Saturday, October 11, 2008

WPRO - Canadian Classic Quarter Final Results

Cheryl Gudinas Holmes defeated the Ecuador teen sensation Veronica Sotomayor, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9, preventing Sotomayor from causing another upset at the Canadian Racquetball Classic - a Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) event in Edmonton, Alberta.

Sotomayor had upset former WPRO #1 Christie Van Hees on Friday, but in Gudinas Holmes she found too tough an oppontent. Gudinas Holmes started the match hitting very crisp shots and making everything. She had a 8-1 lead in that game, and although Sotomayor got a few points, Gudinas Holmes really didn't let her play, winning 11-5.

Game two was the mirror opposite, as Sotomayor didn't fold her tent. Quite the opposite. She stormed out to a 10-0 lead, and the 11-5 final score flattered Gudinas Holmes. Curiously, Gudinas Holmes changed from the drive Z and drive serves to Sotomayor's backhand that she'd been using in game one to lob Z serves to her opponent's forehand.

At that point, an upset seemed possible, and that possibility continued to seem likely in game three - the turn, as Sotomayor get an early lead and stayed ahead into the middle of the turn, when Sotomayor was up 7-5.

However, Gudinas Holmes put together a three point run to take her first lead of the game at 8-7. After another three point run, game three was hers, 11-7.

Again Sotomayor continued to battle hard. In game four, they were close leading to a tie at 5. Then Gudinas Holmes went out to a 9-5 lead. Sotomayor took a timeout and got a side out when play resumed. She then got three straight points to draw within one. A sideout to and timeout by Gudinas Holmes didn't stop Sotomayor from getting another point to level the match at 9 and a tie-breaker seemingly necessary.

But Gudinas Holmes made it unnecessary as she finished off game four and the match, 11-9.

The difference between Friday and Saturday for Sotomayor was that Gudinas Holmes hit more winners than Van Hees, so Sotomayor didn't seem as on top of her game today as yesterday.

WPRO #1 Rhonda Rajsich was also fully tested by her quarter final opponent, Jennifer Saunders, but managed to squeak through in four games, winning 6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 13-11. Rajsich lost game one of their match just as she lost the first game in the Round of 16. Saunders got out to a big lead in game one at 7-1, and held it to win 11-6.

Like the Gudinas Holmes/Sotomayor match, game two was the opposite, as Rajsich got up big, 6-0 and 9-3 to win easily 11-5. In the turn game, Saunders regrouped and went up 7-1. But Rajsich came back and went ahead 10-9. Saunders leveled it at 10, but Rajsich took game three 12-10.

Game four was similar to game three, as Saunders went up 8-3. Rajsich though again came back helped by excellent drive serves to the back left corner. She tied the score at 8, and went up 10-8. Saunders came back and then took a 11-10 lead. She had a chance win it, when Rajsich saved a ball into the front right corner but it was up for Saunders to just bunt in and take the game. However, Saunders skipped the shot.

After that Rajsich got the serve back, and got a couple points to regain the lead at 12-11, and then closed it out, 13-11.

Though the top two seeds won their quarter final matches, the third and fourth seeds didn't. WPRO #6 Paola Longoria upset #3 Kerri Wachtel, 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4, and #5 Kristen Bellows upset #4 Angela Grisar, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6.

In the semi-finals later on Saturday, Gudinas Holmes will face Longoria while Rajsich takes on Bellows.

WPRO Canadian Racquetball Classic - Edmonton, Alberta
Quarter finals

(1) Rhonda Rajsich d. (9) Jennifer Saunders, 6-11, 11-5, 12-10, 13-11
(5) Kristen Bellows d. (4) Angela Grisar, 11-7, 11-8, 11-6

(6) Paola Longoria d. (3) Kerri Wachtel, 11-8, 11-7, 6-11, 11-4
(2) Cheryl Gudinas Holmes d. (10) Veronica Sotomayor, 11-5, 5-11, 11-7, 11-9


(1) Rhonda Rajsich vs. (5) Kristen Bellows
(2) Cheryl Gudinas Holmes vs. (6) Paola Longoria

Follow the bouncing ball....

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