Saturday, April 18, 2015

Longoria & Vargas to meet in LPRT Mile High Pro-Am final

Despite some upsets earlier in the tournament, it will be #1 v. #2 in the final of the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Mile High Pro/Am in Denver on Sunday, as #1 Paola Longoria and #2 Maria Jose Vargas won their respective semi-final matches, both in the minimum three games. But both won game one of their semis 12-10.

Longoria was up in game one against #4 Frédérique Lambert, 8-4 and 10-7, but Lambert tied it at 10-10. But an error gave the serve back to Longoria. On the next rally, Lambert skipped an easy forehand shot. Then Longoria hit a drive serve to the left, and the ball stuck in the back corner, and the first game was hers.

Game two was similar, as Longoria took an 8-2 lead. Lambert got within three at 10-7, but that was as close as she got, as Longoria won game two 11-7.

Game three was all Longoria, as she went out to a 9-0 lead and won 11-2.

Vargas beat Cristina Amaya, LPRT #6, in the other semi-final, 12-10, 11-3, 11-3. The match was close, despite the scores in games two and three, as there were several sideouts in both those games.

They were back and forth in game one, with Amaya leading 6-3, then Vargas leading 8-6. They tied at 9-9, and it was Amaya who got to 10 first. But Vargas got the serve back with a winning backhand return. Then Vargas tied it with a drive serve ace to the left side.

Amaya got the serve back with a forehand winner, but Vargas appealed that Amaya had encroached on the serve, which the referee had not called. The linejudges overturned the referee's call, and Vargas was awarded a point for Amaya's encroachment. Vargas won the game on the next rally with a forehand cross court shot.

Amaya won the first two points in game two, but Vargas held her to only one more, as she went on to win it, 11-3. Similarly in game three, they were tied at 3-3, and that was as many points as Amaya got, as Vargas scored eight straight points to finish off the game and match.

You can watch the final at noon MDT Sunday via the LPRT Network..

LPRT Mile High Pro-Am
Denver, Colorado

(with seeding)

Semi-finals

1 Paola Longoria d. 4 Frédérique Lambert, 12-10, 11-7, 11-2
2 Maria Jose Vargas d. 6 Cristina Amaya, 12-10, 11-3, 11-3

Final

1 Paola Longoria v. 2 Maria Jose Vargas

Follow the bouncing ball....

LPRT Mile High Pro-Am Quarterfinals

It took over two hours but 6th seed Cristina Amaya pulled off the upset victory over 3rd seed Rhonda Rajsich, 7-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9, at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Mile High Pro/Am in Denver in the quarterfinals. The win puts Amaya into the semi-finals for the third time this season and second in a row.

Amaya will face 2nd seed Maria Jose Vargas in the semis, as Vargas defeated Cheryl Gudinas, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8, in the quarters.

On the other side of the draw, LPRT #1 Paola Longoria will face #4 Frédérique Lambert in the semis, as they won their respective quarterfinal matches. Longoria defeated Sofia Rascon, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3, and Lambert came back from 2-1 down to defeat Samantha Salas, 11-6, 5-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-4. That win was Lambert’s first over Salas in their respective careers.

You can watch the semi-finals at 5 PM and 6 PM MDT Saturday via the LPRT Network. The final will be noon on Sunday.

LPRT Mile High Pro-Am
Denver, Colorado

(with seeding)

Quarterfinals

1 Paola Longoria d. 9 Sofia Rascon, 11-5, 11-7, 11-3
4 Frédérique Lambert d. 5 Samantha Salas, 11-6, 5-11, 4-11, 11-3, 11-4

6 Cristina Amaya d. 3 Rhonda Rajsich, 7-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9
2 Maria Jose Vargas d. 10 Cheryl Gudinas, 11-5, 11-3, 11-8

Semi-finals

1 Paola Longoria v. 4 Frédérique Lambert
2 Maria Jose Vargas v. 6 Cristina Amaya

Follow the bouncing ball....

Friday, April 17, 2015

LPRT Mile High Pro-Am - Round of 16

Two more upsets at the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) Mile High Pro/Am in Denver happened in the Round of 16. Veteran Cheryl Gudinas, the 10th seed, defeated 7th seed Michelle Key, 11-3, 11-2, 11-6, in match that has implications for the US Team qualification.

The top two American players on the LPRT qualify for the US National Team. Gudinas and Key are close in the race to do that. Key was leading, but Gudinas's win could change that. Da'monique Davis is also in that race, but she lost her match against Sofia Rascon, 11-3, 11-5, 11-3. That match was the other upset on the day, as Davis was seeded 8th and Rascon 9th.

Thus, on a day with big implication for US Team qualification, it was the veteran Gudinas who came through.

Gudinas would surely like to qualify for the US Team for the Pan American Games this summer. She has competed - and medaled - at every Pan Am Games racquetball competition since it was first included in 1995.

The first spot on Team USA will undoubtedly be claimed by Rhonda Rajsich, the LPRT 3rd ranked player, who defeated Alexandra Herrera, 4-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, in the Round of 16 Friday. She'll play Cristina Amaya in the quarterfinals, as Amaya beat Veronica Sotomayor, 11-2, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9.

Also in the quarters will be the match up that we've anticipated: 4th seed Frédérique Lambert will play 5th seed Samantha Salas, although it almost didn't happen, as Salas dropped the first two games against Susana Acosta in the 16s. However, Salas battled back to win the next three and take the match, 8-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-5.

Lambert also dropped the first game of her Round of 16 match with Gabriela Martinez, but then recovered to win the next three, making the final score line 9-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-8.

You can watch the quarterfinals at 11 AM and noon Saturday via the LPRT Network. The semi-finals will go at 5 PM and 6 PM MDT Saturday with the final at noon on Sunday.

LPRT Mile High Pro-Am
Denver, Colorado

(with seeding)

Round of 16

1 Paola Longoria d. 16 Kim Thomas, 11-2, 11-6, 11-2
9 Sofia Rascon d. 8 Da'monique Davis, 11-3, 11-5, 11-3

5 Samantha Salas d. 12 Susana Acosta, 8-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-3, 11-5
4 Frédérique Lambert d. 20 Gabriela Martinez, 9-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-8

3 Rhonda Rajsich d. 14 Alexandra Herrera, 4-11, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4
6 Cristina Amaya d. 11 Veronica Sotomayor, 11-2, 8-11, 11-8, 11-9

10 Cheryl Gudinas d. 7 Michelle Key, 11-3, 11-2, 11-6
2 Maria Jose Vargas d. 18 Maria Paz Muñoz, 11-7, 11-8, 11-5

Quarterfinals

1 Paola Longoria v. 9 Sofia Rascon - Noon MDT
4 Frédérique Lambert v. 5 Samantha Salas - Noon MDT

3 Rhonda Rajsich v. 6 Cristina Amaya - 11 AM MDT
2 Maria Jose Vargas v. 10 Cheryl Gudinas - 11 AM MDT

Follow the bouncing ball....