We got a little backed up here at PRS over the past couple of months, between my real job and the work I did for the US Open and 3WallBall in October. So I’m just now doing the data entry for the 2022 Mexican Junior Nationals.
This post is the notification that this data, from the tournament ending on 9/18/22, is now in the database. Here’s some links and a recap.
R2sports tournament link for Mexican Junior Nationals:
Congrats to the Mexican Junior National Champs for 2022:
All these players qualify for the 2022 Junior Worlds Competition, along with the winners of the double elimination brackets for each draw. These two players then generally also form the doubles team that competes in Worlds (Mexico does not generally also compete a Junior doubles division like the USA and other countries do).
Here’s some commentary on the winners and qualifiers, division by division:
– Boys 21U: Jose Ramos, a name who some may not recognize, wins the first Mexican Junior 21U boys title by topping a solid bracket with several semi-regular IRT touring pros. He topped Erick Trujillo in the winner’s bracket final. The draw also featured Erick Diaz Fernandez , @Oscar Elias Nieto, and its top two seeds were Diego Gastelum and Emir Martinez . Ramos wins his 7th junior national title, but his first since 2018. Trujillo took the loser’s bracket to secure the second spot for worlds. IRT fans certainly recognize Trujillo’s name; he’s already got a couple of top-10 wins under his belt. Well Ramos is just as good but never travels.
– Boys 18U: Sebastian Hernandez wins his first ever junior national title. He lost in the quarters last year. He’s yet to make his IRT debut. @Roberto Cornejo made the winner’s bracket final but was topped by 3-time junior national champion Luis Renteria for the second jr national team spot.
– Boys 16U: Gutierrez repeats as 16U champ. he topped 6-time junior national champion Eder Renteria in the final. Renteria earned the second spot on the national team.
– Boys 14U; Ruelas takes his 2nd ever junior national crown, topping former 8U national champ and #2 seed Nicolas Galindo in the winner’s bracket final. Galindo was then upset by #3 seed Diego Romano for the other World’s spot.
– Boys 12U: Castillo wins his 2nd ever junior title as the #1 seed. He topped #2 seed Brian Axel Sanchez in the final, who then secured the second team spot.
– Boys 10U: Hermann Gracia took his 2nd straight junior title (he won 8U last year). Vico Gonzalez takes second.
– Boys 8U: Kermann Gracia (Hermann’s younger brother) goes 5-0 to win the 8U RR.
– Girls 21U: only two entrants, who played a couple times and determined the winner to be Maria Gutierrez, her 2nd junior title. Hernandez secures the second spot. Only Hernandez has even played an LPRT event; once in 2017 when she was just 14 (she lost to Susy Acosta in straight games).
– Girls 18U: Ortega wins her 4th career junior national title. She topped #1 seed Leonela Osorio in the winner’s bracket finals, but Osorio was beaten by Ivanna Balderrama (the 2019 14U champ) to secure the 2nd team spot. Ortega has twice made the Worlds final, losing to USA’s Heather Mahoney each time, and debuted professionally at this year’s US Open.
– Girls 16U: Yanna Salazar gets her first ever junior national title, topping @Fatima Sanchez in the winner’s bracket final. #1 seed Cynthia Gutierrez , who made the finals of 16U Worlds last year, fought back in the loser’s bracket to secure a return trip to Worlds.
– Girls 14U: Miranda Barraza wins her first jr national title, winning the draw as the #8 seed and defeating several top seeds along the way. She becomes the third Barraza family member to win a junior national title. The #11 seed Lilia Farias (last year’s 12U champ; why was she ranked so low??) took 2nd place.
– Girls 12U: Danna Hernandez topped #1 seed Danna Portillo for the title; both qualified for the worlds’ team.
– Girls 10U: Chihuahua’s Michelle Gomez repeated as 10U champ, topping #2 seed Grissel Gomez Rubio in the final. Both qualified for the national team.
thanks to the venerable @Favio Soto for running this event on behalf of The Mexican Federation FMR.
The top 4 seeds in this event are also the four most “notable” names to most IRT fans: #1 seed and current #2 player on tour Andree Parrilla , #2 up and coming Mexican phenom Erick Trujillo , #3 seed the always dangerous Jordy Alonso , and #4 seed the ever-present tour player Erick Diaz Fernandez . These four advanced to the semis as expected.
Quarter final losers include a set of names to know in Mexican racquetball: Christian Longoria was the #8 seed and lost to Parrilla in the quarters, but managed to score the most points against him of any player this weekend and was probably underseeded. @Diego Gastelu (the #1 seed at Mexican Junior Nationals U21 division earlier this fall), Oscar Nieto and Sebastian Hernandez rounded out the rest of the quarterfinalists.
In the semis, Andree made fast work of Cuevas, while Alonso took out Trujillo in an 11-8 thriller.
The final was anti-climactic, as Parrilla trounced Alonso 6,5 to win the title. The event serves as a nice little tune-up for Parrilla as he heads to Portland for the season’s last event, one where he projects to be the #1 seed with the 1,2 players likely missing the event.
Parrilla teamed up with Cuevas to take the Open Doubles, topping Trujillo and @Jose Ramos in the final. Ramos is a name to take note of; he won the U21 division at Mexican Junior nationals, beating Trujillo in the final. He has 6 junior national titles and is every bit as talented as some up and coming Mexican younger players like Trujillo, Ortega Jr., Gastelum, and the like.
No surprises in the 32s: Annie Roberts played well in taking MRR to 9,9, and Argentine junior Martina Katz played Lawrence well in game one before losing big in game two.
In the 16s, four upsets by seeds to talk about:
– #9 Brenda Laime with a solid win over #8 Angelica Barrios 11-6 in the breaker. These are the kinds of tough wins you have to continually get when you’re in the 9-16 range in order to move up.
– #13 @Sheryl Lotts got her best career win, topping #4 Natalia Mendez 11-9.
– #11 Samantha Salas showed that she’s not done yet on tour, topping fellow Mexican veteran #6 @Jessica Parrill 11-8.
– #10 @Kelani Lawrence met #7 @Carla Munoz for the first time on the pro tour (they’ve met 4 times internationally) and got the win 11-7. A solid win between two players that are neck and neck in terms of talent.
In the Quarters
– #1 Paola Longoria had to work for it, but she beat down the challenge from Laime (who had beaten her earlier this season). 11-8 in the breaker.
– #5 Montse Mejía made fast work of the Cinderella #13 seed Lotts, 13,2.
– #3 Erika Manilla held serve against the tough veteran Samantha Salas , moving into the semis in two close games 13,11
A great set of semi-finalists; for me the best four players in the world.
In the Semis
– #1 Longoria was beaten again, this time by Mejia in a breaker. Mejia was down big in each game but clawed back each time.
Longoria fought back in game 2 to force a tie-breaker, saving multiple match points against, but Mejia left no doubt by jumping out to a huge lead in the breaker to win going away 11-3.
– #2 Herrera demonstrated why there’s still a gulf between #2 and #3, crushing Manilla 7,4 to move into the final. Herrera makes her 6th final out of the last 10 pro events.
In the Finals … the two long-time doubles partners (who have seemingly split) went to battle, and it looked for a time like Mejia was not going to compete. She took a bad injury in the doubles match the night before and looked sluggish in game one, losing 15-2. But she battled back, grinding out game 2 15-12 before taking the breaker after running out to a huge lead. Inspired play from Mejia.
Points Implications of results.
This tournament sees off two Nov 2021 events (Arizona and this same event in Chicago), both won by Paola, and neither of which Montse played in, so she gets a HUGE jump in the rankings as a result.
The top 2 remain the same, and despite her recent upsets Paola still has a commanding lead for #1, just as Alexandra has a commanding lead for #2. But Montse now sits at #3 on tour, jumping over several ladies in the process.
Elsewhere on tour, Munoz moves up to #7, jumping over Vargas, who slips from #3 to #8 by virtue of losing points in essentially three events. Barrios, who has been ranked as high as #4, will slip outside the top 10 for the first time in quite a while. Lotts with her big win moves up to #14, and the absent Rajsich now slips nearly out of the top 20.
The new pairing of Herrera & Salas proved too dominant, cruising into the final from the top half. From the bottom half, the seemingly dominant Longoria/Mejia team nearly was upset in the quarters by Laime/Barrios, having to save match points before advancing. They then lost to Manilla/Mendez in the semis (Mendez choosing not to play with fellow Argentine Centellas, who instead matched up with Parrilla and got crushed in the quarters).
In the final, the two excellent doubles players Herrera/Salas outlasted the improving Manilla/Mendez team, winning 13,14.
– Lawrence cruised through the Women’s Open draw, never giving up more than 8 points in a game while topping Maldonado, Amaya, and Centellas to win.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Timothy Baghurst, Jerry J Josey Jr., and @Tj Baumbaugh]
Per our handy master racquetball calendar …
We have Thanksgiving this coming weekend, then the first weekend in December sees the IRT visiting Portland for the Live Like John Pelham memorial. We also see the kick off of World Juniors 2022 in Guatemala.
Welcome to the 30th Annual Turkey Shoot, presented in 2022 by Platt Hill Nursery and hosted at the famous Glass Court Swim and Fitness club in Lombard, IL. Home of the famous “fishbowl” sunken 3-wall glass court, this club is a regular host to both pro tours.
Last year’s LPRT event featured a fantastic 11-9 final between #1 Longoria and then #3 Herrera as well as a couple of double-digit seeds into the quarters, shaking up the draw. See https://rball.pro/vxh for last year’s results … what does 2022 have in store for us?
There are 24 LPRT women’s pros in Chicago-land this weekend competing.
Top 20 players missing this weekend include @Maria Jose Vargas , who has now dropped to #7 while on maternity leave; she may be back early next year. #13 Hollie Scott misses the event; curious as she has been traveling a lot for events lately. #14 Rhonda Rajsich continues her absence on tour; she has not played since the season ending event in June. Lastly Gaby Martinez , who won a major last year, has now dropped to #20 on tour; when she returns someone’s going to have an awfully hard opening round match.
Lets preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to:
Round of 32:
– #14 Maria Renee Rodriguez has a fun match against USA U-21 and current Intercollegiate champ @Annie Roberts to open the tourney.
– #11 Samantha Salas Solis has an interesting one against USA’s Lexi York , who has been training with the Bredenbeck boys in Minnesota and could be tough.
– In the #15/18 match we get Colombian-on-Colombian crime, as partners Cristina Amaya and @Maria Paz Riquelme are forced to play.
round of 16:
– 8/9, tough as always: Brenda Laime versus Angelica Barrios . Both Bolivian born, both extremely tough to beat. Two contrasting styles; the classical flair of Laime versus the control grinding of Barrios. I see Laime upsetting the #8 seed to push for another Longoria meeting.
– 5/12: Montse Mejía and @Valeria Centella , who have been meeting since Juniors, meet again. They went breaker at the US OPen; can Centellas get an upset here?
– #6 @Jessica Parrill versus possibly Salas; two long-time Mexican top players set to battle once again.
– 7.10 projects to be Carla Munoz versus Kelani Lawrence , a total battle. I have them neck and neck in my personal world rankings, with Munoz slightly ahead. Expect a tiebreaker here.
– #1 @PaPaola Longo versus Laime: third time they will meet in the last three tourneys; Laime famously topped Paola in Virginia before Paola completely crushed Brenda at the US Open 1,8. What happens here? I don’t think Paola is going to look past Laime again, so expect a win for the #1.
– #5 Mejia over #4 Natalia Mendez : Mejia is the better player, the more complete racquetball player, but has been known to drop games to fellow friends on tour like Mendez.
– #3 Erika Manilla over #6 Parrilla: Erika has handled Leoni the last couple times they’ve met, and Manilla has her eyes on #2 on tour. She’ll be focused here.
– #2 @Alexandra Herrera vs Munoz: Carla is 0-6 lifetime against the lefty, and this would be the 3rd straight event they play. Alexandra is just too strong for Carla right now.
– Longoria over Mejia: I know Mejia has topped Paola in the past, and it isn’t out of the realm of possible, but is she prepared? Mejia hasn’t played an LPRT event since mid August, having missed Worlds, Virginia, and the US Open. Longoria hasn’t missed anything.
– Manilla over Herrera: they just met in Minn; a 6,6 dominant win for Erika, staking her claim to be the #2 player in the world. Can she repeat?
Longoria over Manilla in a US Open final rematch. Manilla took game one in Minn before getting wiped out 5,3 in games 2,3. Can she make it closer here?
Some interesting team machinations going on in Chicago: The clear #1 pro team of Longoria/Salas .. are not playing with each other for the first time that I can recall. And, long-time #2 team Herrera/Mejia have split up too, jumbling partners so that Herrera/Salas are taking on Longoria/Mejia. Weird.
From the top I like Herrera/Salas versus Munoz/MRR, while from the bottom i like Longora/Mejia over Manilla/Mendez.
Longoria and Mejia to win.
Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the LPRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live.
Thanks to the Tourney Director @DaniDaniel Jay for putting this event on!
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 Facebook. If your name is here and it isn’t tagged … it probably means I attempted to tag you but Facebook stripped it.
Coincidentally, if you’re interested in playing Fantasy Racquetball for this event, the links to the brackets are advertised on LPRT’s main page. The winner each week gets free swag!
Congrats to Coby Iwaasa and Frederique Lambert for taking the two Singles qualifiers this past weekend.
Iwaasa wins his first Canadian National event since May of 2015. He had faced off against finalist @Samuel Murray in the last 10 straight Canadian national event finals and got the win by virtue of an injury related walkover. It is Iwaasa’s 3rd overall title (1 National title, 2 qualifier titles).
Lambert wins her 4th straight Canadian national event, and her 14th overall with the win. She now owns 4 National titles and another 10 National qualifying tournament titles. She has not been defeated in Canadian competition since May of 2014, though her participation is understandably spotty thanks to her day job of being a Medical professional. She defeated Michele Morissette in the final, the third straight time these two have met in a Canadian national event final.
The Canadian Amateurs will presumably play another qualifier in the winter months before competing for their 2023 National title next May.
The final Outdoor Major of the year, the 2022 3Wall Ball Outdoor Championships which finished off a week ago Sunday in Las Vegas, also marked the culmination of the year-long Outdoor cup series competitions.
De La Rosa led the competition from start to finish and removed any doubt of her Outdoor dominance by winning three titles in Las Vegas. Scott was ranked 5th after Beach Bash but reached all three finals at Outdoor Nationals and secured the One-Wall Mixed title in Vegas to clinch 2nd place. Munoz finished 3rd despite missing the Beach Bash event entirely; her four pro titles trail only De La Rosa for the most of any outdoor player in 2022.
The rest of the top 10 players with their 2022 outdoor highlights:
4. @Katie Neil , who won the Beach Bash women’s pro doubles title and made two one-wall semis in Vegas.
5. @Kelani Lawrence , who made the Outdoor Nationals pro doubles final with her frequent partner Scott.
6. Brenda Laime , who finishes 6th despite only playing in Vegas. She made the final of both 3-wall pro doubles events (Women’s and Mixed) in Vegas and was a break-out star.
7. Erika Manilla , who won Beach Bash doubles with Neils but who missed Outdoor Nationals during her hectic travel summer representing USA as our reigning National singles champ.
8. Alexandra Herrera , the LPRT #2 who played outdoor for the first time ever in Vegas and made three pro finals in her first foray into the outdoor game.
9. Janel Tisinger , who won Vegas 3-wall doubles with mDLR and made the singles final but who missed the other two outdoor majors.
10. Jessica Parrilla , who had solid results at both Outdoor Nats and Vegas.
De La Rosa completes a dominant showing in the Cup Series and was in first place after all three Outdoor Majors. He finishes the year with five outdoor pro titles. Portillo improved his standing to 2nd place by virtue of his 3WallBall Pro doubles title and a strong showing at Outdoor Nationals. Sostre was ranked 7th after Beach Bash, but two strong results in Las Vegas (winning the CPRT title and making the final of 1-wall Pro Doubles allowed Sostre to edge Mercado and Mar, who finished 4th and 5th respectively.
Rounding out the top 10:
4. Javier Mar was just pipped for 3rd by the Ice Man; Mar won both the Beach Bash and Vegas 1-wall pro doubles titles with Mercado. He was also the losing finalist in BB singles.
5. Mario Mercado , the double 1-wall winner with Mar, also made the Mixed 3-wall final in Vegas. Both Mar and Mercado likely would have been in the money had they made the trip to Huntington Beach.
6. @AAndres Acuña was in 2nd place in these standings after Outdoor Nats, but an early round Men’s pro doubles loss in Vegas couldn’t overcome his singles success and he drops to 6th on the year.
7. Alvaro Beltran ‘s Vegas performance was marred by his event-ending injury, which knocked him out of the pro semis (where he was favored), the CPRT finals, and a combined 100+ final.
8. Rocky Carson ‘s Vegas 3-wall pro doubles title couldn’t overcome a slew of early exits at the other two events.
9. Solis Greg took both the Outdoor Nats and Vegas CPRT titles, enough for a spot in the top 10.
10. Jason Geis’s Outdoor Nationals pro doubles title was enough to get him into the top 10.
For the full 2022 standings, use the following two Google Spreadsheet links:
– #1 Daniel de la Rosa had to deal with Mar, a matchup that is more of a semis-quality match. 15-2 in the first made it seem like it’d be a laugher, but Mar ground out game 2 to force DLR to win the breaker.
– #11 Rodrigo Montoya is fast becoming the non-top 8 player nobody wants to see, again claiming a top-8 scalp in dominating #6 Samuel Murray 11,6. Are we finally going to see the uber-talented Montoya take his rightful place at the top of the IRT tour, after years of partial touring costing him the points he needed to stay there?
– #7 @Rocky Carson held off fellow American #10 @Adam Manilla, has he has done for a few tournaments now at this juncture.
– #2 Conrrado Moscoso surprisingly dropped game one to fellow hard-hitter @Eduardo Gara , but bounced back to move on.
In the Quarters
– #1 DLR continues to bedevil #8 Jake in the quarters when they generally meet (three times in the last year), but Jake did force him to a breaker this time. Being “stuck” at #8 can be a tough place to get out of without the “flip seeding” that the tour seems to have done away with.
– #12 Acuna got a walkover win against #4 Portillo, who was under the weather and was advised not to play. Acuna makes a semi for the first time in his pro career.
– #11 Montoya topped #3 Parrilla once again; it has been more than a year since Parrilla has beaten his cohort-mate in Rodrigo.
– #2 Moscoso cruised past #7 Carson 11,5.
In the Semis,
– DLR was pressed by the upstart Costa Rican Acuna, but moved into the final 10,13
– In the other semi, what was shaping up to be a fantastic match on paper was cut short quickly when #2 Conrrado tripped over #11 Montoya’s feet while back-pedalling to retrieve a ceiling ball, and banged his head on the back wall. He was judged not to have been concussed, but was advised to retire unfortunately.
In the Finals, DLR absolutely destroyed the player who put him out of the US Open, beating Montoya 5,3 to claim the title.
Points Implications of results;
This tourney expires the 2021 World Singles & Doubles championship, which was DLR over Moscoso in the final. So, DLR defends his winner points, and with just one tier 1 remaining in 2022 has an insurmountable lead at the top of the IRT tour. Congratulations to DLR for securing his second straight #1 year end ranking.
Other expected points machinations:
– Parrilla and Moscoso should switch places at 2/3, but its super close and if one or the other has some random tier 2/3 points that aren’t in my model they may stay the same 2/3 order.
– Despite both losing early, Murray should move ahead of Landa at the 5/6 by virtue of having fewer points to defend from Denver.
– Manilla continues to climb the ranks; he’s nearly in the top 10 now.
– Keller’s absenses are catching up to him; he’s nearly out of the top 16 now.
– Kane won’t drop too much for the time being: he’s entering a period where he missed most of the 2021 slate of events, so he’ll have no expiring points. Meanwhil,e Beltran will continue to fall as he recovers from his injury; he’ll likely be out of the top 20 soon.
– The #1 seeds Parrilla/Murray were upset in the quarters by Natera/Acuna.
– The Bredenbecks had to work far harder than they should have to top Cuevas/Ramirez
– Landa & Moscoso teamed up for the first time and looked solid together
– DLR picked up a last minute partner in Carrasco, topped Carson/Portillo, and took Mar/Montoya to a breaker. Not bad.
The final was a walkover unfortunately, when Moscoso got hurt. Would have been a solid match to see Landa/Moscoso vs Mar/Montoya.
Other notable draws from the event
– Erick Cuevas took the IRT U21 event with a solid win over Trujillo in the final.
– Diego Gastellum took the Men’s open with the help of a couple of walkovers from the top two seeds along the way.
– Florida pair @Bradley Knudsen and Matt Fontana took the Men’s Open doubles draw.
– Hollie Scott took the Women’s Open draw, which featured 7 regular LPRT players, topping Veronica Sotomayor 11-9 in the final.
– Scott teamed up with Maria Renee Rodriguez to win the 5-team Women’s Open Doubles over solid competition. Sotomayor and Costa Rican top junior Maricruz Ortiz finished 2nd.
– Finally, two Californians who made the trip won the Mixed Open title when Will Reynolds and @EsEstefania Perez Piña took out the all-florida pair of @Assuan Castaneda and @Graci Wargo in the final.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Favio Soto and Karen Grisz who worked the mike all weekend.
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 Facebook. If your name is here and it isn’t tagged … it probably means I attempted to tag you but Facebook stripped it.
Just a couple days after we all got back from Vegas for @3w3Wall Ball , the IRT returns for the 2022 Team Dovetail open, being held in Sarasota, FL (home town of Mike Kinkin and the Dovetail enterprise).
Draw size, observations; 38 players are here, a solid draw for a back to back.
top20 players missing; the two known injured veterans Kane Waselenchuk and Alvaro Beltran , both of whom are out for a bit. The rest of the top 10 is here, even those who just burned it up in Vegas. No #17 @Sebastian Fernandez , a west coaster who didn’t want to make the west-to-east trip after a busy Vegas. No #11 @Carlos Keller, opting to skip the long Bolivan trip this time.
Other draw observations: we have a few of the Florida open regulars (@aleAlejandro Herrera , @Alex Zamudio ), a couple of notable juniors (@cCole Send , looking for some challenging matches ahead of Junior Worlds), and a few new names making their pro tour debuts (David Sosa Lopez and Lincoln Andres-beck ). Should be a solid tourney.
Lets preview the singles draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to:
– Vargas vs Sendry: Vargas rarely plays the IRT, and is more of a Fronton player back home in Bolivia, but he can ball. Sendry has his hands full.
– Herrera vs @Christian Longoria : tough draw for both. Herrera still has the power, but Longoria is a tough out.
– @Sam Bredenbeck vs Rodrigo Rodriguez : great qualifier, R vs L, power versus touch. Hard to predict; Sam has been playing well, but Rodriguez has some scalps.
– Vargas/Sendry winner vs @ErErick Fernanado Cuevas : the 128 winner will like their chances over the young Mexican in the 64s to qualify.
– Jaime Martell vs Floridian Alex Zamudio ; Zamudio is tough, Martel is tougher and will look to build on his run to the quarters in Pleasanton.
– @Alan Natera versus the Herrera/Longoria winner: no easy match for Natera, especially for someone who just played Vegas.
– Kadim Carrasco vs Esteban Requez : two Bolivians battle it out; Reque just impressed highly in Vegas, winning the Open 3-wall singles over some very tough players.
Projecting the 32s: here’s some possible matchups, though the depth of this draw could make for some upsets and make these predictions moot:
– #16/#17 should be Erick Trujillo versus Javier Mar . Two great players, and possible trouble for DLR in the 16s (read on). I don’t think Trujillo can top the veteran Mar just yet, but another good test.
– #20 Martell will favor his chances for another upset of #13 @Sebastian Franco in the round of 32.
– #14 Thomas Carter projects to face #19 Natera, and this could be a solid match. Carter has never faced Natera in a tier 1 event.
– The 15/18 match between Garay and Carrasco could be interesting.
round of 16:
– #1 @dDaniel de la Rosa faces yet another far-too-difficult round of 16 matchup. He frequently plays Fernandez at this juncture, but has had to face off against Alonso, Montoya, and now likely Mar here. These are all better than #16 players, and the risk of a third straight upset of the #1 seed is in play. DLR looked laser focused though in Vegas and is still the favorite here.
– 8/9 Jake Bredenbeck v Mario Mercado : Mercado was lights out in Vegas and is sharp. But Jake made the final in Pleasanton and topped Mario 9,9 along the way. I think Jake’s got his number for now.
– #4 Eduardo Portillo , newly crowned 3WB Outdoor pro doubles champ, projects to face the Martel/Franco winner to open his tourney.
– #6/#11 Montoya v Samuel Murray : tough opener for Murray; he’s 2-2 lifetime versus Montoya and he’s hot this season, having made the US Open final. Upset watch.
– 7/10 Battle of the Americans between @Rocky Carson and Adam Manilla . Manilla is 0-7 lifetime against Rocky indoors, but did take him to a breaker in Minneapolis last month.
– DLR over Jake; DLR’s wired in right now.
– Portillo over Landa : Alex got him in US Open, but Lalo topped him the two times before.
– Montoya over Andree Parrilla : a rematch of the 1v16 upset in Maryland earlier this year; Montoya has his number.
– #2 Conrrado Moscoso over #7 Carson: Moscoso has owned this h2h matchup since Bolivia in 2019.
– DLR over Portillo
– Moscoso over Montoya
Finals; 1 v 2: this is the match we all want to see right now as a measuring stick of how far Moscoso has come. Most observers have now elevated Conrrado to the “2nd best player in the world” status (behind a healthy Kane) and having pipped DLR for that mantle … but this would be a great final to see where they are right now. They havn’t run into each other in a while: DLR won in 2021 Denver and 2020 Sioux Falls, but Moscoso has some h2h wins internationally and at the US Open semis in 2019.
I like Moscoso to win his 3rd straight pro title.
With the Beltran injury, DLR picked up a last minute doubles replacement in Carrasco and are seeded third; not likely they can top the dominant Mar/Montoya pairing from the lower half. 3WB champs Rocky/Lalo are the #6 seed, team Zurek (Garay/Franco) is #7, and an intriguing Mercado/Vargas all-Bolivian native pairing is #10, making for a stacked lower half.
From the upper side, #1 Murray/Parrilla is clearly the team to beat … but we get a Landa/Conrrado pairing for the first time at #4. Also at the top: the US national finalists Bredenbeck brothers at #5 and an interesting Trujillo/Manilla lefty-righty pairing at #9 will challenge.
Prediction: Montoya/Mar top Murray/Parrilla in the final.
Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the IRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live.
Yours truly was at the event this year, and on the mike for a lot of the Men’s and Mixed pro events; check out the @inInternational Racquetball Tour feed on FB or on YouTube for rebroadcasts.
This is one of the longest recaps we do all year, with so many divisions and so many great matches to talk about. Get ready to dig in.
Men’s Pro 3-wall Doubles Recap
19 Teams entered the Men’s Pro doubles to compete for the biggest outdoor title of the event. And we got some fantastic teams and a great draw.
A few upsets in the round of 16:
– Floridian Chris McDonald , son of outdoor Hall of famers Greg and Martha, teamed up with another WOR Hall of famer in @Greg Solis to upset the #5 seeds Emmett Coe and @Thomas Gerhard to move into the quarters. McDonald is a force on the court, with incredible power and an intimidating playing style borne of short-court play in North Florida, where he stands almost with his toes on the short line to receive serve and then relies on some of the fastest hands in the sport to return drive serves.
– Colorado pair Adam Manilla and Nick Riffel upset the #3 seeded team of Soda Man and Brandon Davis in two closer games 10,13. Both players may not have a ton of access to outdoor courts in Colorado but have been making waves in the genre and got a great win against two very solid outdoor pros.
– IRT legend and outdoor newbie @Sudsy Monchik teamed up with a very talented outdoor player from Southern California in @Patrick Allin to upset the #6 seeded team of top Floridians Joe Young and Marcos J. Gravier in a tiebreaker 11-8. The two teams played back and forth racquetball, with all four players at various times taking over and attempting to impart their will on the match.
In the quarters:
– #1 Daniel de la Rosa and @Alvaro Beltran rose to the challenge and topped the #8 seeds, Beach Bash pro doubles champs @Javier Mar and @Mario Mercado 12,12. This was perhaps the best match I saw all weekend in terms of talent and shot-making on the court, with all four players at the top of their game. DLR was (as he always is) the dominant player on the court and came to Las Vegas looking in-shape and laser focused. The ball sizzles off his racquet, and he remains as always one of the best players in the world at ending rallies with pinch kills. Beltran remains the shot-making crafty veteran, routinely pulled off the court but making running over-the-shoulder shots to keep the ball in play. Mar has come into his own, with a recent IRT pro finals appearance and hit shot for shot with DLR along the left side. Lastly Mercado displayed getting ability on a par with anyone in the world, with some of the fastest hands around (its no wonder they’re one-wall kings). But in the end, the talent of DLR took over and was the difference maker in this shot-maker’s paradise.
– #4 @Rocky Carson and his young teammate @Eduardo Portillo (aka “Team Dovetail”) ground out a win over the dangerous McDonald/Solis pairing 9,9 to move on. Future WOR Hall of Famer Carson put on a clinic of outdoor racquetball, and Lalo continues to show his mastery of the classification improves at every outdoor event.
– #14 Riffel/Manilla continued their run, upsetting fellow upstarts #11 Monchik/Allin with ease 10,5 to move into the semis. Riffel’s mustache game is as strong as his racquetball game this weekend, but the story of the team is Manilla’s growing dominance of outdoor racquetball this weekend.
– #2 seeds and reigning Outdoor Nationals champs Jason Geis and @Micah Rich dominated NorCal’s @Tom Durham and HoFamer Robert Sostre 11,4 to move into the semis. Sostre and Durham had no answers for the great lefty-righty pairing of Rich and Geis, nor for the power and outdoor finesse that Rich displays on the left hand side.
In the semis on Saturday afternoon, we started out with hopes of a great set of matches but ended up with a jarring injury that silenced the crowd.
– The #1 vs #4 semi final pro doubles match was shaping up to be a fantastic contest, featuring the red-hot De La Rosa on one side and the legendary outdoor Goat in Carson on the other. Game one did not disappoint, as Carson/Portillo fell behind DLR/Beltran 10-5 early, ground their way back to tie it at 11, then saved a couple of game points before getting the serve back and getting to 14-14. At game point, Carson hit a high Z to Beltran, and when Portillo went for a reverse pinch kill both DLR and Beltran dove for the ball at the same time in the front court, colliding as they retrieved the ball. Beltran immediately began writhing in pain as Rocky hit the game winning shot. Soon it was clear that Alvaro was badly injured: DLR dove into Alvi’s outstretched left arm and he suffered a dislocated elbow on the court. Unfortunately this knocked the DLR/Beltran team out of the event; Carson/Lalo advance 15-14, inj fft.
– The second semi was played under a somber tone; the crowd and the players seemed in shock after watching the injury in the first game. Nonetheless, a spot was on the line in the final. #2 Rich/Geis seemed to be the prohibitive favorites over the upstart #14 Manilla/Riffel team and jumped out to a first game lead. The Colorado duo ground their way back into the game and shocked the Outdoor National reigning champs by taking game one 15-14. Game two was a back and forth affair, close all the way to the death, when Nick and Adam got to match point and then took it on a scuffled service return error. Riffel played fantastic on the day, and the SoCal team seemed a bit off, missing a number of offensive opportunities that ended up costing them the game.
The final turned out to be a blowout: Carson and Portillo dominated from start to the end, and Riffel/Manilla couldn’t find the magic that led them to get there, losing 6,3. Carson wins his 6th pro doubles title in Vegas, first since 2015, while Portillo gets his first outdoor title.
Women’s Pro 3-wall Doubles Recap:
Lots of new teams this year in the Ladies pro, guaranteeing a new winner and some great action.
Just one upset in the quarters, as two relatively newcomers to outdoor in @Brenda Laime and @Alexandra Herrera took out #3 seeds, reigning US National doubles champions @Kelani Lawrence and @Hollie Scott 6,10. Laime has made a heck of an impression here despite little prior outdoor tourney experience, but its worth noting she lives with and plays frequently with Mercado in the DC Area where a strong outdoor community exists.
In the semis…
– The #1 seeds De La Rosa and Tisinger-Ledkins went down a game to the upstart Manilla/Roehler team, but raced back to take the tiebreaker 11-7 to move on.
– The upstart team of Laime and Herrera dominated the #2 seeds Parrilla and Carla Munoz 6,12 to become the surprise finalists.
In the final … the #1 seeds crushed the #6 upstarts in game one 15-2, then held on 15-11 for the title. Each player wins their 5th Vegas doubles title, but their first one playing together.
Mixed Pro 3-wall Doubles:
14 teams entered into the stacked Mixed Pro doubles division looking to take down three-time defending champs in the De La Rosa husband/wife team. And the early rounds did not disappoint, with two teams running multiple upsets to make the semis:
– #12 seeded Brother/Sister Manilla pairing of @Adam Manilla and @Erika Manilla advanced past the husband/wife team of @Alan Natera and @Carla Munoz in the 16s before taking it right at #4 Rich/Lawrence in the quarters, dominating the action and doing a masterful job of neutralizing Rich’s power to win the Friday nightcap quarter 11,8 to move into the semis.
– Meanwhile on the bottom side, #7 Mercado/Laime took out the hard-hitting Mexican team of @Rodrigo Montoya and Herrera in the 16s before shocking the #2 seeds Janel Tisinger-Ledkins and Solis 8,7 in the quarters. The two outdoor legends just had no answers for the shot-making exploits of Mercado and the power of Laime, who worked drive serves at Solis with great effect all match. Look out for this team.
In the Semis…
– #1 DLRx2 cruised past Manillax2 10,8 to move into the final. The Cinderella Brother/Sister team just had no answers for the dominant husband/wife team.
– Team FormulaFlow Laime/Mercado came from a game down to upset the #3 seeds Scott/Portillo in a tough 11-8 breaker.
In the final, Laime continued to show why she will be a force to reckon with in the outdoor game for some time to come, leading her team to a game one victory. In game two, Mercado thought he had rolled out the match winner at 14-14 … but it was overturned on appeal. Daniel got the game 2 winner and pushed the match to a breaker. Perhaps deflated from having thought they won at the end of game two, Laime and Mercado fell behind big early in the breaker and were steamrolled 11-3 to give the title to the DLRs. Daniel and Michelle win their 8th Vegas Mixed pro title in the last 9 years, and complete the 2022 “triple crown” of mixed pro titles (they also won Pro mixed in Florida and in Huntington Beach).
Men’s Pro 1-wall Doubles recap:
#1 Seeds @Robert Sostre (aka the Iceman) and @William Rolon (aka the Warrior) cruised into the final from the top half of the draw looking to win together for the third time.
Meanwhile the bottom half of the draw featured the two teams that competed in the Beach Bash finals earlier this year. Javier Mar & Mario Mercado topped Acuna/Portillo again (just as the did in March), then upset the Sostre/Rolon one-wall specialists for the title.
Mercado & Mar win the one-wall pro doubles “double” on the year, having won both Beach Bash and Vegas.
Women’s Pro 1-wall Doubles:
Michelle De La Rosa did the Women’s pro doubles “double” on the weekend, and won her third title out of the four events she entered, by teaming with her regular partner Carla Munoz to take a tightly contested Women’s one-wall doubles draw. They topped two LPRT top 10 players in Parrilla and Herrera in the final.
Mixed Pro 1-wall Doubles:
The #9 seeded Montoya/Herrera pairing upset three teams to make the final, but then ran into outdoor juggernaut Daniel De La Rosa , paired in one wall with Hollie Scott. The final went breaker, but the #1 ranked IRT pro outslugged his Mexican counterparts and led his team to the title.
Men’s 3-wall Singles:
10 brave souls entered the most grueling division of the tournament: 3-wall singles. And we got some unexpected results in the early rounds.
In the top half, top seeds Andres Acuña and Mar advanced to the semis as expected, but the bottom half featured #2 and #3 getting upset in the quarters. IRT #2 Conrrado Moscoso took out #3 @Brandon Davis 7,14, while the shock result was relative unknown Mexican lefty Mario Hildago taking out first #7 @Jeremy McGlothin and then #2 Gerhardt 8,14 to advance to the semis against Conrrado. Hildago hasn’t had a top-level tournament result since the 2017 Mexican Nationals and plays out of Juarez, but impressed with his diving and shot making to take out two really solid outdoor players.
In the semis, Outdoor Nationals singles champ Acuna took out Beach Bash singles finalist Mar in two close games, while Outdoor newcomer Moscoso (the #2 ranked IRT player on tour) cruised to a victory over Hildago to make the final.
In the final, two IRT regulars took to battle in the sun. Acuna mounted a huge comeback to force a tiebreaker, when Conrrado finally started to go to more of an “outdoor” style serve that threw the Costa Rican off balance and drove him to victory. Moscoso adds an outdoor singles title to his growing collection of pro titles in 2022.
Women’s 3-wall Singles:
In the end it was #1 vs #2, but not before #1 Carla Munoz escaped the semis by the skin of her teeth, edging Virginia’s Kelani Lawrence 11-10 in the breaker.
Fittingly, Munoz faced @Janel Tisinger-Ledkins in the final. Tisinger owns no less than 12 outdoor major singles titles, while Munoz has won three of the last four competed. It was the current belt holder versus the former belt holder … and Munoz came out on top in a 11-8 bruiser on the show court Sunday Morning.
A quick run through some of the other main divisions played here, which included some Squash57, Paddleball, and some combined men’s divisions that feature nearly as strong of draws as the pros:
CPRT Pro Doubles:
Beltran and Soda Man ran to the finals in CPRT as the #3 seed, but then had to default after Alvi’s arm injury. #1 seeds and dual Hall of Famers Sostre & Solis win the title by injury walkover.
Combined 75+ Men’s Doubles: The last show court/broadcast final of the weekend featured one of the best 75+ teams from Florida versus one of the best from SoCal. The McDonald brothers Chris and Greg teamed up to face Patrick Allin and “Sweet” Lou Orosco in the 75+ final. The McDonalds are famous for their short-court positioning, standing just a few feet behind the service line, while Allin /Orosco feature strong forehands and sharp shooting. A back and forth affair went almost to the full distance, with the Huntington Beach lefty/righty pair topping the McDonalds 11-9 in the breaker.
Men’s Open Doubles: Paddleball specialist Emmett Coe teamed with SoCal car enthusiast Cesar Chavez to win the Open doubles. They topped strong Florida pairing of @Yasmani Perez and Javier Trujillo.
A new sport for Vegas 2022: Squash 57. For those not familiar, its basically racquetball on a racquetball court with a squash tin and a deadened racquetball (I believe they took a Gearbox black racquetball and punched a hole in it). The result is a fun variant of our sport, featuring long, tactical rallies and lots of endurance requirements. The sport plays rally scoring due to its long rallies (just as squash does) and its players relied less on power and more on control to win.
The “upper” division was won by Manilla/Riffel, who outlasted Sostre and Vegas legend Brian Pineda in the final 5,4,4.
Paddleball Men’s Doubles: The San Diego paddleball experts @Sebastian Fernandez and @Jeremy McGlothin won the title in a walkover as Beltran had to drop after injuring his arm.
Paddleball Mixed Doubles: Paddleball hall of famer @Aaron Embry teamed with his regular partner @Roxanne Rehling to win the 3-team mixed paddleball open round robin.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, with both the IRT and LPRT crews in place. @Pablo Fajre and wife @Angelia Grisar worked tirelessly all weekend, as did @Alexis Iwaasa on the IRT side. I’d like to thank all my co-announcers on the weekend, which included the likes of Brian Pineda, Marcos Gravier, Joe Young, William Rolon, Mikey D, and Carla Munoz for the final match.
On the LPRT side, @JTRball was front and center all week, aided by @Leo Vazquez, Sudsy Monchik, Mikey-D, TJ Baumbaugh, and others on the LPRT feed from court 1.
Thanks to the Tourney Directors Mike Coulter, Peggine Tellez, and all the @3wallball staff for putting this event on!
Per our handy master racquetball calendar …
The IRT is back in action starting this Thursday, coming to you live from Sarasota in the Dovetail Open.
Thanks to all the sponsors who make this event possible. A full list is here on the R2 tournament page, but here’s a list of them.
– @KWM Gutterman Inc. and its owner Keith Minor , the title sponsor of this event. Keith is a great benefactor to multiple orgs in our sport, is an avid player and was here all weekend playing and watching.
– @AGE Solutions and proprietor Andy Gomer ; a frequent sponsor of DC-area and East coast programming.
– Ahern Rentals , who provided lots of the “stuff” that makes this tournament possible.
– Pro Kennex as the presenting sponsor, with Mike Martinez on the grounds all weekend supporting his many PK players.
– @Soda man and @Coffee Girl vending services, with proprietor @Rick Koll active in multiple pro draws in addition to his constant support of outdoor events on the west coast.
– @LPL Financial and proprietor @Rosco Halsey , who I got to meet at dinner one night and who loves the sport.
Also thanks to the many silver sponsors on the weekend, which include @Team dovetail ad Mike Kinkin , @Melissa’s Produce for providing fruit and snacks, The Root Team and @RaRandy R , who supports so much for our sport, APcom /@MZ cCompita Mz and their venerable owner @Abel Perez , a great guy from San Antonio who loves one wall. Sean Love racquetball, Philip’s Plastics and @Progressive Cabinet Corporation fill out hte rest of the silver sponsors.