Monday, November 22, 2021

Weekend Round Up: Wins for Lawrence, Rodriguez & Acuña, and sad news

Kelani Lawrence won Women’s Open on the weekend at the 29th Annual Glass Court LPRT Turkey Shoot in Lombard, Illinois, where she defeated Carla Muñoz in the final, 15-12, 13-15, 11-6, in what could be a potential match up at the upcoming International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in Guatemala, as Lawrence is on Team USA and we expect Muñoz will be there representing Chile.

In the semi-finals, Lawrence beat Kristin Coulter, 15-0, 15-0, and Muñoz defeated Veronica Sotomayor, 8-15, 15-5, 11-8.

Also in Illinois, Rodrigo Rodriguez, the 2nd seed, upset 1st seed Maurice Miller, 15-9, 15-12, to win Men’s Open. In the semis, Rodriguez needed a tie-breaker to get past veteran Keith Minor, 14-15, 15-5, 11-8, while Miller defeated Eric Mathews in two straight games, 15-14, 15-0.

Down in Florida at the 2021 IRT Sarasota Open presented by Team Dovetail in Sarasota, Florida, Andres Acuña beat Sam Bredenbeck, 15-10, 15-7, to win Men’s Open. Acuña defeated Erick Cuevas Fernandez, 15-5, 15-4, in one semi-final, while Bredenbeck took out Felipe Camacho, 15-7, 15-11, in the other.

Deaths in the family

Racquetball, as a small sport, can seem like a family, and we were saddened to learn of the recent deaths of two of our family. Lori Jane Powell was a long time member of Team Canada, a top ten player on the women’s pro tour, two time Pan American Champion (once in singles and once in doubles), and a member of the gold medal winning team at the 2000 IRF World Championships.

Following her retirement due to injury, Powell worked with Racquetball Canada as its Technical Director. She was a friend, and always great to be around. We’re not sure the last time we saw LJ, and we are saddened, and not a little stunned, that there won’t be a next time. She was just 50 years old.

If racquetball is a family, then Charlie Garfinkel was one of our grandfathers. He was an outstanding character and great player during the 1960s and 1970s, which was an era of big characters. Garfinkel or “The Gar” hailed from Buffalo, New York, and he also contributed to racquetball off the court by authoring two of the early books on the sport and ethusiastically promoting it.

Garfinkel, who was inducted into the USA Racquetball Hall of Fame in 1989, died earlier this month at age 82.

29th Annual Glass Court Turkey Shoot
November 19-21, 2021 - Lombard, Illinois

Women’s Open Singles - Final

5) Kelani Lawrence d. 3) Carla Muñoz, 15-12, 13-15, 11-6


5) Kelani Lawrence d. 8) Kristin Coulter, 15-0, 15-0
3) Carla Muñoz d. 7) Veronica Sotomayor, 8-15, 15-5, 11-8

Men’s Open Singles - Final

2) Rodrigo Rodriguez d. 1) Maurice Miller, 15-9, 15-12


1) Maurice Miller d. 5) Eric Mathews, 15-14, 15-0
2) Rodrigo Rodriguez d. 3) Keith Minor, 14-15, 15-5, 11-8

2021 Sarasota Open presented by Team Dovetail
November 18-21, 2021 - Sarasota, Florida

Men’s Open Singles - Final

1) Andres Acuña d. 3) Sam Bredenbeck, 15-10, 15-7


1) Andres Acuña d. 4) Erick Cuevas Fernandez, 15-5, 15-4
3) Sam Bredenbeck d. 2) Felipe Camacho, 15-7, 15-11

Follow the bouncing ball….

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