Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Day 1 of 2022 USA Racquetball National Championships

The 2022 USA Racquetball (USAR) National Championships are underway in College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A & M University. The US Team Qualifying division are playing matches in a best of five games, win by two points format, which the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) will be using at the 2022 World Championships this summer.

Only a few Team Qualifying matches were played on Wednesday. In Men’s Singles, 17th seed Jacob Kingsford defeated 16th seed DJ Mendoza, 11-4, 10-12, 11-4, 11-3, and will play top seed Rocky Carson in the Round of 16 Thursday.

Also Wednesday, 19th seed Charles Rankin outlasted 14th seed Daniel Blanco, 9-11, 11-7, 15-13, 6-11, 11-7. Rankin will face 3rd seed Jake Bredenbeck in the 16s.

Finally, Jimmy Fernandez, the 15th seed, beat 18th seed Adrian Espinoza, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6, and will take on 2nd seed Alejandro Landa on Thursday.

There were also a few matches in Mixed Doubles, but no upsets. Eighth seeds Jake Bredenbeck and Aimee Roehler beat 9th seed Graci Wargo and Alex Zamudio, 11-6, 12-10, 11-1, and will play 1st seeds Michelle De La Rosa and Alejandro Landa, in what is a marquee match up with four strong players.

Elsewhere, 7th seeds Jose Diaz and Rhonda Rajsich needed five games to fend off 10th seeds Robert Collins and Annie Roberts, 8-11, 13-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7. Diaz and Rajsich will play the 2nd seeded Manilla siblings, Adam and Erika.

Also, 6th seeds Sam Bredenbeck and Lexi York defeated 11th seeds Katie Neils and Nicholas Riffel, 12-10, 11-2, 9-11, 11-5, and will play 3rd seeds Kelani Lawrence and Sudsy Monchik on Thursday.

Watch the action

USAR will be streaming matches from College Station via their USA Racquetball Facebook page. So check that out beginning Wednesday.

2022 USA Racquetball National Championships
College Station, Texas
US National Team Divisions

Men's US Team Singles - Round of 32 - Wednesday

1) Rocky Carson - BYE
17) Jacob Kingsford d. 16) DJ Mendoza, 11-4, 10-12, 11-4, 11-3

9) Nicholas Riffel - BYE
8) Robert Collins - BYE

5) Adam Manilla - BYE
11) Zachary Williams - BYE

12) Benjamin Horner - BYE
4) David Horn - BYE

3) Jake Bredenbeck - BYE
19) Charles Rankin d. 14) Daniel Blanco, 9-11, 11-7, 15-13, 6-11, 11-7

6) Thomas Carter - BYE
11) Alex Zamudio - BYE

7) Sam Bredenbeck - BYE
19) Danny Lavely - BYE

15) Jimmy Fernandez d. 18) Adrian Espinoza, 11-7, 11-4, 11-6
2) Alejandro Landa - BYE

Men's US Team Singles - Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Rocky Carson v. 17) Jacob Kingsford - 6 PM
8) Robert Collins v. 9) Nicholas Riffel - 11 AM

5) Adam Manilla v. 11) Zachary Williams - 9 PM
4) David Horn v. 12) Benjamin Horner - 9 PM

3) Jake Bredenbeck v. 19) Charles Rankin - 8 PM
11) Alex Zamudio d. 6) Thomas Carter, forfeit

7) Sam Bredenbeck v. 19) Danny Lavely - 7 PM
2) Alejandro Landa v. 15) Jimmy Fernandez - 8 PM

Men's US Team Doubles - Round of 16 - Wednesday

1) Rocky Carson & Charlie Pratt - BYE
Iain Dunn & Paul Saraceno d. Daniel Blanco & Jimmy Fernandez, 11-5, 7-11, 13-15, 11-7, 11-6

5) Robert Collins & Nicholas Riffel - BYE
4) David Horn & Adam Manilla - BYE

3) Alejandro Landa & Sudsy Monchik - BYE
6) Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon - BYE

Jose Diaz & Timmy Hansen - BYE
2) Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck - BYE

Men's US Team Doubles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Rocky Carson & Charlie Pratt v. Iain Dunn & Paul Saraceno - Noon
4) David Horn & Adam Manilla v. 5) Robert Collins & Nicholas Riffel - 2 PM

3) Alejandro Landa & Sudsy Monchik v. 6) Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon - 2 PM
2) Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck v. Jose Diaz & Timmy Hansen - 1 PM

Women's US Team Singles - Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Erika Manilla - BYE
8) Annie Roberts v. 9) Naomi Ros - 3 PM

5) Linda Tyler v. 12) Katie Neils - 11 AM
4) Hollie Scott v. 13) Erin Boadway - 11 AM

3) Rhonda Rajsich v. 14) Kelly Mortensen - 1 PM
6) Lexi York v. 11) Alondra Canchola - 1 PM

7) Graci Wargo v. 10) Shane Diaz - 8 PM
2) Kelani Lawrence - BYE

Women's US Team Doubles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott v. 8) Erin Boadway & Fran Transfiguarcion - 3 PM
4) Alondra Canchola & Annie Roberts v. 5) Michelle De La Rosa & Lexi York - 10 AM

3) Erika Manilla & Aimee Roehler v. 6) Shane Diaz & Naomi Rios - Noon
Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich - BYE

US Team Mixed Doubles - Round of 16 - Wednesday

1) Michelle De La Rosa & Alejandro Landa - BYE
8) Jake Bredenbeck & Aimee Roehler d. 9) Graci Wargo & Alex Zamudio, 11-6, 12-10, 11-1

5) Sheryl Lotts & Charlie Pratt - BYE
4) David Horn & Hollie Scott - BYE

3) Kelani Lawrence & Sudsy Monchik - BYE
6) Sam Bredenbeck & Lexi York d. 11) Katie Neils & Nicholas Riffel, 12-10, 11-2, 9-11, 11-5

7) Jose Diaz & Rhonda Rajsich d. 10) Robert Collins & Annie Roberts, 8-11, 13-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-7
2) Erika Manilla & Adam Manilla - BYE

Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Michelle De La Rosa & Alejandro Landa v. 8) Jake Bredenbeck & Aimee Roehler - 5 PM
4) David Horn & Hollie Scott v. 5) Sheryl Lotts & Charlie Pratt - BYE

3) Kelani Lawrence & Sudsy Monchik v. 6) Sam Bredenbeck & Lexi York - 5 PM
2) Erika Manilla & Adam Manilla v. 7) Jose Diaz & Rhonda Rajsich - 5 PM

Follow the bouncing ball....

Sunday, May 22, 2022

2022 USA Racquetball National Championships - Preview

The 2022 USA Racquetball (USAR) National Championships happen next week in College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A & M University. Both singles and doubles championships are being contested in the same event, as they were last year. Also, there is a US Team Qualifying Mixed Doubles division, as the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) 2022 World Championships will include mixed doubles, so players can qualify for that separately from men’s and women’s singles and doubles.

Last year, we asked where the players were, as the fields were small, but that’s not the case this year. There are 19 players in Men’s Singles, 14 in Women’s Singles, as well as 9 Men’s Doubles teams and 8 Women’s Doubles teams, and in Mixed Doubles there are 11 teams. These fields are larger than they have been in recent years.

Filling out those fields are some players we’ve not seen in awhile. David Horn has returned to action in recent months, and he’s still the 4th highest ranked US player, which might surprise some (it did us). In Men’s Doubles, Jose Diaz is back, and playing with Timmy Hansen, and he's also playing Mixed Doubles with Rhonda Rajsich.

In Women’s Doubles, Aimee Roehler (formerly Ruiz) - the 12 time champion - is back, and playing with Erika Manilla in Women’s Doubles and Jake Bredenbeck in Mixed Doubles. Roehler and Manilla won the title in 2020, which was the last time Roehler played in the championships.

Also in 2020, Alejandro Landa and Sudsy Monchik won the Men’s Doubles title, and they will be trying to win it again in Texas after not being able to defend the title last year in Des Moines, as Monchik contracted COVID just before the tournament. They’ll likely have to beat Rocky Carson and Charlie Pratt, who are the defending champions, to do it. Also in the mix are the Bredenbeck brothers - Jake and Sam - who were runners up last year, as will be the righty-lefty team of Horn and Adam Manilla.

We’re not sure how they’ll seed the women’s doubles teams. USA Racquetball has given the previous year’s champions and runners-up the 1st and 2nd seeds in the past. But neither last year’s champions (Manilla & Rajsich) nor runners-up (Michelle De La Rosa & Sheryl Lotts) are playing together. The highest USAR ranked players in women’s doubles (yes, the USAR has women’s doubles rankings) are Hollie Scott and Kelani Lawrence, who are playing together. And did you know that the next highest ranked player is Lexi York? We didn’t.

York is playing with De La Rosa, and Lotts and Rajsich are playing together, which they’ve often done in the past. Finally, as mentioned, the 2020 Champions - Manilla and Roehler - are back together. Any of those three teams - plus Lawrence and Scott - could be the champion this year.

As this is a IRF World Championships year, there is an extra special something to play for as the US Champions - and finalists in singles - will get spots on Team USA for Worlds in August.

Watch the action

USAR will be streaming matches from College Station via their USA Racquetball Facebook page. So check that out beginning Wednesday.

2022 USA Racquetball National Championships
College Station, Texas
US National Team Divisions

Men's US Team Singles - Field*

1) Rocky Carson
2) Alejandro Landa
3) Jake Bredenbeck
4) David Horn
5) Adam Manilla
6) Thomas Carter
7) Sam Bredenbeck
8) Robert Collins
9) Nicholas Riffel
10) Alex Zamudio
11) Zachary Williams
12) Benjamin Horner
13) Daniel Blanco
14) Jimmy Fernandez
15) DJ Mendoza
16) Jacob Kingsford
17) Adrian Espinoza
18) Charles Rankin
19) Danny Lavely (note: no ranking listed for Lavely, but we don’t think he should be last)

Men's US Team Doubles - Field*

1) Rocky Carson & Charlie Pratt
2) Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck
3) Alejandro Landa & Sudsy Monchik
4) David Horn & Adam Manilla
Thomas Carter & Nicholas Riffel
Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon
Jose Diaz & Timmy Hansen
Daniel Blanco & Jimmy Fernandez
Iain Dunn & Paul Saraceno

Women's US Team Singles - Field*

1) Erika Manilla
2) Kelani Lawrence
3) Rhonda Rajsich
4) Hollie Scott
5) Linda Tyler
6) Lexi York
7) Graci Wargo
8) Annie Roberts
9) Naomi Ros
10) Shane Diaz
11) Alondra Canchola
12) Katie Neils
13) Erin Boadway
14) Kelly Mortensen

Women's US Team Doubles - Field*

Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott
Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich
Michelle De La Rosa & Lexi York
Erika Manilla & Aimee Roehler
Laura Fenton Kovanda & Linda Tyler
Erin Boadway & Fran Transfiguarcion
Alondra Canchola & Annie Roberts
Shane Diaz & Naomi Rios

US Team Mixed Doubles - Field*

Kelani Lawrence & Sudsy Monchik
David Horn & Hollie Scott
Sheryl Lotts & Charlie Pratt
Jose Diaz & Rhonda Rajsich
Michelle De La Rosa & Alejandro Landa
Sam Bredenbeck & Lexi York
Erika Manilla & Adam Manilla
Jake Bredenbeck & Aimee Roehler
Katie Neils & Nicholas Riffel
Graci Wargo & Alex Zamudio
Robert Collins & Annie Roberts

* - Note: seedings in the singles fields are based on USAR rankings. The doubles rankings are an estimate. Thus, they are all unofficial, as the brackets have not been released yet.

Follow the bouncing ball....

Monday, May 16, 2022

Weekend Round Up - Let's get the facts right

As we reported yesterday, the final of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) New York Open in Wantagh, New York, between Daniel De La Rosa and Kane Waselenchuk was abandoned due to unsafe court conditions. Coby Iwaasa and Jose Daniel Ugalde were scheduled to play in the Men’s Open final at about the same time as the IRT final, and from the tournament draw site on R2 Sports it appears that match was played with Iwaasa winning 15-14, 14-15, 11-10. Seems like it was quite the match, eh?

One problem. It didn’t happen.

On Sunday, when the IRT final was abandoned we noted - and tweeted - that the Iwaasa-Uglade final was also on R2 as a double forfeit, which is what the IRT final is listed as. But later the Men’s Open final result was changed to the 11-10 result.

We imagined that there was an error in the initial reporting, as sometimes happens, and we tweeted a correction. But then this happened.

It was nice that Ugalde clarified the situation. However, this should have been unnecessary, because the double forfeit result should be on the draw. It isn’t (still as of Monday morning; May 16, 2022).

We all understand that stuff happens that is outside of our control, even when we thought everything had been accounted for. We’re living in a pandemic, so more than ever we know that stuff happens that we can’t control.

We are also living in a time when people are questioning what is true, or the truth, and the Truth - capital T - can be a slippery thing. Yet there are facts. And those facts should be accurately recorded.

Part of the purpose of The Racquetball Blog is to record racquetball facts, because people have not been very good at recording them in the past. If you don’t record your facts, your history, then it suggests that you don’t care about your history, and if you don’t care, why should anyone else?

We believe it should go without saying we want to do this as accurately as possible. Thus, it’s really troubling that a match result would be recorded incorrectly, because it’s getting the facts wrong intentionally. If the facts are wrong, then how can you know the truth of the situation?

It can be difficult enough to get the facts straight when everyone is trying their best to make accurate records. People knowingly obscuring the facts is appalling.

We should do better.

2022 Sweet Caroline Open

Valeria Centellas won Women’s Open at the Sweet Caroline Open in Greenville, South Carolina on the weekend. She defeated Cristina Amaya, 13-15 15-11, 11-8, in the final. In the semi-finals, Centellas came back to defeat Carla Muñoz, 13-15, 15-11, 11-4, while Amaya beat Micaela Meneses, 15-7, 15-2.

Upcoming events

The racquetball season is winding down, so it’s championship time. The USA Racquetball National Doubles and Singles Championships begin May 25 in College Station, Texas, on the campus of Texas A & M University, and the Racquetball Canada National Championships will be May 24-28 in Brossard, Québec.

The 2021-22 Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) season winds up with what has become a marquee event for them: the TeamRoot.com Super Max Slam, June 9-12 in Overland Park, Kansas. TeamRoot has put considerable prize money into the event over the last few years, so expect a big field of players to be there.

2022 New York Open, May 12-15, 2022
Wantagh, New York

Men’s Open Final

6) Coby Iwaasa v. 8) Jose Daniel Ugalde, abandoned due to unsafe court conditions

Semi-finals

8) Jose Daniel Ugalde d. 12) Christian Wer, 15-4, 15-4
6) Coby Iwaasa d. 2) Juan Francisco Cueva, 15-11, 15-1

Quarterfinals

8) Jose Daniel Ugalde d. 1) Set Cubillos, 15-11, 5-15, 11-7
12) Christian Wer d. 4) Andrés Gómez, 15-9, 15-11

6) Coby Iwaasa d. 3) Edwin Galicia, 15-12, 15-8
2) Juan Francisco Cueva d. 23) Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman, 15-7, 15-7

2022 Sweet Caroline Open
May 12-14, 2022 - Greenville, South Carolina

Women’s Open - Final

3) Valeria Centellas d. 5) Cristina Amaya, 13-15 15-11, 11-8

Semi-finals

5) Cristina Amaya d. 1) Micaela Meneses, 15-7, 15-2
3) Valeria Centellas d. 2) Carla Muñoz, 13-15, 15-11, 11-4

Follow the bouncing ball….