Thursday, September 29, 2022

Top seeds all win in LPRT Round of 16 at 2022 US Open

All the higher seeds won in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Round of 16 at the 2022 USA Racquetball US Open at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, but not all of them advanced easily. Three of the eight matches went breaker, and two others were doubles digits in both games.

Seventh seed Carla Muñoz had the biggest hurdle, as she lost the first game of her match against 10th seed Samantha Salas, but then rallied to win in three games, 8-15, 15-8, 11-7. In the other three game matches, the higher seeds lost game two.

Fifth seed Jessica Parrilla needed three games to get past 12th seed Valeria Centellas, 15-12, 8-15, 11-7, and 8th seed Brenda Laime went the distance with 9th seed Kelani Lawrence, winning 15-7, 11-15, 11-5.

The Muñoz-Salas match was a slugfest, as both are power players, so they were trying to hammer the ball past each other. After dropping the first game, Muñoz went out to a big lead in game two at 11-2. But Salas dug in and made it interesting when she she got to 11-6, and 13-8. However, Muñoz held on to force a tie-breaker.

She carried the momentum over into the breaker, going up 7-1. But again Salas dug in, and this time came all the way back to tie the game at 7-7. The exchanged three side outs, and then with the serve back, Muñoz called a timeout.

When play resumed, she won the next two rallies with forehand shots from the left side to the right. Salas then called a timeout.

On the next rally, Muñoz had a chance to get to match point, but she skipped a forehand shot to give Salas the serve. But she made up for the error with a backhand cross court winner on the next rally to again serve at 9-7.

A backhand pinch shot made it 10-7. Then on the first match point, Salas hit a backhand shot that was high and came off the right side wall and back wall. Muñoz set up for a forehand shot, but misjudged where the ball was going. But in moving for the ball, she forced Salas to move to the left side, and then made an awkward forehand shot that pushed the ball into the front right corner for a winner.

Probably not a play she and her coach Cliff Swain had drawn up.

In the Laime versus Lawrence match, Lawrence had a lead in game two at 8-4 after losing game one, 15-7, but Laime came back to tie it at 9-9. Leading to a Lawrence timeout.

Lawrence got the serve back when Laime was assessed a penalty hinder, and she then scored two points to regain the lead at 11-9. After several sideouts, Laime was able to again tie the game at 11-11, and looked like she might win in two straight games.

However, Lawrence hit a forehand shot down the left side to get the serve back, and then hit a drive serve ace to the right side to lead 12-11. Three forehand winners later, and she’d won the game, 15-11, and forced a tie-breaker.

Unfortunately for Lawrence, the wheels came off her bus early the breaker, as Laime won the first five rallies to lead 5-0. Lawrence called timeout.

She got the serve back on the next rally, and scored a couple points, but still trailed Laime 5-2. Then Lawrence skipped a shot, and that led to five more points for Laime, and match point at 10-2.

But Lawrence dug in, and fought off match point three times, while scoring three points of her own to get within five at 10-5 down. However, when she skipped a forehand shot - an unforced error - to give Laime match point a fourth time, it was one time too many, as a Laime backhand into the front left corner ended the game at 11-5, and the match, 2-1, in favour of Laime.

Laime’s win sets up a rematch with LPRT #1 Paola Longoria, as Longoria beat 16th seed Cristina Amaya, 15-7, 15-2, Thursday. The two played in the last LPRT event in Maryland, where Laime handed Longoria her first loss in the quarterfinals since 2008.

You know that Longoria will not want to lose to Laime twice in a row.

The quarterfinals will be Friday afternoon followed by the semi-finals of doubles Friday night. 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 - Round of 16 - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria d. 16) Cristina Amaya, 15-7, 15-2
8) Brenda  Laime d. 9) Kelani Lawrence, 15-7, 11-15, 11-5

5) Jessica Parrilla d. 12) Valeria Centellas, 15-12, 8-15, 11-7
4) Natalia Mendez d. 13) Gabriela Martinez, 15-13, 15-14

3) Erika Manilla d. 19) Jenny Daza, 15-2, 15-0
6) Angelica Barrios d. 11) Hollie Scott, 15-13, 15-10

7) Carla Muñoz d. 10) Samantha Salas, 8-15, 15-8, 11-7
2) Alexandra Herrera d. 15) Sheryl Lotts, 15-3, 15-3

LPRT Singles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria v. 8) Brenda  Laime - 3:10 PM
4) Natalia Mendez v. 5) Jessica Parrilla - 2:10 PM

3) Erika Manilla v. 6) Angelica Barrios - 3:10 PM
2) Alexandra Herrera v. 7) Carla Muñoz - 2:10 PM

LPRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Thursday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. Angelica Barrios & Jenny Daza, 15-5, 15-4
Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott v. Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez - 8:50 PM

Erika Manilla & Natalia Mendez v. Brenda Laime & Carla Muñoz - 8:50 PM
Alexandra Herrera & Jessica Parrilla v. Valeria Centellas & Micaela Meneses - 7:40 PM

LPRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas v. Kelani Lawrence & Hollie Scott or Gabriela Martinez & Maria Renee Rodriguez - 7:10 PM
Alexandra Herrera & Jessica Parrilla or Valeria Centellas & Micaela Meneses v. Erika Manilla & Natalia Mendez v. Brenda Laime & Carla Muñoz - 6:10 PM

Follow the bouncing ball…..

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