Thursday, October 7, 2021

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…..

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