Thursday, July 23, 2015

Doubles quarterfinals at 2015 Pan American Games

In the doubles quarterfinals at the 2015 Pan American Games, all the close matches were on the bottom of the draw for both the men and the women.

In Women's Doubles, Veronique Guillemette and Maria Jose Vargas of Argentina needed a tie-breaker to defeat Cristina Amaya and Carolina Gomez of Colombia, 15-12, 9-15, 11-7, and the American team of Rhonda Rajsich and Kim Russell-Waselenchuk also went the distance with Angela Grisar and Carla Muñoz of Chile, 6-15, 15-10, 11-8.

In the USA-Chile tie-breaker, the Chileans took the early lead at 4-1, but the Americans came back and tied it at 6-6. They went on to a 9-6 lead, which the Chileans cut to one point at 9-8, but that's as close as Chile would get, as the USA went on to win 11-8 with a Rajsich backhand closing the deal.

"We came out a little slow," said Russell-Waselenchuk, adding that they had a strategy going in, but "it wasn't working, so we switched it up, effectively obviously," as they won the match.

Rajsich felt their "chemistry was amazing," and needed to be as their opponents have had "totally different styles" each match, so they've needed to adjust.

In Men's Doubles, the World Champions are out, as Colombians Sebastian Franco and Alejandro Herrera fell to Boliivans Roland Keller and Conrado Moscoso, 8-15, 15-9, 11-6. It was a measure of revenge for the Moscoso, as he and Mario Mercado lost to Franco and Herrera in the semi-finals of last year's IRF World Championships.

The second seeded Canadian team of Vincent Gagnon and Tim Landeryou squeaked out the first game, and defeated Daniel Maggi and Shai Manzuri of Argentina, 15-14, 15-9.

In the first game, Argentina had the early lead at 6-2, but the lead swung back and forth after that with the Argentines pulling ahead late to lead 14-12. But Canada stopped them there, and scored three straight points to win it. The 14th point came from a Landeryou forehand pinch that was flat, and then game point was off a forced skip from Manzuri.

In game two, Canada went up 8-0 and 12-1, but then stalled, and Argentina came back to make it interesting getting the lead down to five at 14-9.

Landeryou said afterwards that Argentina played a different style from the other teams they've faced, and that was part of reason for a slow start. Also, he said "I was really nervous from the first point through the whole match, and I was missing shots that I wasn't missing earlier in the tournament."

Also, having a big lead as they did in game two "makes you think about it being over," but you "need to stay in the moment," which was difficult knowing they were close to earning a medal.

What colour that medal will be depends on how Canada does against Bolivia in the semi-finals tonight.

The Men's and Women's Doubles semi-finals are Thursday night and gold medal matches Friday midday. A team competition follows beginning Friday afternoon and concluding Sunday.

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

2015 Pan American Games - Toronto, Canada

Women's Doubles


1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mexico) d. 9) Carola Loma & Natalia Mendez (Bolivia), 15-9, 15-0
5) Maria Paz Muñoz & Veronica Sotomayor (Ecuador) d. 4) Mariana Paredes & Mariana Tobon (Venezuela), 15-0, 15-7

6) Veronique Guillemette & Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina) d. 3) Cristina Amaya & Carolina Gomez (Colombia), 15-12, 9-15, 11-7
2) Rhonda Rajsich & Kim Russell-Waselenchuk (USA) d. 7) Angela Grisar & Carla Muñoz (Chile). 6-15, 15-10, 11-8


1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas (Mexico) v. 5) Maria Paz Muñoz & Veronica Sotomayor (Ecuador)
2) Rhonda Rajsich & Kim Russell-Waselenchuk (USA) v. 6) Veronique Guillemette & Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina)

Men's Doubles


1) Alvaro Beltran & Javier Moreno (Mexico) d. 9) Ramon De Leon & Luis Perez (Dominican Republic), 15-6, 15-10
5) Jansen Allen & Jose Rojas (USA) d. 4) Cesar Castillo & Cesar Castro (Venezuela), 15-5, 15-8

3) Roland Keller & Conrado Moscoso (Bolivia) d. 6) Sebastian Franco & Alejandro Herrera (Colombia), 8-15, 15-9, 11-6
2) Vincent Gagnon & Tim Landeryou (Canada) d. 7) Daniel Maggi & Shai Manzuri (Argentina), 15-14, 15-9


1) Alvaro Beltran & Javier Moreno (Mexico) v. 5) Jansen Allen & Jose Rojas (USA)
2) Vincent Gagnon & Tim Landeryou (Canada) v. 3) Roland Keller & Conrado Moscoso (Bolivia)

Follow the bouncing ball....

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