There was an IRT tier 4 event held this past weekend at the University of Louisiana – Monroe (school mascot: the Warhawks) with a couple of touring pros popping in. Here’s a quick recap of the two Pro draws.
The pro singles had a 12-man bracket, headlined by the top 2 seeds Thomas Carter and Robert Collins. The rest of the draw was players featuring from the southwest states of Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida.
In the 16s:
Cole Sendry, Richard Eisemann, Paul Julbes, and Matthew Healey, advanced into the quarters.
In the Quarters
#1 and #2 seeds Carter and Collins cruised, but score one for the old guys as top age group players Eisemann and Julbes upset seeded competition to move into the semis. Eisemann topped #4 seed Patrick Quinlan 10,10 while Julbes beat #3 seed Kip Atwell in a breaker. In the Semis, the two top pros each cruised; Carter topped Texan Eisemann 5 and -1, while Collins cruised past Julbes 5,2. They setup the expected final Saturday morning.
In the Finals, the two lefties treated the Louisiana crowd to a great first game, taken by Collins 15-14, From there, Carter turned on the heat and blew the game wide open, giving up just 3 points the rest of the way. Final score: (14),3,0.
Doubles review The #1 seeded team was comprised of the same two non-pro semi-finalists Eisemann/Julbes: they got a walkover in the semis to advance to the final. On the bottom side, #2 seeded team of Carter and Raymond Flowers took two games to make the final.
In the final…Carter/Flowers won a close game one, then raced to the two game title.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend from those at the tournament. Thanks to the Tourney Director Mark Thompson putting this event on!
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Next up? Per our handy master racquetball calendar … https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/
Next up is the Long-Wall WOR championships in Davie Florida and the 2021 Long Island Open in NY.
Men’s Pro 3-wall Doubles: Daniel De La Rosa/Alvaro Beltran
Women’s Pro 3-wall Doubles: Michelle De La Rosa/Carla Munoz
Mixed Pro 3-wall Doubles: Daniel De La Rosa/Michelle De La Rosa
Men’s pro 1-wall Doubles: Adam Manilla/Nick Riffel
Women’s Pro 1-wall Doubles: Victoria Rodriguez/Katie Neils
Mixed pro 1-wall Doubles: Rick “Soda Man” Koll/Michelle De La Rosa
Men’s 3-wall Singles: Mario Mercado
Women’s 3-wall Singles: Carla Munoz
CPRT Pro Doubles: Robert Sostre/Greg Solis
Paddleball Men’s Doubles: Daniel De La Rosa/Alvaro Beltran
Paddleball Mixed Doubles: Brenda Laime/Emmett Coe
Quite the amazing weekend for the De La Rosas in particular; Daniel entered and won three divisions (3-wall pro doubles, 3-wall mixed doubles, and Paddleball), while Michelle entered and won three divisions herself (3-wall pro doubles, 3-wall mixed and 1-wall pro mixed). 6 divisions, 6 titles. Bravo.
R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=37761
Special thanks to the major sponsors for 2021’s 3WB event KWM Gutterman, AGE Solutions, and Pro Kennex. Thanks as always to tournament host and sponsor Mike Coulter MC Vegas and to Tournament director Peggine Tellez, (and all the volunteer staff for 3WB) who worked so tirelessly all weekend to coordinate on-site.
ProRacquetballStats.com links to match reports for all the pro divisions:
Men’s Pro 3-wall Doubles: http://rball.pro/D204CC
Women’s Pro 3-wall Doubles: http://rball.pro/48852E
Mixed Pro 3-wall Doubles: http://rball.pro/D90DBF
Men’s pro 1-wall Doubles: http://rball.pro/693F45
Women’s Pro 1-wall Doubles: http://rball.pro/FE0189
Mixed pro 1-wall Doubles: http://rball.pro/CDB793
Men’s 3-wall Singles: http://rball.pro/43291F
Women’s 3-wall Singles: http://rball.pro/6FF3B2
Men’s 3-wall Pro doubles recap;
17 teams competing in this draw, and the big storyline was the seeding. 2021 outdoor champs Gies/Rich were seeded just 11th, outdoor legend and two-time outdoor national champs Carson/Ustarroz were seeded 10th, and some really tough top indoor pros were stuck in the 16/17 play-in. You have to beat them all to win, as they say, and the seeding made for some really compelling early matches. In the 16/17 play in, Alex Landa and Sebastian Fernandez were not able to overcome the outdoor experience of Brian Pineda (playing with Eduardo Portillo Rendon) and lost 5,13.
In the 16s, some notable matches:
#1 seeds Daniel De La Rosa and Alvaro Beltran, for the 2nd year running, faced a significant challenge in the first round, having to take on the experienced Pineda playing with the quickly learning Lalo. The defending champs were down early, but rallied to run to a first game win 15-11 and then held on in game two to move on.
Solid win by the #8 seeded NorCal team of Walter Ramos and Israel Torres.
#5 dark horses Emmett Coe and Rick Koll advanced past two IRT touring pros in Adam Manilla and Nick Riffel with ease 7,6
The #4 seeds from Florida were upset by a drastically under-seeded #13 team of Brandon Davis and Alejandro Barcelo.
#3 Robert Sostre and Daniel Lavely held serve against two tough veterans of outdoor Greg Solis and Charlie Pratt Racquetball to move on.
The most ridiculous under-seed of the event, #11 Jason Newberg Geis and Micah Rich, upset the #6 seeded team of tough Formulaflow partners Mario Mercado and MoMo Zelada in a breaker.
Nor Cal tough doubles players David ” Bobby” Horn and Jose Diaz took out the legendary Rocky Carson/Jesus Ustarroz team in a breaker.
And the biggest upset of the day was the #2 seeds Tommy Medina and Thomas Gerhardt losing to the upstart team of Patrick Allin and Alan Natera Chavez 2,13. The #2 seeds looked completely lost in game one, then rebounded to push the envelope in game two but ultimately couldn’t push it to a breaker.
In the qtrs, some solid matches:
#1 seeds DLR and Beltran cruised to wins in games ones and three, but seemingly took off game two against NorCal specialists Ramos and Torres. Final score: 2,(6),0. I might be wrong, but i’m not sure Ramos/Torres even served in the breaker. The lefty power of Ramos and lanky getting ability of Izzy powered them to a game two win, but the champs hunkered down for the breaker win to move on.
The #13 seeded team of Davis/Barcelo kept cruising, dominating against the #5 seeded team of Coe/Koll to move into the semis 12,2 The first game was close, but in game two Davis/Barcelo got into a nice rhythm of forcing awkward shots out of both competitors from the backhand side, with Barcelo hitting bomb after bomb from the deep forehand side to move on.
Four outdoor specialists, including one Hall of Famer, played a really entertaining match in the #3/#11 quarter, with your defending Outdoor National champs Geis/Rich moving on. They squeaked by in game one 15-14 over Sostre/Lavely, then dropped game two in fast fashion. But they refocused in the breaker, overcoming Lavely’s amazing getting ability and Iceman’s smart one-wall-inspired shot making to move into the semis.
The #7 seeded Area-code 209 team of Horn/Diaz squeaked past a shocked Natera/Allin team in game one 15-14, mounting a furious come back to steal the game after Natera/Allin served for it four times. Then, in game two a back and forth affair came down to just a few mistakes from the losing side; NorCal represented in the semis.
The semis featured two dominating performances from the two pre-tournament favorites:
#1 DLR/Beltran controlled the match from the get go, forcing the issue primarily to Barcelo on the right hand side and advanced with relative ease 9,7. Their game plan was to isolate and avoid the dangerous Davis and be opportunistic with their attacking shots, and they were successful.
#11 Geis/Rich dominated the Stockton duo of Horn/Diaz 3,10 to move to the final. Game one was a blur of excellent technical outdoor racquetball, and though Diaz/Horn were able to make game two closer, the Southern California duo won out. Horn has been nursing a shoulder injury, which was not unknown to his opponents, and they forced him to hit lots of uncomfortable shots and took advantage.
In the final…we got the rematch of the July outdoor nationals pro final, and the fans were treated to a pretty special performance from Daniel De La Rosa. Geis/Rich came out firing, worked Alvaro on the left side and limited their mistakes and surprised the #1 seeds 15-11. But game two and three was another story; DLR brought the pressure to Geis on the serve and was a man on a mission in the front court, hitting every shot he was presented. The second game was a blur 15-5, and the domination continued into the breaker. The top pair ran out to a fast 5-0 lead before Geis/Rich even got in the box, and despite their best efforts the top players ran away with the game 11-6.
Great win for the top Mexican duo, who defend their 2020 3WB title and pad their ever-growing list of indoor and outdoor titles together.
Men’s 3-wall CPRT Doubles re-cap We didn’t preview the CPRT, but it turned into a really solid pro-quality draw with some streaming on the weekend, so here’s a recap:
The #1 seeds Koll/Beltran were taken out by the Florida outdoor specialists Joe Young and Marcos Gravier in the quarters in what some would view as an upset, but Young/Gravier are highly experienced veteran outdoor players and ground out the win.
The #9 seeds were joined in the semis along with the other top 3 seeded teams, which include a slew of the top outdoor pros in the land. In the semis:
The #4 seeded team of Allin & Gerhardt controlled the power shots of Young & Gravier to move into the final.
The #3 team of dual hall of famers Greg Solis and Sostre took out the two-time outdoor nationals pro doubles champs Carson/Ustarroz in a spirited tiebreaker.
In the final, the Sostre/Solis team came back from a quick game one defeat to blow out Allin & Gerhardt 11-0 in the breaker to take the title.
Women’s 3-wall Pro Doubles re-cap Last minute withdrawals of several top players thinned the women’s pro doubles draw to just a 3-team round robin. In the RR final though we got an excellent match between the defending champion team of Michelle De La Rosa and Carla Muñoz Montesinos taking on the decorated Janel Tisinger-Ledkins teamed with Arizona’s Katie Neils.
In the title match, Neils (the least experienced player on the court) made her presence known and handled the right hand side, matching Munoz shot for shot, but the defending champs squeaked by with a 15-14 game one win. That opened the flood gates, and Tisinger-Ledkins/Neils couldn’t stop the train in game two. mDLR and Munoz defend their title 14,4.
Mixed 3-wall Pro Doubles re-cap A star-studded draw was featured in the Mixed doubles draw, including several Hall of Famers and several top touring indoor pros. In the quarters:
NorCal duo of Williams/Ramos played solid ball to squeak past Alejandro Landa and Aimee Brewer.
Team Formula Flow (Zelada and Brenda Laime Jalil) upset the #3 seeded team of Riffel/Neils.
A tough opener featured Hall of famer vs Hall of Famer, with the team of Greg Solis and Tisinger-Ledkins taking out the #2 seeded team of Sostre/Munoz. Solis/Tisinger-Ledkins is quite a decorated team; they’re a 5-time winner in Huntington Beach and won the pro mixed in Vegas in both 2010 and 2011. In the semis:
Defending champs DLR and mDLR cruised past the NorCal duo of Ramos/Williams 5,1
Solis/Tisinger-Ledkins thwarted efforts by the indoor specialists Zelada and Laime to move to the final 12,6. In the final, Daniel continued his sharp-shooter ways and drove the conversation, and the husband-wife pair won going away 8,8 to capture their 13th major mixed pro title together.
Side note: kudos to Tisinger-ledkins for playing and competing this weekend at … 8 months pregnant. Fantastic showing for someone with obvious mobility limitations to still compete at such a high level.
Men’s 3-wall Singles Recap:
Forfeits and injuries plagued the Men’s pro singles draw, with just one match managing to get played before the final. In the final, two IRT touring pros in Alan Natera and Mario Mercado faced off for the title. Mercado has a bit more outdoor experience than Natera and it showed, as he took the crown 13,7.
Women’s 3-wall Singles Recap: Two California outdoor specialists in Erica Williams and Victoria Rodriguez attempted to dethrone the reigning Outdoor Nationals singles champion Carla Muñoz Montesinos. Munoz and Williams held serve against Rodriguez and competed for the title. Williams shocked the LPRT touring pro in game one with a 15-13 win, but Munoz turned the tides and raced away with the next two games to win the title. Final score: (13),6,4.
Men’s 1-wall Pro Doubles recap Natera & Pratt upset the #1 seeded team of Daniel Lavely and Jeremy Mcglothin to move into the final. There they met the college buddy duo of Adam Manilla & Nick Riffel for a one-wall power racquetball shootout final.
In that final, the four IRT pros battled it out with a display less about one-wall tactics and more about brute force, with the lefty/righty Coloradans coming out on top 10,9.
Women’s 1-wall Pro Doubles recap
The top seeded team of Rodriguez/Neils took out team Virginia (TJ Baumbaugh & Aimee Brewer) to win the 4-team round robin and the title.
Mixed 1-wall Pro Doubles recap The top two seeds advanced to the title game, with Rick “Soda Man” Koll teamed up with Michelle De La Rosa at the top. The bottom of the draw was packed, but team Virginia Gerhardt/Brewer advanced to make the final.
In the final… Koll/mDLR outlasted Gerhardt/Brewer 15-13 in the first game, then ran away with it to take the title 13,1. This is Koll’s 4th mixed pro one-wall title out of the last 5 years.
Paddleball Pro Doubles We don’t normally cover much besides racquetball here, but 3WB features paddleball events that get tons of crossover between regular racquetball players and top paddleball pros from Southern California. In the Men’s pro paddleball doubles, DLR/Beltran took out the athletic team of Emmitt Coe and Sebastian Fernandez to take the title.
In the Mixed pro paddleball doubles, Brenda Laime teamed up with perhaps the best paddleball player in the nation in Emmett Coe to top the legendary Aaron Embry and his San Diego partner Roxanne Rehling to take the title.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Dean Baer, Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Timothy Baghurst, Jerry J Josey Jr., JP Edwards and @Tj Baumbaugh]
Reminder to Players! Please like and follow this page so that when I tag you, you see it. Facebook will only retain tags of people that like/follow a page, which means lots of you are not getting the notoriety of getting tagged and noticed on FB. If your name is here and it isn’t tagged … it probably means I attempted to tag you but FB stripped it.
No rest for the weary; Alvaro and De La Rosa head straight to San Luis Potosi for the 2021 Mexican National doubles event next weekend. Then a couple weeks after that we have a combo IRT/LPRT event in Arizona that will feature pro mixed doubles, a rare treat for fans.
tags KWM Gutterman Inc. ProKennex Racquetball AGE solutions inc
This weekend, the Kelley brothers are inviting 20 of their closest racquetball friends to their unique home court for a fun shootout. The players are coming from all over the eastern seaboard, with 9 different states represented.
Here’s a review of the top 8 seeds:
Former IRT regular Kyle Ulliman heads over from Ohio to claim the top spot.
Host Joe Kelley claims the #2 seed, having won the first iteration of this event last march.
Ohioan Victor Migliore has been playing the IRT regularly lately.
Maryland’s Dylan Pruitt, who was the 2019 18U doubles junior national champ and who made the semis here in March.
Texan Brennen Jennings had the furthest trip but represents the great state of Texas in the draw.
Floridian Alex zamudio has been making some waves lately in both his home state and on the IRT.
Marylander Ben Bleyer is a dark horse 7th seed, not well known nationally but a solid player from the Baltimore suburb of Ellicott City.
Georgian Austin Cunningham, who raced to the final here in march and will have his work cut out for him to repeat.
Also here are long-time new england top players Jason Sylvester KWNorth Properties and Jose Flores, who had a barn burner of a quarter final in March. Junior phenom from NY @josh shea is here as well as the 9th seed, and the other host Sam Kelley is the 12th seed.
Here’s a prediction piece, picking up in the round of 16:
Upset watch in the 16s for these matches:
8/9: Shea has been playing tough but Cunningham should advance.
5/12: Sylvester as a 12 seed is tough; he was the #2 seed in March and could upset the young Floridian here.
7/10: Bleyer is good, but so is #10 Flores. This could go either way as the wily veteran Flores plays tough.
Ulliman over Cunningham in a breaker
Jennings wears down Pruitt in a breaker.
Migliore takes out a fatigued Sylvester
Joe advances in a tough one over Bleyer.
Ulliman over Jennings
Joe over Migliore
Final: Joe repeats on home soil and upsets the Ohioan in the final.
Should be a fun one! Look for streaming from the private accounts of the players in the draw Play starts 6pm Friday and finishes up 8pm Saturday night.
R2 Sports App link: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=37761 The 12th Annual 3WallBall Outdoor Tournament is upon us. Held on the grounds of the STRAT hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, this tournament has grown to now be the second largest annual racquetball tournament in the world (trailing only the US Open in terms of participation). This year is no different, as the tournament will host roughly 440 players for the 2021 iteration.
Your Pro defending champions from last year:
Men’s 3-Wall Doubles: Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran
The 2021 Men’s Pro 3-Wall division will feature the defending champs (Daniel De La Rosa/Alvaro Beltran) as well as their vanquishers from this past summer’s Outdoor Nationals ( Jason Newberg Geis / Micah rich), as well as past Vegas winners Rocky Carson/Jesus Ustarroz, past Outdoor Nationals champs (Greg Solis, Brandon Davis, Robert Sostre), and a slew of the best outdoor players from Florida, New York, California, and beyond. It should be a highly competitive event.
The 2021 Women’s Pro 3-Wall division will also feature its defending champs, as Paola Longoria has committed to returning to defend her title with Tisinger-Ledkins. They’ll be challenged by the 2019 Vegas winners Michelle De La Rosa/Carla Muñoz as well as multi-time past champion and outdoor legend Rhonda Rajsich.
The 2021 Mixed Pro 3-Wall defending champs (the De La Rosa husband/wife team) will defend their 2021 title and try to build on their record 12 major outdoor titles together. They’ll be challenged by some tough teams, including the frequent Rajsich/Rick “Soda Man” Koll pairing, the two-time defending finalists Sostre/Muñoz team, a dark-horse challenging team of Tisinger-Ledkins/Solis, and a very interesting mother-son team of Martha & Jack McDonald.
1-Wall Doubles Pro Previews
The one-wall Pro Doubles crowns for all divisions (Men’s, Women’s, and Mixed) seem set to go to new teams in 2021, as the 2020 champion teams are either not present in 2021 or are not defending their titles.
Pro Singles Preview:
We’ll have a new Singles pro winner this year, as 2020’s winner is not here. The Women’s Singles division looks stacked, with four entrants (Longoria, Rajsich, Tisinger-Ledkins, and Muñoz) owning major outdoor singles titles. Longoria is the favorite every time she takes the court, but she’ll face stiff competition.
King of the Court
This year’s competition features a fun new event, King of the Court. 3WB’s team has invited a slew of legends of the sport to compete in a “King of the Court” singles division. Participants include former touring pros such as Doug Cohen, Bret Harnett, Egan Inoue, Todd O’Neil, and Ben Koltun. They’ll be joined by outdoor legends such as Craig “Clubber” Lane, Rick “Soda Man” Koll, and Jesus Ustarroz, and will face off against a slew of current outdoor stars for the title.
On a personal note, yours truly Todd Boss will not only be in Las Vegas for this event helping to stream and to do meet and greets, but i’m actually playing. For the first time since I believe 2003, I’m entered into a racquetball tournament.
Look for Streaming in the regular places; three major streamers are traveling to Las Vegas for this tournament. We’ll have streaming on the IRT feed (hosted by Dean DeAngelo Baer and Pablo Fajre), we’ll have streaming on the LPRT feed (hosted by Timothy Baghurst and Tj Baumbaugh) and we’ll have streaming hosted by JT R Ball, who is already on-site in Vegas and has been giving us great walking video tours and drone shots. Thanks to the Tourney Director Peggine Tellez and of course to MC Vegas for all your hard work on this event. Reminder to Players! Please like and follow this page so that when I tag you, you see it. Facebook will only retain tags of people that like/follow a page, which means lots of you are not getting the notoriety of getting tagged and noticed on FB. If your name is here and it isn’t tagged … it probably means I attempted to tag you but FB stripped it. Tags @International Racquetball Tour LPRT 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships USA Racquetball WOR – World Outdoor Racquetball Zurek Construction, LLC/Francisco Fajardo AGE SOLUTIONS /Andy Gomer Team Root.com/Randy Root KWM Gutterman Inc./Keith Minor Hashtags #racquetball #proracquetball #outdoorracquetball #irt #lprt #wor
Here’s a recap of Canada Junior Nationals, held this past weekend in Burlington, Ontario Canada. Trackie site for Canadian Jr Nationals: https://www.trackie.com/…/racquetball-canada…/471134/… (In case you’re wondering why Racquetball Canada has gone to a different system than R2sports … it has to do with Canadian data privacy laws for its players. R2 is not housed within Canada, so they had to switch to a Canadian-housed solution). Congrats to the following Boys singles finalists for team Canada (click here: http://rball.pro/5B9265 for a Matrix of all Canada boy’s titlists loaded into the database currently, dating to 2014 or so. We will do the 2021 data entry later this week while on travel):
Boys 18U: Nathan Jauvin over Naman Gauri
Boys 16U: Christian Pocsai over Matthew Hudson
Boys 14U: Asher Pocsai over Raphael Guillemette
Boys 12U: not competed
Boys 10U: not competed
Boys 8U: not competed This is the 6th junior nationals title for Jauvin, who is in his age 17 season so he has one more shot to extend his collection of tities. This is the 4th title for Christian Pocsai and the 3rd for Asher Pocsai.
For Doubles, we’re assuming the two singles finalists in 18U and 16U will be the doubles team. In Boys 14U, the two singles finalists Pocsai/Guillemette teamed up to win a small round robin to win the Doubles title.
Congrats to the following Girls Singles finalists for team Canada (click here: http://rball.pro/8DDB63 for a Matrix of all Canada girls’s titlists loaded into the database currently, dating to 2014 or so)
Girls 18U; Juliette Parent over Zoe Chopnick
Girls 16U: Tamara Wilscam over Ofelia Wilscam
Girls 14U: Chloe Jauvan wins the RR, Alaya Buller 2nd.
Girls 12U: not competed
Girls 10U: not competed
Girls 8U: not competed
This is Parent’s 4th junior national title, Tamara’s 3rd, and Chloe’s 5th.
Congrats to tournament director Jennifer Saunders for another successful Canadian national tournament. International Racquetball Tour LPRT Racquetball Canada International Racquetball Federation – IRF
This past weekend featured both Mexico and Canada holding their Junior National tournaments. The results of these events determine the national team members that will represent their country at the upcoming World Juniors in Guatemala City the first weekend of December. We’ll recap the Mexican tourney today and the Canadian tournament tomorrow.
R2 site for Mexican Jr Nationals: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/viewResults.asp?TID=37940
Congrats to the following Boys singles finalists for team Mexico: (click here: http://rball.pro/27C371 for a Matrix of all Mexican boy’s titlists loaded into the database currently, dating to 2012. We’ll work on the 2021 data entry later this week while on travel).
Boys 18U: Erick Trujillo , Sebastián Longoria
Boys 16U Jorge Gutierrez Ortiz and Cristhian Sánchez Raquetbol
Boys 14U: Eder Renteria and Sebastian Alejandro Ruelas
Boys 12U: Luis Carlos Ochoa and Diego Chavez
Boys 10U: Rene Palomino and Jhontan Garcia Banuelos
Boys 8U: Herman Gracia Castro and Max Soto
Trujillo is a name that’s been in “the news” lately for his excellent showings in recent IRT events. He’s come out of nowhere on the Mexican scene; this is his first junior national title. Longoria was the 16U champ in 2019. This is the first junior title for Ortiz. Renteria is a familiar name to junior racquetball; this is his 6th junior national title, and he’s got a chance to come close to David Ortega’s record of 11 career Mexican junior national titles. This is Ochoa’s 3rd junior title; he previously won an 8U and 10U title.
Congrats to the following Girls Singles finalists for team Mexico: (click here: http://rball.pro/271CB4 or a Matrix of all Mexican girls’s titlists loaded into the database currently, dating to 2012)
Girls 18U; Daniela Rico and Ximena Martinez
Girls 16U: Angela Veronica Ortega and Cynthia Gutierrez
Girls 14U: Mariafernanda Trujillo and Yanna Salazar
Girls 12U: Lilia Farias and Natalia Guillen
Girls 10U: Michelle Gomez and Maria Melo
Girls 8U: Maria Jose Juardo and Eva Chavez Enriquez
A second junior national title for Rico, who has already played in 8 LPRT events, the first of which was in her age 13 season in 2017. Keep an eye on Rico; the list of recent Mexican junior 18U titlists reads like a list of players you’ll be seeing playing weekend matches on the LPRT: Ana Laura Flores, Montse Mejia, Erin Nocam Rivera, Montse Perez, Lucia Gonzalez, Alexandra Herrera and Diana Aguilar are the 18u winners from the last decade.
A third title for Ortega (she previously won in 2015 and 2017) and for Trujillo (she won previously in 2017 and 2019). All our other winners are new
fyi; the format for the Mexican draw was as follows (as far as I can tell): a single-elimination draw to determine the champion, then a loser’s bracket draw, the winner of whom was crowned the 2nd place finisher. This will present somewhat of a challenge for my database; its the first time that the “finalist” wasn’t necessarily the “2nd place finisher.” I’m not sure how i’m going to address this in the code.
Also, unlike in other jurisdictions Mexico does not hold a separate doubles competition, generally just naming the doubles team from the two singles reps.
Congrats to Favio Soto for another successful Mexican national tournament. International Racquetball Tour LPRT @federacion mexicana de raquetbol International Racquetball Federation – IRF
Congrats to all the winners on the weekend’s return to Minneapolis:
Men’s Singles: Daniel De La Rosa
Women’s Singles: Paola Longoria
Men’s Doubles: De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran
Women’s Doubles: Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas Solis
PRS Reports for the four draws:
Men’s Doubles: http://rball.pro/DED94C
Women’s Singles: http://rball.pro/004952
DLR becomes just the 6th man to win one of the 25 US Open IRT titles. Longoria wins her 10th straight US Open title and 11th overall.
DLR and Beltran win their 2nd US Open pro doubles title and their 9th pro doubles title together since Jan 2017. Longoria/Salas win their 4th US Open pro doubles title together, to go with their astounding pro doubles title total playing together of 34 since Aug 2014.
Lets do a quick recap of the main draws.
Men’s Singles: The round of 32 went relatively chalk, with just 3 upsets by seed. Adam Manilla finally got the better of Andres Acuña in their frequent 16/17 match-up, #18 Eduardo Garay Rodriguez got a walk-over against #15 seed Rodrigo Montoya Solis (who picked up a slight knock and decided to save himself for doubles), and #19 Sebastian Fernandez taking out #14 Thomas Carter in two.
Just one upset in the round of 16, but it was a huge one: #5 seed and defending finalist Conrrado Moscoso ousted by his countryman #12 Carlos Keller Vargas in two 13,5. Not even that close of a match. Keller, after touring for the entirety of the pre-covid season with little success, has suddenly become a force on tour, making a quarter, semi and (as we’ll soon see) a final in 2021. In the quarters, two top seeds went down. Keller continued his run and took out #4 Samuel Murray in two tight games. On the bottom half, #6 Andree Parrilla took out the struggling #3 seed Alex Landa relatively easily 6,11. Landa has not lived up to his seeding basically since he ascended to #2 on tour, whether it be through injury or focus. In the semis … well. A sh*t show for the sport. For reasons that remain unclear and unpublished as of this writing, #1 Kane Waselenchuk forfeited his singles semi final, stating in a facebook posting that he had a “disagreement” with the tour. This gives a walk-over into the final to Keller; his first pro final. On the bottom side, DLR had to battle to take out #6 Parrilla.
In the final, an excellent showing of shot-making by both players results pushed the match to a breaker, but DLR’s passion and energy won out going away with an 11-3 win.
Women’s Singles: The LPRT draw was wide open, with upsets all up and down the bracket this weekend. Lets take a look back;
In the 32s, three upsets in one quarter, with the #5, #12 and #13 seeded players taken out early. Perhaps the biggest shock was the loss by #5 Montse Mejia, who won the Kansas City grand slam and seemed like a safe bet for the semis here, taken out by American Erika Manilla in a tie-breaker. Manilla, a 23-yr old part-time player over the past few years, had never advanced past the round of 32 in a pro draw (!!) but took out three higher-ranked players in Minneapolis, including two recent Tier-1 tourney winners, to make the semis. Just an amazing storyline.
Another great storyline that was cut short was the showing this weekend by Vero Sotomayor, who had not played the tour in years but who stretched the #8 seeded player Jessica Parrilla to an 11-10 tiebreaker.
In the 16s, a bunch more upsets. None bigger than the #2 seeded Alexandra Herrera getting upset by #15 Brenda Laime Jalil. But we also saw the #6 and #7 seeded players ousted at this juncture.
Heading into the quarters, half the top seeds were already done. In the quarters, Manilla got her next big win, taking out Gaby Martinez, while former grand slam finalist Angelica Barrios took advantage of Laime’s upset to move into the semis herself.
In the semis, #1 Paola Longoria faced off against the Cinderella story Manilla, and was made to work for it, winning in two close games 13,10. On the bottom, #3 Maria Jose Vargas Parada went down big early to Barrios 14-1 in the first game, then completely flipped the script, getting the first game back to 15-10 then blitzing her young Bolivian rival in the next two games to move into the final.
In the final, it seemed fait accomplis for Longoria to win, and she cruised to her 11th US Open title 3,8.
The Men’s Doubles draw turned into a showcase for the state of doubles in the current game, with tough tiebreakers and close games throughout. The #1 seeds went breaker to win in both the quarters and semis over established and tough veteran teams, while on the bottom side the semis turned into a showcase for the doubles prowess of Sam Murray, who took over the match to lead his team to an upset over #2 Kane/ Sudsy Monchik. In the final, DLR/Beltran controlled the tempo and won perhaps their easiest match of the tournament 11,11 to take the crown.
The Women’s Doubles draw went mostly chalk, with the exception of the talented and under-seeded Vargas/Sotomayor team taking out the #4 seeded Guatemalans in the quarters. From there, the top two seeds cruised into the final, where we saw yet another major final battle between the two top teams from Mexico. This time around, the veterans triumped, with Longoria/Salas overcoming a game-one beat down to take the title.
Congrats to all winners, thanks to @doug ganim for 25 years of running this event. International Racquetball Tour LPRT UnitedHealthcare US OPEN Racquetball Championships
Day one down, and all pro qualifying complete. We had some interesting results, but not a ton of super upsets on both sides, and we’re to the main draws.
Here’s a quick run through of matches to watch for today. We’re talking the 32s and 16s of IRT and LPRT singles, and the quarters of pro doubles on both sides.
IRT 32s and 16s: here’s what i’m looking for in terms of watchables:
#1 Kane Waselenchuk gets his first singles action since March of 2020 on the main court against noted trash talker Troy Warigon. A good warm-up for the King as he looks to retain his US Open title.
16/17 seed we get, for the 3rd tourney running, Andres Acuña vs Adam Manilla. Can Acuna make it 3-for-3?
8/25 Rocky Carson gets his tournament going against Bolivian vet Kadim Carrasco; can Carrasco make the USA veteran sweat?
13/20 Sebastian Franco versus Mexican Alan Natera Chavez; Natera has shown upset power in the past; can he pull an upset here against the experienced Colombian?
3/30 Alex Landa versus Erick Trujillo. A very intriguing opener for the #3 seed Landa, who has scuffled a bit over the last three events. He was seeded #1 at all three 2021 events, but got upset in each tournament (a Semi and two Quarters). In once case he was clearly hurt, in another he was clearly distracted. What is Landa this weekend? If he’s not on his game, Trujillo has been playing very well, with wins over solid players. If Landa isn’t 100%, this could be a huge upset.
14/19 Thomas Carter has his work cut out for him against #19 Sebastian Fernandez; I sense an upset here. Patata’s seen his seeding slip a little bit as he’s stepped back a bit from playing, but he’s here and he’s a tough out.
#6 Andree Parrilla gets his start against a tough young mexican lefty Rodrigo Rodriguez. Expect Rodriguez to make Andree work for it here.
The 15/18 match will feature the most broken balls of the round, with two power players Rodrigo Montoya Solis and Eduardo Garay Rodriguez blasting off for a shot at DLR in the next round. Projecting round of 16s:
The big one here is 8/9: Carson vs Alvaro Beltran. These long-time IRT veterans have played each other no less than 50 times on tour, with Rocky leading 28-22. Who has the edge here?
5/12 projects to two long-time Bolivian rivals in Conrrado Moscoso and Carlos Keller Vargas. They have met multiple times to determine the Bolivian national champion (including this year), they’ve met in IRF competitions … and they met earlier this year in Denver in the Semis, with Conrrado taking a close one. Keller can make this complicated for his talented rival.
4/13 Samuel Murray vs Franco; every time these two meet, it goes the distance. Deep into tiebreakers, 5th game super tiebreaker, etc. Similar power games on display, both are one-time Tier1 winners. They havn’t met in years but they have split meetings in the past.
7/10: Eduardo Portillo Rendon versus Jake Bredenbeck; a tough one to call. Jake played lights out in Chicago no doubt, but Lalo handled him in the 16s in Denver and has never lost to Jake. I know many are rooting for the home-town Minnesotan to advance, but Lalo is favored here.
LPRT 32s and 16s to look for:
16/17 Kelani Lawrence versus Sheryl Lotts: Kelani has never lost to her sometimes-doubles partner, but its often pretty close.
#8 Jessica Parrilla is the unfortunate recipient of this year’s biggest draw wildcard in Vero Sotomayor. Sotomayor, who has not played an LPRT event since Dec 2016, blitzed through qualifying and has been training with other top LPRT players (not to mention her husband Sudsy Monchik), and looks to remind people of the player who finished #6 on tour in the 2008-09 season.
#13 Carla Muñoz Montesinos has a tough opponent in #20 Hollie Scott as her opener. They havn’t met on tour in years, but in the meantime Scott has proven herself to be among the elite the US has to offer.
14/19 Amaya Cris versus Maria Renee Rodríguez; two long-time international rivals meet again. They’ve met 8 times in pro and IRF competitions, with Amaya holding a commanding 7-1 career lead.
#11 Rhonda Rajsich comes into the US Open with her lowest seeding since her debut (when she announced her presence to the world by racing to the final of the 2000 US Open as the #44 seed). Here she’ll be pressed by the tough mexican lefty Ana Laura Flores.
An all-Colombian 15/18 between Brenda Laime Jalil and Adriana Riveros should be close. projecting the 16s.
#8 Valeria Centellas set to take on the winner of Sotomayor/Parrilla; expect a battle here no matter who advances, with an eye out there for another upset in the Sotomayor run.
5/12 Montse Mejia versus Nancy Enriquez; Mejia has shown signs of brilliance (winning in Kansas City) and then taken inexplicable losses (a round of 16 loss to Laime in Denver). Meanwhile, Enriquez has been playing well. upset watch here.
#7/10 Samantha Salas Solis vs #10 Angelica Barrios; an interesting matchup. Salas ended Barrios’ run at the 2019 Bolivian Iris open, but that was a different Salas. Meanwhile, Barrios has been ranked as high as 4th on tour but comes into this tourney 10th thanks to a dearth of events. Both of these players are better than their seeding, but only one can advance, and Barrios has shown some upset capabilities.
There’s still one qualifier to be played as of this writing and its between Mar/Montoya and Pratt/Natera; one would think the reigning gold medalists from the Pan Am Games would win, but its doubles. So you never know. The Men’s doubles draw is stacked. All of these matches could go either way. Here’s a preview.
#1 Daniel De La Rosa/Beltran vs Roland Keller/Moscoso; the #1 seeds take on the very experienced Bolivian team, with a shot-maker in Moscoso and a doubles specialist in Keller. This is no cakewalk for the #1 seeds and could go breaker.
#4 Portillo/Parrilla take on the early morning final qualifier; it should be an all-Mexican affair, and I favor the Montoya/Mar pairing over their younger Mexican rivals in a slight upset by seed.
#3 Landa/Murray take on the upset kids of Manilla and David ” Bobby” Horn, who pulled off the upset last night to take out the 6th seeds in an 11-10 thrieller.
All eyes will be on the #2 seeds Monchik/Kane, who get their tournament started against the reigning Bolivian doubles champs in Keller/Carrasco. I’d expect this to be a straight forward two-game win for the #2 seeds.
LPRT Doubles A couple of upsets in the qualifiers have led to some fun quarter final matches:
#1 Paola Longoria/Salas take on the all-american team of Scott/Kelani. Expect the top seeds to move on here.
#4 Ana Gabriela Martínez is paired with her long-time Guatemalan teammate MRR, but they face a tough quarter going up against Sotomayor and Maria Jose Vargas Parada. I sense they’ll “pick on” MRR here strategically and pull the upset.
#3 The current Argentinian national team pairing of Centellas and Natalia Mendez Erlwein takes on the reigning US champs Rajsich and Manilla. Fun match; can the US team pull the upset?
#2 Alexandra Herrera and Mejia take on the up-start all-Bolivian team of Barrios/Daza. While the Bolivian team are both top-notch doubles players, I’m not sure anyone is stopping Herrera/Mejia until the final.
both IRT and LPRT are streaming; make sure you follow both on Facebook for all your streaming needs.
This is such a massive tournament that we’ll break down the preview into Wednesday’s qualifiers and then the rest of the tourney. 76 Men and 44 women pros entered into the respective singles draws; this is down a bit from 2019 for the Men, but is up a bit for the Women. Great to see players from all over the world in action on the sport’s biggest stage. r2sports home page: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=31929 No real predictions here, just some thoughts on good matches in the four draws to look for as play starts on Wednesday.
IRT Men’s Pro qualifying features two rounds on Wednesday; the 128s and the 64s. Here’s some matches i’d be watching:
Solid east coast/west coast matchup between multi CT state champ Jose Flores and SoCal’s Majeed Shahin.
Bolivia’s Kadim Carrasco takes on Mexican legend Javier Moreno in a fun return for the former long-time International lefty. We havn’t seen Moreno in an IRT event since May 2016, not at a US Open since Nov 2015. Great to see him back.
Florida state champ Jonathan Burns takes on Mexican veteran Abraham Peña in an interesting opener.
The Kelley brothers are here; Sam takes on Colombian youngster and team Zurek player Juan Pablo Rodriguez Castrillon, while Joe takes on Idaho junior Alexxander Purcell . Both Kelley brothers have solid chances to move to the 64s.
Veteran lefty and multi-national amateur champ Jeff Stark takes on Bolivian Miguel A. Arteaga Guzman in a tough opener for both.
Maryland’s recently matriculated junior doubles national champ Dylan Pruitt faces off against a very tough Mexican lefty in @rodrigo rodriguez.
Arizona youngster Ben Baron takes on a player more than twice his age in veteran Floridian Alejandro Herrera Azcarate. Don’t be fooled by the age difference; Herrera brings the heat.
The legend Cliff Swain returns to the tour for the first time since oct 2016 and opens against “The Ref” Scott McClellan. Might be a short tourney for the IRT’s main ref; I have it on good authority that Cliff is playing lights out. Projecting to the 64s, here’s some possible great matches for spots in the main draw:
Troy Warigon versus Shaheen: another east coast vs west coast battle.
Carrasco vs Burns: I’m projecting a fun battle here of veteran players to make the main draw.
Georgia’s Maurice Miller likely takes on Guatemalan Juan Salvatierra for the main draw.
another Georgian Austin Cunningham has an excellent chance to get to the 32s, projecting against Mexican youngster Erick Cuevas
Alan Natera Chavez, one of the higest ranked players pushed to qualifying, has his work cut out for him against Colombian international vet @andres gomez.
If Pruitt can win his first match, he likely gets his long-awaited grudge match against Formulaflow’s Mauricio Zelada, who challenged his young Maryland-area rival last year in a money match that never materialized.
Sam Bredenbeck has a great chance to qualify against Colombian international veteran Set Cubillos Ruiz.
Two long-time international players project to play each other with Colombian Herrera projecting to Costa Rican vet Felipe Camacho.
Swain will have to earn his round of 32 against former IRT touring player Nick Riffel in the 64s.
Lastly, Eduardo Garay Rodriguez will be tested against the tricky Colombian player Francisco Gomez, who surprised with a couple of upsets in the 2019 US open.
LPRT qualifying preview
Like the Men, the women will play two rounds of qualifying to make the 32s. Here’s some interesting qualifiers to watch for.
We have not seen Verónica Sotomayor since Dec 2016 on tour; but she’s back and now living in Florida, training with her husband Sudsy Monchik and ready to play. I have it on good authority (ahem, Sudsy) that Vero is going to make noise this week. She starts in the 128s against Korean Sumin Lee.
Bolivian veteran Jenny Daza Navia gets started against American junior Minnesota native Ava Kaiser. Projecting the 64s
Sotomayor has a great chance to move into the 32s against Colombian María Paz Riquelme.
Two top American women are set to go head to head, with Michelle De La Rosa projecting to play Erika Manilla for a spot in the main draw. Tough match here for both.
USA Florida youngster Graci Wargo will be tested by Bolivian vet Daza.
Texan youngster Shane Diaz has an interesting match against Ecuadorian Maria Jose Munoz.
Lastly, there’s a second “Maria Munoz” in the draw who we think is actually Maria Paz Munoz ( Pazita Muñoz Albornoz ). We could be wrong, but if this is Pazita, she’s an excellent international veteran who will really push her round of 64 opponent Erin Nocam aka Erin (Rivera) Groves into a tougher match than either deserves here.
IRT Doubles preview
So, I’ll just say it. I hate the IRT doubles qualifying structure at the US Open. 4 teams get byes to the quarters, then another 17 compete for the other 4 spots. I just don’t like this, but i’m not sure what the right way to fix it is. If you gave top 8 teams byes into the 16s … then you have 13 teams competing for those 8 open spots, which means some of them don’t even have qualifiers and you’re giving another 3-4 teams byes as well. So there’s no good solution.
That being said, there’s some very good doubles teams in qualifying, and a lot of good teams are going home early.
Costa Rican national team of Andres Acuña and Camacho takes on the reigning us national doubles champ Charlie Pratt Racquetball, playing this weekend not with his title-winning partner Rocky Carson but with Natera. Carson opted not to play pro doubles … but is playing Centurian doubles with Jerry Hall.
The #9 seeded Bredenbeck brothers take on a very tough Mexican lefty/righty duo in Sebastian Fernandez and Rodrigo Rodriguez. Upset watch here.
Top Bolivian doubles team and multiple-IRF title wining duo of Conrrado Moscoso and Roland Keller take on the Guatemalan national team of Javier Martinez and @juan salvatierra. I don’t think the Bolivians are one and done here.
Meanwhile, the current reigning Bolivian National champs Carlos Keller Vargas and Carrasco take on two fellow Bolivians in Rodrigo Mendoza and Miguel Angel Arteaga Chavez. Tough draw; flying 4600 miles to play someone you could have driven to play in your home country.
Super interesting matchup between two all-American teams; Adam Manilla got David ” Bobby” Horn out of retirement to play, and they face off against Warigon & Miller, a veteran team who has played together for years. Should be a very interesting matchup with plenty of trash talk on the court. Assuming some first round results, here’s some very interesting possible round of 16 matches to determine who makes the money rounds:
#5 seeds Rodrigo Montoya Solis and Javier Mar probably feel hard-done by the seeding forcing them to play two extra matches, but they should be able to handle their opener and then a likely meeting with the Costa Ricans.
Kellern & Moscos project to play the Lefty/Righty mexican pair of Patata and Rodrigo; fun one.
In another all-Bolivian match-up, Keller/Carrasco project to play team Formulaflow in Zelada and Mario Mercado. Keller/Carrasco topped Zelada at Bolivian Nationals earlier this year, but Mercado is a different beast on the court.
the winner of the all-american trash talking match between Manilla/Horn and Warigon/Miller likely faces the #6 seeded Colombian/Zurek construction team of Eduardo Garay Rodriguez and Sebastian Franco. I don’t think Garay/Franco are losing here, irrespective of who they play.
LPRT doubles qualifying
Not a ton of doubles qualifying … but some very intriguing match-ups thanks to top players without a ton of doubles points.
Michelle De La Rosa and Sheryl Lotts take on Sotomayor and Maria Jose Vargas Parada. Wow. Brutal draw for both sides; It wasn’t too terribly long ago that Vargas was part of the 2nd best doubles team in the pro tour.
Another fun one: Angelica Barrios teams with veteran Bolivian and excellent doubles player Daza and face Micaela Meneses Cuellar playing with Ana Laura Flores. The Lefty/Righty pair will give Barrios/Daza some things to think about, but the two native Bolivians should move on.
Should Vero/Vargas move on, they face a winnable match against #5 seeds and longtime Colombian pairing of Adriana Riveros and Amaya Cris.
2018 US national doubles champ Kelani Lawrence teams with Hollie Scott to take on two younger Colombians in Camila Rivero Torrez and Brenda Laime Jalil in a fun opener.
Should Barrios/Daza move on, they run into the tough lefty/righty Mexican pairing of Jessica Parrilla and Montserrat Perez, a darkhorse here.
the reigning US national doubles champions Manilla and Rhonda Rajsich should survive a first round against two young tough players in Naomi Ros and Shane Diaz, but will have their work cut out for them against #6 seeds Nancy Enriquez and Carla Muñoz Montesinos, two excellent doubles players.
Phew. Play starts bright and early Wednesday 10/6/21, 8am central. can’t wait to start seeing some match results.