Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mexico & USA Women's Teams will play for gold at 2015 Pan American Games

Mexico and the USA will play for gold in the Women's Team event at the 2015 Pan American Games, just as they did four years ago in Guadalajara. Mexico defeated Ecuador in one semi-final while the USA beat Canada in the other.

The Mexican win required three matches. Mexicans Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas won the doubles match against Veronica Sotomayor and Maria Paz Muñoz, 15-13, 15-10. But Salas developed a shoulder injury in her singles match with Sotomayor, which led to her defaulting that match. Salas has had arm injuries in the past, and hopefully this is not a recurrence of that.

Thus, Longoria and Muñoz had to face off with Longoria - the 2015 gold medalist in Women's Singles - winning 15-3, 15-3.

The American team defeated the Canadians in two straight matches with contributions from all three team members. Rhonda Rajsich and Kim Russell-Waselenchuk won a very close doubles match versus Frédérique Lambert and Jennifer Saunders, 15-12, 15-14.

The Canadians actually got to 14 first, when they led 14-11. But a Russell-Waselenchuk wide angle pass from right to left got the USA back the serve, and they scored four consecutive points.

The rally that got the USA their 13th point was a bit controversial, as the referee called an avoidable hinder against Saunders. The Canadians appealed, but the line judges were divided in their opinion: one agreed with the referee's call, and one disagreed. Thus, the call stood.

In the second USA-Canada match, Michelle Key defeated Saunders, 15-2, 15-6, putting the Americans into the gold medal final on Sunday.

Asked if playing a lot of racquetball in the last 24 hours caught up to her against Key, Saunders said "yeah, definitely. I was feeling a little out of gas. But also emotionally being down one match after a really tight doubles game probably didn't help my energy level, which is unfortunate, but sometimes just the way it goes."

Saunders said she was "a lot more excited" after winning the quarterfinal against Argentina that guaranteed her a Pan Am Games medal than she was after losing to the USA. "But I'm sure after everything calms down and we do the medal presentation and the closing ceremonies, it'll all feel really amazing. Panamazing!"

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

2015 Pan American Games - Toronto, Canada

Women's Team


1) MEXICO (Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas) d. 4) ECUADOR (Veronica Sotomayor & Maria Paz Muñoz), 2-1
3) USA (Rhonda Rajsich, Michelle Key & Kim Russell-Waselenchuk) d. 7) CANADA (Frédérique Lambert & Jennifer Saunders), 2-0


1) MEXICO (Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas) v. 3) USA (Rhonda Rajsich, Michelle Key, Kim Russell-Waselenchuk)

Follow the bouncing ball....

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