Sunday, June 26, 2011

2011 USA Junior Championships

Nick Montalbano won both Boys U18 singles and doubles titles at the 2011 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics in Portland, Oregon on Sunday. Montalbano defeated Jose Diaz for the singles crown, 11-15, 15-4, 11-8, and partnered with Joshua Hungerford to win doubles, again defeating Diaz who played with Brad Schopieray, by the scores of 15-8, 15-3. Montalbano was defending champion in doubles having won the title last year with Bradley Kirch.

After dropping the first game of the singles final against Diaz 15-11, Montalbano took a big lead in game two at 8-2 and went that game comfortably 15-4. But the top seeded Diaz came out strong in the tie-breaker and took an early lead 4-1 lead on Montalbano, who was the 3rd seed.

But Montalbano turned the tide, scoring the next eight points to hold an 9-4 lead. Diaz clawed a couple of points back, making it 9-6. Montalbano then scored the tenth point, and it looked like he was going to complete the upset.

But when Montalbano skipped a center court set up on his first match point opportunity, Diaz took advantage and closed the gap to 10-8. That was as close as he'd get, however, as Montalbano finished it off at 11-8.

The story line was identical in Boys U16 with Adam Manilla in the winning role and John Lindsay the losing role. Manilla defeated Lindsay in singles, 13-15, 15-2, 11-2, and then won doubles with Nicholas Riffel against Lindsay and Sam Reid, 15-9, 15-9.

In Boys U14, last year's 3rd place finisher, Spencer Shoemaker, was this year's winner, but he had to defeat his doubles partner, Kyle Ulliman, to do it. Shoemaker defeated Ulliman in two straight games, 15-5, 15-10. Together they won doubles by defeating Jake Bimel and Ryan Francis, 15-10, 15-8, in the final.

In girls action, Devon Pimentelli needed three games to win the U18 singles final against Amanda Lindsay, winning 11-15, 15-2, 11-8. However, Lindsay defeated Pimentelli in doubles as she and Jessica Munoz beat Pimentelli and Courtney Chisholm, 15-8, 15-0.

Kelani Bailey was a double winner, as she took Girls U16 singles, beating Samantha Simmons in the singles final, 15-6, 15-3, and teaming up with Mercedes Arias to win the combined U16/U14 doubles division. Kaitlyn Simmons won the Girls U14 division by defeating all the other girls in the four player round robin.

The top finishers in singles and doubles divisions for U14, U16 and U18 will qualify for the U.S. Junior National Team that will compete next month at the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Junior Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

2011 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics
Portland, Oregon

Boy's U14
Final: Spencer Shoemaker (Findlay, Ohio) d. Kyle Ulliman (Westerville, Ohio), 15-5, 15-10
3rd: Jake Burnel (Bellingham, Wash.) d. Jacob Matthews (Bethel, N.C.), "(3), 9"

Boy's U16
Final: Adam Manilla (Centennial, Colo.) d. John Lindsay (Oregon City, Ore.), 13-15, 15-2, 11-2
3rd: Sam Reid (Portland, Ore.) d. d. Nicholas Riffel (Loveland, Colorado), 15-5, 15-14

Boy's U18
Final: Nick Montalbano (West Islip, N.Y.) d. Jose Diaz (Stockton, Calif.), 11-15, 15-5, 11-8
3rd: Dylan Reid (Portland, Ore.) d. Brad Schopieray (Swartz Chreek, Mich.), 15-6, 15-10

Girl's U14
1st: Kaitlyn Simmons (Crofton, Md.)
2nd: Lexi York (Milwaukie, Ore.)
3rd: Krystle Boyle (Beaverton, Ore.)
4th: Ashley Boyle (Beaverton, Ore.)

Girl's U16
Final: Kelani Bailey (Norfolk, Va.) d. Samantha Simmons (Crofton, Md.), 15-6, 15-3
3rd: Mercedes Arias (Ann Arbor, Mich.) d. Rebecca Nielsen (Upland, Calif.), 15-8, 15-3

Girl's U18
Final: Devon Pimentelli (San Bruno, Calif.) d. Amanda Lindsay (Oregon City, Ore.), 11-15, 15-2, 11-8
3rd: Jessica Munoz (Burlington, Wash.) d. Courtney Chisholm (Marlborough, Mass), 15-14, 15-1

Boys U14 Doubles
1st: Spencer Shoemaker & Kyle Ulliman d. Jake Bimel & Ryan Francis, 15-10, 15-8
3rd: Jesse Mendoza & Daniel Fishbein d. Matthew Goolsby & Wayne Antone, "19,11" [sic]

Boys U16 Doubles
1st: Adam Manilla & Nicholas Riffel d. Sam Reid & John Lindsay, 15-9, 15-9
3rd: Connor Laffey & Joshua Lebow d. Raul Quintanilla & Tyler Kendrick, 15-14, 4-15, 11-5

Boys U18 Doubles
1st: Nick Montalbano & Joshua Hungerford d. Jose Diaz & Brad Schopieray, 15-8, 15-3
3rd: Dylan Reid & Joseph Lee d. Rick Charbonneau & Ryan Charbonneau, 15-5, 15-6

Girls U16/U14 Doubles
1st: Kelani Bailey (Norfolk, VA) & Mercedes Arias (Ann Arbor, MI)
2nd: Kaitlyn Simmons (Crofton, MD) & Samantha Simmons (Crofton, MD)
3rd: Krystle Boyle (Beaverton, OR) & Lexi York (Milwaukie, Ore.)

Girls U18 Doubles
1st: Amanda Lindsay (Oregon City, OR) & Jessica Munoz (Burlington, Wash.)
2nd: Courtney Chisholm (Marlborough, MA) & Devon Pimentelli (San Bruno, CA)
3rd: Elizabeth Simmons (Crofton, MD) & Sarah Lewis (Beaverton, Ore.)

Follow the bouncing ball....

Friday, June 24, 2011

IRT Rankings - Final Rankings for 2010-11

Kane Waselenchuk finished the 2010-11 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) season ranked #1, as he didn't lose any matches on court this season winning all the tournaments he entered save the New York City Open, which he withdrew from due to illness. It's the third consecutive season that Waselenchuk has finished #1 and the sixth time in his career that he's done so.

Rocky Carson finished the season ranked #2. Carson's been in the top 10 twelve times in the last 21 seasons, tied for third most over that span with Mike Guidry and only behind Cliff Swain (14) and Jason Mannino (15).

Ben Croft was 3rd, which was a career high for him, and a significant improvement over his previous best of 6th, where he finished last season.

In fact, most of the top 10 players this season had career highs. Along with Croft, Chris Crowther (5th), Andy Hawthorne (6th), Jose Rojas (7th), Charlie Pratt (9th) and Anthony Herrera (10th) all finished higher than ever in the rankings.

Jack Huczek, who retired last month, was 4th and Shane Vanderson, who's made noises about not playing full time next season, was 8th.

IRT Rankings 2010-11 Season Ending - June 7, 2011

Rank Player Points
1 Kane WASELENCHUK, 5559
2 Rocky CARSON, 4224
3 Ben CROFT, 3421
4 Jack HUCZEK, 3360
5 Chris CROWTHER, 2725
6 Andy HAWTHORNE, 2468
7 Jose ROJAS, 2414
8 Shane VANDERSON, 2359
9 Charlie PRATT, 1842
10 Anthony HERRERA, 1522

11 Alvaro BELTRAN, 1367
12 Tony CARSON, 1292
13 Mitch WILLIAMS, 1245
14 Juan HERRERA, 1238
15 Javier MORENO, 921
16 Alejandro HERRERA, 838
17 Alejandro LANDA, 743
18 Andres HERRERA, 567
19 Daniel DE LA ROSA, 503
20 Mike ORR, 446

Follow the bouncing ball....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

WPRO Rankings - 2010-11 FINAL Rankings

The season ending Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) rankings confirmed that Rhonda Rajsich finished as the #1 player for the fourth time in her career, tying her with Cheryl Gudinas for 3rd most behind Michelle Gould, who finished #1 seven times, and Lynn Adams (6).

Gudinas finished the season ranked 5th, which was the 18th time she's been in the top 10 at season's end and that's more than any other women's player. Rajsich has been in the season ending top 10 eleven times and Kerri Wachtel ten times; Wachtel finished 4th this season.

For the first time ever, five players from outside the USA finished in the top 10, including three Mexicans in the top 6. Paola Longoria (Mexico) was 2nd, Samantha Salas (Mexico) 3rd and Susy Acosta-Mendoza (Mexico) edged out Canadian Jennifer Saunders for 6th by just over one ranking point. Cristina Amaya of Colombia was 9th.

The previous high for non-Americans in the WPRO top 10 was the 2008-09 season, when four players were in the top 10 (Veronica Sotomayor (Ecuador), Angela Grisar (Chile), Longoria and Saunders).

Salas, Saunders, Amaya and Krystal Csuk, who was 10th, all achieved career highs for season ending WPRO rankings. Acosta-Mendoza didn't, as she was 5th at the end of the 1999-2000 season and 6th at the end of 2000-01.

2010-2011 Season Ending WPRO Rankings (May 20, 2011)
Rank - Player - Nationality - Points

1 Rhonda Rajsich (USA) 1626.80
2 Paola Longoria (Mexico) 1601.78
3 Samantha Salas (Mexico) 873.70
4 Kerri Wachtel (USA) 553.55
5 Cheryl Gudinas (USA) 481.20
6 Susy Acosta-Mendoza (Mexico) 395.30
7 Jennifer Saunders (Canada) 394.10
8 Adrienne Fisher (USA) 379.70
9 Cristina Amaya (Colombia) 344.33
10 Krystal Csuk (USA) 332.70

11 Angela Grisar (Chile) 311.00
12 Christie Huczek (Canada) 300.25
13 Nancy Enriquez (Mexico) 221.48
14 T.J. Baumbaugh (USA) 195.50
15 Da'monique Davis (USA) 157.75
16 Claudine Garcia (Dominican Republic) 128.60
17 Aimee Ruiz (USA) 119.80
18 Jo Shattuck (USA) 119.30
19 Keely Franks (USA) 105.00
20 Laura Brandt (USA) 104.50

Follow the bouncing ball....