Sunday, October 12, 2008

WPRO - Longoria ends Rajsich's winning streak

Paola Longoria upset Rhonda Rajsich on Sunday at the Canadian Racquetball Classic - the third event of the Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) season in Edmonton, Alberta, ending Rajsich's tournament winning streak at six going back to last season. It was the second final in a row for the pair as they also played in the final of Mexico Open two weeks ago when Rajsich won in five games. But in Edmonton, Longoria needed only four to break Rajsich's streak, winning 11-8, 11-6, 2-11, 11-2.

Rajsich, the #1 WPRO player, had slow starts all tournament, and that continued in the final, as Longoria went up 5-0 in the first game. However, Rajsich fought back and tied the match at 7. Longoria then took the lead again at 9-7, and held it to win 11-8.

In game two, it was Longoria all the way, as she took a 4-0 lead, and maintained a comfortable margin the rest of the game to win 11-6.

Rajsich had been down before in her matches this weekend, so some in the crowd were thinking it was only a matter of time before she turned it around and came back. It looked like that thinking was correct as Rajsich took a big lead in game three at 8-2, and won 11-2.

But game four was a return to what happened in the first two games, as Longoria took an early lead at 4-0, and stayed on top despite a couple of time outs by Rajsich. Longoria took game four 11-2, and won the match 3 games to 1.

Longoria's serves were almost exclusively drives and drive Zs to the left side - Rajsich's backhand, although her previous opponents - Jennifer Saunders in the quarter finals and Kristen Walsh in the semis - had served to Rajsich's forehand. More than once Longoria's drive Z serves forced Rajsich to return serve defensively by playing the ball off the back wall.

It's Longoria's second WPRO tournament victory, and her first since the Fayetteville, North Carolina event at the beginning of last season.

WPRO Canadian Racquetball Classic - Edmonton, Alberta

(6) Paola Longoria d. (1) Rhonda Rajsich, 11-8, 11-6, 2-11, 11-2

Follow the bouncing ball....

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