Sunday, July 19, 2015

2015 Pan American Games - Doubles Day 1

Tie-breakers were the order of the night Sunday at the 2015 Pan American Games racquetball competition, as most of the doubles matches went to three games. But Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas of Mexico, the defending gold medalists, won their Women's Doubles match in two straight games against Ecuadorians Maria Paz Muñoz and Veronica Sotomayor, 15-13, 15-10.

However, their team-mates and defending gold medalists in Men's Doubles - Alvaro Beltran and Javier Moreno - were pushed to a tie-breaker by the veteran team of Daniel Maggi and Shai Manzuri, but they did come out on top, 15-12, 14-15, 11-6, winning the match on a Beltran forehand splat shot.

The Mexicans took a 6-0 lead in the breaker and looked to be cruising home. But Argentina came back to within two at 8-6. Mexico called a time out, and when play resumed they won the next two rallies - a reverse pinch winner by Beltran and a down the line pass by Moreno - and served out the game and match.

Americans Jansen Allen and Jose Rojas also needed a tie-breaker to defeat Costa Ricans Felipe Camacho and Teobaldo Fumero, 13-15, 15-12, 11-3, in a match that went almost two hours. The win is big for the USA, as Costa Rica was ranked 2nd in the event from their runner up finish at the Pan American Championships earlier this year. If the USA can win their other group stage matches - against Canada and Ecuador, then they will claim hat 2nd seed, and likely not have to face Mexico until the final.

The American women's team of Rhonda Rajsich and Kim Russell-Waselenchuk also played a breaker aginst Véronique Guillemette and Maria Jose Vargas of Argentina, winning 15-12, 6-15, 11-7.

Game one was close all the way, and although the Americans never led until 13-12, they managed to pull out the win. But in game two, Argentina took a 10-0 lead, and extended that to 14-2, before winning 15-6.

Argentina carried that momentum over into the tie-breaker, as they went up 5-0 before the USA responded with four points of their own. Argentina got one more to make it 6-4, when the USA got the serve back. At that point, the Americans started double serving to Guillemette, who by is the weaker of the two Argentine, given that Vargas is the #2 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT).

Six straight points resulted after that change, putting the USA on match point at 10-6. But Rajsich skipped a difficult shot to give back the serve to Argentina.

However, the Argentines only managed to score one before again surrendering the serve to the Americans, who won the match after Guillemette was called for a two bounce get on the right side. Argentina appealed but the call was upheld.

Troubling incident at the end of the match, as Rajsich dove toward the front wall in an effort to keep the ball in play. We think she must have collided with the front wall, as Rajsich remained face down on the floor for several minutes. But she was able to walk off the court, although with minor assistance from the USA team physiotherapist. We understand that Rajsich will be fine to play tomorrow.

The Men's and Women's Doubles racquetball competition continues Monday morning, and runs until Friday (July 24) and a team competition, which will run Friday July 24 to 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

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mex) d. 7) Maria Paz Muñoz & Veronica Sotomayor (Ecu), 15-13, 15-10
6) Angela Grisar & Carla Muñoz (Chi) - BYE

Group B

5) Rhonda Rajsich & Kim Russell-Waselenchuk (USA) d. 2) Veronique Guillemette & Maria Jose Vargas (Arg), 15-12, 6-15, 11-7
8) Ana Gabriela Martinez & Maria Rene Rodriguez (Gua) - BYE

Group C

4) Cristina Amaya & Carolina Gomez (Col) d. 3) Carola Loma & Natalia Mendez (Bol), 14-15, 15-11, 11-10
10) Mariana Paredes & Mariana Tobon (Ven) d. 9) Michèle Morissette & Christine Richardson (Can), 15-6, 15-8

Men's Doubles

Group A

1) Alvaro Beltran & Javier Moreno (Mex) d. 6) Daniel Maggi & Shai Manzuri (Arg), 15-12, 14-15, 11-6
7) Sebastian Franco & Alejandro Herrera (Col)

Group B

5) Jansen Allen & Jose Rojas (USA) d. 2) Felipe Camacho & Teobaldo Fumero (Crc), 13-15, 15-12, 11-3
8) Vincent Gagnon & Tim Landeryou (Can) d. 11) Jose Alvarez & Fernando Rios (Ecu), 5-15, 15-5, retired injury

Group C

3) Cesar Castillo & Cesar Castro (Ven) d. 4) Ramon De Leon & Luis Perez (Dom), 15-10, 15-8
9) Roland Keller & Conrado Moscoso (Bol) d. 10) Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer (Gua), 15-7, 15-3

Follow the bouncing ball....

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