Monday, July 20, 2015

2015 Pan Am Games - Day 2 Doubles

An upset by the seeding and by the players involved in Men's Doubles Monday at the 2015 Pan American Games, as Canadians Vincent Gagnon and Tim Landeryou defeated Jansen Allen and Jose Rojas, 15-14, 15-8. The win lines up Canada to win the group, if they can beat Costa Rica on Tuesday, and winning the group would mean claiming the 2nd seed for the elimination round, putting them in a good position to get on the podium.

But a Canadian win looked unlikely late in game one, as the USA got to 14 first after the teams had been close all the way to 10-10. But Landeryou - playing the right side - hit a winning pinch shot to get Canada back in the service box. Then Gagnon hit an ace from a drive jam serve to Rojas on the left side, and Canada won five straight points to take the first game.

The Americans came out strong in game two, and looked like they were bent on forcing a tie-breaker, as they took the early lead at 4-0. But Gagnon and Landeryou held tough, and eventually caught up to the Americans at 8-8.

From there, they held the USA off the scoreboard, while scoring seven points of their own. In the match, the Canadians hit jam serves to the left side - Rojas's side, and it was an effective strategy.

Afterwards, both Allen and Rojas spoke of how it was tough to play on the glass court for the first time. A four wall glass court has been specially constructed for the event. But Allen felt that they would be better prepared for when they have to play on that court again later in the tournament.

The Canadians credited video analysis at their training camp with the idea for their serving strategy. Gagnon added that both he and Landeryou like to drive serve, so hitting drive jams is a natural fit for them.

This is the first time Gagnon and Landeryou have played together, and when asked about how he and Landeryou are gelling as a team, Gagnon felt they were "getting better every game," and that's "good news for the rest of the tournament."

The big news in Women's Doubles is in Group C, where Venezuelans Mariana Paredes and Mariana Tobon came back from a game down to defeat Bolivians Carola Loma and Natalia Mendez, 8-15, 15-14, 11-3. Venezuela was the lowest seeded team in the event, but if they defeat Colombia on Tuesday they will win the group and claim the 3rd seed for the elimination round, meaning they would avoid the defending gold medalist Mexican team until the final.

Finally in Men's Doubles, World Champions Sebastian Franco and Alejandro Herrera of Colombia needed a tie-breaker to beat Daniel Maggi and Shai Manzuri of Argentina, 4-15, 15-6, 11-7, which was Argentina's second tie-breaker loss in as many days. Colombia will play Mexico, the top seeds and defending Pan Am gold medalists, and if they can beat them, Colombia will claim the #1 seed for the elimination draw.

The Men's and Women's Doubles racquetball competition continues Tuesday afternoon, and runs until Friday morning (July 24) with the team competition to follow beginning Friday afternoon and concluding Sunday July 26.

For updates during the event - between postings on the website - follow us on Twitter: @racquetballblog.

2015 Pan American Games - Toronto, Canada

Group Stage

Women's Doubles

Group A

7) Maria Paz Muñoz & Veronica Sotomayor (Ecu) d. 6) Angela Grisar & Carla Muñoz (Chi), 15-8, 15-4
1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mex) - BYE

Group B

5) Rhonda Rajsich & Kim Russell-Waselenchuk (USA) d. 8) Ana Gabriela Martinez & Maria Rene Rodriguez (Gua), 15-9, 15-4
2) Veronique Guillemette & Maria Jose Vargas (Arg) - BYE

Group C

4) Cristina Amaya & Carolina Gomez (Col) d. 9) Michèle Morissette & Christine Richardson (Can), 15-14, 15-9
10) Mariana Paredes & Mariana Tobon (Ven) d. 3) Carola Loma & Natalia Mendez (Bol), 8-15, 15-14, 11-3

Men's Doubles

Group A

7) Sebastian Franco & Alejandro Herrera (Col) d. 6) Daniel Maggi & Shai Manzuri (Arg), 4-15, 15-6, 11-7
1) Alvaro Beltran & Javier Moreno (Mex) - BYE

Group B

8) Vincent Gagnon & Tim Landeryou (Can) d. 5) Jansen Allen & Jose Rojas (USA), 15-14, 15-8
2) Felipe Camacho & Teobaldo Fumero (Crc) d. 11) Jose Alvarez & Fernando Rios (Ecu), walkover

Group C

9) Roland Keller & Conrado Moscoso (Bol) d. 4) Ramon De Leon & Luis Perez (Dom), 15-9, 15-12
3) Cesar Castillo & Cesar Castro (Ven) d. 10) Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer (Gua), 15-5, 15-6

Follow the bouncing ball....

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