Sunday, May 22, 2022

2022 USA Racquetball National Championships - Preview

The 2022 USA Racquetball (USAR) National Championships happen next week in College Station, Texas on the campus of Texas A & M University. Both singles and doubles championships are being contested in the same event, as they were last year. Also, there is a US Team Qualifying Mixed Doubles division, as the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) 2022 World Championships will include mixed doubles, so players can qualify for that separately from men’s and women’s singles and doubles.

Last year, we asked where the players were, as the fields were small, but that’s not the case this year. There are 19 players in Men’s Singles, 14 in Women’s Singles, as well as 9 Men’s Doubles teams and 8 Women’s Doubles teams, and in Mixed Doubles there are 11 teams. These fields are larger than they have been in recent years.

Filling out those fields are some players we’ve not seen in awhile. David Horn has returned to action in recent months, and he’s still the 4th highest ranked US player, which might surprise some (it did us). In Men’s Doubles, Jose Diaz is back, and playing with Timmy Hansen, and he's also playing Mixed Doubles with Rhonda Rajsich.

In Women’s Doubles, Aimee Roehler (formerly Ruiz) - the 12 time champion - is back, and playing with Erika Manilla in Women’s Doubles and Jake Bredenbeck in Mixed Doubles. Roehler and Manilla won the title in 2020, which was the last time Roehler played in the championships.

Also in 2020, Alejandro Landa and Sudsy Monchik won the Men’s Doubles title, and they will be trying to win it again in Texas after not being able to defend the title last year in Des Moines, as Monchik contracted COVID just before the tournament. They’ll likely have to beat Rocky Carson and Charlie Pratt, who are the defending champions, to do it. Also in the mix are the Bredenbeck brothers - Jake and Sam - who were runners up last year, as will be the righty-lefty team of Horn and Adam Manilla.

We’re not sure how they’ll seed the women’s doubles teams. USA Racquetball has given the previous year’s champions and runners-up the 1st and 2nd seeds in the past. But neither last year’s champions (Manilla & Rajsich) nor runners-up (Michelle De La Rosa & Sheryl Lotts) are playing together. The highest USAR ranked players in women’s doubles (yes, the USAR has women’s doubles rankings) are Hollie Scott and Kelani Lawrence, who are playing together. And did you know that the next highest ranked player is Lexi York? We didn’t.

York is playing with De La Rosa, and Lotts and Rajsich are playing together, which they’ve often done in the past. Finally, as mentioned, the 2020 Champions - Manilla and Roehler - are back together. Any of those three teams - plus Lawrence and Scott - could be the champion this year.

As this is a IRF World Championships year, there is an extra special something to play for as the US Champions - and finalists in singles - will get spots on Team USA for Worlds in August.

Watch the action

USAR will be streaming matches from College Station via their USA Racquetball Facebook page. So check that out beginning Wednesday.

2022 USA Racquetball National Championships
College Station, Texas
US National Team Divisions

Men's US Team Singles - Field*

1) Rocky Carson
2) Alejandro Landa
3) Jake Bredenbeck
4) David Horn
5) Adam Manilla
6) Thomas Carter
7) Sam Bredenbeck
8) Robert Collins
9) Nicholas Riffel
10) Alex Zamudio
11) Zachary Williams
12) Benjamin Horner
13) Daniel Blanco
14) Jimmy Fernandez
15) DJ Mendoza
16) Jacob Kingsford
17) Adrian Espinoza
18) Charles Rankin
19) Danny Lavely (note: no ranking listed for Lavely, but we don’t think he should be last)

Men's US Team Doubles - Field*

1) Rocky Carson & Charlie Pratt
2) Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck
3) Alejandro Landa & Sudsy Monchik
4) David Horn & Adam Manilla
Thomas Carter & Nicholas Riffel
Maurice Miller & Troy Warigon
Jose Diaz & Timmy Hansen
Daniel Blanco & Jimmy Fernandez
Iain Dunn & Paul Saraceno

Women's US Team Singles - Field*

1) Erika Manilla
2) Kelani Lawrence
3) Rhonda Rajsich
4) Hollie Scott
5) Linda Tyler
6) Lexi York
7) Graci Wargo
8) Annie Roberts
9) Naomi Ros
10) Shane Diaz
11) Alondra Canchola
12) Katie Neils
13) Erin Boadway
14) Kelly Mortensen

Women's US Team Doubles - Field*

Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott
Sheryl Lotts & Rhonda Rajsich
Michelle De La Rosa & Lexi York
Erika Manilla & Aimee Roehler
Laura Fenton Kovanda & Linda Tyler
Erin Boadway & Fran Transfiguarcion
Alondra Canchola & Annie Roberts
Shane Diaz & Naomi Rios

US Team Mixed Doubles - Field*

Kelani Lawrence & Sudsy Monchik
David Horn & Hollie Scott
Sheryl Lotts & Charlie Pratt
Jose Diaz & Rhonda Rajsich
Michelle De La Rosa & Alejandro Landa
Sam Bredenbeck & Lexi York
Erika Manilla & Adam Manilla
Jake Bredenbeck & Aimee Roehler
Katie Neils & Nicholas Riffel
Graci Wargo & Alex Zamudio
Robert Collins & Annie Roberts

* - Note: seedings in the singles fields are based on USAR rankings. The doubles rankings are an estimate. Thus, they are all unofficial, as the brackets have not been released yet.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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