Monday, May 30, 2022

Carson wins twice, others for a first time at 2022 USA Racquetball National Championships

Most athletes who reach 43 are well into retirement. Not so for Rocky Carson, who turned 43 on May 21 just prior to the start of the 2022 USA Racquetball (USAR) National Championships in College Station, Texas, where Carson won both US Team Qualifying divisions that he entered: Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles.

In singles, Carson was the top seed, and he defeated 2nd seed Alejandro Landa, 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, in the final. The win was his 9th US National Singles title with his first coming back in 2000.

In doubles, Carson and Charlie Pratt were also seeded #1, and also met the 2nd seeds in the final, as they played brothers Jake and Sam Bredenbeck. The brothers won the first game, but Carson and Pratt came back to take the next three games and win the match in four games, 9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 13-11. It’s Carson’s 12th doubles title, including wins at five of the last six championships, and his 3rd title with Pratt.

In contrast, Erika Manilla won her first US Women’s Singles title, as she defeated veteran Rhonda Rajsich in the final, 11-7, 11-8, 11-1. Manilla had a chance to win three title in Texas, but was thwarted in both the Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles finals.

Manilla played Women’s Doubles with Aimee Roehler, and they were the 2019 champions, but this year they fell to Kelani Lawrence and Hollie Scott in the final, 11-6, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8. Manilla played with her left-handed brother Adam in Mixed Doubles, and they lost to top seeds Michelle De La Rosa and Alejandro Landa, in four games, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9, 12-10.

The Women’s Doubles title is the first for Scott and second for Lawrence, who first won it in 2018 with Sharon Jackson. Overall, it’s Lawrence’s third US title, as she won Women’s Singles in 2019.

Mixed Doubles was a US Team event for the first time this year, as the International Racquetball Federation will be having Mixed Doubles at the 2022 IRF World Championships in August. De La Rosa and Landa’s win makes them the first pair to qualify to play Mixed Doubles at Worlds with USA on their backs. The title is De La Rosa’s first US Team title, and Landa’s second.

Watch the action

If you missed any of the matches from Texas, go to the USA Racquetball Facebook page, and check out the recordings of the matches that were streamed,

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

Men's US Team Singles - Semi-finals

1) Rocky Carson d. 5) Adam Manilla, 11-8, 11-8, 12-10
2) Alejandro Landa d. 3) Jake Bredenbeck, 11-5, 11-7, 11-4


1) Rocky Carson d. 2) Alejandro Landa, 11-9, 9-111, 11-4, 11-7

Men's US Team Doubles - Final

1) Rocky Carson & Charlie Pratt d. 2) Jake Bredenbeck & Sam Bredenbeck, 9-`, 11-4, 11-6, 13-11

Women's US Team Singles - Semi-finals

1) Erika Manilla d. 4) Hollie Scott, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-4
3) Rhonda Rajsich d. 2) Kelani Lawrence, 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9

Women's US Team Singles - Final

1) Erika Manilla d. 3) Rhonda Rajsich, 11-7, 11-8, 11-1

Women's US Team Doubles - Final

1) Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott d. 3) Erika Manilla & Aimee Roehler, 11-6, 11-4, 8-11, 11-8

US Team Mixed Doubles - Final

1) Michelle De La Rosa & Alejandro Landa d. 2) Erika Manilla & Adam Manilla, 5-11, 11-4, 11-9, 12-10

Follow the bouncing ball....

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