Saturday, December 5, 2020

Barrios reaches an LPRT final for 1st time at 2020 TeamRoot.Com Super Max Slam

Angelica Barrios has done it again. She knocked off another top seed at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Super Max Slam in Overland Park, Kansas Saturday. LPRT #3 Alexandra Herrera was the victim this time, as Barrios defeated Herrera in two close games, 15-14, 15-10, putting herself in an LPRT final for the first time.

Barrios will face Paola Longoria, the LPRT’s #1 player, in the final, as Longoria beat Gabriela Martinez, 15-1, 15-7, in the other semi-final.

The start of the Barrios’s match was delayed, as she was playing an Open division match, which she won in a tie-breaker. One wondered if that match might impact on Barrios’s LPRT semi, and early on it seemed like it did as Herrera took leads of 5-0 and 9-4.

However, Barrios keep at it, tying the game at 9-9, and then going ahead 12-9. But Herrera wasn’t going to go quietly, and she came back to tie the game at 12-12 and then take a one point lead at 13-12, even though Barrios had called a timeout at 12-12.

They were back and forth from there. Five sideouts, and then Barrios got a point to tie it 13-13. She hit a backahand reverse pinch that was flat for her 14th point. But Herrera hit a backhand cross court winner to fend off Barrios’s first game point. Herrera then forced a skip from Barrios to tie the game at 14-14.

Five sideouts went by with Herrera serving for the game thrice and Barrios twice before Barrios forced an error from Herrera with a drive serve to the right side - the lefthanded Herrera’s backhand side - that Herrera skipped on the return.

Game two had a similar storyline. Herrera was up early, though not as much. They were tied 2-2, and close at 4-3. But Herrera took a 7-3 lead and it looked like a tie-breaker would be necessary.

But after a timeout by Barrios, when trailing 8-4, she got a sideout and then four points on consecutive rallies to tie the score 8-8. Herrera called timeout. A few sideouts and a couple of points scored, and they were at 10-10.

Barrios took over from there, winning six of the last seven rallies of the game, earning five points to win it 15-10. Herrera seemed to sag late in the game, as there had been several long rallies and Barrios’s shots were moving Herrera back and forth as well as left and right on the court. The winner came on a half shot forehand to the front right corner that earlier in the match Herrera would have tried to get to and maybe done so successfully. But at the end, she didn’t even move for it.

In the other semi-final, Longoria showed exactly why she is the LPRT’s #1 player, as she had little trouble defeating Gabriela Martinez, 15-1, 15-7. Martinez was seeded 21st, but she is the reigning Women’s Singles World Champion, winning the title by defeating Longoria in the final at the 2018 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships. Longoria may have extra motivation when playing Martinez because of that.

Longoria is also in the doubles final, although she and SSamantha Salas needed a tie-breaker to get past Alexandra Herrera and Montserrat Mejia, winning 11-15, 15-12, 11-8. In the final, they’ll face the new team of Valeria Centellas and Natalia Mendez who were straight game winners over Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-13, 15-4.

You can watch the 2020 LPRT Super Max Slam live via the LPRT YouTube channel or the  LPRT website (click “LPRT Live” at the top of the page). The singles final will be 1 PM Sunday with the doubles final to follow at 2 PM. All times central. 

2020 LPRT Super Max Slam, December 4-6, 2020

Overland Park, Kansas 

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria d. 21) Gabriela Martinez, 15-1, 15-7
23) Angelica Barrios d. 3) Alexandra Herrera, 15-14, 15-10

Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria v. 23) Angelica Barrios - 1 PM

Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 4) Alexandra Herrera & Montserrat Mejia, 11-15, 15-12, 11-8

2) Valeria Centellas & Natalia Mendez d. 6) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-13, 15-4 

Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 2) Valeria Centellas & Natalia Mendez - 2 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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