera d. 13) Jessica Parrilla, 14-15, 15-10, 11-5

14) Carla Muñoz d. 3) Samantha Salas, 15-14, 9-15, 11-1
6) Natalia Mendez d. 11) Cassi Lee, 15-2, 15-5

7) Nancy Enriquez d. 10) Sheryl Lotts, 15-3, 13-15, 11-10
2) Maria Jose Vargas d. 18) Hollie Scott, 15-6, 15-1

Quarterfinals - Saturday

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

6) Natalia Mendez v. 14) Carla Muñoz - 11 AM
2) Maria Jose Vargas v. 7) Nancy Enriquez - 11 AM

Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 9) Hollie Scott & Lexi York, 15-6, 15-5
4) Nancy Enriquez & Jessica Parrilla d. 5) Kelani Bailey Lawrence & Sheryl Lotts, 15-14, 13-15, 11-4

3) Alexandra Herrera & Carla Muñoz d. 6) Cristina Amaya & Rhonda Rajsich, 15-10, 13-15, 11-1
2) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas d. 7) Abril Prado & Masiel Rivera, 8-15, 15-9, 11-2

Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 4) Nancy Enriquez & Jessica Parrilla - 8 PM
2) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas v. 3) Alexandra Herrera & Carla Muñoz - 7 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Round of 32 at 2019 LPRT Christmas Classic

Early results from the 2019 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Christmas Classic in Laurel, Maryland have 18th seed Hollie Scott upsetting 15th seed Maria Renee Rodriguez, 6-15, 15-12, 11-5. She’ll play 2nd seed Maria Jose Vargas in the Round of 16 at 5 PM today.

Also, 17th seed Gabriela Martinez defeated 16th seed Kelani Bailey Lawrence, 15-4, 13-15, 11-2, and will play LPRT #1 Paola Longoria in the Round of 16 in what will be a rematch of the 2018 International Racquetball Federation World Championships Women’s Singles final, which Martinez won. But Longoria has not lost to Martinez on the LPRT. Match time is 6 PM Eastern tonight.

In the 1st round of doubles, the young American team of Scott and Lexi York defeated the young Guatemala team of Martinez and Rodriguez, 15-13, 15-13. Scott and York will next play top seeds Longoria and Samantha Salas in the quarterfinals tonight at 8 PM.

Look for this weekend’s action live via the LPRT YouTube channel or the LPRT website (click “LPRT Live” at the top of the page). The Round of 16 begins at 3 PM on Friday, with the quarterfinals on Saturday at 11 AM and noon, and the semi-finals at 5 and 6 PM. The doubles quarterfinals are Friday night at 7 and 8 PM with the semi-finals Saturday night at 7 and 8 PM. The singles final will be noon Sunday with the doubles final to follow at 1 PM. All times eastern.

2019 LPRT Christmas Classic, December 13-15, 2019
Laurel, Maryland


Round of 32 - Friday

1) Paola Longoria - BYE
17) Gabriela Martinez d. 16) Kelani Bailey Lawrence, 15-4, 13-15, 11-2

9) Masiel Rivera - BYE
8) Cristina Amaya - BYE

5) Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
12) Adrienne Haynes - BYE

13) Jessica Parrilla d. 20) Gracie Wargo, 15-1, 15-0
4) Alexandra Herrera - BYE

3) Samantha Salas - BYE
14) Carla Muñoz d. 19) Lexi York, 15-4, 15-9

11) Cassi Lee - BYE
6) Natalia Mendez - BYE

7) Nancy Enriquez - BYE
10) Sheryl Lotts - BYE

18) Hollie Scott d. 15) Maria Renee Rodriguez, 6-15, 15-12, 11-5
2) Maria Jose Vargas - BYE

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Paola Longoria v. 16) Gabriela Martinez - 6 PM
8) Cristina Amaya v. 9) Masiel Rivera - 6 PM

5) Rhonda Rajsich v. 12) Adrienne Haynes - 3 PM
4) Alexandra Herrera v. 13) Jessica Parrilla - 3 PM

3) Samantha Salas v. 14) Carla Muñoz - 4 PM
6) Natalia Mendez v. 11) Cassi Lee - 4 PM

7) Nancy Enriquez v. 10) Sheryl Lotts - 5 PM
2) Maria Jose Vargas v. 18) Hollie Scott - 5 PM

Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas - BYE
9) Hollie Scott & Lexi York d. 8) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-13, 15-13

5) Kelani Bailey Lawrence & Sheryl Lotts d. 12) Jessica Chen & Megan Shelton, 15-0, 15-3
4) Nancy Enriquez & Jessica Parrilla - BYE

3) Alexandra Herrera & Carla Muñoz - BYE
6) Cristina Amaya & Rhonda Rajsich v. 11) T. J. Baumbaugh & Kelly Gremley, 15-9, 15-1

7) Abril Prado & Masiel Rivera d. 10) Malia Bailey & Cassi Lee, 8-15, 15-9, 11-7
2) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas - BYE

Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 9) Hollie Scott & Lexi York - 8 PM
4) Nancy Enriquez & Jessica Parrilla v. 5) Kelani Bailey Lawrence & Sheryl Lotts - 8 PM

3) Alexandra Herrera & Carla Muñoz v. 6) Cristina Amaya & Rhonda Rajsich - 7 PM
2) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas v. 7) Abril Prado & Masiel Rivera - 7 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

2019 LPRT Christmas Classic - Preview

The 2019 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Christmas Classic - the 28th Annual - goes this weekend in Laurel, Maryland with a field of 20 players in singles and 12 teams in doubles. The top 7 LPRT players are in the field led by LPRT #1 Paola Longoria. She’s the top seed in both singles and doubles with partner Samantha Salas, who is the 3rd seed in singles behind 2nd seed Maria Jose Vargas.

But also in the draw is Gabriela Martinez, the young Guatemalan who is the current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Women’s Singles World Champion, having beaten Longoria in the final last year. She’ll also be in doubles with fellow Guatemalan Maria Renee Rodriguez, and that could make doubles especially interesting, especially as Alexandra Herrera will be without her usual doubles partner - Montserrat Mejia, with whom she won the US Open this year. However, Herrera is playing doubles, but with Carla Muñoz rather than Mejia.

Martinez and Rodriguez will play the young American team of Holly Scott and Lexi York first with the winner to face Longoria and Salas in the quarterfinals. That will be 8 PM Friday night, so you know what your Friday night plans should be.

Of course, you shouldn’t overlook 2nd seeds Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas, as well as the All-American team of Kelani Bailey Lawrence and Sheryl Lotts (the Double L team?) and a new team of two veterans in Cristina Amaya and Rhonda Rajsich. Rajsich hasn’t played much doubles recently, and Amaya usually plays with Adriana Riveros, who isn’t playing this weekend. It will be interesting to see how they do.

Look for this weekend’s action live via the LPRT YouTube channel or the LPRT website (click “LPRT Live” at the top of the page). The Round of 16 begins at 3 PM on Friday, with the quarterfinals on Saturday at 11 AM and noon, and the semi-finals at 5 and 6 PM. The doubles quarterfinals are Friday night at 7 and 8 PM with the semi-finals Saturday night at 7 and 8 PM. The singles final will be noon Sunday with the doubles final to follow at 1 PM. All times eastern.

2019 LPRT Christmas Classic, December 13-15, 2019
Laurel, Maryland


Round of 32 - Friday

1) Paola Longoria - BYE
16) Gabriela Martinez v. 17) Kelani Bailey Lawrence - 11 AM

9) Masiel Rivera - BYE
8) Cristina Amaya - BYE

5) Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
12) Adrienne Haynes - BYE

13) Jessica Parrilla v. 20) Gracie Wargo - 11 AM
4) Alexandra Herrera - BYE

3) Samantha Salas - BYE
14) Carla Muñoz v. 19) Lexi York - 10 AM

11) Cassi Lee - BYE
6) Natalia Mendez - BYE

7) Nancy Enriquez - BYE
10) Sheryl Lotts - BYE

15) Maria Renee Rodriguez v. 18) Hollie Scott - 10 AM
2) Maria Jose Vargas - BYE

Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas - BYE
8) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez v. 9) Hollie Scott & Lexi York - Noon

5) Kelani Bailey Lawrence & Sheryl Lotts v. 12) Jessica Chen & Megan Shelton - Noon
4) Nancy Enriquez & Jessica Parrilla - BYE

3) Alexandra Herrera & Carla Muñoz - BYE
6) Cristina Amaya & Rhonda Rajsich v. 11) T. J. Baumbaugh & Kelly Gremley - Noon

7) Abril Prado & Masiel Rivera v. 10) Malia Bailey & Cassi Lee - Noon
2) Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

Monday, December 9, 2019

Weekend Round Up - Wins by Scott and Acuña & Camacho

Hollie Scott defeated Rhonda Rajsich, 14-15, 15-9, 11-7, to win a Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) exhibition event at the 2019 John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions in Portland, Oregon on the weekend. In the semi-finals, Scott beat Lexi York, 15-4, 15-11, while Rajsich was a winner over Annie Roberts, 15-10, 15-8.

Also in Portland, Costa Ricans Andres Acuña and Felipe Camacho won Men’s Open Doubles by defeating Tim Prigo and Dylan Reid, 15-6, 15-6, in the final. In the semi-finals, Acuña and Camacho beat Wayne Antone IV and Tony Carson, 15-3, 15-12, while Prigo and Reid went to a tie-breaker before getting past Ryan Charbonneau and Joshua Hungerfood, 12-15, 15-3, 11-5.

The LPRT Christimas Classic wraps up the 2019 pro racquetball calendar this weekend in Laurel, Maryland. There are 25 players entered into the draw, so it should be another great event. We’ll have preview for you later this week. If you can’t wait to see some LPRT action until Friday, you can check out the Scott v Rajsich final from Portland on YouTube.

2019 John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions, December 5-8, 2019
Portland, Oregon


LPRT Exhibition Final

2) Hollie Scott d. 1) Rhonda Rajsich, 14-15, 15-9, 11-7

Semi-Finals

1) Rhonda Rajsich d. 4) Annie Roberts, 15-10, 15-8
2) Hollie Scott d. 3) Lexi York, 15-4, 15-11

Quarterfinals

1) Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
4) Annie Roberts d. 5) Jessica Chen, 15-6, 15-12

3) Lexi York d. 6) Hannah Carver, 15-5, 15-2
2) Hollie Scott d. 7) Megan Carver, 15-8, 15-5

Men’s Open - Final

5) Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho d. 2) Tim Prigo & Dylan Reid, 15-6, 15-6

Semi-Finals

5) Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho d. 1) Wayne Antone IV & Tony Carson, 15-3, 15-12
2) Tim Prigo & Dylan Reid d. 3) Ryan Charbonneau & Joshua Hungerfood, 12-15, 15-3, 11-5

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Waselenchuk wins 2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions

Kane Waselenchuk won the 2019 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions in Portland, Oregon Saturday by defeating Alejandro Landa in the final, 15-7, 15-8. The win maintains Waselenchuk’s undefeated season, and he’ll continue to be the #1 player on the IRT. Despite the loss, Landa may move up from #3 to #2 ahead of Rocky Carson, who lost in the quarterfinals in Portland.

Although Waselenchuk took the early lead in game one at 3-1, Landa caught him and then went in the lead himself at 5-3. He got the 5th point with a forehand splat shot, which was perhaps his most consistent shot of the match.

But Waselenchuk took the serve right back by hitting a forehand pinch winner off a lob serve to the left side; Waselenchuk’s lefthanded. He leveled the game at 5-5 with two winning drive serves to the left - Landa’s backhand. That started a run of ten unanswered points putting Waselenchuk up 13-5.

Landa got a couple of points back, including a drive serve ace to the right side that made it 13-7. But this just delayed the end, which came when Waselenchuk hit a drive serve to the left side that Landa returned with a backhand shot, and then Waselenchuk hit a forehand pinch winner. Classic three shot rally.

In game two, they were again close early with ties at 2-2 and 5-5. Landa was still within one at 8-7, when Waselenchuk called a timeout as he was coming up to serve. He got three points on consecutive rallies, when play resumed, which resulted in Landa calling a timeout.

The game did stall a bit at that point, as six rallies when by with only two points being scored - one by each player making the score 12-8. Waselenchuk ended it with three straight points on as many rallies: two forehand winners and then on match point a skip by Landa who was rushing up to the front of the court to get to the ball, which resulted in a skipped shot.

Waselenchuk won for the 4th time this season, and for the 2nd time beat Landa in the final. Waselenchuk is undefeated this season. Over the six events so far this IRT season, Waselenchuk has been a finalist four times with a 4-0 record, Landa has a 1-2 record in finals, as does Rocky Carson. Conrrado Moscoso and Andree Parrilla have also been in a final this season, but neither won.

The IRT will be on break now until after the new year. The next Tier 1 event will be the Longhorn Open in Austin, Texas, January 17-19, which will be the first of three events on back to back to back weekends. The 42nd Lewis Drug Pro/Am will be January 23-26 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the long standing Lou Bradley Memorial will be a Tier 1 event for the first time this season taking place January 30 to February 2 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. If you missed any of the action from Portland, you can watch it at your leisure via the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page.

2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions, December 5-8, 2019
Portland, Oregon


Final - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 3) Alejandro Landa, 15-7, 15-8

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Waselenchuk & Landa into final of 2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial

Kane Waselenchuk, the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), defeated IRT #4 Andree Parrilla, 15-9, 15-4, in the semi-finals of the 2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions in Portland, Oregon Saturday. He’ll play IRT #3 Alejandro Landa in the final Saturday night, as Landa beat Jake Bredenbeck, 15-5, 15-7, in the other semi-final.

After jumping out to a 5-0 lead in game one against Parrilla, Waselenchuk then saw his opponent score seven points on consecutive rallies and then add another to lead 8-5. Have there been any times that Waselenchuk has surrendered 8 points unanswered? He rarely surrenders 8 points in a game, sometimes not even in a match.

Waselenchuk did pull even at 8-8, but Parrilla got to 9 first with a drive serve ace to the right side - Waselenchuk’s backhand. However, that was Parrilla’s last point of the game, as Waselenchuk put up 7 unanswered points to win it, 15-9. The winner coming off a drive serve to the left that stuck in the back corner, so Parrilla could only get his racquet on it, but not return it successfully.

Game two had a similar pattern, as Waselenchuk went up 5-0, but Parrilla only got within three at 6-3 and 7-4, rather than taking a lead. He got the last five points on consecutive rallies with the match winner coming off a great backhand splat shot that Parrilla couldn’t reach.

Waselenchuk was complimentary of how Parrilla’s game has developed, and said “I like a battle,” which is what he had today. Asked about playing Landa in the final, Waselenchuk said Landa “was solid” against Bredenbeck, and has “been on a nice run” both in the tournament and the season.

The other semi-final was a high tempo match with little time taken between points by either Landa or Bredenbeck. After the match, Landa said “I know Jake hits the ball hard, so I sometimes play with the speed, the shots and when I have to do my thing I just do it.” Varying that pace of play during the rallies kept Bredenbeck off balance, and when Landa needed to put a ball away, he did so.

Landa had big leads early in both games. He was up 8-1 in game one, and Bredenbeck never got closer than five points, as Landa went on to win 15-5. In game two, Landa led 5-0 and 10-4. He reached match point with a drive serve that stuck in the back left corner for an ace. Landa won it on his first match point when Bredenbeck skipped a desperation backwards shot, as a Landa cross court ball jumped out of the back right corner.

Afterwards Landa was told he might move up to #2 in the IRT rankings, which he’d be “happy with.” He’s now #3 behind #2 Rocky Carson, but Carson lost in the quarterfinals, so with a final appearance - and possibly a win - Landa will get substantially more points than Carson from this event. Carson is only 117.48 points ahead of Landa currently.

The final will be at 7 PM Pacific time Saturday night, and you can watch it live - or at your leisure - via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page.

2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions, December 5-8, 2019
Portland, Oregon


Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 4) Andree Parrilla, 15-9, 15-4
3) Alejandro Landa d. 10) Jake Bredenbeck, 15-5, 15-7

Final - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 3) Alejandro Landa - 7 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, December 6, 2019

Bredenbeck into semi-finals for only 2nd time at 2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial event

Jake Bredenbeck's good run of play at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2019 John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions in Portland, Oregon continued Friday night, as he defeated IRT #2 Rocky Carson in the quarterfinals. Bredenbeck dominated the first game, winning 15-6, helped by 6 ace drive serves. Then Carson retired before game two began.

Carson’s retirement was shocking, as it’s only the 2nd time he’s forfeited a match on tour. The last one was in 1998! Bredenbeck was 7 when that happened.

Bredenbeck’s win puts him into the semi-finals for just the 2nd time of his career, and it’s been awhile since his last semi. In March 2016, he defeated Jansen Allen in the quarterfinals of the Shamrock Shootout in Lombard, Illinois, where he then lost to Daniel De La Rosa in the semis. Three and a half years later and he's in the semis again.

Alejandro Landa will play Bredenbeck in the semi-finals on Saturday, as Landa defeated De La Rosa in the quarterfinals Friday, 15-10, 15-12. De La Rosa started the match well, and was up 6-2 in game one, when he took a timeout, and seemed to be favouring his right knee.

When play resumed, De La Rosa skipped a backhand shot - an unforced error that gave the serve back to Landa, who proceeded to go on a run of 10 unanswered points to lead 12-6. De La Rosa managed to get a few points back to make it 12-10. He did so by hitting some nice soft shots, including a forehand serve return of a drive Z serve that he just managed to lift away from the back wall and get to the front wall.

But Landa called a timeout at that point, and got a sideout on the ensuing rally with a forehand cross court shot. He closed out game one by winning the next three rallies. Landa got his 13th point with a drive serve ace to the right side that cracked off the side wall. Point 14 resulted from De La Rosa skipping a forehand return of a lob to the right side. Landa won the game with a forehand shot over to the right side.

Landa led all the way in game two, leading 3-0 and 11-4. But De La Rosa came back to get within one point at 11-10. Progress was slow from there, as 17 rallies were needed to get the last 5 points. De La Rosa fought off three match points before Landa was able to end it with a forehand wide angle pass.

Landa said he “felt good serving,” and he did it well, hitting six aces in the match. He drove serve, because “I don’t want to get into his game.”

Asked about playing Bredenbeck, Landa is “expecting a tough one.”

IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk had a tough one with 9th seed Rodrigo Montoya, but won in two games, 15-9, 15-11. It looked like Waselenchuk would run away with the match - as he often does - when he led 7-2 in game one. But Montoya dug in, and got within one at 7-6 and then again at 10-9.

Waselenchuk got a sideout at 10-9, and scored four points on as many rallies to reach game point at 14-9. A great forehand pinch shot by Montoya denied Waselenchuk the game, but an equally great backhand pinch shot return from Waselenchuk off a lob Z serve to the right side prevented Montoya from scoring.

Waselenchuk ended game one on his second game point with a forehand winner from right to left.

They were close early in game two with the score tied at 3-3. But Waselenchuk then ran four points to make it 7-3, and he would never trail again. Montoya did make it close at 7-5 and 9-6. But Waselenchuk got to match point at 14-7.

However, Montoya denied Waselenchuk on his first two match points, and went from 14-7 down to 14-11, again making the game close. But the left-handed Waselenchuk got the serve back then with a forehand splat return of a Z serve to the left side.

Waselenchuk won the match on a classic three shot rally: a strong drive serve to the right side that forced Montoya to hit a ceiling ball, and then Waselenchuk killed it down the left side.

If people didn’t know how strong a player Montoya is, they should now. Also, if Waselenchuk had to play four opponents this strong in every tournament, then he might not have won as many titles has he has. Maybe a couple fewer.

Waselenchuk will play IRT #4 Andree Parrilla in the semi-finals, as Parrilla defeated Thomas Carter in two straight games, 15-4, 15-11. But he had to come back from a 8-2 deficit in game two to win.

The semi-finals will be at 11 AM and noon Saturday, and you can watch them live - or at your leisure - via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The final will be 7 PM Saturday. All times Pacific.

2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions, December 5-8, 2019
Portland, Oregon


Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 9) Rodrigo Montoya, 15-9, 15-11
4) Andree Parrilla d. 12) Thomas Carter, 15-4, 15-11

3) Alejandro Landa d. 6) Daniel De La Rosa, 15-10, 15-12
10) Jake Bredenbeck d. 2) Rocky Carson, 15-6, forfeit

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 4) Andree Parrilla - Noon
3) Alejandro Landa v. 10) Jake Bredenbeck - 11 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Carter into quarters at 2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions

Thomas Carter is into the quarterfinals at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2019 John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions in Portland, Oregon, which is just his 2nd quarterfinal appearance on the IRT. His first was a walkover win against Kane Waselenchuk back in September 2018 at the Laurel, Maryland event. But Friday, Carter, the 12th seed, fully earned a spot in the quarters with a comeback tie-breaker win over Mexican veteran Alvaro Beltran, 2-15, 15-7, 11-6.

In the quarters, Carter will play IRT #4 Andree Parrilla, who ended Sam Bredenbeck's good run in Portland in two straight games, 15-2, 15-13. But Bredenbeck's older brother Jake was an upset winner in the Round of 16, as he beat the 7th seed, Canadian Samuel Murray, 15-10, 15-10. Jake Bredenbeck will play IRT #2 Rocky Carson in the quarters, as Carson defeated Adam Manilla, 15-14, 15-5, in the 16s.

In the 8/9 match, 9th seed Rodrigo Montoya upset 8th seed Eduardo Portillo, 15-9, 15-2, to set up a quarterfinal match with IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk, who comfortably defeated 16th seed Felipe Camacho, 15-2, 15-4.

The other quarterfinal will be between IRT #3 Alejandro Landa and IRT #6 Daniel De La Rosa. In the 16s, Landa defeated 14th seed Andres Acuña, 15-12, 15-8, and De La Rosa beat 11th seed Carlos Keller, 15-6, 15-5.

The quarterfinals begin at 5 PM Friday, and you can watch them live - or at your leisure - via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The semi-finals will be at 11 AM and noon Saturday, and the final at 7 PM Saturday. All times Pacific.

2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions, December 5-8, 2019
Portland, Oregon


Round of 16 - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 16) Felipe Camacho, 15-2, 15-4
9) Rodrigo Montoya d. 8) Eduardo Portillo, 15-9, 15-2

12) Thomas Carter d. 5) Alvaro Beltran, 2-15, 15-7, 11-6
4) Andree Parrilla d. Sam Bredenbeck, 15-2, 15-13

3) Alejandro Landa d. 14) Andres Acuña, 15-12, 15-8
6) Daniel De La Rosa d. 11) Carlos Keller, 15-6, 15-5

10) Jake Bredenbeck d. 7) Samuel Murray, 15-10, 15-10
2) Rocky Carson d. 15) Adam Manilla, 15-14, 15-5

Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 9) Rodrigo Montoya - 7 PM
4) Andree Parrilla v. 12) Thomas Carter - 8 PM

3) Alejandro Landa v. 6) Daniel De La Rosa - 6 PM
2) Rocky Carson v. 10) Jake Bredenbeck - 5 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Bredenbecks win on Thursday at 2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions

Sam Bredenbeck was the big winner Thursday at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2019 John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions in Portland, Oregon, as he reached the Round of 16 with wins over Matthew Majxner, 15-10, 14-15, 11-2, and 13th seed Robert Collins, 15-12, 15-10. Bredenbeck will play Andree Parrilla in the 16s on Friday.

Sam’s older brother Jake Bredenbeck also advanced to the Round of 16, but he did so by the narrowest of margins pulling out a 11-10 tie-breaker against Dylan Reid, and came back from a game down to do it, winning 9-15, 15-8, 11-10. Jake will play Samuel Murray in the 16s.

But perhaps the saddest result from Thursday is Charlie Pratt’s loss to Andre Acuña, 15-7, injury forfeit. Pratt won this event two years ago, so it’s a special event for him, especially so as he’s also a Portland native. Hopefully, whatever injury he picked up isn’t serious, as it’s not too long until the USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships (61 days according to a counter on the USAR website). 2020 is a International Racquetball Federation World Championships year, and Pratt will want to be part of Team USA.

Look for Friday’s action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The Round of 16 Friday is at 11 AM and noon. The quarterfinals begin at 5 PM Friday with the semi-finals at 11 AM and noon Saturday, and the final at 7 PM Saturday. All times Pacific.

2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions, December 5-8, 2019
Portland, Oregon


Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday

Kadim Carrasco - BYE
Sunji Spencer d. Nicolai Miramontes, 15-14, 15-11

Joel Adler - BYE
Tim Landeryou - BYE

Hiroshi Shimizu - BYE
Preston Tribble - BYE

Matthew Majxner d. Jordan Wright, 15-3, 15-2
Sam Bredenbeck - BYE

Charlie Pratt - BYE
Wayne Antone IV d. Ian Frattinger, 15-8, 15-12

Jim Douglas - BYE
Anthony Martin - BYE

Dylan Reid - BYE
Lee Connell - BYE

Tim Prigo d. Tony Jammal, 15-6, 15-8
Scott McClellan - BYE

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday

Q1 - Kadim Carrasco d. Sunji Spencer, 6-15, 15-13, 11-6
Q8 - Tim Landeryou d. Joel Adler, 15-8, 15-11

Q5 - Hiroshi Shimizu d. Preston Tribble, 15-7, 15-1
Q4 - Sam Bredenbeck d. Matthew Majxner, 15-10, 14-15, 11-2

Q3 - Charlie Pratt d. Wayne Antone IV, 15-7, 15-6
Q6 - Anthony Martin d. Jim Douglas, 15-4, 15-4

Q7 - Dylan Reid d. Lee Connell, 15-3, 15-1
Q2 - Scott McClellan d. Tim Prigo, 15-14, 15-10

Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Kane Waselenchuk - BYE
16) Felipe Camacho d. Kadim Carrasco, 15-11, 11-15, 11-7

9) Rodrigo Montoya d. Tim Landeryou, 15-8, 15-6
8) Eduardo Portillo - BYE

5) Alvaro Beltran - BYE
12) Thomas Carter d. Hiroshi Shimizu, 15-7, 15-9

Sam Bredenbeck d. 13) Robert Collins, 15-12, 15-10
4) Andree Parrilla - BYE

3) Alejandro Landa - BYE
14) Andres Acuña d. Charlie Pratt, 15-7, injury forfeit

11) Carlos Keller d. Anthony Martin, 15-10, 15-5
6) Daniel De La Rosa - BYE

7) Samuel Murray - BYE
10) Jake Bredenbeck d. Dylan Reid, 9-15, 15-8, 11-10

15) Adam Manilla d. Scott McClellan, 15-4, 15-7
2) Rocky Carson - BYE

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 16) Felipe Camacho - Noon
8) Eduardo Portillo v. 9) Rodrigo Montoya - Noon

5) Alvaro Beltran v. 12) Thomas Carter - Noon
4) Andree Parrilla v. Sam Bredenbeck - Noon

3) Alejandro Landa v. 14) Andres Acuña - 11 AM
6) Daniel De La Rosa v. 11) Carlos Keller - 11 AM

7) Samuel Murray v. 10) Jake Bredenbeck - 11 AM
2) Rocky Carson v. 15) Adam Manilla - 11 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions - Preview

The International Racquetball Tour (IRT) returns to action Thursday in Portland, Oregon for the 2019 John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions. Thirty six players will be in action, headlined by IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk, who has won all three of the IRT events he’s played this season, including the 2019 UnitedHealthcare US Open. Overall, 10 of the top 12 ranked IRT players will be in Portland.

Joining Waselenchuk in Portland will be IRT #2 Rocky Carson, #3 Alejandro Landa, and #4 Andree Parrilla. Waselenchuk won this event last year, but two years ago Portland native Charlie Pratt took the crown. He’s in the draw this year, but he hasn’t played many IRT events recently, so Pratt’s not highly seeded (currently, he’s #32 in the IRT rankings). He’ll need to play two matches before the Round of 16, and waiting there will be Landa. Pratt won’t have an easy route to a second IRT title.

The most notable match in the early rounds is Dylan Reid versus Lee Connell for the Q7 spot, which means a match against Jake Bredenbeck, the IRT’s #12 player, in the Round of 32. The winner will play IRT #8 Samuel Murray in the Round of 16.

The three (likely) Round of 16 matches to look for will be (i) the 8/9 match with 8th seed Eduardo Portillo versus 9th seed Rodrigo Montoya, (ii) IRT #6 Daniel De La Rosa versus 11th seed Carlos Keller, and (iii) IRT #8 Samuel Murray against 10th seed Jake Bredenbeck.

Look for all the action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. There will be three rounds of matches Thursday starting at 1 PM. The Round of 32 begins Thursday night at 6 PM with the Round of 16 Friday at 11 AM and noon. The quarterfinals begin at 5 PM Friday with the semi-finals at 11 AM and noon Saturday, and the final at 7 PM Saturday. All times Pacific.

2019 IRT John Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions, December 5-December 8, 2019
Portland, Oregon


Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday

Kadim Carrasco - BYE
Nicolai Miramontes v. Sunji Spencer - 1 PM

Joel Adler - BYE
Tim Landeryou - BYE

Hiroshi Shimizu - BYE
Preston Tribble - BYE

Matthew Majxner v. Jordan Wright - 1 PM
Sam Bredenbeck - BYE

Charlie Pratt - BYE
Wayne Antone IV v. Ian Frattinger - 2 PM

Jim Douglas - BYE
Anthony Martin - BYE

Dylan Reid - BYE
Lee Connell - BYE

Tim Prigo v. Tony Jammal - 1 PM
Scott McClellan - BYE

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday

Q1 - Kadim Carrasco v. Nicolai Miramontes or Sunji Spencer - 4 PM
Q8 - Tim Landeryou v. Joel Adler - 3 PM

Q5 - Hiroshi Shimizu v. Preston Tribble - 4 PM
Q4 - Sam Bredenbeck v. Matthew Majxner or Jordan Wright - 4 PM

Q3 - Charlie Pratt v. Wayne Antone IV or Ian Frattinger - 4 PM
Q6 - Anthony Martin v. Jim Douglas - 3 PM

Q7 - Dylan Reid v. Lee Connell - 3 PM
Q2 - Scott McClellan v. Tim Prigo or Tony Jammal - 4 PM

Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Kane Waselenchuk - BYE
16) Felipe Camacho v. Q1 - 7 PM

9) Rodrigo Montoya v. Q8 - 6 PM
8) Eduardo Portillo - BYE

5) Alvaro Beltran - BYE
12) Thomas Carter v. Q5 - 6 PM

13) Robert Collins v. Q4 - 7 PM
4) Andree Parrilla - BYE

3) Alejandro Landa - BYE
14) Andres Acuña v. Q3 - 7 PM

11) Carlos Keller v. Q6 - 6 PM
6) Daniel De La Rosa - BYE

7) Samuel Murray - BYE
10) Jake Bredenbeck v. Q7 - 6 PM

15) Adam Manilla v. Q2 - 7 PM
2) Rocky Carson - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

Monday, December 2, 2019

Canadian National Team Selection Event

Samuel Murray and Frédérique Lambert won the Men's and Women's divisions, respectively, at the first Racquetball Canada National Team Selection Event of the season on the weekend in Edmonton, Alberta. In their respective finals, Murray beat Coby Iwaasa, 15-5, 15-8, and Lambert went to a tie-breaker to defeat Christine Richardson, 14-16, 15-12, 11-2. Their victories will help Murray and Lambert qualify for the 2020 World Championships to be held next year in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Murray, the #1 ranked men’s player in Canada and currently 8th on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), dominated the final with 2nd seed Iwaasa.

But Lambert’s route to victory was more difficult, as Richardson came back from 14-10 down in game one to win 16-14. Then in game two they were tied at 12-12, so Richardson was three points away from pulling off the upset.

However, Lambert was able to get the final three points to win game two, 15-12, and force a tie-breaker. In the breaker - as often happens after two close games - one player ran away with it, and in this case, that was Lambert, who won it going away at 11-2.

This is the first event in the qualification process for the 2020 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships to be held next summer in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The next National Team Selection Event will be February 7-9, 2020 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Saunders retires

Jennifer Saunders announced her retirement from competitive racquetball, and the Canadian National Team, on Monday. She retires as the winningest Canadian at the National Championships with 24 combined Canadian National titles: 11 in Women’s Singles and 13 in Women’s Doubles.

It’s a record unlikely to be surpassed, although Lambert at 27 actually has one more Canadian Championship than Saunders did at 27. Lambert has two singles titles and two doubles titles, while Saunders had two in singles and one in doubles at the same age. However, to match Saunders’s 24, Lambert would have to win both singles and doubles each year for the next decade. As good as Lambert is, that still seems unlikely.

Saunders also represented Canada on many occasions, winning numerous medals, highlighted by silver in Women’s Singles at the IRF World Championships in 2002 and 2012. No other woman has been a finalist in Women’s Singles at Worlds ten years apart. Most recently, Saunders was a bronze medalist at the 2019 Pan American Championships with Danielle Drury.

Although Saunders is retiring from playing competitive racquetball, she will remain involved in competitive racquetball, as Racquetball Canada has hired Saunders to be its new Administrator of High Performance and Sport Development. So, Saunders will continue to be involved in Canadian racquetball, only not on court.

2019 Racquetball Canada Selection Event
November 29–December 1, Edmonton, Alberta

Men's Open

Final


1) Samuel Murray d. 2) Coby Iwaasa, 15-5, 15-8

3rd Place

3) Tim Landeryou d. 4) Trevor Webb, 15-9, 4-1, injury forfeit

Semi-finals

1) Samuel Murray d. 4) Trevor Webb, 15-8, 15-8
2) Coby Iwaasa d. 3) Tim Landeryou, 15-11, 15-10

Quarterfinals

1) Samuel Murray d. 9) Mitch Brayley, 15-6, 15-1
4) Trevor Webb d. 5) Lee Connell, 15-11, 15-11

3) Tim Landeryou d. 6) Tanner Prentice, 15-5, 15-10
2) Coby Iwaasa d. 7) Ian Frattinger, 15-3, 15-6

Women's Open

Final


1) Frédérique Lambert d. 2) Christine Richardson, 14-16, 15-12, 11-2

3rd place

3) Michèle Morissette d. 5) Juliette Parent, 15-7, 9-15, 11-9

5th place

4) Alexis Iwaasa d. 6) Cassie Prentice, 15-7, 9-15, 11-5

Follow the bouncing ball….