Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vargas wins 1st LPRT title at 23rd Annual Christmas Classic

Maria Jose Vargas won her first Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) title Sunday by defeating Rhonda Rajsich, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 13-11, in the final 23rd Annual Christmas Classic in Arlington, Virginia. Vargas is the LPRT's #2 ranked player, but was the top seed in Virginia, as LPRT #1 player Paola Longoria was absent, attending a friend's wedding.

Vargas was playing in a final as the top seed for the first time Sunday, and early on it seemed that spotlight was too much for her, as Rajsich controlled game one and led early in game two leading 4-1.

But Vargas took a timeout, and then came back and scored nine unanswered points to go up 10-4. However, Rajsich dug in, and Vargas didn't win game two until her sixth game point.

In game three, Rajsich led early, 3-1, but Vargas again put together a string of unanswered points to lead 8-3. Vargas went on to win that game, but not quickly, as it took 24 rallies to get it done, 11-7.

Game four was close all the way. After being tied 7-7, Rajsich took a two point lead, 9-7. Vargas replied with two points of her own to make it 9-9. But Rajsich got two game point chances - at 10-9 and 11-10 - to force a fifth game tie-breaker, yet she couldn't convert either.

That opened the door for Vargas, who this time took full advantage scoring three straight points to win it 13-11 with the winner coming on a forehand kill shot down the right side.

With the win, Vargas becomes the 25th player to win a women's pro tournament (according to our records). She's joins a list of one time winners that includes Samantha Salas, Angela Grisar and Kristen Bellows. But at only 21 years old, it seems likely that she'll win more than one.

Rajsich and Vargas teamed up to win the doubles final against Alexandrea Herrera and Salas, 11-15, 15-7, 11-7.

The LPRT's first tournament of 2015 will be the Mercedes-Benz of Cincinnati Pro-Am in Cincinnati, Ohio January 23-25.

23rd Annual LPRT Christmas Classic
Arlington, Virginia


1) Maria Jose Vargas v. 2) Rhonda Rajsich, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7, 13-11

Doubles - Final

1) Rhonda Rajsich & Maria Jose Vargas d. 2) Alexandra Herrera & Samantha Salas, 11-15, 15-7, 11-7

Follow the bouncing ball….

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