Monday, June 29, 2015

2015 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics - Review

The USA Racquetball Junior Olympics wrapped up on Sunday in Stockton, California. We have a summary of the results below, but we noting the number of participants. There were 193 players in Stockton, which is up from 154 in 2014 and 143 in 2013.

A large part of the increase is due to the number of Californians participating. Call it the host state bump. Sixty five Californians participated this year, up from 25 in 2014, and 21 in 2013. Last year when Colorado hosted the event there were 21 Colorado players in the event, compared to 9 this year. Two years ago, Iowa hosted the Junior Olympics, and there were 22 Iowans participating compared to six this year. The 2016 Junior Olympics will be in Minnesota, so based on the host state bump, we'd expected about 25 Minnesotans in the draw, as there were eight Minnesotans in Stockton.

More significantly, the number of girls participating has increased for the second consecutive year. There were 59 girls playing in Stockton compared to 44 in Colorado and 31 in Iowa. Girls made up 30.6% of the participants this year, up slightly from last year’s 28.6%, but significantly up from 21.7% in 2013.

Curiously, the number of girls in the lower age divisions is greater than the number in the older age divisions. Twenty six girls played in the U14, U16 and U18 divisions while 33 played in the age divisions below that. Whether all those younger players will continue to play into their teenage years remains to be seen.

Nonetheless, for several years now, we’ve been wondering where the female participation in USA racquetball events has been. It’s nice to see that the girls numbers are up at the Junior Olympics.

Traditionally in junior events, the Boy’s U16 is the largest, and this year was no exception, as 37 players were entered in that division in Stockton, compared to 33 in Boy’s U14 and 14 Boy’s U18.

You can see some of the matches from the 2015 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics at the In-Shape Sport West Lane in Stockton, California via the USA Racquetball Livestream channel.

2015 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics
Stockton, California

Boy's U14


1st - Akul Ramayani (Poughkeepsie, NY)
2nd - Antonio Rojas (Stockton, CA)
3rd - Sahil Thakur (Tracy, CA)
4th - Mitchell Turner (Salem, OR)

Boy's U16

1st - Jordan Barth (Cold Spring, MN)
2nd - Mauro Rojas (Stockton, CA)
3rd - Kevin Vazquez (Miami, FL)
4th - Wayne Antone IV (Eugene, OR)

Boy's U18

1st - Sam Bredenbeck (Marine On St Croix, MN)
2nd - Mauro Rojas (Stockton, CA)
3rd - Jake Birnel (Bellingham, WA)
4th Thomas Carter (Murrysville, PA)

Girl's U14

1st - Briana Jacquet (Phoenix, AZ)
2nd - Kaitlyn Boyle (Beaverton, OR)
3rd - Nikita Chauhan (San Ramon, CA)
4th - Elena Dent (Lumberton, NC)

Girl's U16

1st - Erika Manilla (Centennial, CO)
2nd - Jordan Cooperrider (Palm Harbor, FL)
3rd - Hollie Scott (Lynden, WA)
4th - Kristine Holman (Salem, OR)

Girl's U18

1st - Lexi York (Milwakie, Ore.)
2nd - Brittany Click (Huffman, TX)
3rd - Karina Quintanilla (Harlingen, TX)
4th - Kara Piepenbrink (Tampa, FL)
5th - Aadhilakshmi Balasubramanian (Belle Mead, NJ)

Boy's U18 Doubles

1st - Sam Bredenbeck (Marine On St Croix, Minn.) & Jake Birnel (Bellingham, WA)
2nd - Thomas Carter (Murrysville, PA) & Kyle Ulliman (Westerville, PA)
3rd - Hayden Farmer (Trophy Club, TX) & Carlos Reyes (Janesville, WI)
4th - Luis Avila (Wilmington, CA) & Justin Ide (Beaverton, OR)
5th - Lukas Le (Arlington, TX) & Nicholas Pavloski (Kingwood, TX)
6th - Eric McEnnis (Port St. Lucie, FL) & Trevor John (Reno, NV)

Boy's U16 Doubles

1st - Wayne Antone IV (Eugene, OR) & Kevin Vazquez (Miami, FL)
2nd - Jordan Barth (Cold Spring, MN) & Justus Benson (Sun Prairie, WI)
3rd - Ellis Syke (Coon Rapids, MN) & Noah Little (Ayden, NC)
4th - Justin Ide (Beaverton, OR) & Gavin Usher (Portland, OR)

Boy's U14 Doubles

1st - Julian Singh (Pleasanton, CA) & Mitchell Turner (Salem, OR)
2nd - Brian Barberis (McKinney, TX) & Nick Birnel (Bellingham, WA)
3rd - Ben Baron (Phoenix) & Tommy Andraos (Laguna Niguel, CA)
4th - Micah Farmer (Trophy Club, Texas) & Lucas Shoemaker (Bettendorf, IA)

Girl's U16/U18 Doubles

1st - Jordan Cooperrider (Palm Harbor, Fla.) & Erika Manilla (Centennial, Col.)
2nd - Hollie Scott (Lynden, WA) & Lexi York (Milwakie, Ore.)
3rd - Karina Quintanilla (Harlingen, Tex.) & Daniela Torres (San Antonio, Tex.)
5th - Kristine Holman (Salem, Ore.) & Madison Kerzel (Salem, Ore.)
6th - Alanna Shea (Cortland Manor, NY) & Reena Sheth (Amawalk, NY)

Girl's U14 Doubles

1st - Brian Jacquet (Phoenix) & Kaitlyn Boyle (Beaverton, OR)
2nd - Graciana Wargo (Clearwater, FL) & Elena Dent (Lumberton, NC)
3rd - Nikita Chauhan (San Ramon, CA) & Megan Carver (Spokane, WA)

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bredenbeck wins twice Sunday at USA Racquetball Junior Olympics

Sam Bredenbeck played twice and won twice Sunday at the 2015 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics hosted by the In-Shape Sport West Lane Club in Stockton, California, as he defeated Mauro Rojas, 15-11, 15-11, to win Boy's U18 Singles, and teamed up with Jake Birnel to beat Thomas Carter and Kyle Ulliman, 15-13, 6-15, 11-9, for the Boy's U18 Doubles title.

The good news for Rojas was that he was in two finals on Sunday. The bad news was that he lost both, as Jordan Barth defeated him in the Boy's U16 Singles final, 15-12, 15-11.

Unlike fellow Minnesotan Bredenbeck, Barth was unable to do the the double, as he and Justus Benson lost the Boy's U16 Doubles final to Wayne Antone IV and Kevin Vazquez in two straight games, 15-11, 15-7. It was a measure of revenge for Antone, who lost to Barth in the semi-finals of singles.

Akul Ramayani and Antonio Rojas played twice Sunday, as they met in both the Boy's U12 and U14 finals. Rojas won the Boy's U12 final, 15-10, 15-8, while Ramayani won Boy's U14, 15-12, 15-2.

Lexi York won Girl's U18 Singles by finishing undefeated in the round robin with a win over Karina Quintanilla, 10-15, 15-3, 11-1. Brittany Click was second and Quntanilla third.

Erika Manilla and Jordan Cooperrider won the Girl's U16/18 Doubles division by defeating York and Hollie Scott and York, 15-13, 15-11.

In a replay of last year's Girl's U14 Singles final, Briana Jacquet reversed the outcome from 2014 on Sunday, as she defeated Kaitlyn Boyle, 15-8, 15-8. Jacquet and Boyle teamed up in Girl's U14 Doubles and won the title by sweeping three team round robin.

You can see the matches from the 2015 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics at the In-Shape Sport West Lane in Stockton, California via the USA Racquetball Livestream channel.

The 2016 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics will be in Minnesota.

2015 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics
Stockton, California

Boy's U14


Final

Akul Ramayani (Poughkeepsie, NY) d. Antonio Rojas (Stockton, CA), 15-12, 15-2

3rd place

Sahil Thakur (Tracy, CA) d. Mitchell Turner (Salem, OR), 15-3, 15-3

Boy's U16

Final

Jordan Barth (Cold Spring, MN) d. Mauro Rojas (Stockton, CA), 15-12, 15-11

3rd place

Kevin Vazquez (Miami, FL) d. Wayne Antone IV (Eugene, OR)

Boy's U18

Final


Sam Bredenbeck (Marine On St Croix, MN) d. Mauro Rojas (Stockton, CA), 15-11, 15-11

3rd place

Jake Birnel (Bellingham, WA) d. Thomas Carter (Murrysville, PA), 12-15, 15-12, 11-9

Girl's U14

Final

Briana Jacquet (Phoenix, AZ) d. Kaitlyn Boyle (Beaverton, OR), 15-8, 15-8

3rd place

Nikita Chauhan (San Ramon, CA) d. Elena Dent (Lumberton, NC), 3-15, 15-12, 11-10

Girl's U16

Final


Erika Manilla (Centennial, CO) d. Jordan Cooperrider (Palm Harbor, FL), 15-12, 15-4

3rd place

Hollie Scott (Lynden, WA) d. Kristine Holman (Salem, OR), 15-2, 15-1

Girl's U18 - Round Robin

1st - Lexi York (Milwakie, Ore.) 4-0
2nd - Brittany Click (Huffman, TX) 3-1
3rd - Karina Quintanilla (Harlingen, TX) 2-2
4th - Kara Piepenbrink (Tampa, FL) 1-3
5th - Aadhilakshmi Balasubramanian (Belle Mead, NJ) 0-4

Boy's U18 Doubles - Round Robin - Sunday matches

1st - Sam Bredenbeck (Marine On St Croix, Minn.) & Jake Birnel (Bellingham, WA) d. Thomas Carter (Murrysville, PA) & Kyle Ulliman (Westerville, PA), 15-13, 6-15, 11-9

3rd - Hayden Farmer (Trophy Club, TX) & Carlos Reyes (Janesville, WI) d. Luis Avila (Wilmington, CA) & Justin Ide (Beaverton, OR), forfeit

5th - Lukas Le (Arlington, TX) & Nicholas Pavloski (Kingwood, TX) d. Eric McEnnis (Port St. Lucie, FL) & Trevor John (Reno, NV), 15-13, 15-6

Boy's U16 Doubles

Final

Wayne Antone IV (Eugene, OR) & Kevin Vazquez (Miami, FL) d. Jordan Barth (Cold Spring, MN) & Justus Benson (Sun Prairie, WI), 15-11, 15-7

3rd Place

Ellis Syke (Coon Rapids, MN) & Noah Little (Ayden, NC) d. Justin Ide (Beaverton, OR) & Gavin Usher (Portland, OR), 13-15, 15-8, 11-9

Boy's U14 Doubles

Final


Julian Singh (Pleasanton, CA) & Mitchell Turner (Salem, OR) d. Brian Barberis (McKinney, TX) & Nick Birnel (Bellingham, WA), 14-15, 15-10, 11-2

3rd place

Ben Baron (Phoenix) & Tommy Andraos (Laguna Niguel, CA) d. Micah Farmer (Trophy Club, Texas) & Lucas Shoemaker (Bettendorf, IA), 15-10, 15-5

Girl's U16/U18 Doubles - Round Robin - Sunday matches

1st - Jordan Cooperrider (Palm Harbor, Fla.) & Erika Manilla (Centennial, Col.) d. Hollie Scott (Lynden, WA) & Lexi York (Milwakie, Ore.), 15-13, 15-11

3rd - Karina Quintanilla (Harlingen, Tex.) & Daniela Torres (San Antonio, Tex.)

5th - Kristine Holman (Salem, Ore.) & Madison Kerzel (Salem, Ore.) d. Alanna Shea (Cortland Manor, NY) & Reena Sheth (Amawalk, NY), 15-3, 15-5

Girl's U14 Doubles - Round Robin

1st - Brian Jacquet (Phoenix) & Kaitlyn Boyle (Beaverton, OR) - 2-0
2nd - Graciana Wargo (Clearwater, FL) & Elena Dent (Lumberton, NC) - 1-1
3rd - Nikita Chauhan (San Ramon, CA) & Megan Carver (Spokane, WA) - 0-2

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Manilla wins Girl's U16 at 2015 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics

Erika Manilla defeated Jordan Cooperrider, 15-12, 15-4, to win the Girl's U16 title Saturday at the 2015 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics hosted by the In-Shape Sport West Lane Club in Stockton, California. It was a repeat of last year's final, and in fact the third straight final Manilla and Cooperrider have played, as they also met in the U14 division final in 2013. But Cooperrider won both their previous final matches, so Manilla's win was a measure of revenge.

Cooperrider started well, and was up 9-5 in game one. But Manilla seemed to take it to another gear after that as she began drive serving well, and won 25 of the next 32 points to take the match. Cooperrider and Manilla teamed up in doubles and won the Girl's U16 title.

In the Girl's U18 division, Lexi York defeated Brittany Click, 15-10, 15-7. The win keeps York undefeated with one match to go, as the U18 is a round robin between five girls. Click has only one loss, as does Karina Quintanilla. York and Quintanilla play Sunday, and if York wins, she's the champion with Click second. If Quintanilla wins, then it will be a three way tie between them, and the tie-breaker rules will come into effect.

Kaitlyn Boyle could repeat in Girl's U14, as she defeated Elena Dent, 15-14, 15-0, in the semi-finals Saturday. The win sets up a repeat of last year's final, as Briana Jacquet, last year's runner up, won the other semi-final against Nikita Chauhan, 15-5, 15-0.

If you want to win a racquetball tournament in Stockton, generally you're going to have to beat a Rojas, and that's the case in the boy's divisions, as each of the Boy's U12, U14, U16 and U18 finals has a Rojas in them. Mauro Rojas is in both the U16 and U18 finals and Antonio Rojas is the Boy's U12 and U14 finals. Antonio will play the same opponent in both finals: Akul Ramayani.

In Boy's U14, Ramayani was runner-up last year, so Rojas will have his work cut out for him. In the semis, Ramayani defeated Sahil Thakur, and Rojas beat Mitchell Turner, 15-4, 15-1.

Mauro Rojas needed a tie-breaker to get to the Boy's U16 final, as Kevin Vazquez won the first games of their match. However, Rojas came back to win games two and three to get the final, winning 10-15, 15-5, 11-4. In the final, Rojas will face Jordan Barth, who defeated Wayne Antone IV, 15-12, 15-6, in the other semi-final.

Barth had a slow start, as Antone went up 6-0 in game one. But the current World Junior Boy's U14 Champion didn't panic, as Barth switched gears and began hitting lob nick serves to the left side that he described afterwards as his "go to serve." They were very effective against Antone, as Barth tied game one at 9-9, and then went on to win it, 15-12.

In game two, they were tied at 2-2 and then Barth again pushed ahead, going up 14-4. Then Antone scored a few points playing like he had nothing to lose. But when Antone hit a drive serve to the left side, Barth's return was called good, which Antone disagreed with, so much so that he got a technical for his protest, making the score 14-6. Antone skipped his return of Barth's next serve, ending the game at 15-6.

The Boy's U18 division finalists were determined on Friday, and Mauro Rojas plays Sam Bredenbeck for the title with Thomas Carter and Jake Birnel squaring off for third.

The 2015 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics concludes Sunday at the In-Shape Sport West Lane in Stockton, California.

2015 USA Racquetball Junior Olympics
Stockton, California

Boy's U14

Semi-finals


Akul Ramayani (Poughkeepsie, NY) d. Sahil Thakur (Tracy, CA)
Antonio Rojas (Stockton, CA) d. Mitchell Turner (Salem, OR), 15-4, 15-1

Final

Akul Ramayani (Poughkeepsie, NY) v. Antonio Rojas (Stockton, CA)

3rd place

Sahil Thakur (Tracy, CA) v. Mitchell Turner (Salem, OR)

Boy's U16

Semi-finals


Mauro Rojas (Stockton, CA) d. Kevin Vazquez (Miami, FL), 10-15, 15-5, 11-4
Jordan Barth (Cold Spring, MN) d. Wayne Antone IV (Eugene, OR), 15-12, 15-6

Final

Mauro Rojas (Stockton, CA) v. Jordan Barth (Cold Spring, MN)

3rd place

Wayne Antone IV (Eugene, OR) v. Kevin Vazquez (Miami, FL)

Boy's U18

Final


Mauro Rojas (Stockton, CA) v. Sam Bredenbeck (Marine On St Croix, Minn.)

3rd place

Thomas Carter (Murrysville, PA) v. Jake Birnel (Bellingham, WA)

Girl's U14

Semi-finals


Kaitlyn Boyle (Beaverton, OR) d. Elena Dent (Lumberton, NC), 15-14, 15-0
Briana Jacquet (Phoenix, AZ) d. Nikita Chauhan (San Ramon, CA), 15-5, 15-0

Final

Kaitlyn Boyle (Beaverton, OR) v. Briana Jacquet (Phoenix, AZ)

3rd place

Nikita Chauhan (San Ramon, CA) v. Elena Dent (Lumberton, NC)

Girl's U16

Final


Erika Manilla (Centennial, CO) d. Jordan Cooperrider (Palm Harbor, FL), 15-12, 15-4

3rd place

Hollie Scott (Lynden, WA) d. Kristine Holman (Salem, OR), 15-2, 15-1

Girl's U18 - Round Robin

Lexi York (Milwakie, Ore.) 3-0
Brittany Click (Huffman, TX) 3-1
Karina Quintanilla (Harlingen, TX) 2-1
Kara Piepenbrink (Tampa, FL) 0-3
Aadhilakshmi Balasubramanian (Belle Mead, NJ) 0-3

Boy's U18 Doubles - Round Robin - Sunday matches

1st - Thomas Carter (Murrysville, PA) & Kyle Ulliman (Westerville, PA) v. Sam Bredenbeck (Marine On St Croix, Minn.) & Jake Birnel (Bellingham, WA)

3rd - Luis Avila (Wilmington, CA) & Justin Ide (Beaverton, OR) v. Hayden Farmer (Trophy Club, TX) & Carlos Reyes (Janesville, WI)

5th - Lukas Le (Arlington, TX) & Nicholas Pavloski (Kingwood, TX) v. Eric McEnnis (Port St. Lucie, FL) & Trevor John (Reno, NV)

Boy's U16 Doubles

Semi-finals


Jordan Barth (Cold Spring, MN) & Justus Benson (Sun Prairie, WI) d. Ellis Syke (Coon Rapids, MN) & Noah Little (Ayden, NC), 15-6, 15-9
Wayne Antone IV (Eugene, OR) & Kevin Vazquez (Miami, FL) d. Justin Ide (Beaverton, OR) & Gavin Usher (Portland, OR), 15-11, 15-8

Final

Jordan Barth (Cold Spring, MN) & Justus Benson (Sun Prairie, WI) v. Wayne Antone IV (Eugene, OR) & Kevin Vazquez (Miami, FL)

3rd Place

Ellis Syke (Coon Rapids, MN) & Noah Little (Ayden, NC) v. Justin Ide (Beaverton, OR) & Gavin Usher (Portland, OR)

Boy's U14 Doubles

Final


Julian Singh (Pleasanton, CA) & Mitchell Turner (Salem, OR) d. Brian Barberis (McKinney, TX) & Nick Birnel (Bellingham, WA), 14-15, 15-10, 11-2

3rd place

Ben Baron (Phoenix) & Tommy Andraos (Laguna Niguel, CA) d. Micah Farmer (Trophy Club, Texas) & Lucas Shoemaker (Bettendorf, IA), 15-10, 15-5

Girl's U16/U18 Doubles - Round Robin - Sunday matches

1st - Jordan Cooperrider (Palm Harbor, Fla.) & Erika Manilla (Centennial, Col.) v. Hollie Scott (Lynden, WA) & Lexi York (Milwakie, Ore.)

3rd - Karina Quintanilla (Harlingen, Tex.) & Daniela Torres (San Antonio, Tex.)

5th - Kristine Holman (Salem, Ore.) & Madison Kerzel (Salem, Ore.) v. Alanna Shea (Cortland Manor, NY) & Reena Sheth (Amawalk, NY)

Girl's U14 Doubles - Round Robin

1st - Brian Jacquet (Phoenix) & Kaitlyn Boyle (Beaverton, OR) - 2-0
2nd - Graciana Wargo (Clearwater, FL) & Elena Dent (Lumberton, NC) - 1-1
3rd - Nikita Chauhan (San Ramon, CA) & Megan Carver (Spokane, WA) - 0-2

Follow the bouncing ball….