Sunday, January 27, 2019

Longoria wins twice at 2019 LPRT Sweet Caroline Open

Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), extended her undefeated season by defeating LPRT #2 Samantha Salas, 11-1, 11-2, 11-6, in final of the 2019 Sweet Caroline Open in Greenville, South Carolina. Longoria played well, but was helped a great deal by Salas, whose performance was far from her best. Longoria and Salas teamed up to play the LPRT Doubles final, and were victorious over Natalia Mendez and Maria Jose Vargas, 15-5, 15-6.

In the singles final, Longoria jumped out to a 6-0 lead in game one, and won it comfortably, 11-1. Game two had a similar story line with Longoria leading 4-0. Salas did cut that lead in half at 4-2. But she didn’t score again as Longoria ran up seven unanswered points to win 11-2. Again in game three, Longoria took an early lead, 5-0. Salas did get within three at 6-3, but Longoria then ran the score up to 10-3. Salas fought off three matches points, frustrating Longoria in the process, which seemed a bit much given where they were in the match. Longoria ended the match on her fourth try, 11-6.

Longoria and Salas were in control during game one of the doubles final, as they took the lead at 4-1, 7-2 and 10-3. Mendez and Vargas got it to 10-5, but that was as much as they could score, as Longoria and Salas closed it out at 15-5 on a Longoria backhand pinch shot. In game two, Mendez and Vargas switched sides with Vargas going from left to right, and Mendez the opposite. It seemed to work, as they kept the score close early, and actually had leads at 2-0 and 4-3.

But after getting the serve back, Longoria and Salas scored nine points on the next ten rallies to make the score 12-4. Mendez and Vargas had tried to stop the momentum with a timeout at 10-4, but to no avail. Mendez did get her side the serve back with a backhand winner, and they did score a couple of points to halve their opponents’ total, making the score 12-6. But a Mendez skip gave the serve back to Longoria and Salas, who closed out the game and match on the next three rallies that Salas ended with winners: a backhand winner from the front court, and then two forehand winners, the second of which was a splat-pinch that was unreturnable. Salas was markedly better in the doubles compared to the singles final.

If you missed any of the action from Greenville, check out the LPRT website, or the LPRT YouTube channel or its LiveStream channel. The next LPRT event is the Abierto Boliviano American Iris Open in Cochabamba, Bolivia, March 27-31.

2019 Sweet Caroline Open
Greenville, South Carolina - January 25-27, 2019

LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria d. 2 Samantha Salas, 11-1, 11-2, 11-6

LPRT Doubles - Final - Sunday

1 Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 3 Natalia Mendez & Maria Jose Vargas, 15-5, 15-6

Follow the bouncing ball….

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