Wednesday, February 7, 2018

2018 USA Racquetball National Doubles Championship - Preview

The USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships start Thursday at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Last year’s Men’s Doubles Champions Rocky Carson and Jose Diaz are playing with different partners this year, and last year’s finalists Jose and Marco Rojas aren’t playing at all, so it will be interesting to see what happens on the men's side. Diaz is playing with Jake Bredenbeck, who he has played with in other events, including last year’s US Open, so they are not a new team. But Carson is on a new team with another veteran: Sudsy Monchik. Diaz and Bredenbeck are the top seeds with Carson and Monchik 2nd seeds.

Jansen Allen and Charlie Pratt are probably the only other team that’s a threat to win the men’s title. They are seeded third. David Horn and Mauro Rojas, the current World Junior Boy’s U18 Champion, are the 4th seeds, and could surprise, but it would be a big surprise.

Also notable, Thomas Carter and Robert Collins are playing together, which seems wrong, because they are both left handed. It’s like crossing the streams, and that’s just not supposed to happen. They are the 5th seeds.

Aimee Ruiz and Janel Tisinger are back to defend their Women’s Doubles title. Last year they beat Jackie Paraiso and Da’monique Davis in the final, and only gave up 21 points over the 4 games they played in winning the title. With only six teams in the women’s draw, Ruiz and Tisinger will again need to play two matches to win the title and have a chance to defend the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championship gold medals they won two years ago, when they upset Mexicans Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas in the final.

Davis isn’t in Tempe this year, but veteran Paraiso is, and she’s playing with Erika Manilla. They are the 2nd seeds. Other teams to watch for are 3rd seeds Kelani Bailey and Sharon Jackson and 4th seeds Sheryl Lotts and Rhonda Rajsich.

Singles Play

The top players are also playing singles in Tempe, as part of qualifying for the team that will represent the USA at Worlds in China in August. Carson is the top men’s seed, and won this event last year, when he beat Horn in the final, and Pratt in the semi-finals. Pratt is the 2nd seed this week with Horn 3rd and Bredenbeck 4th.

Rajsich is the top seed on the women’s side, and she won this event last year, beating Jackson in the final. The draw is very similar to last year, as Jackson is seeded 2nd again, and will play either Paraiso or Lotts in the semis (she played Paraiso in the semis last year after Paraiso beat Lotts in the quarterfinals). On the top side, Rajsich will likely play Tisinger in the semis again, although Tisinger needs to beat Manilla in the quarters to make that happen. Also, Jackson could have a tricky first match, as she’ll play her doubles partner Bailey in the quarters.

You can watch some of the action live from Tempe via the USA Racquetball website. The Men’s and Women’s Doubles finals will be Saturday afternoon with the Singles finals on Sunday. Note the match times below are Pacific time.

2018 USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships
Tempe, Arizona
US National Team Divisions

Men's Doubles

Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz v. 8) Shane McDougal & Adam Wyatt - 12:20 PM
4) David Horn & Mauro Rojas v. 5) Thomas Carter & Robert Collins - 2:30 PM

3) Charlie Pratt & Jansen Allen v. 6) Adam Manilla & Nicholas Riffel - 4:40 PM
2) Rocky Carson & Sudsy Monchik v. Tim Herman & Michael Myers - 6:50 PM

Women's Doubles

Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Aimee Ruiz & Janel Tisinger - BYE
4) Rhonda Rajsich & Sheryl Lotts v. 5) Michelle De La Rosa & Laura Fenton - 1:25 PM

3) Kelani Bailey & Sharon Jackson v. 6) Briana Jacquet & Sara Jeys - 5:45 PM
2) Erika Manilla & Jacqueline Paraiso - BYE

Men’s Singles

Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Rocky Carson - BYE
8) Dane Elkins v. 9) Luis Rivero - 11:15 AM

5) Adam Manilla - BYE
4) Jake Bredenbeck - BYE

3) David Horn - BYE
6) Robert Collins - BYE

7) Nicholas Riffel - BYE
2) Charlie Pratt - BYE

Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Rocky Carson v. 8) Dane Elkins or 9) Luis Rivero - 11:30 AM
4) Jake Bredenbeck v. 5) Adam Manilla - 11:30 AM

3) David Horn v. 6) Robert Collins - 10:20 AM
2) Charlie Pratt v. 7) Nicholas Riffel - 10:20 AM

Women's Singles

Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Rhonda Rajsich - BYE
8) Briana Jacquet v. 9) Sara Jeys - 3:35 PM

5) Erika Manilla - BYE
4) Janel Tisinger - BYE

3) Jacqueline Paraiso - BYE
6) Sheryl Lotts - BYE

7) Kelani Bailey - BYE
2) Sharon Jackson - BYE

Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Rhonda Rajsich v. 8) Briana Jacquet or 9) Sara Jeys - 12:40 PM
4) Janel Tisinger v. 5) Erika Manilla - 12:40 PM

3) Jacqueline Paraiso v. 6) Sheryl Lotts - 9:10 AM
2) Sharon Jackson v. 7) Kelani Bailey - 9:10 AM

Follow the bouncing ball....

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