Friday, September 30, 2022

Longoria into semi-finals at US Open for 14th consecutive year

Paola Longoria, the #1 player on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) and 10 time defending champion got a measure of revenge on 8th seed Brenda Laime by beating her, 15-1, 15-8, in the quarterfinals of the 2022 USA Racquetball US Open at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Laime had upset Longoria in their last meeting at the LPRT at the Beach tournament earlier this month, but she couldn’t get a second win on Friday.

Longoria will play 5th seed Jessica Parrilla in the semifinals Saturday, as Parrilla upset 4th seed Natalia Mendez in three games, 7-15, 15-9, 11-6, in the quarterfinals.

On the other side of the draw, LPRT #2 Alexandra Herrera beat 7th seed Carla Muñoz in two straight games, 15-5, 15-2, and will face 3rd seed Erika Manilla, who also won in two straight games, but by a much closer margin. She defeated 6th seed Angelica Barrios, 15-13, 15-14.

Longoria is also in the doubles final with Samantha Salas, as they beat Gabriela Martinez and Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-8, 15-5, in the semi-finals Friday. Longoria and Salas led wire to wire, although Martinez and Rodriguez were close in game one, getting within a point at 6-5 and 9-8.

However, they didn’t score after that in game one. Then they didn’t score until Longoria and Salas were up 9-0 in game two. That put the writing on the wall, and Longoria and Salas finished off the game, 15-5, and the match in two straight games.

The win puts Longoria into the doubles final for an 8th consecutive year. In fact, she’s been in all of the LPRT US Open doubles finals. Salas has been her partner for five of those finals, and they have won it four times. Longoria has two wins with other partners (Veronica Sotomayor and Martinez) in years Salas was injured, so she's 6-1 in US Open doubles finals.

In the final, Longoria and Salas will face a new team in 3rd seeds Manilla and Mendez, who upset the 2nd seeds Alexandra Herrera and Jessica Parrilla, 15-8, 15-14, in the other semi-final. Manilla and Mendez had leads of 10-3 and 14-8 in game two, only to see Herrera and Parrilla come all the way back to tie it at 14-14 after Manilla skipped a shot to end a long rally.

However, Parrilla returned the favour on the next rally to end her team’s comeback. Herrera did hit a backhand winner on the first match point, but on the second, Manilla hit a forehand pinch winner to take the match in two straight games.

The LPRT singles semi-finals will be on Saturday at 10:10 AM and 1:10 PM and the final will be Sunday at 12:10 AM. The doubles final is 4:10 PM Saturday. All times Central.

You can watch the US Open LPRT action from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis by going to the LPRT YouTube channel or their Facebook page.

2022 US Open - University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
September 28-October 2, 2022

LPRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria d. 8) Brenda  Laime, 15-1, 15-8
5) Jessica Parrilla d. 4) Natalia Mendez, 7-15, 15-9, 11-7

3) Erika Manilla d. 6) Angelica Barrios, 15-13, 15-14
2) Alexandra Herrera d. 7) Carla Muñoz, 15-5, 15-2

LPRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria v. 5) Jessica Parrilla - 1:10 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera v. 3) Erika Manilla - 10:10 AM

LPRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 5) Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-8, 15-5
3) Erika Manilla & Natalia Mendez d. 2) Alexandra Herrera & Jessica Parrilla, 15-8, 15-14

LPRT Doubles - Final - Saturday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. 3) Erika Manilla & Natalia Mendez - 4:10 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

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