2022 Beach Battle Re-cap

William “the Warrior” Rolon the big winner in Florida this past weekend. Photo 2022 Stratton Woods by Ken fife

2022 Beach Battle Re-cap

The last big event on the 2022 Racquetball calendar happened last weekend, the Age Solutions (thanks to Andy Gomer for your continued support of outdoor and the sport in general) Beach Battle, held at the legendary Garfield Street paddleball courts in Hollywood, Florida.

This relatively new event, the brain child of DC-area outdoor aficionado Maddie Melendez , has quickly become a popular off season east coast outdoor event, which features both Paddleball and Racquetball, and draws players from up and down the East coast.

r2sports: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=39809

Note: everything below is One-Wall and all events are doubles.

Here’s a quick recap of the events of the weekend, highlighting the pro and popular events:

– Men’s Pro Doubles:

Dominant NY-based one-wall players William Rolon and Robert Sostre (colloquially known as “The Warrior” and “the Iceman”) took the title, topping the Florida pair of @Marcos Gravier and Roy Hernandez in a rematch of their group stage final. Semi finalists included long-time Beach Bash top talents @Eric Faro and @Igancio Espinal (winners of their group) and another top All-Florida pair of @Mike Harmon and Jonathan Burns .

– Women’s Pro Doubles:

Another all-NY pairing of @Jasmine Suarez and Delia Silva topped the quite-tough pairing of Aimee Roehler and @Katie Neil in both the group stage and in the pro final. Great win for Suarez/Silva.

– Men’s Open Doubles:

Solid Florida players @Yasmani Perez and long-time Florida tourney director Rob Mijares took the open draw over fellow Florida players @Mike Medina and @Seran Ramkissoon .

– Women’s Open Doubles:

Florida’s Karen Novick and Kelly Quinn won the group rematch over @Lisa Sostre (wife of Robert, therefore clearly to be known here and forward as “The Icewoman”) and Jewelz Santiago to take the Women’s Open title.

– Mixed Pro

The Warrior did the double (actually he did a triple; see below) by taking the Mixed pro with Kathy Guinan , once the namesake of the famous @Zerega complex in NY. In the final, they topped the excellent Virginia-rooted team of @Thomas Gerhard and @Aime Brewer.

– Mixed Open:

@Lisa Sostre teamed with @Darien Jimenez to do the Open double on the weekend, topping your tourney director Melendez playing with Mijares in the final.

– Men’s 75+

The biggest draw on the weekend was the 75+, becoming an ever more popular event with our aging player base.

Eric Faro (the original Beach Bash finalist in 2004) teamed with Nacho to take the 75+ draw. They topped under-rated VA-based player @Suresh Vemulapalli and the legend @Marty Hogan in the semis en route to the final.

In the final, Faro/Espinal topped the surprise finalists of @Novel Lopez and Jorge Algarin , who are (according to commenters post-publishing) from the Levitown One Wall league in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Bravo to them for making the final of a solid draw.

Congrats to all who played. Thanks to Maddie for running the event, thanks for all the Florida outdoor promoters who helped out, who did streaming, and who made this tourney happen.

What’s next?


This was the last known event of 2022. Happy Holidays to you and yours. We’ll capture the IRT year end standings and write a fun recap of the 2022 season as our next big post. Last we did that in three parts for lots of content and analysis.

LPRT Xmas Classic Recap

Mejia two in a row. Photo Kevin Savory US Open 2019

Congrats to your winners on the weekend:

– Singles: Montse Mejia

– Doubles; @Samantha Salas Solis and @Alexandra Herrera

Mejia wins her third career title, and 2nd in a row, with a dominant final’s win over Longoria. She now has 3 career titles, the same number of titles as current LPRT players Salas, Herrera, and Vargas. (see http://rb.gy/vdajxp ).

In Mejia’s last four pro events entered, she’s lost 14,10 in the final of the Team Root Super Max event to Longoria, lost 11-10 in the Aguascalientes final (unable to convert on match point) to Longoria, then won the Chicago event (beating #1 and #2 en route), then this weekend also beats #1 and #2 to win in Maryland. That’s a nice run.

Earlier this year, after Herrera won two straight tourneys, we were wondering if she was the heir apparent. Now we’re wondering if we were premature, in that we have a player in Mejia who routinely beats Herrera and is now topping the world #1 8,7 in finals.

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=37908


Lets review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

Singles Match report in the PRS database: http://rb.gy/by5ykr


In the 32s:

-Susy Acosta stretched MRR to 11-9 before losing.

– Ana Gabriela Martinez , after missing most of the fall slate and seeing her ranking drop nearly out of the top 16, tops Nancy Enriquez to move forward.


In the 16s:

– #1 Longoria handled Gaby 8,8 to move on in a stern round of 16 test.

– Kelani Lawrence got a very solid win over #8 @Brenda Laime, playing on essentially her home courts.

Natalia Mendez reversed last event’s upset loss to Lotts, topping her in two.

– The big talking point and big upset of the round was #13 Valeria Centellas mounting a fantastic comeback from 5-10 down in the breaker to upset #4 @Erika Manilla . Lots of online chatter about bad calls at the expense of Manilla, but this observer didn’t really see anything to be that upset about. There were two calls in particular (a cross court side-out winner that Manilla thought skipped but Centellas immediately walked to the box for and which sounded just fine), then a “cut backhand” slice shot Manilla hit for what she presumed was a winner but which sounded funny on the front wall and was called a skip. Tough loss either way.

– @Hollie Scott got a very solid win, beating #6 @Jessica Parrilla 11-10 to move on.

– In a continuing rivalry that keeps popping up this season, @Carla Munoz took the latest episode over Samantha Salas in a tight one.


In the Quarters, chalk

– #1 Longoria over #9 Lawrence, but not after dropping the first game.

– #4 Mendez had her best tourney for a while, getting to the semis with a solid 10,9 win over fellow Argentine Centellas.

– #3 Mejia went breaker against upset-minded Scott but moved on.

– #2 Herrera was pushed 11-9 by Munoz before advancing.


In the Semis

– #1 Longoria in two straight over #4 Mendez.

– #2 Mejia in a breaker, once again, to top #2 Herrera.

Then in the final … a dominant 8,7 win for Mejia as discussed.


Points Implications of results

Not too much: I don’t see any changes in the top 7, but I do see some severe tightening at the top of the race. Longoria had an 1100 point lead after winning her namesake grand slam in August; that lead is now lower than 500 points. She has two finals and two wins to defend from the last half of last season, but without a KC Supermax commitment and (at this point) things could get a little dicey if Longoria wants to maintain her #1 streak.

Elsewhere further down in the rankings:

– Laime missed this event last year so she moves up to #8 despite the early loss.

– Same with Salas; she didn’t play last year and only gains points: she moves up to #10.

– Vargas takes a dive, from #8 to #15, which means everyone above her moves up one slot.

– Gaby remains mired outside the top 16 and will need a huge run to move up at this point.


Doubles review

Match report in the PRS database: http://rb.gy/ieneht

Salas and Herrera won a weird looking match, taking the first game 15-0 before Mejia/Longoria made a match of it. Still no official word why these two long-time pairs split up, but i’m sure we’ll get the 411 at some point.


Women’s Open, other draws

– Centellas got a walkover win in the Women’s open final over Amaya, who got a great win in the semis over Enriquez.

– the Men’s Open was won by Dylan Pruitt , who took out Virginia’s Justin Carpenter in the final.

– Carpet baggers @Damian Zamorano and Craig Clement took the Men’s Open draw.

– Carpenter and Kelani (both Chesapeake VA natives) took the small Mixed Pro Doubles draw over teams that included Parrilla, Centellas, and tour commissioner @Tj Baumbaugh .


Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Timothy Baghurst, Jerry J Josey Jr., and @Tj Baumbaugh]

Thanks to the Tourney Directors Karen Grisz 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.


Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar …


The last remaining event on the 2022 calendar of note is the 2nd annual Beach Battle in Hollywood, FL next weekend. Then its happy new year and the first big event on the 2023 slate will be the IRT Longhorn Open.



Junior Worlds 2022 Wrap-up

Barrios takes the triple crown of U21 at World Juniors. Photo via Barrios’ facebook page.

One of the biggest tournaments for us to enter each year just wrapped up; Junior Worlds 2022, held this year for the second year running at the fabulous brand new facility in Guatemala City.

Champions were crowned in Singles, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles in six age groups: 21U, 18U, 16U, 14U, 12U, and 10U, as well as a team competition, meaning that in essence this tournament actually held 30 separate competitions to enter into the database. Its the rough equivalent of doing 30 small pro tournaments all at once, with the added benefit of typing in brand new names never before seen for a good chunk of the participants. If you see any typos, or name corrections, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Reminder: as a practice, Pro Racquetball Stats does not capture full draws for any groups younger than 14yr olds; for the 12s, 10s, and younger we just capture the champions for historical reporting.

Congratulations to your champions:

Boys Singles:

– Boys 21U: @Diego Garcia , Argentina

– Boys 18U: @Sebastian Hernandez , Mexico

– Boys 16U: @Jorge Gutierrez, Mexico

– Boys 14U: Nicolas Galindo, Mexico

– Boys 12U: Pablo Ignacio Lagos, Bolivia

– Boys 10U: Hermann Gracia, Mexico

Mexico takes 4 of the 6 Boys singles titles.

Girls Singles:

– Girls 21U: Angelica Barrios , Bolivia

– Girls 18U: Michaela Meneses , Bolivia

– Girls 16U: @Naomi Ros, USA

– Girls 14U: Adriana Noelia Blacutt, Bolivia

– Girls 12U: María Laura Villacreses, Bolivia

– Girls 10U: Michelle Gomez, Mexico

Bolivia takes 4 of the 6 Girls Singles titles, while Ros secures the USA’s sole singles gold at the event.


Boys Doubles:

– Boys 21U: Erick Trujillo / @Jose Carlos Ramos , Mexico

– Boys 18U: Sebastian Hernandez / @Luis Renteria, Mexico

– Boys 16U: Jorge Gutierrez / Eder Renteria , Mexico

– Boys 14U: Diego Romano / Sebastian Ruelas, Mexico

– Boys 12U: Axel Sanchez / Santiago Castillo, Mexico

– Boys 10U: Hermann Gracia / Arturo Gonzalez, Mexico

Mexico does a clean sweep of all 6 Boys doubles titles.

Girls Doubles:

– Girls 21U: Angelica Barrios / @Natalia Mita, Bolivia

– Girls 18U: Valeria Miranda / Rebecca Amaya, Bolivia

– Girls 16U: Cynthia Gutierrez / Yanna Salazar, Mexico

– Girls 14U: Larissa Faeth / Giuliana Faeth, Costa Rica

– Girls 12U: Angelica Villaroel Garzon / Luciana Illanes Quenta, Bolivia

– Girls 10U: Grissel Gomez / Michelle Gomez, Mexico

Bolivia takes 3 of the 6 Girls doubles titles.

Mixed Doubles:

– Mixed 21U: Hector Barrios / @Angelica Barrios, Bolivia

– Mixed 18U: Sebastian Hernandez / Angela Veronica Vera Ortega , Mexico

– Mixed 16U: Jorge Gutierrez / Yanna Salazar, Mexico

– Mixed 14U: Sebastian Ruelas / Miranda Barraza, Mexico

– Mixed 12U: Pablo Ignacio Lagos / Angelica Villaroel Garzon, Bolivia

– Mixed 10U: Hermann Gracia / Michelle Gomez, Mexico

Mexico takes 4 of the 6 Mixed doubles titles.


Grand total of Titles won by Country:

– Mexico: 17 of 30

– Bolivia: 10 of 30

– Argentina, USA, and Costa Rica: 1 each

Team Mexico really dominates the 2022 event, especially on the Boys side where they took 10 of the 12 divisions. Bolivia won 7 of their 10 titles in Girls divisions, supporting what we’ve seen on the pro tour, where Bolivian players (or Bolivian born) comprise 3 of the top 10 and 6 of the top 20 players.

Bravo to these players, who took hold Triple Crowns of Singles, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles:

– Angelica Barrios: 21U, Bolivia

– Sebastian Hernandez: 18U, Mexico

– Jorge Gutierrez, 16U, Mexico

– Hermann Gracia, 10U, Mexico

– Michelle Gomez, 10U, Mexico

These players earned double crowns:

– Yanna Salazar, 16U, Mexico

– Sebastian Ruelas, 14U, Mexico

– Pablo Ignacio Lagos, 12U, Bolivia

– Angelica Villaroel Garzon , 12U, Bolivia


Every draw has a match report in the database that you can run: instead of repeating dozens of links we’ll give some examples here. Surf to www.proracquetballstats.com, click on either Juniors or “Junior Doubles” database, then at the very top you can pull down a match report. You can also run a number of different reports for singles and doubles.


Now some quick commentary division by singles division, mostly to recognize winners who have earned multiple Junior World titles over the years, and to provide some commentary on the older divisions with players who have already competed on the pro tours…

I use these “Matrix Reports” constantly; they show all the Junior winners across every age group for all of time. These links are for the Junior Worlds and date to 1989, the first ever Junior Worlds event, but are also available for USA, Canada, and Mexico.

Boys Singles Matrix Report: http://rb.gy/acygod

Girls Singles Matrix Report: http://rb.gy/yfsvqq

Boys 21U:

Clearly the two best players (Garcia and Erick Trujillo ) in this draw ended up in the same RR group, and then they fought their way to meet again in the final. Garcia (representing Argentina but who used to represent Bolivia) got two wins over his young Mexican to take Gold. The last time Garcia showed up on tour, he beat both Javier Mar and Rocky Carson; pretty heady company. We hope to see more of him. This is Garcia’s 7th Junior World title.

Notable here is Jose Carlos Ramos, aka “Pepe,” who beat Trujillo in the Mexican Junior nationals final and thus was the #1 seeded Mexican player here; he fell to Garcia in the semis. American #1 Micah Farmer got a great win over Bolivian @Adrian Jaldin but then fell to Garcia in the quarters.

Boys 18U:

Mexico’s Sebastian Hernandez came out of nowhere to win both his country 18U and World 18U titles, his first career Junior titles. He dominated in Guatemala, and the only player to even take a game off of him was an obviously hobbled @Timmy Hansen .

Hernandez joins a pretty illustrious list of 18U boys champs: here in reverse order are past winners: Trujillo, Miranda, Portillo, Marco Rojas, Christian Longoria, Montoya, Mercado, Moscoso, Marco Rojas, and Keller. That list includes 5 players currently ranked in the top 15, multiple IRT tournament winners, etc.


Mexico’s Jorge Gutierrez repeats as the 16U Junior worlds champ, the first time we’ve had a repeat 16U singles champ since Longoria in 2015. He’s another guy who has really blasted onto the scene, with no previous Mexican Junior titles prior to 2021. We went wire-to-wire as the #1 seed and defeated his countryman Eder Renteria in the final.


Hats off to Galindo for taking this title; he was inexplicably the #18 seed here, behind two other fellow Mexican players, despite being the 14U losing finalist in Mexican Junior Nationals and thus finishing ahead of multiple other Mexican entrants to this draw. I’ve complained about questionable IRF seedings before but this one is beyond me. He defeats Ruelas in the final after losing the Mexican final to him.

12U: An all-Bolivian Final which featured two Mexican semifinalists and a first time champion.

10U: Hermann Gracia (not Garcia as r2sports shows it) follows up his 10U Mexican title with a worlds title, taking out USA’s Alejandro Robles Picon in a huge come-from behind effort in the final.


Girls 21U

Current LPRT regular Angelica Barrios skipped the pro stop in Maryland to compete and secured her third ever Junior Worlds title. She was pushed in the knockouts by Argentine lefty Martina Katz before topping tough Costa Rican Maricruz Ortiz in the semis (a match that many thought was the true final). Mexico’s @Maria Gutierrez (who went by Mafer in this event) upset USA’s Shane Diaz to make the final.

Girls 18U

Bolivia’s LPRT touring pro Micaela Meneses repeated as 18U world champ and did not drop a game all event. She secures her 6th Career Junior World title. She topped both Mexican entrants en route to the title.

Girls 16U:

USA’s @Naomi Ros gave the US its sole gold medal at this event, beating both the Bolivian #1 and Mexican #1 to take the title. This is Ros’ second Junior world title; the first was in 12U when she was still competing for Mexico.

Girls 14U: Bolivia’s Adriana Noelia Blacutt wins her first junior world title.

Girls 12U: Another Bolivian first time girls winner in María Laura Villacreses took the title, defeating three of the top seeds along the way.

Girls 10U was taken by Mexico’s Michelle Gomez, who has now entered four junior events in her career and won four titles. She’s the two-time defending Mexico 10U champ, and now she’s the two-time defending World 10U champ.


Thanks to the International Racquetball Federation for hosting the event, thanks to the great hosts in Guatemala, thanks to all our the coaches and parents who sacrificed to get your kids down there, especially t his close to the holiday season, thanks to @Gary Mazaroff

for the streaming all tournament.

Tomorrow we’ll publish the LPRT summary, th en we’ll take a break until the end of the year when we’ll start posting some IRT season recap material.

LPRT 30th Annual Xmas Classic Preview

Can Mejia get another title? Photo Kevin Savory US Open 2019

LPRT is back in action, and back in my hometown, for the last pro event of this calendar year 2022.

Quick History lesson on this event, for those who are interested:

This is the 30th iteration of this event, which puts its first occurrence way back in 1991 (it missed a year for Covid like everything else). It was originally the brain child of long-time DC-area racquetball promoter Ed Willis II, who ran tournaments for more than a decade in the area and was briefly the LPRT tour commissioner.

When I moved to Arlington VA in late 1997, i hooked up with Team Ed to help them with tournament prep; I dug into my old files for when I was working with Team Ed and I have a file dated Dec 1999 with start times for the 8th annual event. Top seeds in the Men’s Open draw of the 1999 event? Dan Fowler , Daniel F Llacera , Mike Porter, David Day, Dave White, Stan Davis, Ben Hale, Jamal Harris . If I had to guess i’d say Fowler took Llacera in the final, with Porter and Day making the semis. The Women’s open was a bit smaller but featured Doreen Fowler and … current LPRT commissioner @TJ Baumbaugh as the top seeds.

The event used to be run at the historic Crystal City Sport & Health, which hosted pro stops for decades dating to the 1980s, before moving to the Tysons Club, then moving around the area as the Sport & Health chain in the area systematically eliminated courts throughout the chain. Today i’m not sure there’s a single racquetball court inside the beltway, where as for decades the DC area had a massive community of players, both club and tournament. A shame.

The tourney (and Team Ed’s portfolio) was eventually was taken over by Karen Grisz , who took over when Ed stepped out of racquetball promotion, and the tournament moved to Sportfit Laurel for a time before settling where it is today: at one of the last clubs in the DC/Baltimore area with enough courts to hold anything more than a shootout; Severna Park.

R2 Sports App link:https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=37908

This weekend’s event features 22 Ladies pros and has a pretty good talent level despite the smaller draw. 9 of the top 10 are here (only missing the new mom Vargas), and then 8 of the next top 10 ranked players are here (missing only Barrios, who is at World Juniors, and the recently retired Rajsich). So, a solid 17 of the top 20 present.


Lets preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to:

In the 32s,

– watch for Ana Gabriela Martinez , who returns to the tour for the first time in months and gets a #17 seed for her troubles. She faces off against #16 Nancy Enriquez and is favored to move on.

– I like Lotts vs Lexi York as a play-in to the main draw; Lotts has been playing well lately and should move on.

– #14 Maria Renee Rodriguez will have a good test against long-time tour player @Susy Acosta

– For the 2nd event in a row, the two traveling Colombians, and doubles partners @Maria Paz Riquelme and @Cristina Amaya have to face off. Maybe we tweak the seeding next time? These two also may very well face off in the 2nd round of Women’s Open.


round of 16:

– #1 Paola Longoria gets the absolute worst case round of 16 match she could ask for, projecting to face Gaby. At the end of the day, Longoria holds a dominant career h2h against the Guatemalan, but Gaby has toppled Paola in the past.

– #8 Kelani Lawrence vs #9 Brenda Laime Jalil . Great match; hope we get this streamed. Two very close players, MD vs VA. I favor Laime to move on and set up another qtr against Paola.

– #5 Natalia Mendez vs #12 Lotts: ironically a rematch of Lott’s huge upset win over Mendez in Chicago. Can she do it again?

– #6 Jessica Parrilla vs #11 @Hollie Scott : this is a very even matchup, and the kind of match Scott needs to win if she wants to break into the top 10.

– #7 @Carla Munoz vs #10 Samantha Salas Solis: these two keep running into each other; they met in August and again at the US Open. They’ve split those two meetings … who comes out on top this time? Salas seems to have found a second win lately and could pull the upset.


Projected Qtrs:

– #1 Longoria v #9 Laime, again. this would be the 4th meeting of the season. Laime shocked the #1 in Chesapeake; can she do it again on essentially home soil?

– #4 Erika Manilla vs #5 Mendez; assuming no upsets, Manilla gets a challenging match to get back to the semis.

– #3 Montse Mejía vs the Parrilla/Scott winner: Mejia would be favored either way.

– #2 Alexandra Herrera vs the Salas/Munoz winner: Herrera favored either way.


– Longoria over Manilla: Paola is 7-0 lifetime over Erika, but the American #1 improving. Erika has gone from losing 0,1 to Longoria in Nov 2021 to taking a game off of her at the US Open in October. She projects to get another shot here.

– Mejia over Herrera; Montse is 6-3 lifetime over Herrera, including the last two meetings.

Finals: Mejia over Longoria. Montse beat her in Chicago, has a couple other wins over Paola, and won’t be intimidated. After Longoria labors through what arguably could be called the most difficult possible draw she could have … she runs out of gas in the final.


Doubles review

Once again, we see the long-time partnership of Longoria/Salas split up … as we do with the long-time partnership of Herrera/Mejia. These players have paired up with each other, and we should see all four in the final.

Longoria/Mejia is a more formidable doubles pairing than even Longoria/Salas and is my favorite to win.


Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the LPRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live.

Look for Timothy Baghurst, Jerry J Josey Jr., and Tj Baumbaugh on the mike, calling the shots!

Thanks to the Tourney Directors Mike Grisz , Karen Grisz, and Bill Milbach for putting this event on! Since its Severna Park, I know Slemo Warigon will be involved too.

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!

IRT John Pelham Memorial ToC Wrap-up

Bredenbeck wins! Photo Kevin Savory 2020 USAR national doubles

Congrats to your Pro Singles winner on the weekend: Jake Bredenbeck !

Jake becomes the 44th man to ever win a Tier 1 professional racquetball event, dating to the fall of 1974. See http://rb.gy/aibnid for a list of all Tier 1 winners in the history of the IRT and its predecessors. Jake joins a club of “One time winners” on tour which includes 10 players, several of which are active currently (Murray, Portillo, Mercado, Franco, Pratt).

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=37812


Lets review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

PRS Match Report: http://rb.gy/wfieqj

No real surprises in the 32s. The main notable match was Alan Natera ‘s 0,0 win, the first time we’ve had a double donut on tour since Jan 2019 (see this link for the tour’s worst defeats to see all the double/triple donuts we’ve had: https://rball.pro/99u )

In the 16s, just one upset by seed but several notable matches:

– #9 Thomas Carter got a very solid win over the recently surging #8 Adam Manilla 11-9 in the breaker. Carter was solid, making serves, and making shots, while Adam was leaving things up and not putting away his opportunities. Carter makes his 3rd career pro quarter: see http://rb.gy/hio52i for his career Summary.

– #6 Mario Mercado was stretched to a breaker by veteran lefty @Robert Collin before advancing.

– #7 @Rodrigo Montoya was pushed to a breaker by Alan Natera before advancing.

– #2 Eduardo Portillo advanced over Canadian Michael LeDuc by the 0,0 score line, the second double donut of the tournament.


In the Quarters, three of the top four seeds advance.

– #1 Andree Parrilla got pushed 15-14 in game one by #9 Carter, but then blew him out in game two 15-2 to advance.

– #5 Bredenbeck improved to 3-2 lifetime against Big Canada Samuel Murray to move on. Jake topped Sam 9,4 in a comprehensive victory.

– #3 Alejandro Landa held off Mercado but was taken to a breaker to do so.

– #2 Portillo blasted #7 Montoya 1,4 to move on. Montoya, who I tipped to win this event, did not drive serve early and does not seem to this observer like he was healthy.


In the Semis

– Jake won a fantastic match that featured multiple come-from-behind actions to top his long-time rival Parrilla to move into the final.

– Portillo ground out a win over the veteran Landa, winning game one 13 and then having landa retire at 11-11 in the second.

In the Finals

– Jake had another match that featured a ton of comebacks to win his first title.


Points Implications of results

This tournament expired the 2021 Chicago event, and the top 4 players on tour were essentially locked into their spots irrespective of the results here (probably why the attendance was sparse).

However, the players ranked 5-10 collectively are separated by just 200 points, so every tournament jumbles the seeding. Based on these results, and the expiration of 2021 Chicago, Murray should drop from 5 to 7, Landa and Kane will move up a slot, and Rocky drops down to #10. Montoya just misses out on a top 10 spot for the season.

At some point I presume the tour will pivot back to a 365-day rolling calendar, now that we’re beyond covid and are back to a decent schedule. Right now, the 2022 title is determined in part by tournaments that happened in 2021 (not the least of which is the 2021 US Open, which gives a huge chunk of points to DLR in particular), and it probably isn’t “fair” to continue to do this.


Men’s Open, other draws

There was no Pro doubles here, nor a U21 division (since all those players are at World Juniors). The Men’s Open draw was small, and was won by Natera over Montana Amateur Ty Hedalen . Hedalen teamed with Matthew Ivar Majxner to take the Open Doubles title, representing Montana well. California duo Will Reynolds and Estefania Perez-Picon took the large Mixed Open doubles draw. Shout out to fellow USAR board member @Cindy Tillbury, who won the Women’s Open doubles draw with partner Rachel Chamness. Lastly sometime LPRT touring pro @Lexi York took the 20-person Men’s Elite singles draw.


Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew


Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar …


World Juniors is underway now; knockout brackets will be determined later this week after the RRs complete.

After that, the LPRT is heading to the DC Area to play the 30th iteration of the Xmas Classic, a tournament I used to help run 20 years ago. Then the last major event on the 2022 schedule is an outdoor event in Hollywood Florida that’s become one of the most popular outdoor tournaments all year.



IRT Portland John Pelham Memorial Preview

Is this Montoya’s tournament to break through? Photo 2022 3WB via Steve Fitzsimons

Welcome to the final event of the 2022 International Racquetball Tour season, the long-running John Pelham memorial, held in one of the hotbeds of racquetball in the USA, Portland Oregon.

R2 Sports App link: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=37812

The timing of the event, along with the nature of the tour right now, has conspired to make this the smallest Men’s draw we’ve had in quite some time. There are 23 pros in Portland, with a number of top players missing.

The draw is missing #1, 3 and #7 on tour right now. #1 DLR has sewn up the 2022 title and had an increasingly busy Pickleball travel schedule and has skipped the event. Moscoso generally likes to cluster events to play when he makes the long flight from Bolivia, and Carson at #7 has been slowly stepping back as his sponsorship deal changes with the newer reality of the sport. A good chunk of the guys ranked 11-20 are out as well, due to vacations (Acuna is at the World cup), injuries (Kane and Alvaro of course are out for some time), or travel issues going from east to west.

That being said … when the draws are missing big names, we usually get surprises. And I think we’re going to get a 1st time winner this weekend. Read on…


Lets preview the draw. Here’s some notable qualifying matches that i’m looking forward to:

I see no real surprises in the 32s: Pratt-Martin should be good, as should Cuevas-Spencer.


round of 16:

– #1 Andree Parrilla probably faces Charlie Pratt , who got his one career title on this court in 2017. Pratt has been on daddy duty lately; it remains to be seen how rusty he is.

– #8/#9 features lefty v lefty in Adam Manilla and Thomas Carter

– #7 Rodrigo Montoya likely faces off against Alan Natera in the 7/10 spot, a tough opener as compared to other top 8 seeds.


Projected Qtrs:

– #1 Parrilla over #8 Manilla; This is a great spot for Adam to try to get a breakthrough win, but Andree is still too tough.

– #5 @Jake Bredenbeck over #4 Samuel Murray ; Murray opted out of the recent Canadian qualifier final with injury and may not be 100%. Jake and Sam have split their 4 career meetings, so it’s anyone’s game.

– #6 Mario Mercado over #3 @Alejandro Landa Mercado made the final here in 2017 (losing to Pratt), and has been playing well. I like him to catch the slow-starting Landa off-guard and get the upset.

– #7 Rodrigo Montoya over #2 Eduardo Portillo . Montoya made the finals of US Open and Dovetail, losing to Conrrado and DLR respectively. Neither are here. I think he’s the favorite to win.


– Parrilla over Jake; Andree is 5-1 against Jake since 2017 and seems to know how to beat him as needed.

– Montoya over Mercado, though this is a tough one; Mercado is 3-1 over Rodrigo lifetime, including a win the week after US Open in California … if Mercado gets here, watch out.


Montoya beats Parrilla again to win his first IRT title.

Lets see if my prognosticating skills are any good for the last event of the season.


Look for Streaming in the regular places; follow the IRT on Facebook and sign up to get notifications when they go Live.

Look for Favio Soto ,Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew all weekend on the mike, calling the shots!

Thanks to the Tourney Directors Azuma Dave , @Wendell Pelham, and others for putting this event on!