Monday, October 11, 2021

Weekend Round Up - IRT statement on the Waselenchuk decision & the Open Division winners from the US Open

IRT Statement on Kane Waselenchuk’s decision

The International Racquetball Tour (IRT) made an “Official Statement” prior to its US Open final on Sunday, which was posted on Facebook on Monday regarding Kane Waselenchuk’s forfeit of his semi-final match at the US Open versus Carlos Keller on Saturday. Waselenchuk’s decision was shocking, and in his post-match interview following his quarterfinal win he made no indication that he was even considering not playing.

The IRT’s statement read as follows:

”The IRT is disappointed in the decision by Kane Waselenchuk not to play in the singles semifinal at the UnitedHealthcare US Open on Saturday. It is an unfortunate decision that detracts from the tremendous play of all of the players and the celebration of the 25th anniversary of this event. The IRT is unaware of any injury or circumstances that would have prevented Kane from playing. The IRT provides the opportunity for open communication between all of our players and management. Our goal is to make the tour as successful as possible.”

There’s not a lot of content in that other than to express disappointment in the situation.

Of course, it’s a difficult situation for the IRT, who presumably aren’t interested in airing any “dirty laundry” in public, which is an appropriate stance for the organization to take.

Waselenchuk’s statement on Saturday about why he wasn’t playing cited “disagreements with the International Racquetball Tour,” so there is an onus on him to state what they are. The IRT can then respond to his statement. The IRT didn’t prevent him from playing. He chose not to play for reasons that are currently unstated.

While we would all like to have clarification on this situation, it won’t allow us to go back in time and have Waselenchuk and Keller play that semi-final. It’s always sad when a match isn’t played, regardless of the circumstances.

This situation was created by Waselenchuk, but that doesn’t mean the IRT had no part in it. We understand there has been friction between the two parties for some time, although the exact nature of that friction isn’t clear. Whether one of the parties somehow increased that friction Friday night or whether Waselenchuk tolerated that friction at the US Open as long as he was playing doubles with Sudsy Monchik is uncertain.

When Waselenchuk and Monchik, who were a fun team to see play, lost in the semi-finals Friday, Waselenchuk may have lost his real reason for being in Minneapolis. He’ll turn 40 next month, so Waselenchuk may be more focussed on the next phase of his life rather than racquetball. He has accomplished more than anyone else in IRT history, so his ability has been proven over and over.

Waselenchuk may have been intent on retiring after this US Open anyway, given his age and that Doug Ganim - the only tournament director the US Open has ever had - is retiring, which casts a shadow of uncertainty over the future of the event. Furthermore, Waselenchuk hadn’t played singles since prior to the pandemic, which suggests he might not be interested in competing anymore.

What’s clear is that this is a sad situation, and doesn’t reflect well on either party. Could they have done something so it wouldn’t have got to this point? Probably, though it’s difficult to say without knowing the causes of the friction, which will likely never be completely known.

If Waselenchuk has played his last IRT match, it will be a sad way to go out. But he’s left a legacy of excellence that will likely never be matched.

That is something to be admired.

Open Division winners at the US Open

The top seeds in Women’s and Men’s Open won their respective divisions on Sunday at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the women’s final, Angelica Barrios beat 2nd seed Carla Muñoz, 15-12, 15-6, while in the men’s final Andres Acuña came back from a game down to defeat 3rd seed Erik Trujillo, 7-15, 15-11, 11-4.

In the women’s semi-finals, Barrios beat 5th seed Kelani Lawrence, 15-14, 15-5, while Muñoz held on to defeat 19th seed Erin Groves, 15-13, 13-15, 11-5. In the men’s semis, Acuña defeated 5th seed Set Cubillos, 15-4, 15-11, and Trujillo beat 10th seed Shai Manzuri, 15-2, 15-12.

Barrios’s win was a successful defense of the Women’s Open title she won at the 2019 US Open. The open division is usually off limits for players ranked in the top 8 on the pro tours, and given Barrios’s semi-final finish in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) divison in Minneapolis, she may not be able to make it three in a row next year, because she could be in the top 8 by season’s end.

A curious thing about the men’s division is that the 2nd seed Felipe Camacho lost his first match to Hector Barrios. Barrios then lost to Juan Francisco Cueva, who lost to Manzuri, who lost to Trujillo, who lost to Acuña. This means that Camacho gets the wooden spoon, or had the worst outcome in the division, which is an unusual thing to happen to the 2nd seeded player.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Women’s Open Singles - Final

1) Angelica Barrios d. 2) Carla Muñoz, 15-12, 15-6

Semi-Finals

1) Angelica Barrios d. 5) Kelani Lawrence, 15-14, 15-5
2) Carla Muñoz d. 19) Erin Groves, 15-13, 13-15, 11-5

Quarterfinals

1) Angelica Barrios d. 8) Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-7, 15-5
5) Kelani Lawrence d. 4) Micaela Meneses, 15-10, 15-9

19) Erin Groves d. 6) Sheryl Lotts, 15-11, 12-15, 11-8
2) Carla Muñoz d. 7) Jenny Daza, 15-6, 15-9

Men’s Open Singles - Final

1) Andres Acuña d. 3) Erik Trujillo, 7-15, 15-11, 11-4

Semi-Finals

1) Andres Acuña d. 5) Set Cubillos, 15-4, 15-11
3) Erik Trujillo d. 10) Shai Manzuri, 15-2, 15-12

Quarterfinals

1) Andres Acuña d. 40) Luis Aguilar, 15-5, 15-0
5) Set Cubillos d. 13) Joe Kelley, 15-8, 15-6

3) Erik Trujillo d. 6) Edwin Galicia, 15-11, 15-13
10) Shai Manzuri d. 18) Juan Francisco Cueva, 15-12, 14-15, 15-8

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Sunday, October 10, 2021

De La Rosa wins his 1st US Open at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Daniel De La Rosa won his first US Open International Racquetball Tour (IRT) title Sunday at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he defeated Carlos Keller, 15-13, 11-15, 11-3. It was the first US Open IRT final to go to a tiebreaker in the 25 years of the event. It makes De La Rosa the first Mexican man to win the US Open, and he joins Kane Waselenchuk as the only men to win both IRT Singles and Doubles at the US Open.

It was truly a day of firsts.

De La Rosa was heavily favoured heading into the final, as he's the #2 player on the IRT, while Keller is #12. Keller got a berth in the final after Waselenchuk's surprise forfeit of their semi-final on Saturday. Waselenchuk was the 12 time defending champion.

But Keller is the two time reigning Pan American Champion, so he's no slouch. Keller proved that in game one, as he got a quick start going up 7-1. In fact, he led the whole way in game one.

That is until it was 13-10. De La Rosa called a timeout then, and got the serve back on the next rally, as he appealed for an avoidable hinder, which the line judges granted. He then won the next five rallies to come back and win game one, 15-13.

The storyline of game two was similar, as Keller again led; this time 7-3. But De La Rosa's comeback was sooner as he tied Keller at 9-9. They tied again at 11-11.

But this time Keller got the last few points to win it, 15-11. De La Rosa did call a timeout at 13-11, but to no avail.

Often it seems that when two close games result in a tie-breaker, the breaker is lopsided. So it was Sunday, as De La Rosa stormed out of the gate in game three, taking a 5-0 lead. Keller called timeout.

Keller won a long rally when play resumed, but a great backhand return by De La Rosa of Keller's drive serve to the left side denied him any points. And De La Rosa kept scoring, as he took the score up to 9-0.

At that point, the referee called a De La Rosa shot a skip, but Keller acknowledged that the ball actually him, so they replayed it. The crowd applauded the sportsmanship, and it seemed that Keller would be rewarded with some good karma as he won the next two rallies, which got him on the board at 9-1.

He got a second point, but that was all Keller could get as De La Rosa was able to finish it, winning 11-3 when Keller hit a weak forehand shot that skipped. That was a sad ending to what was a very good match.

The IRT will next be at the 2021 3 Wall Ball Outdoor World Championships in Las Vegas, October 20-24. Following that the tour closes the year with two Tier 1 events.

They'll play at a combined LPRT/IRT (International Racquetball Tour) event in Arizona, November 11-14, and then on the next weekend, they'll be in Sarasota, Florida for the 2021 Sarasota Open, November 18-21.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Singles - Final - Sunday

2) Daniel De La Rosa d. 12) Carlos Keller, 15-13, 11-15, 11-3

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Longoria wins 11th LPRT US Open Sunday at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Mexican Paola Longoria won the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) US Open title for a record extending 11th time, and 10th in a row, Sunday at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She defeated Maria Jose Vargas of Argentina in the final, 15-3, 15-8.

In game one, they were close early, but after Longoria led 4-2, she scored multiple points each time she was in the service box. In contrast, Vargas struggled to even get in the box, let alone score points.

Of the three points Vargas got in game one, two were ace serves. She just wasn't getting it done in the rallies.

Game two was more competitive early and through the mid-game. Vargas actually led at 4-3 and 5-4, as it seemed there might be a chink in the Longoria armour.

But any flaw was quickly mended with four straight points to lead 8-5. Vargas did respond with a couple of her own to get within one at 8-7.

Then it was slow going for a bit, but Longoria did edge ahead to 11-8. After getting the serve back at that point, she called a timeout.

When play resumed, Longoria won the last four points on as many rallies for the victory. Two of the four points were from Vargas skips, and unforced errors at that.

If you are going to cause an upset - and defeating Longoria would be a big upset - you can't be hurting yourself, yet that's what Vargas did too often Sunday.

Vargas also hit the ball to Longoria far too often, which wasn't making Longoria uncomfortable. You want to make your opponent uncomfortable, especially when trying to cause an upset.

The LPRT will next be at the 2021 3 Wall Ball Outdoor World Championships in Las Vegas, October 20-24. Following that the tour closes the year with three Tier 1 events.

They'll play back to back weekends in November. First, there will be a combined LPRT/IRT (International Racquetball Tour) event in Arizona, November 11-14, which will be followed by the LPRT Turkey Shoot Pro-Am in Chicago, November 19-21. 2021 will close with the 30th Annual Christmas Classic in Severna Park, Maryland, December 10-12. That'll make for a busy finish to the year for the LPRT.

If you missed the final - or any of the other LPRT US Open action - check out the LPRT YouTube channel, as well as the LPRT Facebook page.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria d. 3) Maria Jose Vargas, 15-3, 15-8

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Beltran & De La Rosa win IRT Doubles Championship at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa won their 2nd International Racquetball Tour (IRT) US Open Doubles Championship at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota Saturday by defeating Alejandro Landa and Samuel Murray in the final, 15-11, 15-11. Beltran and De La Rosa have been in the last four US Open finals and now have a 2-2 record. Landa and Murray were first time finalists.

It wasn't a wire to wire victory though, as Landa and Murray actually had big leads early in both games. They were up 6-1 in game one, but Beltran and De La Rosa tied them at 7-7, and pushed on to win 15-11.

In game two, Landa and Murray's lead was even greater: 9-2. But then Beltran and De La Rosa got 11 points without yielding serve. That wasn't a tide turning. That was a tsunami coming.

The end was odd, as the line judges overruled the referee who said a get by Murray was two bounces. The line judges saw as a good get. Then a couple rallies later Murray seemed to make a good shot to put his side back in the service box, but then the line judges overruled the referee to say that the shot was a skip.

That ended a competitive doubles final. But it confirms Beltran and De La Rosa as the premier men's doubles racquetball team.

If you missed the US Open action check out the IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Doubles - Final - Saturday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. 3) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray, 15-11, 15-11

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Longoria & Salas win 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open LPRT Doubles Championships

Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas won their 4th US Open Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Doubles Championship Saturday at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota by beating the defending champions Alexandra Herrera and Montserrat Mejia, 3-15, 15-11, 11-6, in the final. Longoria has won six of the seven LPRT US Open Doubles titles, with the only one she didn't win the 2019 title that went to Herrera and Mejia.

In game one, it looked like Herrera and Mejia would make a successful title defines, as they were dominant in winning 15-3. It seemed the key player was Salas, and she wasn't great in game one.

But Salas was better in game two, as she and Longoria were toe to toe with Herrera and Mejia. Then in the mid game Longoria and Salas eked ahead, and they maintained that lead to the end, winning game two 15-11 to force a tiebreaker.

The breaker started slowly. After 19 rallies, the score was still just 3-2 in favour of Longoria and Salas. Then Herrera and Mejia went for the same ball on the right side, and in coming together Mejia was injured.

She was down for some time on the court, and only left it with assistance. She took all of her injury time, but was able to return to play. However, she clearly wasn't 100%. Thus, while Salas was the key player in the match early, from this point Herrera was the key player if her side was to carry the day.

And Herrera was able to do it for awhile, as the match continued to be back and forth, and then tied at 6-6. But Longoria and Salas cued into how reduced Mejia was, and started playing more balls to her, which was successful.

That combined with a couple of errors by Herrera helped Longoria and Salas hold their opponents at 6-6, as they got the last five points need to win the match and the championship.

The win was not a popular one with the audience in attendance, although to be fair, Mejia's injury was nothing to do with Longoria and Salas.

If you missed any of the action, check out the LPRT YouTube channel, as well as the LPRT Facebook page.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Doubles - Final - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 2) Alexandra Herrera & Montserrat Mejia, 3-15, 15-11, 11-6

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Waselenchuk forfeits US Open IRT semi-final!

In a shocking development, Kane Waselenchuk, the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) forfeited his semi-final match against Carlos Keller on Saturday at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Waselechuk had been undefeated at the US Open since 2002, winning the last twelve US Opens. That streak and his 15 overall titles are both records.

Waselenchuk has released a statement on Instagram stating "I will be forfeiting my Semi Final [sic] match today due to disagreements with the International Racquetball Tour...not an easy decision for me...will release more information... to the fans who deserve to hear from me."

This was Waselenchuk's first time playing singles since prior to the pandemic. He had played doubles with Sudsy Monchik last month in Illinois, as well as this week in Minneapolis. They lost last night in the semi-finals to Alejandro Landa and Samuel Murray.

Keller is the beneficiary of Waselenchuk's forfeit, which means there is a Bolivian man in the IRT US Open final for a second consecutive time. Conrrado Moscoso was the first Bolivian to reach the final, when he was runner up to Waselenchuk in 2019. There was no US Open in 2020.

In Sunday's final, Keller will play IRT #2 Daniel De La Rosa, who defeated fellow Mexican Andree Parrilla, 6-15, 15-10, 11-5, to win the first IRT semi-final on Saturday. De La Rosa will be playing in the US Open final for the 3rd time in his career. His win solidifies him as the most in form player on tour, because he's winning the last two IRT events.

De La Rosa didn't show his recent great form in game one against Parrilla, as Parrilla was playing great. They were close early game one, but then Parrilla took a 10-4 lead. He maintained the lead to win it 15-6.

In game two, they were again close early, but this time De La Rosa opened up the lead to 9-3. He extended that lead to 13-4, but then Parrilla dug in, and clawed some points back.

Parrilla got within four at 13-9. But De La Rosa ended that run with a forehand return winner off a drive serve to the right side. He then got point 14 when Parrilla skipped a forehand shot.

Yet Parrilla held off two game points. The second of them was a De La Rosa shot that was called a skip, but may have been good based on the players' reactions. But De La Rosa was out of appeals, so he couldn't challenge the call. Would that be a crucial call in the match outcome?

Parrilla did get another point on the next rally with a forehand pinch shots, but De La Rosa regained the serve right immediately afterwards with a forehand cross court shot. Then he won it with a backhand down the line to force game three.

In game three, De La Rosa continued to pile on the pressure. He went out to a 10-1 lead, which put the writing on the wall. Parilla got a few points at the end, but that just delayed De La Rosa's win, which came after Parrilla skipped a backhand serve return of a De La Rosa drive serve down the left side.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

12) Carlos Keller d. 1) Kane Waselenchuk, forfeit
2) Daniel De La Rosa d. 6) Andree Parrilla, 6-15, 15-10, 11-5

IRT Singles - Final - Sunday

2) Daniel De La Rosa v. 12) Carlos Keller - Noon

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Longoria & Vargas into LPRT final at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Mexican Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT), fended off a strong challenge from the USA's Erika Manilla, winning 15-13, 15-10, to reach the final of the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She'll play in her 13th consecutive US Open final Sunday, and she's won 10 of those 13, including the last last 9 in a row.

Maria Jose Vargas stands between Longoria and #11, as she won the first semi-final, coming back to defeat Angelica Barrios, 10-15, 15-4, 11-3. Vargas will play her 2nd consecutive final Sunday.

Manilla was the Cinderella story of the week, as she's ranked 34th on the LPRT, so had to go through qualifying to make the main draw of 32. Then she beat the 4th, 5th and 21st seeds to get to the semis. It was an impressive run.

Early in game one it looked like the run might continue, as she and Longoria were neck and neck. Manilla actually led 6-3, and then again 10-6, and 12-7. But Longoria responded with a run of four points on as many rallies to get within one at 12-11. Manilla called timeout.

They exchanged sides outs after that, but it was Longoria who continued to score, moving into a 14-12 lead. Manilla hit a forehand winner to stave off Longoria's first game point, and hit another to make it 14-13.

But a Longoria forehand winner put a stop to that. She then cracked out a drive serve to the left side for game point, winning 15-13.

Manilla played solid in game one, so it seemed like she might be able to sustain it, and perhaps get the match to a tie-breaker. Indeed, Manilla led the from the start, at 6-1 and 9-5.

Then at 10-8, Longoria hit her.

On the play, the ball is high, so Longoria tries to go for an overhead shot. Except the shot goes into - not over - Manilla's head. The ball and Manilla are both in front of Longoria, so she should be aware of where her opponent is. Yet she hit it into Manilla.

Longoria does like the overhead pinch shot, so it's not an uncommon choice for her. Should she have held up rather than taken the shot? Probably. Was Manilla in the way of the shot? Perhaps, but she doesn't have to give Longoria the side wall, and if Manilla was blocking any of the front wall, it wasn't much.

Manilla was clearly hurt by the play, as she immediately walked off the court to collect herself and get some attention from her support team.

After a few minutes, Manilla was able to continue. But she didn't score another point, and only served twice more. Longoria won 9 of the final 10 rallies to come back and win game two 15-10, and take the match in two straight games.

But Longoria hitting Manilla casts a shadow over the victory.

Vargas, the 3rd seed, had a slow start in her match, as the 10th seed Barrios came out on fire, going up 10-2 and 14-3 in game one. At that point, we were thinking one of these players is playing like she's the LPRT's #3 player, and the other is Maria Jose Vargas.

However, Vargas dug in, and put some points together after fending off two game points. She won 7 points on the next 9 rallies to get to 14-10.

But a Barrios forehand wide angle pass ended that run. On her 4th game point opportunity, Barrios cracked out a drive serve to the left side for an ace and the game winning point.

But momentum had changed, and any nerves or early morning rust that Vargas was feeling in game one dissipated in game two. They were back and forth early in that game with the score tied 2-2. But Vargas slowly built the score up to 9-3.

A Barrios timeout got her a side-out when play resumed, and another point to make it 9-4, Vargas leading. But that's the last point Barrios scored in game two, as Vargas pushed on to win it, 15-4, and force a deciding game three.

Despite losing game two, Barrios was still only 11 points from her first US Open final, and it looked like she was intent on getting there, as she won the first three points of the breaker to lead 3-0.

Then it was as if Vargas said, "enough," as she hit a forehand winner to take the serve back, and get on the board with a drive serve ace to the right side.

Barrios did get the serve back on the next rally with a backhand down the right side, but she skipped the ensuing rally to hand the serve back to Vargas.

And she never served again.

Vargas won 10 straight points on as many rallies. Two directly off her serve. Six off winners, and only two off Barrios errors (skips). Thus, it was Vargas winning the match, not Barrios losing it. If she's going to win on Sunday, Vargas is going to need to be that good again.

Look for the action via the LPRT YouTube channel, as well as the LPRT Facebook page.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria d. Erika Manilla, 15-13, 15-10
3) Maria Jose Vargas d. 10) Angelica Barrios, 10-15, 15-4, 11-3

LPRT Singles - Final - Sunday

1) Paola Longoria v. 3) Maria Jose Vargas - 10 AM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Friday, October 8, 2021

Longoria & Salas into LPRT Doubles final at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas took another step to winning their 4th US Open Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Doubles title Friday at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as they beat Veronica Sotomayor and Maria Jose Vargas, 15-2, 15-5, in the semi-finals. The win put Longoria into the final for the 7th time at the US Open, and she's won five of her previous six finals.

Alexandra Herrera and Montserrat Mejia will take on Longoria and Salas in the final Saturday, as Herrera and Mejia defeated Valeria Centellas and Natalia Mendez, 15-0, 15-13, in the second semi-final. It will be a rematch of the last two US Open LPRT Doubes finals, which the two teams have split.

Game one of the first semi-final was an example of how dominant Longoria and Salas can be, as their opponents were only in the service box twice. Longoria and Salas went from 4-2 to 15-2 without yielding serve.

Game two was more competitive, but also not close. Sotomayor and Vargas got the first three points, but then gave up seven points to Longoria and Salas. They got two more points to make it 7-5, but that was all they could muster, as the Mexican team of Longoria and Salas held them at the bay. Sotomayor and Vargas did serve three more times, but couldn't score.

Longoria and Salas will play the winner of 2nd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Montserrat Mejia and 3rd seeds Valeria Centellas and Natalia Mendez. Herrera and Mejia are the reigning US Open champions, as they beat Longoria and Salas two years ago.

Herrera and Mejia are the defending US Open LPRT Doubles champions, and they looked every bit intent on defending their title after blanking Centellas and Mendez in game one of the second semi. But then Centellas and Mendez came alive in game two, and took the lead at 6-5.

The champs responded and took the lead back at 9-7. But once again Centellas and Mendez took the lead at 13-9, and they seemed to play a front-back formation with Centellas in front and Mendez in back. Herrera and Mejia called a time out.

A Herrera winner got her side the serve back after the timeout, and they didn't give up the serve in scoring six straight points to win game two, 15-13, and the match in two straight games.

Look for the action via the LPRT YouTube channel, as well as the LPRT Facebook page.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. Veronica Sotomayor & Maria Jose Vargas, 15-2, 15-5
2) Alexandra Herrera & Montserrat Mejia d. 3) Valeria Centellas & Natalia Mendez, 15-0, 15-13

LPRT Doubles - Final - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 2) Alexandra Herrera & Montserrat Mejia - 4 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Beltran & De La Rosa into IRT Doubles final at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa are the top seeds in the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) doubles division at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but once more they narrowly escaped with a victory, as they had to play another tie-breaker. This time in the semi-finals against fellow Mexicans Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya forced them to three games before the 2018 US Open champions could get it done, winning 15-10, 12-15, 11-8.

Alejandro Landa and Samuel Murray will be Beltran and De La Rosa's opponents in the final, as the 3rd seeds upset 2nd seeds Sudsy Monchik and Kane Waselenchuk, 15-8, 14-15, 11-5, in the other semi.

We had the sense that De La Rosa was really the difference in the first match, as it seemed whenever he hit the ball good things happened. But shortly after thinking that with his side ahead 10-7 in the breaker, De La Rosa skipped two shots - the second of which was a truly "oh my god!" type error, as he hit a forehand shot into the floor almost at his feet when he was standing in the middle of the court.

That skip could have been the turning point, as it gave the serve back to Mar and Montoya, who only trailed by three points. They won the next rally with a good forehand pinch shot by Montoya to make it 10-8.

The next rally was one of those epic scramble, multiple dive type rallies that high level doubles is known for, which ended with a Beltran forehand wide angle pass that his opponents couldn't get. After that Montoya skipped a shot when he attempted to take it behind his back.

On match point three, Montoya made another error as he tried to hit a backhand pinch shot from deep in the back court, but the ball didn't make the front wall.

You had a sense that things might not go as expected in the second semi, when Landa and Murray went up 10-0 in game one. Monchik and Waselenchuk did get within three at 11-8, so the finish was a bit nervy, but Landa and Murray took it when Landa hit a forehand reverse pinch for their 15th point.

Game two was closer the whole way, although Landa and Murray pulled away late to lead 13-8. It looked like they would win in two games, but Monchik and Waselenchuk had other ideas, as they they came back to within two at 13-11.

Landa and Murray called a timeout, and when play resumed they got a side out. Their 14th point came on an appeal, as the referee called a hinder as Murray was going for a forehand shot with Waselenchuk on the floor in front of him. The line judges overturned the referee to rule it an avoidable (penalty hinder).

On the next rally, Murray had a forehand set up for the match that he skipped. That opened the door for Monchik and Waselenchuk who took full advantage by winning four straight points with three Waselenchuk winners and one by Monchik.

Would Murray's skip cost his side the match?

The answer was no, as they again took a big lead to start game three, going up 6-0. Monchik and Waselenchuk cut the lead in half at 6-3, but never got closer, as the Mexi-Can team pushed on to win it, 11-5.

Overall, Landa and Murray just played better than Monchik and Waselenchuk. Murray especially was a big contributor to his side's victory.

Waselenchuk had flashes of brilliance, as usual, but his opponents played most of the balls to Monchik, so as to limit Waselenchuk's opportunities. The strategy proved effective.

The US Open action can be seen via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The doubles final will be 6 PM Saturday.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya, 15-10, 12-15, 11-8
3) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray d. 2) Sudsy Monchik & Kane Waselenchuk, 15-8, 14-15, 11-5

IRT Doubles - Final - Saturday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. 3) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray - 6 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Manilla & Barrios 1st time LPRT semi-finalists at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Erika Manilla continues to be the story of the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as she upset another top ranked player Friday norming. This time Manilla came back to defeat 4th seed Gabriela Martinez, 6-15, 15-5, 11-4, and book her first semi-final place at the US Open.

But in that semi-final, she'll take on LPRT #1 Paola Longoria, who beat 8th seed Jessica Parrilla, 15-9, 15-2, in the quarters. That'll be a big task for Manilla, but she's been up to everything that's come her way so far.

Angelica Barrios will be another first time US Open semi-finalist, as she defeated Brenda Laime, 15-12, 15-6, in what was a battle of 21 year olds. In the semis, Barrios will take on 3rd seed Maria Jose Vargas, who needed a tie-breaker to get past Rhonda Rajsich, 15-7, 9-15, 11-4.

Look for the action via the LPRT YouTube channel, as well as the LPRT Facebook page.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria d. 8) Jessica Parrilla, 15-9, 15-2
Erika Manilla d. 4) Gabriela Martinez, 6-15, 15-5, 11-4

3) Maria Jose Vargas d. 11) Rhonda Rajsich, 15-7, 9-15, 11-4
10) Angelica Barrios d. 15) Brenda Laime, 15-12, 15-6

LPRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria v. Erika Manilla - 1 PM
3) Maria Jose Vargas v. 10) Angelica Barrios - 10 AM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Waselenchuk & De La Rosa into IRT semis at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Kane Waselenchuk's mission for his 13th consecutive US Open title (16th overall) remains on track, as he defeated a long time rival in the quarterfinals of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) division at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Waselenchuk beat Rocky Carson, 15-3, 15-5, in a battle of aging veterans; Waselenchuk will be 40 in November and Carson is 42.

Waselenchuk and Carson have been the most frequent opponents in IRT history with Friday's match their 81st on tour, but Waselenchuk holds a decisive advantage winning 78 of those 81 matches.

By contrast in the semi-finals, Waselenchuk will play someone he's only faced once before in Carlos Keller. Waselenchuk won that meeting back in September 2019.

Keller, the 12th seed from Bolivia, advanced to the semi-finals for the first time at the US Open by defeating the Canadian 4th seed Samuel Murray, 15-11, 15-12.

It's all Mexico in the other semi, as 2nd seed Daniel De La Rosa takes on 6th seed Andree Parrilla. De La Rosa beat 7th seed Eduardo Portillo, 15-13, 15-8, while Parrilla upset 3rd seed Alejandro Landa, 15-6, 15-11.

In the Keller-Murray match, Murray never seemed to find a groove. He made some spectacular shots, but then Keller would respond with some steady high quality play to keep the Canadian at bay.

In game two, Murray got out to a 7-2 lead, and it looked like a tie-breaker would be necessary. But Keller called a timeout at that point, and then came back in and scored ten unanswered points to lead 12-7.

Then for a brief period the wheels fell off the Keller train, as Murray scored four points to get within one at 12-11. All four points were from Keller skipping backhand shots, a couple of which were unforced errors.

But Keller was able to right the ship, and pull it back together. He did need two match points to get over the finish line with the winner coming off a great get at the back wall. Murray had driven the ball to the back left side, and it was just up enough off the back wall for the lanky Keller to reach back and hit it forward for a winner over to the right side. A solid way to cap a very good performance by the Bolivian.

The first game of Parrilla and Landa wasn't close, but they were neck and neck in game two. Neither led by more than two up to point of being tied at 11-11.

But from there only Parrilla scored, though he did it slowly. It took nine rallies to get to three points to put it on match point at 14-11. Then something odd happened, as Parrilla, who had been using a drive Z serve to the left side - Landa's backhand - went away from that serve. That despite Landa not really doing much when returning that serve.

It took seven rallies to get the last point, as Landa fought off four match points. The last of them was a hinder that Parrilla appealed to be a penalty hinder, which was denied. But he did win it on the ensuing rally with a forehand shot to the left side, which puts Parrilla into the US Open semi-finals for the second time (he was in the semis in 2018).

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 8) Rocky Carson, 15-3, 15-5
12) Carlos Keller d. 4) Samuel Murray, 15-11, 15-12

6) Andree Parrilla d. 3) Alejandro Landa, 15-6, 15-11
2) Daniel De La Rosa d. 7) Eduardo Portillo, 15-13, 15-8

IRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 12) Carlos Keller - 2 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa v. 6) Andree Parrilla - 11 AM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Top three LPRT seeds advance to doubles semis at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

The top three seeds in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) doubles draw at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota won their quarterfinals matches in two straight games Thursday night. Top seeds Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas beat Kelani Lawrence and Hollie Scott, 15-9, 15-3, and 2nd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Montserrat Mejia defeated Angelica Barrios and Jenny Daza, 15-8, 15-4. Third seeds Valeria Centellas and Natalia Mendez had a bit more work to do to fend off Erika Manilla and Rhonda Rajsich, 15-13, 15-4.

However, the 4th seeds Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez were upset by the new team of Veronica Sotomayor and Maria Jose Vargas, who came back from a game down to win 10-15, 15-3, 11-2. They'll take on Longoria and Salas tonight.

Look for the action via the LPRT YouTube channel, as well as the LPRT Facebook page.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Doubles - Quarterfinals  - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott, 15-9, 15-3
Veronica Sotomayor & Maria Jose Vargas d. 4) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez, 10-15, 15-3, 11-2

3) Valeria Centellas & Natalia Mendez d. Erika Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich, 15-13, 15-4
2) Alexandra Herrera & Montserrat Mejia d. Angelica Barrios & Jenny Daza, 15-8, 15-4

LPRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. Veronica Sotomayor & Maria Jose Vargas - 6:20 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera & Montserrat Mejia v. 3) Valeria Centellas & Natalia Mendez - 8:20

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Three of four top seeds into IRT Doubles semi-finals at 2021 Unitedhealthcare US Open

Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa - the top seeds in the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) doubles division at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota - got pushed in their quarterfinal match by Conrrado Moscoso and Roland Keller, but managed to come out on top, 15-14, 14-15, 11-4. The win puts Beltran and De La Rosa into the semi-finals Friday night, when they will play another Mexican team in Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya.

Mar and Montoya were the only upset winners in the quarters, as they held on to defeat 4th seeds Andree Parrilla and Eduardo Portillo, 15-10, 12-15, 11-3.

On the other side of the draw, 2nd seeds Sudsy Monchik and Kane Waselenchuk defeated Kadim Carrasco and Carlos Keller in two close games, 15-13, 15-11. In the semis, they'll play 3rd seeds Alejandro Landa and Samuel Murray, who had the most lopsided quarterfinal win, beating the righty-lefty team of David Horn and Adam Manilla, 15-1, 15-8.

The US Open action can be seen via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The doubles semi-finals are Friday night at 5:20 and 7:20 PM with the final at 6 PM Saturday.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Doubles - Quarterfinals  - Thursday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. Conrrado Moscoso & Roland Keller, 15-14, 14-15, 11-4
Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya d. 4) Andree Parrilla &  Eduardo Portillo, 15-10, 12-15, 11-3

3) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray d. David Horn & Adam Manilla, 15-1, 15-8
2) Sudsy Monchik & Kane Waselenchuk d. Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller, 15-13, 15-11

IRT Doubles - Semi-finals  - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya - 5:20 PM
2) Sudsy Monchik & Kane Waselenchuk v. 3) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray - 7:20 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Keller into IRT quarters at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

In an all-Bolivian battle, 12th seed Carlos Keller upset 5th seed - and 2019 runner up - Conrrado Moscoso, 15-13, 15-5, in the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Round of 16 at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Keller, who is the reigning two time Pan American Champion, will play 4th seed Samuel Murray in the quarterfinals on Friday. Murray beat 13th seed Sebastian Franco, 15-4, 15-6, in the 16s.

The IRT's #1 player Kane Waselenchuk defeated Adam Manilla in straight games, 15-4, 15-8, and will play a familiar foe in the quarterfinals, when he goes up against Rocky Carson, who was a winner over Alvaro Beltran, 15-14, 15-1.

Other results from the Round of 16 include 3rd seed Alejandro Landa's win over Sebastian Fernandez, 15-8, 15-6, and 6th seed Andree Parrilla's defeat of 11th seed Mario Mercado, 15-11, 15-8. Those wins set up a Mexican showdown between Landa and Parrilla in the quarters on Friday.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Singles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. Adam Manilla, 15-4, 15-8
8) Rocky Carson d. 9) Alvaro Beltran, 15-14, 15-1

12) Carlos Keller d. 5) Conrrado Moscoso, 15-13, 15-5
4) Samuel Murray d. 13) Sebastian Franco, 15-4, 15-6

3) Alejandro Landa d. Sebastian Fernandez, 15-8, 15-6
6) Andree Parrilla d. 11) Mario Mercado, 15-11, 15-8

7) Eduardo Portillo d. 10) Jake Bredenbeck, 15-10, 15-3
2) Daniel De La Rosa d. Eduardo Garay, 15-6, 15-5

IRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 8) Rocky Carson - 2 PM
4) Samuel Murray v. 12) Carlos Keller - 10 AM

3) Alejandro Landa v. 6) Andree Parrilla - 11 AM
7) Eduardo Portillo v. 2) Daniel De La Rosa - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Four upsets in LPRT Round of 16 at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Lower seeds won four of the eight matches in the Round of 16 in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) singles draw at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Thursday. LPRT #1 and 9 time defending US Open champion Paola Longoria was not upset, as she defeated Kelani Lawrence, 15-2, 15-14. Longoiria will play 8th seed Jessica Parrilla in the quarterfinals Friday, as 8th seed Parrilla defeated 9th seed Valeria Centellas, 15-11, 11-15, 11-4.

But 2nd seed Alexandra Herrera was not so fortunate, as 17th seed Brenda Laime caused the greatest upset Thursday by defeating Herrera, 15-5, 11-15, 11-3. It's the second consecutive tournament that Laime has beaten the 2nd seed, although last time out she beat Montserrat Mejia.

The win puts Laime into the quarterfinals on Friday, when she'll face 10th seed Angelica Barrios, who was another of the lower seeds to win Thursday. She beat 7th seed Samantha Salas in convincing fashion, 15-4, 15-6.

Rhonda Rajsich, a four time US Open Champion, also pulled off a remarkable performance in the 16s, as she defeated 6th Natalia Mendez, 5-15, 15-12, 11-10. And she was down 7-1 and 10-3 down in the tie-breaker.

But at 10-3, Mendez skipped a backhand shot, and that unforced error started to turn the tide. They exchanged sideouts, so Mendez did have a second match point opportunity, but that was snuffed out by a Rajsich backhand cross court serve return off a drive serve to the left.

Rajsich won points on the next six rallies to go from 10-3 to 10-9. Mendez's timeout at 10-6 did nothing, but after a timeout at 10-9, she did get the serve back with a forehand return winner off a right side drive serve.

But match point three for Mendez went away with a Rajsich forehand cross court return winner from a right side drive serve. Rajsich tied it at 10-10 with forehand winner. Then on her first match point she changed her serve from a straight drive down the right side to a drive Z serve to the right side, and Mendez skipped her return shot. Game over and match over.

Erika Manilla came back from a game down to defeat Mecaela Meneses, 14-15, 15-12, 11-6, in the Round of 16 , so she will play in the quarterfinals on Friday against 4th Gabriela Martinez. Martinez beat Hollie Scott in the 16s, 15-8, 15-3.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Singles - Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria d. 16) Kelani Lawrence, 15-2, 15-14
8) Jessica Parrilla d. 9) Valeria Centellas, 15-11, 11-15, 11-4

Erika Manilla d. 21) Micaela Meneses, 14-15, 15-12, 11-6
4) Gabriela Martinez d. 20) Hollie Scott, 15-8, 15-3

3) Maria Jose Vargas d. 19) Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-6, 8-15, 11-8
11) Rhonda Rajsich d. 6) Natalia Mendez, 5-15, 15-12, 11-10

10) Angelica Barrios d. 7) Samantha Salas, 15-4, 15-6
15) Brenda Laime d. 2) Alexandra Herrera, 15-5, 11-15, 11-3

LPRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria v. 8) Jessica Parrilla - 2 PM
4) Gabriela Martinez v. Erika Manilla - 10 AM

3) Maria Jose Vargas v. 11) Rhonda Rajsich - 11 AM
10) Angelica Barrios v. 15) Brenda Laime - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Top 4 seeds into the IRT Round of 16 at 2021 Unitedhealthcare US Open

Few upsets so far in the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Round of 32 at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sebastian Fernandez upset 14th seed Thomas Carter, 15-12, 15-13, and Eduardo Garay was a walkover winner against 15th seed Rodrigo Montoya.

The top four seeds all won their first matches comfortably. Top seed Kane Waselenchuk beat Troy Warigo, 15-1, 15-3, and 2nd seed Daniel De La Rosa defeated Joe Kelley, 15-5, 15-7. Similarly, 3rd seed Alejandro Landa and 4th seed Samuel Murray won two straight. Landa beat Erick Trujillo, 15-7, 15-10, while Murray beat Erick Cuevas Fernandez, 15-8, 15-5.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Singles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. Troy Warigo, 15-1, 15-3
Adam Manilla d. 16) Andres Acuña, 11-15, 15-5, 11-2

9) Alvaro Beltran d. Hector Barrios, 15-14, 15-9
8) Rocky Carson d. Kadim Carrasco, 15-3, 15-12

5) Conrrado Moscoso d. Juan Salvatierra, 15-7, 15-12
12) Carlos Keller d. Robert Collins, 15-3, 15-7

13) Sebastian Franco d. Alan Natera, 11-15, 15-8, 11-6
4) Samuel Murray d. Erick Cuevas Fernandez, 15-8, 15-5

3) Alejandro Landa d. Erick Trujillo, 15-7, 15-10
Sebastian Fernandez d. 14) Thomas Carter, 15-12, 15-13

11) Mario Mercado d. Christian Wer, 15-1, 15-8
6) Andree Parrilla d. Rodrigo Rodriguez, 15-10, 15-12

7) Eduardo Portillo d. Nicholas Riffel, 15-6, 15-9
10) Jake Bredenbeck d. Alejandro Herrera, 15-4, 15-1

Eduardo Garay d. 15) Rodrigo Montoya, forfeit
2) Daniel De La Rosa d. Joe Kelley, 15-5, 15-7

IRT Singles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. Adam Manilla - 6:40 PM
8) Rocky Carson v. 9) Alvaro Beltran - 6:40 PM

5) Conrrado Moscoso v. 12) Carlos Keller - 3:10 PM
4) Samuel Murray v. 13) Sebastian Franco - 3:10 PM

3) Alejandro Landa v. Sebastian Fernandez - 4:20 PM
6) Andree Parrilla v. 11) Mario Mercado - 4:20 PM

7) Eduardo Portillo v. 10) Jake Bredenbeck - 5:30 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa v. Eduardo Garay - 5:30 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Manilla defeats Mejia in LPRT 32s at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Erika Manilla created the first shock in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) singles draw at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as she took out the 5th seed Monserrat Mejia, 9-15, 15-13, 11-3, in the Round of 32. The win puts Manilla into the Round of 16, where she'll face another upset winner, as Micaela Meneses beat 12th seed Nancy Enriquez, 15-11, 15-3. Thus, either Manilla or Meneses will be a surprise quarterfinalist at this year's US Open.

Veronica Sotomayor's first US Open run in 5 years came to an end as she narrowly lost to 8th seed Jessica Parrilla, 11-15, 15-9, 11-10. Sotomayor was dominant in game one, when she never trailed. But Parrilla levelled the match by winning game two.

Parrilla carried that momentum into game three, going up 6-0 and 9-4. But Sotomayor, a former top 10 LPRT player, fought back to tie the game at 10-10. Then Parrilla called a time out.

When play resumed, Sotomayor hit a backhand shot that came around the right side of the court, and off the back wall. As Parrilla was setting up for her shot, she was interfered with by Sotomayor, as she was trying to get out of the way. The referee called an avoidable (or penalty hinder), which gave the serve back to Parrilla.

Some in what seemed like a pro Sotomayor audience thought that should have been just a hinder replay, not an avoidable. But Parrilla was setting up to hit what looked like would be a rallying winning shot, and Sotomayor clearly interfered with that set up. So, while might have been a harsh call, it wasn't wrong.

Parrilla hit a drive serve to the left side that Sotomayor skipped almost at her feet, as the ball went into the floor after she hit it. There have been some odd bounces on that court that have been called court hinders, and it seemed Sotomayor mildly protested that had happened on the serve. However, the referee didn't see any, so the play stood.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Singles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria d. Camila Rivero, 15-13, 15-1
16) Kelani Lawrence d. 17) Sheryl Lotts, 15-13, 15-7

9) Valeria Centellas d. 24) Jessica Chen, 15-4, 15-2
8) Jessica Parrilla d. Veronica Sotomayor, 11-15, 15-9, 11-10

Erika Manilla d. 5) Montserrat Mejia, 15-9, 13-15, 11-3
21) Micaela Meneses d. 12) Nancy Enriquez, 15-11, 15-3

20) Hollie Scott d. 13) Carla Muñoz, 15-7, 15-11
4) Gabriela Martinez d. Montserrat Perez, 15-12, 15-7

3) Maria Jose Vargas d. Shane Diaz, 15-1, 15-4
19) Maria Renee Rodriguez d. 14) Cristina Amaya, 12-15, 15-9, 11-9

11) Rhonda Rajsich d. 22) Ana Laura Flores, 15-1, 14-15, 11-3
6) Natalia Mendez d. Jenny Daza, 15-8, 15-6

7) Samantha Salas d. Aisling Hickey, 15-11, 15-1
10) Angelica Barrios d. 23) Erin Slutzky, 15-1, 15-5

15) Brenda Laime d. 18) Adriana Riveros, 9-15, 15-6, 11-5
2) Alexandra Herrera d. Naomi Ros, 15-4, 15-7

LPRT Singles - Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria v. 16) Kelani Lawrence - 5:30 PM
9) Valeria Centellas v. 8) Jessica Parrilla - 5:30 PM

21) Micaela Meneses v. Erika Manilla - 2 PM
4) Gabriela Martinez v. 20) Hollie Scott - 2 PM

3) Maria Jose Vargas v. 19) Maria Renee Rodriguez - 3:10 PM
6) Natalia Mendez v. 11) Rhonda Rajsich - 3:10 PM

7) Samantha Salas v. 10) Angelica Barrios - 4:20 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera v. 15) Brenda Laime - 4:20 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

IRT Singles Round 2 of Qualifying at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Rodrigo Rodriguez has perhaps the most interesting result from second round of qualifying in the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Singles draw at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as he defeated Mauricio Zelada, 15-7, 15-0. That's some result for a player we don't know much about. The win earns Rodriguez a spot in the Round of 32 on Thursday, when he'll play 6th seed Andree Parrilla.

Nicholas Riffel had one of his most memorable wins in the second round of qualifying, as he came back from a game down and 5-1 down in the breaker to defeat 2 time US Open champion Cliff Swain, 11-15, 15-10, 11-9. The win puts Riffel into the 32s against 7th seed Eduardo Portillo.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Singles - Qualifying Round 2 - Wednesday

Q1 - Adam Manilla d. Shai Manzuri, 15-3, 15-6
Q16 - Troy Warigon d. Jose Flores Jr., 15-5, 12-15, 11-8

Q9 - Kadim Carrasco d. Jonathan Burns, 15-1, 15-6
Q8 - Hector Barrios d. Set Cubillos, 15-9, 12-15, 11-10

Q5 - Robert Collins d. Juan Pablo Rodriguez, 15-8, 15-3
Q12 - Juan Salvatierra d. Maurice Miller, 7-15, 15-11, 11-8

Q13 - Erick Cuevas Fernandez d. Austin Cunningham, 15-8, 15-14
Q4 - Alan Natera d. Andrés Gómez, 15-3, 15-11

Q3 - Sebastian Fernandez d. Alex Zamudio, 15-9, 15-5
Q14 - Erick Trujillo d. Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman, 15-10, 15-12

Q11 - Rodrigo Rodriguez d. Mauricio Zelada, 15-7, 15-0
Q6 - Christian Wer d. Sam Bredenbeck, 15-12, 3-15, 11-5

Q7 - Alejandro Herrera d. Felipe Camacho, 15-8, 14-15, 11-3
Q10 Nicholas Riffel d. Cliff Swain, 11-15, 15-10, 11-9

Q15 - Joe Kelley d. Edwin Galicia, 9-15, 15-14, 11-4
Q2 - Eduardo Garay d. Francisco Gomez Reyes, 15-7, 15-12

IRT Singles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. Troy Warigon - 2 PM
16) Andres Acuña v. Adam Manilla - 2 PM

9) Alvaro Beltran v. Hector Barrios - 2 PM
8) Rocky Carson v. Kadim Carrasco - 2 PM

5) Conrrado Moscoso v. Juan Salvatierra - 10:30 AM
12) Carlos Keller v. Robert Collins - 10:30 AM

13) Sebastian Franco v. Alan Natera - 10:30 AM
4) Samuel Murray v. Erick Cuevas Fernandez - 10:30 AM

3) Alejandro Landa v. Erick Trujillo - 11:40 AM
14) Thomas Carter v. Sebastian Fernandez - 11:40 AM

11) Mario Mercado v. Christian Wer - 11:40 AM
6) Andree Parrilla v. Rodrigo Rodriguez - 11:40 AM

7) Eduardo Portillo v. Nicholas Riffel - 12:50 PM
10) Jake Bredenbeck v. Alejandro Herrera - 12:50 PM

15) Rodrigo Montoya v. Eduardo Garay - 12:50 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa v. Joe Kelley - 12:50 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

LPRT Doubles Round 1 at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Angelica Barrios and Jenny Daza won the first match in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) doubles draw at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as they defeated Ana Laura Flores and Micaela Meneses, 15-6, 15-11, in the first round of qualifying. Barrios and Daza will play Jessica Parrilla and Montserrat Perez Wednesday afternoon for as spot in Thursday's quarterfinals against 2nd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Montserrat Mejia, who are the defending US Open LPRT Doubles Champions.

Also, Kelani Lawrence and Hollie Scott played very well in defeating Brenda Laime and Camila Rivero, 15-3, 15-5, and claim the Q4 spot in the draw, which puts them against top seeds Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas in the quarters on Thursday night.

The new team of Veronica Sotomayor and Maria Jose Vargas were successful in their first match, as they beat the US team of Michelle De La Rosa and Sheryl Lotts, 15-13, 15-13. Game one was close the entire way, with a tie at 13-13 before a couple of Sotomayor winners closed it out.

Game two began with six points from Sotomayor and Vargas, but the American team responded with six of their own to tie it 6-6. No big leads after that, and they tied again at 12-12.

De La Rosa and Lotts went from 9-12 down to 13-12 up on Vargas skipping serve returns. Two jam serves by Lotts that came over to Vargas on the right side started it, but she two more after that. Then Sotomayor and Vargas called a time out.

On the next serve, Lotts hit it to Vargas's side, but it came off the back wall and into the middle where Sotomayor hit a winning return. Problem solved. They got the serve back when Lotts skipped a shot, where perhaps there could have been a hinder as the players were bunched together in the middle of the court. The referee didn't think so though, so Sotomayor and Vargas got the serve back down one at 13-12.

Vargas tied it at 13-13 with a great forehand pinch shot. Lotts was then forced into skipping a ball that Sotomayor hit cross court, which made it 14-13. The end came on the next rally as the ball came over to the right side. It looked like De La Rosa was intent on taking it, but she backed off. The ball did come off the back wall, so Lotts a decent chance to hit a good shot. But instead she put the ball into the floor, which ended the game at 15-13, and the match in two straight games.

The crazy thing is that Sotomayor and Vargas had to play another match to reach the quarters. They faced Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros, the top seeds in qualifying, Wednesday night for a chance to face the Guatemalans Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez in the quarters. Again, Sotomayor and Vargas were victorious, as they defeated Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros, 15-10, 15-13.

And from We Had That Dept, Angelica Barrios and Jenny Daza won their two matches to reach the quarterfinals, where they'll face 2nd seeds - and defending champions - Alexandra Herrera and Montserrat Mejia. In their second round qualifying match, they had to hold off a tenacious team in Jessica Parrilla and Montserrat Perez, winning in a tie-breaker, 15-12, 12-15, 11-7.

Lastly, Erika Manilla and Rhonda Rajsich - the recently appointed USA team for Women's Doubles at the 2021 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) came back from a game down to narrowly beat Nancy Enriquez and Carla Muñoz, 14-15, 15-12, 11-5.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Doubles - Qualifying Round 1  - Wednesday

Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros - BYE
Veronica Sotomayor & Maria Jose Vargas d. Michelle De La Rosa & Sheryl Lotts, 15-13, 15-13

Brenda Laime & Camila Rivero - BYE
Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott - BYE

Jessica Parrilla & Montserrat Perez - BYE
Angelica Barrios & Jenny Daza d. Ana Laura Flores & Micaela Meneses, 15-6, 15-11

Erika Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich d. Shane Diaz &  Naomi Ros, 15-7, 15-3
Nancy Enriquez & Carla Muñoz - BYE

LPRT Doubles - Qualifying Round 2  - Wednesday

Q1 - Veronica Sotomayor & Maria Jose Vargas d. Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros, 15-10, 15-13
Q4 - Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott d. Brenda Laime & Camila Rivero, 15-3, 15-5

Q3 - Angelica Barrios & Jenny Daza d. Jessica Parrilla & Montserrat Perez, 15-12, 12-15, 11-7
Q2 - Erika Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich d. Nancy Enriquez & Carla Muñoz, 14-15, 15-12, 11-5

LPRT Doubles - Quarterfinals  - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott - 9 PM
4) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez v. Veronica Sotomayor & Maria Jose Vargas - 7:50 PM

3) Valeria Centellas & Natalia Mendez v. Erika Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich - 7:50 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera & Montserrat Mejia v. Angelica Barrios & Jenny Daza - 9 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

LPRT Singles Round 1 & 2 at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Aisling Hickey has made it through qualifying to claim a spot in the Round of 32 of the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) singles draw at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the second round of qualifying Hickey defeated Erin Groves, 15-12, 15-12, which was a follow up win to her victory over Maria Paz Muñoz, 11-15, 15-10, 11-4, in the first round. Hickey will play 7th seed Samantha Salas in the 32s Thursday.

Veronica Sotomayor has made the 32s, as she defeated Maria Riquelme, 15-3, 15-0, in the second round of qualifying, and will face Jessica Parrilla in the 32s Thursday. Earlier in the first round of qualifying, she beat Sumin Lee, 15-4, 15-0, in what was her first LPRT match in almost five years.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Singles - Qualifying Round 1 - Wednesday

Maria Riquelme - BYE
Veronica Sotomayor d. Sumin Lee, 15-4, 15-0

Linda Tyler - BYE
Camila Rivero - BYE

Montserrat Perez - BYE
Natalia Mita - BYE

Michelle De La Rosa d. Stephanie Synhorst, 15-3, 15-2
Erika Manilla - BYE

Graci Wargo - BYE
Jenny Daza d. Ava Kaiser, 15-6, 15-7

Maria Muñoz - BYE
Shane Diaz - BYE

Laura Brandt - BYE
Naomi Ros - BYE

Aisling Hickey d. Maria Paz Muñoz, 11-15, 15-10, 11-4
Erin Groves - BYE

LPRT Singles - Qualifying Round 2 - Wednesday

Q1 - Veronica Sotomayor d. Maria Riquelme, 15-3, 15-0
Q8 - Camila Rivero d. Linda Tyler, 15-4, 15-4

Q5 - Montserrat Perez d. Natalia Mita, 15-6, 15-5
Q4 - Erika Manilla d. Michelle De La Rosa, 15-7, 15-9

Q3 - Jenny Daza d. Graci Wargo, 15-0, 15-7
Q6 - Shane Diaz d. Maria Muñoz, 15-9, 15-4

Q7 - Naomi Ros d. Laura Brandt, 15-4, 15-4
Q2 - Aisling Hickey d. Erin Groves, 15-12, 15-12

LPRT Singles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria v. Camila Rivero - 12:50 PM
16) Kelani Lawrence v. 17) Sheryl Lotts - 12:50 PM

9) Valeria Centellas v. 24) Jessica Chen - 12:50 PM
8) Jessica Parrilla v. Veronica Sotomayor - 12:50 PM

5) Montserrat Mejia v. Erika Manilla - 9:20 AM
12) Nancy Enriquez v. 21) Micaela Meneses - 9:20 AM

13) Carla Muñoz v. 20) Hollie Scott - 9:20 AM
4) Gabriela Martinez v. Montserrat Perez - 9:20 AM

3) Maria Jose Vargas v. Shane Diaz - 10:30 AM
14) Cristina Amaya v. 19) Maria Renee Rodriguez - 10:30 AM

11) Rhonda Rajsich v. 22) Ana Laura Flores - 10:30 AM
6) Natalia Mendez v. Jenny Daza

7) Samantha Salas v. Aisling Hickey - 11:40 AM
10) Angelica Barrios v. 23) Erin Slutzky - 11:40 AM

15) Brenda Laime v. 18) Adriana Riveros - 11:40 AM
2) Alexandra Herrera v. Naomi Ros - 11:40 AM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

IRT Singles Round 1 at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

The first round of qualifying in the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Singles division is underway at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open begins Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sixty two players are vying for 16 spots in Thursday Round of 32 to face on of the tour's top 16 players in the Round of 32.

Cliff Swain is included in those 62 players, and he took a step forward to getting to the 32s by defeating Scott McClellan, 15-3, 15-9, in the 1st Round of Qualifying. In the 2nd Round, he'll face Nicholas Riffel, who was a winner over Geovani Mendoza, 15-2, 15-9. The winner of Swain-Riffel will play 7th seed Eduardo Portillo in the Round of 32 Thursday.

Two other matches to look for in the second round of qualifying. Veterans Felipe Camacho and Alejandro Herrera will square off, as Camacho beat Matias Arnez, 15-9, 15-2, and Herrera defeated Ben Baron, 15-7, 15-7. Also, Christian Wer plays Sam Bredenbeck in the second round of qualifying. Wear beat Benjamin Horner, 15-4, 15-1, in round 1, while Bredenbeck defeated Seth Sullivan, 15-6, 15-1.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Singles - Qualifying Round 1 - Wednesday

Adam Manilla - BYE
Shai Manzuri d. Javier Martinez, 15-6, 15-10

Jose Flores Jr. d. Majeed Shahin, 15-12, 15-14
Troy Warigon d. Fabian Cuesta, 15-7, 15-10

Kadim Carrasco d. Javier Moreno, 15-7, 15-1
Jonathan Burns d. Abraham Peña, 15-7, 15-7

Hector Barrios d. Ferd Samson, 15-2, 15-1
Set Cubillos d. Gerardo Guevara, forfeit

Robert Collins d. Bruce Robles, 15-4, 12-15, 11-0
Juan Pablo Rodriguez d. Samuel Kelley, 15-13, 15-3

Juan Salvatierra d. Patrick Allin, 15-1, 15-7
Maurice Miller d. Ezequiel Subieta, 15-8, 14-15, 11-8

Erick Cuevas Fernandez d. Alejandro Cuellar, 15-4, 15-9
Austin Cunningham d. Juan José Tapia Zúñiga, 15-7, 15-7

Andrés Gómez d. John Wolfe, 15-3, 15-10
Alan Natera - BYE

Sebastian Fernandez - BYE
Alex Zamudio d. Brennen Jennings, 15-8, 15-6

Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman d. Jeff Stark, 15-3, 10-15, 11-4
Erick Trujillo d. Luis Aguilar, 15-4, 15-4

Mauricio Zelada d. Julian Cruz, 15-1, 15-9
Rodrigo Rodriguez d. Dylan Pruitt, 15-11, 15-2

Christian Wer d. Benjamin Horner, 15-4, 15-1
Sam Bredenbeck d. Seth Sullivan, 15-6, 15-1

Felipe Camacho d. Matias Arnez, 15-9, 15-2
Alejandro Herrera d. Ben Baron, 15-7, 15-7

Nicholas Riffel d. Geovani Mendoza, 15-2, 15-9
Cliff Swain d. Scott McClellan, 15-3, 15-9

Joe Kelley d. Alexxander Purcell, forfeit
Edwin Galicia d. Vladimir Fernando Siles Gonzales, 15-0, 15-5

Francisco Gomez Reyes d. Adrian Jaldin Lobo, 15-13, 15-11
Eduardo Garay - BYE

IRT Singles - Qualifying Round 2 - Wednesday

Q1 - Adam Manilla v. Shai Manzuri, 15-, 15-
Q16 - Jose Flores Jr. v. Troy Warigon - 4:30 PM

Q9 - Kadim Carrasco v. Jonathan Burns - 9:10 PM
Q8 - Hector Barrios v. Set Cubillos - 9:10 PM

Q5 - Robert Collins v. Juan Pablo Rodriguez - 8 PM
Q12 - Juan Salvatierra v. Maurice Miller - 9:10 PM

Q13 - Erick Cuevas Fernandez v. Austin Cunningham - 4:30 PM
Q4 - Alan Natera v. Andrés Gómez - 4:30 PM

Q3 - Sebastian Fernandez v. Alex Zamudio - 11:50 AM
Q14 - Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman v. Erick Trujillo - 4:30 PM

Q11 - Mauricio Zelada v. Rodrigo Rodriguez - 3:20 PM
Q6 - Christian Wer v. Sam Bredenbeck - 4:30 PM

Q7 - Felipe Camacho v. Alejandro Herrera - 9:10 PM
Q10 Nicholas Riffel v. Cliff Swain - 8 PM

Q15 - Joe Kelley v. Edwin Galicia - 9:10 PM
Q2 - Eduardo Garay v. Francisco Gomez Reyes - 3:20 PM

IRT Singles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. Q16 - 2 PM
16) Andres Acuña v. Q1 - 2 PM

9) Alvaro Beltran v. Q8 - 2 PM
8) Rocky Carson v. Q9 - 2 PM

5) Conrrado Moscoso v. Q12 - 10:30 AM
12) Carlos Keller v. Q5 - 10:30 AM

13) Sebastian Franco v. Q12 - 10:30 AM
4) Samuel Murray v. Q13 - 10:30 AM

3) Alejandro Landa v. Q14 - 11:40 AM
14) Thomas Carter v. Q3 - 11:40 AM

11) Mario Mercado v. Q6 - 11:40 AM
6) Andree Parrilla v. Q11 - 11:40 AM

7) Eduardo Portillo v. Q10 - 12:50 PM
10) Jake Bredenbeck v. Q7 - 12:50 PM

15) Rodrigo Montoya v. Q2 - 12:50 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa v. Q15 - 12:50 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

IRT Doubles Early Rounds at 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Play is underway at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and already there have been some exciting matches in the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) doubles division, including an 11-10 tie-breaker.

That breaker was won by Guatemalans Edwin Galicia and Christian Wer over Mario Mercado and Mauricio Zelada, 15-11, 10-15, 11-10. They will play Bolivians Kadim Carrasco and Carlos Keller in the 2nd round of qualifying, as the Bolivians defeated Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman and Rodrigo Mendoza, 15-10, 15-17, in Round 1.

In another tie-breaker, Alan Natera and Charlie Pratt held off a charge by Costa Ricans Andres Acuña and Felipe Camacho to win, 15-11, 12-15, 11-8. Natera and Pratt await the winner of Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya versus Set Cubillos and Erick Cuevas Fernandez to be played this afternoon.

David Horn made a successful return to action as he and Adam Manilla defeated Maurice Miller and Troy Warigon, 15-4, 15-12. Horn and Manilla will play Sebastian Franco and Eduardo Garay, who beat Julian Cruz and Geovani Mendoza, 15-3, 15-1, in Round 1.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Doubles - Qualifying Round 1 - Wednesday

Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya - BYE
Set Cubillos & Erick Cuevas Fernandez d. Thomas Gerhardt & Preston Tribble, 15-9, 15-10

Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho - BYE
Alan Natera & Charlie Pratt - BYE

Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck - BYE
Sebastian Fernandez & Rodrigo Rodriguez - BYE

Javier Martinez & Juan Salvatierra - BYE
Conrrado Moscoso &  Roland Keller - BYE

Kadim Carrasco &  Carlos Keller - BYE
Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman & Rodrigo Mendoza - BYE

Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer - BYE
Mario Mercado & Mauricio Zelada - BYE

David Horn &  Adam Manilla - BYE
Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon - BYE

Julian Cruz & Geovani Mendoza - BYE
Sebastian Franco & Eduardo Garay - BYE

IRT Doubles - Qualifying Round 2 - Wednesday

Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya d. Set Cubillos & Erick Cuevas Fernandez, 15-8, 15-6
Alan Natera & Charlie Pratt d. Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho, 15-11, 12-15, 11-8

Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck d. Sebastian Fernandez & Rodrigo Rodriguez, 15-9, 15-10
Conrrado Moscoso &  Roland Keller d. Javier Martinez & Juan Salvatierra, 15-7, 15-6

Kadim Carrasco &  Carlos Keller d. Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman & Rodrigo Mendoza, 15-10, 15-17
Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer d. Mario Mercado & Mauricio Zelada, 15-11, 10-15, 11-10

David Horn & Adam Manilla d. Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon, 15-4, 15-12
Sebastian Franco & Eduardo Garay d. Julian Cruz & Geovani Mendoza, 15-3, 15-1

IRT Doubles - Qualifying Round 3 - Wednesday

Q1 - Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya d. Alan Natera & Charlie Pratt, 15-12, 15-12
Q4 - Conrrado Moscoso & Roland Keller d. Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck, 15-2, 12-15, 11-0

Q3 - Kadim Carrasco &  Carlos Keller d. Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer, 15-4, 15-5
Q2 - David Horn & Adam Manilla d. Sebastian Franco & Eduardo Garay, 13-15, 15-14, 11-10

IRT Doubles - Quarterfinals  - Thursday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. Conrrado Moscoso & Roland Keller - 7:50 PM
4) Andree Parrilla &  Eduardo Portillo v. Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya - 7:50 PM

3) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. David Horn & Adam Manilla - 9 PM
2) Sudsy Monchik & Kane Waselenchuk v. Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller - 9 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Monday, October 4, 2021

LPRT Draws at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

The 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open begins Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and we have the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) draws for you below. There are 44 players in the LPRT singles division, including the top 20 players, and 15 teams in the LPRT doubles division, which is up from 13 teams in 2019, when the US Open was last held.

Paola Longoria, the #1 LPRT player and the 9 time defending US Open champion, is clearly the player to beat, and it would be long odds for anyone else to win. However, the US Open is the first LPRT event after two wins by players not named Longoria since March/April 2018, when Maria Jose Vargas and Samantha Salas won back to back. Before that you have to go back to December 2010 for a time when there were back to back wins by players other than Longoria. That’s how dominant she’s been, and why you shouldn’t bet against her.

The two most recent LPRT winners are Gabriela Martinez - seeded 4th - and Montserrat Mejia - the 5th seed. Martinez won in Colorado in August, when Longoria wasn’t there, while Mejia won in Kansas in June, when she beat Longoria in the final. That’s the second time Mejia has beaten Longoria, as she did so a couple of years back in the Mexican National Championships. Also, Martinez - from Guatemala - defeated Longoria in the Women’s Singles final of the 2018 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships, so they have proven they can beat the best.

And if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best. So, maybe - maaaaaaybe - someone other Longoria will lift the US Open trophy next Sunday. But Longoria has never lost in Minneapolis, and we’re sure she doesn’t plan on doing so this week.

Other matches

Some interesting early matches should include two All-American showdowns. Erika Manilla will likely take on Michelle De La Rosa in the 2nd round of Qualifying (assuming De La Rosa defeats Stephanie Synhorst in the 1st round). The winner will play 5th seed Mejia in the Round of 32.

Also in the 32s, the Kelani Lawrence will play Sheryl Lotts in the Round of 32.

Veronica Sotomayor is playing in her first LPRT match in almost five years, but we still expect the former top 10 player to make it through qualifying. If she does, she’ll face 8th seed Jessica Parrilla in the Round of 32, which should be a good match.

The other player to watch out for from qualifying is Jenny Daza, and the veteran Bolivian would make for a tougher than your average Round of 32 match for 6th seed Natalia Mendez.

Finally, we’ll be interested to see how Brenda Laime does in Minneapolis. We’re interested in Laime, because she upset Mejia in the last LPRT event, so can she follow up that great performance with another one? She’s seeded 15th, and will play 18th seed Adriana Riveros in the 32s. If she wins that, she’ll likely play 2nd seed Alexandra Herrera in the Round of 16.

Doubles

We did a deep dive into doubles last week, but let’s highlight two qualifying brackets. The Q1 bracket will have two good matches. De La Rosa and Lotts will play Sotomayor and Maria Jose Vargas with the winner to face the Colombian team of Cristina Amaya and Adriana Riveros. Whoever comes out of that will take on Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez in the quarterfinals.

Also, the Q3 bracket has Parrilla and Montserrat Perez facing the winner of Ana Laura Flores and Micaela Meneses versus Angelica Barrios and Jenny Daza. We wouldn’t be surprised if Barrios and Daza come out of that. Whoever wins will play Herrera and Mejia in the quarters.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Singles - Qualifying Round 1 - Wednesday

Maria Riquelme - BYE
Sumin Lee v. Veronica Sotomayor - 10:40 AM

Linda Tyler - BYE
Camila Rivero - BYE

Montserrat Perez - BYE
Natalia Mita - BYE

Michelle De La Rosa v. Stephanie Synhorst - 3:20 PM
Erika Manilla - BYE

Graci Wargo - BYE
Jenny Daza v. Ava Kaiser - 4:30 PM

Maria Muñoz - BYE
Shane Diaz - BYE

Laura Brandt - BYE
Naomi Ros - BYE

Aisling Hickcy v. Maria Muñoz - 8 AM
Erin Groves - BYE

LPRT Singles - Qualifying Round 2 - Wednesday

Q1 - Maria Riquelme v. Sumin Lee or Veronica Sotomayor - 3:20 PM
Q8 - Camila Rivero v. Linda Tyler - 3:20 PM

Q5 - Montserrat Perez v. Natalia Mita - 10:40 AM
Q4 - Erika Manilla v. Michelle De La Rosa or Stephanie Synhorst - 9:10 PM

Q3 - Graci Wargo v. Jenny Daza or Ava Kaiser - 9:10 PM
Q6 - Maria Muñoz v. Shane Diaz - 1 PM

Q7 - Laura Brandt v. Naomi Ros - 10:40 PM
Q2 - Erin Groves v. Aisling Hickcy or Maria Muñoz - 1 PM

LPRT Singles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria v. Q8 - 12:50 PM
16) Kelani Lawrence v. 17) Sheryl Lotts - 12:50 PM

9) Valeria Centellas v. 24) Jessica Chen - 12:50 PM
8) Jessica Parrilla v. Q1 - 12:50 PM

5) Montserrat Mejia v. Q4 - 9:20 AM
12) Nancy Enriquez v. 21) Micaela Meneses - 9:20 AM

13) Carla Muñoz v. 20) Hollie Scott - 9:20 AM
4) Gabriela Martinez v. Q5 - 9:20 AM

3) Maria Jose Vargas v. Q6 - 10:30 AM
14) Cristina Amaya v. 19) Maria Renee Rodriguez - 10:30 AM

11) Rhonda Rajsich v. 22) Ana Laura Flores - 10:30 AM
6) Natalia Mendez - Q3

7) Samantha Salas v. Q2 - 11:40 AM
10) Angelica Barrios v. 23) Erin Slutzky - 11:40 AM

15) Brenda Laime v. 18) Adriana Riveros - 11:40 AM
2) Alexandra Herrera v. Q7 - 11:40 AM

LPRT Doubles - Qualifying Round 1 - Wednesday

Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros - BYE
Michelle De La Rosa & Sheryl Lotts v. Veronica Sotomayor & Maria Jose Vargas - 4:30 PM

Brenda Laime & Camila Rivero - BYE
Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott - BYE

Jessica Parrilla & Montserrat Perez - BYE
Ana Laura Flores & Micaela Meneses v. Angelica Barrios & Jenny Daza - 10:40 AM

Erika Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich v. Shane Diaz & Naomi Ros - 2:10 PM
Nancy Enriquez & Carla Muñoz - BYE

LPRT Doubles - Qualifying Round 2 - Wednesday

Q1 - Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros v. Michelle De La Rosa & Sheryl Lotts or Veronica Sotomayor & Maria Jose Vargas - 8 PM
Q4 - Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott v. Brenda Laime & Camila Rivero - 1 PM

Q3 - Jessica Parrilla & Montserrat Perez v. Ana Laura Flores & Micaela Meneses or Angelica Barrios & Jenny Daza - 3:20 PM
Q2 - Nancy Enriquez & Carla Muñoz v. 10) Erika Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich or Shane Diaz & Naomi Ros - 8 PM

LPRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. Q4 - 9 PM
4) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez v. Q1 - 7:50 PM

3) Valeria Centellas & Natalia Mendez v. Q2 - 7:50 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera & Montserrat Mejia v. Q3 - 9 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

IRT Draws at the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open

The 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open begins Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where 78 players will be vying for the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) title including the tour's top 19 players. There will be a lot of racquetball played over the five days of the tournament, especially on Wednesday and Thursday.

Singles

In singles, IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk, who is the 12 time defending champion, and despite not playing a singles match on tour in over a year, you would be foolish to bet against him. He is undefeated on the show court in Minneapolis, and you can be sure that he’s prepared to continue that streak this week.

However, Daniel De La Rosa has lately been playing the kind of high level racquetball that many expected from him as he came out of juniors. Many thought De La Rosa would be at this level long before now, but regardless, he's there now. De La Rosa has raised his game from being a solid player to a superstar type player. Evidence of this is that he's won two IRT events in a row (first player not named Waselenchuk to do that since 2016). Thus, he comes into Minneapolis hotter than he’s ever been.

In contrast, veterans Rocky Carson and Alvaro Beltran are seeded 8th and 9th, lower than they have been in several years, perhaps even a couple of decades. Their seeding means a match up of the two, which in the past was regularly a semi-final - and sometimes a final - would be a Round of 16 match, if they can win their matches in the Round of 32.

And the winner of Beltran-Carson would likely face Waselenchuk in the quarterfinals, which was also a match up that usually happened later in the draw. Both Beltran and Carson are over 40 now, so perhaps Father Time is finally catching up to them.

There are a few other likely Round of 16 matches that we eagerly anticipate, including an all Bolivia showdown between 5th seed Conrrado Moscoso and 12th seed Carlos Keller, as well as an all Mexico battle with De La Rosa versus 15th seed Rodrigo Montoya. Finally, 7th seed Eduardo Portillo, who has a shooter game style, could play 10th seed Jake Bredenbeck, with a power game style, who is coming off his first IRT final at the Shamrock Shootout last month.

Then there’s a match from the Irony Department in Round 1 of Qualifying, as veteran Cliff Swain, a two time US Open Champion and a former IRT #1 player, who was never a big fan of whatever referee was overseeing his match, takes on Scott McClellan, who is the IRT’s chief referee. Our sympathy to whoever is refereeing that match.

Doubles

As expected, Mexicans Beltran and De La Rosa are the top seeded team in the IRT Doubles draw. But somewhat surprisingly, the new team of Sudsay Monchik and Waselenchuk are the 2nd seeds. Waselenchuk is one of the defending champions in doubles, winning the tile with Ben Croft in 2019, when they beat Beltran and De La Rosa in the final. It was the third consecutive US Open final between those two teams with Croft and Waselenchuk winning two of the three.

So, that record of excellence could justify putting Waselenchuk #2 even though he’s got a different partner from two years ago, and despite their ranking not adding up to that high a seeding. But we’re just not sure if there’s a rule written down somewhere explaining this seeding.

We did a deep dive into the doubles teams last week, so we won’t go on about it here, except to say that we are eager to see how the matches shakedown. It’s going to be good.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

IRT Singles - Qualifying Round 1 - Wednesday

Adam Manilla - BYE
Javier Martinez v. Shai Manzuri - 9:30 AM

Majeed Shahin v. Jose Flores Jr. - 11:50 AM
42) Troy Warigon v. Fabian Cuesta - 11:50 AM

Kadim Carrasco v. Javier Moreno - 4:30 PM
Abraham Peña v. Jonathan Burns - 4:30 PM

Ferd Samson v. Hector Barrios - 3:20 PM
Set Cubillos v. Gerardo Guevara - 3:20 PM

Robert Collins v. Bruce Robles - 2:10 PM
Samuel Kelley v. Juan Pablo Rodriguez - 2:10 PM

Juan Salvatierra v. Patrick Allin - 1 PM
Maurice Miller v. Ezequiel Subieta - 1 PM

Erick Cuevas Fernandez v. Alejandro Cuellar - 11:50 AM
Austin Cunningham v. Juan José Tapia Zúñiga - 11:50 AM

Andrés Gómez v. John Wolfe - 10:40 AM
Alan Natera - BYE

Sebastian Fernandez - BYE
Brennen Jennings v. Alex Zamudio - 8 AM

Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman v. Jeff Stark - 11:50 AM
Erick Trujillo v. Luis Aguilar - 11:50 AM

Mauricio Zelada v. Julian Cruz - 10:40 AM
Dylan Pruitt v. Rodrigo Rodriguez - 10:40 AM

Christian Wer v. Benjamin Horner - 11:50 AM
Sam Bredenbeck v. Seth Sullivan - 11:50 AM

Felipe Camacho v. Matias Arnez - 1 PM
Alejandro Herrera v. Ben Baron - 1 PM

Nicholas Riffel v. Geovani Mendoza - 2:10 PM
Scott McClellan v. Cliff Swain - 2:10 PM

Joe Kelley v. Alexxander Purcell - 2:10 PM
Edwin Galicia v. Vladimir Fernando Siles Gonzales - 2:10 PM

Francisco Gomez Reyes v. Adrian Jaldin Lobo - 8 AM
Eduardo Garay - BYE

IRT Singles - Qualifying Round 2 - Wednesday

Q1 - Adam Manilla v. Javier Martinez or Shai Manzuri - 3:20 PM
Q16 - Majeed Shahin or Jose Flores Jr. v. 42) Troy Warigon or Fabian Cuesta - 4:30 PM

Q9 - Kadim Carrasco or Javier Moreno v. Abraham Peña or Jonathan Burns - 9:10 PM
Q8 - Ferd Samson or Hector Barrios v. Set Cubillos or Gerardo Guevara - 9:10 PM

Q5 - Robert Collins or Bruce Robles v. Samuel Kelley or Juan Pablo Rodriguez - 8 PM
Q12 - Juan Salvatierra or Patrick Allin v. Maurice Miller or Ezequiel Subieta - 9:10 PM

Q13 - Erick Cuevas Fernandez or Alejandro Cuellar v. Austin Cunningham or Juan José Tapia Zúñiga - 4:30 PM
Q4 - Alan Natera v. Andrés Gómez v. John Wolfe - 4:30 PM

Q3 - Sebastian Fernandez v. Brennen Jennings or Alex Zamudio - 11:50 AM
Q14 - Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman or Jeff Stark v. Erick Trujillo or Luis Aguilar - 4:30 PM

Q11 - Mauricio Zelada or Julian Cruz v. Dylan Pruitt or Rodrigo Rodriguez - 3:20 PM
Q6 - Christian Wer or Benjamin Horner v. Sam Bredenbeck or Seth Sullivan - 4:30 PM

Q7 - Felipe Camacho or Matias Arnez v. Alejandro Herrera or Ben Baron - 9:10 PM
Q10 Nicholas Riffel or Geovani Mendoza v. Scott McClellan or Cliff Swain - 8 PM

Q15 - Joe Kelley or Alexxander Purcell v. Edwin Galicia or Vladimir Fernando Siles Gonzales - 9:10 PM
Q2 - Eduardo Garay v. Francisco Gomez Reyes or Adrian Jaldin Lobo - 3:20 PM

IRT Singles - Round of 32 - Thursday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. Q16 - 2 PM
16) Andres Acuña v. Q1 - 2 PM

9) Alvaro Beltran v. Q8 - 2 PM
8) Rocky Carson v. Q9 - 2 PM

5) Conrrado Moscoso v. Q12 - 10:30 AM
12) Carlos Keller v. Q5 - 10:30 AM

13) Sebastian Franco v. Q12 - 10:30 AM
4) Samuel Murray v. Q13 - 10:30 AM

3) Alejandro Landa v. Q14 - 11:40 AM
14) Thomas Carter v. Q3 - 11:40 AM

11) Mario Mercado v. Q6 - 11:40 AM
6) Andree Parrilla v. Q11 - 11:40 AM

7) Eduardo Portillo v. Q10 - 12:50 PM
10) Jake Bredenbeck v. Q7 - 12:50 PM

15) Rodrigo Montoya v. Q2 - 12:50 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa v. Q15 - 12:50 PM

IRT Doubles - Qualifying Round 1 - Wednesday

Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya - BYE
Set Cubillos & Erick Cuevas Fernandez v. Thomas Gerhardt & Preston Tribble - 9:30 AM

Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho - BYE
Alan Natera & Charlie Pratt - BYE

Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck - BYE
Sebastian Fernandez & Rodrigo Rodriguez - BYE

Javier Martinez & Juan Salvatierra - BYE
Conrrado Moscoso & Roland Keller - BYE

Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller - BYE
Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman & Rodrigo Mendoza - BYE

Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer - BYE
Mario Mercado & Mauricio Zelada - BYE

David Horn & Adam Manilla - BYE
Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon - BYE

Julian Cruz & Geovani Mendoza - BYE
Sebastian Franco & Eduardo Garay - BYE

IRT Doubles - Qualifying Round 2 - Wednesday

Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya v. Set Cubillos & Erick Cuevas Fernandez or Thomas Gerhardt & Preston Tribble - 2:10 PM
Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho v. Alan Natera & Charlie Pratt - 9:30 AM

Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck v. Sebastian Fernandez & Rodrigo Rodriguez - 1 PM
Conrrado Moscoso & Roland Keller v. Javier Martinez & Juan Salvatierra - 2:10 PM

Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller v. Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman & Rodrigo Mendoza - 9:30 AM
Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer v. Mario Mercado & Mauricio Zelada - 9:30 AM

David Horn & Adam Manilla v. Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon - 9:30 AM
Sebastian Franco & Eduardo Garay v. Julian Cruz & Geovani Mendoza - 9:30 AM

IRT Doubles - Qualifying Round 3 - Wednesday

Q1 - Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya or Set Cubillos & Erick Cuevas Fernandez or Thomas Gerhardt & Preston Tribble v. Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho or Alan Natera & Charlie Pratt - 8:10 AM Thursday

Q4 - Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck or Sebastian Fernandez & Rodrigo Rodriguez v. Conrrado Moscoso & Roland Keller or Javier Martinez & Juan Salvatierra - 8 PM

Q3 - Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller or Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman & Rodrigo Mendoza v. Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer or Mario Mercado & Mauricio Zelada - 8 PM

Q2 - David Horn & Adam Manilla or Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon v. Sebastian Franco & Eduardo Garay or Julian Cruz & Geovani Mendoza - 10:20 PM

IRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. Q4 - 7:50 PM
4) Andree Parrilla & Eduardo Portillo v. Q1 - 7:50 PM

3) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. Q2 - 9 PM
2) Sudsy Monchik & Kane Waselenchuk v. Q3 - 9 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Thursday, September 30, 2021

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Preview - Doubles

The 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open draws will be stacked with players, as you would expect for the largest pro racquetball tournament in the world. The tournament begins next week in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the top 20 players from the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) and the top 19 players of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) will be in action. Overall, there are 44 players in the LPRT division and 78 players in the IRT division.

But that’s singles, and we talked about that a bit on Monday. Let’s talk doubles. There will be 15 teams in the LPRT doubles division, which is up from 13 teams in 2019, when the US Open was last held. The IRT doubles division will have 21 teams, which is down from 27 teams in 2019.

We’ve done an anticipated seeding of the teams, although the doubles rankings on tours have a few discrepancies, so what we have is entirely unofficial. But we do know who is playing with whom, and that’s a good place to start.

LPRT

In the LPRT draw, Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas will be the top seeds, and favoured to win, although not as heavily as they would have been two years ago at the last US Open. In part, that’s because in 2019 they lost to Alexandra Herrera and Montserrat Mejia in what was one of the best matches you will ever see. Seriously. Herrera and Mejia will be the 2nd seeds this year.

Although most will expect another Mexican showdown final between Longoria/Salas and Herrera/Mejia again, which would probably be fun, there are two teams that could easily throw a spanner into the works. Valeria Centellas and Natalia Mendez now hailing from Argentina and the Guatemalan team of Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez should be the 3rd and 4th seeds, and both have the potential to beat either of the Mexican teams.

Mendez played with Maria Jose Vargas previously, but they never seemed to really fit together, despite both being very good players. Centellas won Women’s Doubles at the 2018 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships with Yazmine Sabja, so she knows how to play doubles, and seems to fit better with Mendez’s big swinging game style.

The Guatemalans have been playing together for years. They grew up playing together. And they are good. Martinez is the current IRF Women’s Singles World Champion, and coming off winning her 1st LPRT title last month in Colorado. Rodriguez is not as strong a player, but can be hot in doubles. She knows her role playing the right side with Martinez, and they were runners up to Longoria and Salas at the 2019 Pan American Games.

There are some other solid teams past those four, but they all have to viewed as dark horses for the title. One wild card team could be Vargas and Veronica Sotomayor. Sotomayor hasn’t played since December 2016, so what shape her game will be in is a complete unknown, but she won the US Open LPRT doubles title in 2014 - albeit with Longoria. Perhaps ironically, she (and Longoria) beat Vargas (and Rhonda Rajsich) in the final.

IRT

On the IRT side, Mexicans Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa are the team to beat, as they demonstrated last weekend in winning the Shamrock Shootout. They’ll be the top seeds in Minneapolis, and their biggest competition could come from Sudsy Monchik and Kane Waselenchuk, who were within two points of defeating the Mexicans on the weekend, losing 15-14, 15-14, in the semi-finals.

The question is: where will Monchik and Waselenchuk be seeded? Neither has played much doubles prior to last weekend. Thus, they don’t have many ranking points. The US Open IRT Doubles draw has used a format with the top four teams granted spots in the quarterfinals, and the next four teams spots in the Round of 16.

If you’re not one of the top four or even top eight teams, it can be a grind, as the playdowns to get to the Thursday night’s quarters begin Wednesday, so you could play three matches prior to the quarters. In the past, players have been in action late Wednesday and then again Thursday morning. And that’s in addition to playing singles. Oh la la.

While our assessment of where teams will be seeded is unofficial, as mentioned, we don’t have Monchik and Waselenchuk in the top 8 teams based on the latest IRT Doubles rankings. Thus, they won’t have the easiest time of it. Moreover, it’s possible they could be on the same side of the draw as Beltran and De La Rosa, as they were last weekend, which would be mean a meeting before the final.

However, couldn’t it be that playing a little more racquetball will lead to more chemistry between Monchik and Waselenchuk, and allow them to shake off any rust that has been accumulated from not playing much during this pandemic? Certainly it could. But it can also come with the risk of losing, which might seem unlikely for this pair, but as we mentioned last week, the differences between many of the men’s teams is wafer thin. So, while it’s unlikely that Monchik and Waselenchuk could lose prior to meeting rivals Beltran and De La Rosa, it’s not inconceivable.

We see the other top 4 teams being Alejandro Landa and Samuel Murray at #2, Andree Parrilla and Eduardo Portillo #3, and Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya at #4. Parrilla and Portillo were runners up last weekend, while Mar and Montoya were the 2019 Pan American Games gold medalists. Meanwhile, Landa and Murray are both top 4 players in singles, who have played together a lot. Thus, these are all quality teams.

Some curious teams in the draw include Adam Manilla playing with David Horn, who hasn’t been seen on court in ages. But pairing him with the left handed Manilla makes for a fun team. On the more curious side, Jake Bredenbeck and Charlie Pratt, who were announced last week as the USA team for Men’s Doubles for the 2021 IRF World Championships later this year, aren’t playing together. That despite the fact they did so last weekend.

Bredenbeck is playing with his brother Sam, while Pratt is playing with Alan Natera. Also, Pratt’s not playing singles, which is also curious. Now, it could be that the Bredenbeck partnership for the US Open was decided long ago, so maybe it wasn’t something they wanted to change. The brothers did play together at the US National Championships in July, coming within three points of winning the title as they lost to Pratt and Rocky Carson in a tie-breaker, 11-8.

Again, a wafer thin difference.

We'll look forward to seeing some of those wafer thin differences in multiple doubles matches next week in Minneapolis, and we’re looking forward to covering it all for you.

2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
October 6-10, 2021 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

LPRT Doubles - Anticipated Seeding (unofficial)

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas
2) Alexandra Herrera & Montserrat Mejia
3) Valeria Centellas & Natalia Mendez
4) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez

5) Cristina Amaya & Adriana Riveros
6) Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott
7) Nancy Enriquez & Carla Muñoz
8) Jessica Parrilla & Montserrat Perez

9) Michelle De La Rosa & Sheryl Lotts
10) Erika Manilla & Rhonda Rajsich
?) Shane Diaz & Naomi Ros
?) Ana Laura Flores & Micaela Meneses

?) Angelica Barrios & Jenny Daza
?) Brenda Laime & Camila Rivero
?) Veronica Sotomayor & Maria Jose Vargas

IRT Doubles - Anticipated Seeding (unofficial)

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray
3) Andree Parrilla & Eduardo Portillo
4) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya

5) Sebastian Franco & Eduardo Garay
6) Kadim Carrasco & Carlos Keller
7) Conrrado Moscoso & Roland Keller
8) Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck

9) Andres Acuña & Felipe Camacho
10) Sudsy Monchik & Kane Waselenchuk
11) Mario Mercado & Mauricio Zelada
12) Alan Natera & Charlie Pratt

13) David Horn & Adam Manilla
14) Edwin Galicia & Christian Wer
15) Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon
16) Javier Martinez & Juan Salvatierra

17) Set Cubillos & Erick Cuevas Fernandez
?) Sebastian Fernandez & Rodrigo Rodriguez
?) Julian Cruz & Geovani Mendoza
?) Juan Pablo Rodriguez & Erick Trujillo
?) Miguel Angel Arteaga Guzman & Rodrigo Mendoza

Note: "?" indicates at least one of the players either doesn't have doubles ranking currently on their respective tour or there was some inconsistency with a player's ranking.

Follow the bouncing ball…..

Monday, September 27, 2021

Weekend Round up - Wins for Acuña & Barrios and a US Open preview

Andres Acuña won Men’s Open at the 2021 KWM Gutterman Shamrock Shootout in Lombard, Illinois on Sunday, as he defeated Mario Mercado in the final, 15-11, 15-6. To reach the final, Acuña, who was seeded #1, beat 4th seed Alan Natera, 15-13, 15-12, in one semi-final, while 2nd seed Mercado defeated 3rd seed Adam Manilla, 15-8, 15-8.

In Women’s Open, Angelica Barrios, the top seed, needed a tie-breaker to fend off 3rd seed Erika Manilla, 15-12, 8-15, 11-8. In the semi-finals, Barrios beat 5th seed Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-1, 15-10, and Manilla was an upset winner over 2nd seed Micaela Meneses, 3-15, 15-6, 11-6.

US Open Preview

T minus 9 days until the 2021 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, October 6-10. It’ll be the first US Open since 2019, because — reasons, and the 25th overall. In 2019, Doug Ganim announced he would be retiring as US Open Director, and he’s the only person to hold that position going back to 1996. But Ganim stayed on to oversee the US Open one last time.

Kane Waselenchuk and Paola Longoria also have two impressive streaks. Waselenchuk is the 12 time defending International Racquetball Tour (IRT) US Open champion, while Paola Longoria is the 9 time defending Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Will those streaks continue this year? We don’t advise betting against it.

But - did you see that coming? - Waselenchuk, who turns 40 in November, hasn’t played singles in a over a year, although he did play doubles this past weekend with Sudsy Monchik in Illinois. He looked pretty good on the weekend, but maybe not at his best. Also, the US Open is a longer tournament than the usual weekend event - especially as we expect him to play singles and doubles with Monchik, so will that be an issue?

Regardless, we look forward to seeing him in action, playing on a court where he's never lost.

As for Longoria, she is long past being the young up and comer taking on all the women’s pro veterans. Now, she is the veteran and there are a cadre of young up and coming players looking to take her on. That cadre includes Gabriela Martinez and Montserrat Mejia who are the most recent winners on the LPRT. Martinez won last month in Colorado, when Longoria wasn’t there, while Mejia won in Kansas in June, when she beat Longoria in the final.

Thus, the US Open is the first LPRT event after two wins by players not named Longoria since March/April 2018, when Maria Jose Vargas and Samantha Salas won back to back. Before that you have to go back to December 2010 for a time when there were back to back wins by players other than Longoria. That’s how dominant she’s been, and why you shouldn’t bet against her. Yet, perhaps other players have a reason for optimism.

We are certainly optimistic about how good the US Open will be this year, and we are looking forward to it.

2021 KWM Gutterman Shamrock Shootout
September 23-26, 2021 - Lombard, Illinois

Men’s Open Final

1) Andres Acuña d. 2) Mario Mercado, 15-11, 15-6

Men’s Open Semi-finals

1) Andres Acuña d. 4) Alan Natera, 15-13, 15-12
2) Mario Mercado d. 3) Adam Manilla, 15-8, 15-8

Men’s Open Quarterfinals

1) Andres Acuña d. 9) Erick Trujillo, 15-10, 15-8
4) Alan Natera d. 5) Set Cubillos, 15-4, 15-10

3) Adam Manilla d. 6) Victor Migliore, 15-1, 15-8
2) Mario Mercado d. 7) Abraham Peña, 14-15, 15-5, 11-10

Women’s Open Final

1) Angelica Barrios d. 3) Erika Manilla, 15-12, 8-15, 11-8.

Women’s Open Semi-finals

1) Angelica Barrios d. 5) Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-1, 15-10
3) Erika Manilla d. 2) Micaela Meneses, 3-15, 15-6, 11-6

Follow the bouncing ball….