LPRT 2024 Battle at the Alamo Recap

Vargas wins again. Photo US Open 2019 Kevin Savory

Congrats to your Pro winners on the weekend:

– Singles: Maria Jose Vargas

– Doubles: @Alexandra Herrera & Montse Mejia

Vargas wins her 4th event of the season and extends her lead in both the current rolling standings and the season-to-date standings. Read on for details and points implications for the @LPRT season.

Match reports on proracquetballstats.com:

– Singles: http://rb.gy/o9dqp2

– Doubles: http://rb.gy/12de8l

R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=42123


Let’s review the notable matches in the Singles draw.


In the 32s:

– US Junior national team member and San Antonio resident @Naomi Ros got a solid win over USA veteran Lexi York 14,10.

– Michelle Key got a very impressive win over Argentine @Natalia Mendez to move into the round of 16. Key continues to improve her singles profile at the expense of Mendex.

– Cris Amaya took out former top touring pro Frederique Lambert in a tie-breaker to continue her strong 2023-24 season.


In the 16s:

– In the 8/9 match, Kelani Lawrence got the better of her close rival Munoz Carla in a tiebreaker.

– #5 Herrera was pressed by Angelica Barrios , losing the first game badly before turning on the jets and cruising to the win.

– #13 Jessica Parrilla shocked #4 Brenda Laime in a breaker for the biggest upset of the tournament.

– Amaya almost took another high-seed scalp, toping #7 @SamaSamantha Salas 15-2 in the first game before the Mexican veteran woke up and cruised 3,3 the rest of the way to move into the quarters.


In the Quarters

– #1 Vargas had little trouble with #8 Kelani wining 5,4

– #5 Herrera topped her Mexican rival Parrilla with ease 2,2

– #3 Mejia had to go breaker to top Ana Gabriela Martinez but avoided the upset to move on.

– #2 Paola Longoria took time away from her political campaign to renew her long-time singles rivalry with Salas, winning two close games 14,11 to move into the semis.


In the Semis

– #1 Vargas survived a scare, and had to save match points against, to top #5 Herrera by the score line of (3),10,10. Herrera turned back the clock this weekend but couldn’t close out the win. She returns to the final for the 4th time this season.

– #3 Mejia turned around her match completely against #2 Longoria after losing the first game, winning (12),6,6 to make her 4th final of the year.

In the Finals, Vargas took a back and forth slug fest in the tie-breaker to win her fourth tournament of the year.


Points Implications of results

Vargas replaces a semis loss in this event a year ago with winner points, and extends her lead at the top of the tour with just two events remaining. Per our calculations (which, caveat, may not have the tiers/points right for the events if something unexpected has been done), Vargas now leads in rolling 365 rankings by about 90 points (a semi final in a regular event) and more than 180 points in the season to date rankings (which is more points than you get for making a final). With two events remaining, both of which (I believe) are grand slams, there’s still a lot that could happen …. but unless Vargas starts getting upset early, the title seems more and more likely to be going to the Argentine come the end of June.


Doubles review

Munoz & Key were the big surprise in this draw, competing as the #7 seeds and getting two great wins. In the quarters they topped consensus #2 seeds Longoria & Salas in a breaker, then didn’t let down in the semis versus #3 Vargas & Mendez to secure a final. Alas, Herrera & Mejia were too much for the team, as the clear #1 doubles team in the world took the final 7,10 to extend their lead atop the LPRT’s rankings.


Open Singles, other notable draws

The LPRT pro events were done Saturday evening, which led to the rest of the very solid amateur draws competing most of Saturday into Sunday. There were a slew of IRT touring pros playing in the Open events… here’s a quick recap:

– Men’s Open Singles: 18 players headlined by 14-time pro champ @Kane Waselenchuk competed in a solid Men’s Open draw. The event went mostly according to seeds/expectations, with Kane beating up and coming Mexican #5 Elias Nieto in one semi while IRT touring pro #2 seed Alan Natera beat fellow IRT touring pro and near top 10 player Erick Trujillo in the other. The final was one-way traffic for the San Antonio-based Waselenchuk, winning 5 & 9 for the title.

– Men’s Open Doubles: curiously, 3-time defending IRT champ Daniel De la Rosa was here (instead of at the competing PPA pickleball event in Utah), and also curiously he chose not to play singles. Instead he paired up with fellow San Antonio native David Mendoza in doubles. They were topped in the semis by the all-Junior national team of DJ Mendoza & Cole Sendrey. From the top, #1 Natera & Trujillo powered past Waselenchuk & @Matthew Barron in the semis to take on the kids in the final. There, the veterans overtook the juniors, winning 9,6 for the title.

– Women’s Open Singles: The women’s open draw unsurprisingly came down to the two non-top8 ranked ladies who entered and were seeded 1 & 2. In the final, Mendez took it to Munoz to win 5,3.

– Women’s Open Doubles: @Sandy Rios and Disney Linares took the small Open/A round robin competition.

– Mixed Open doubles: Alan Natera teamed up with fellow Chihuahua resident Yanna Salazar to take the Mixed Open doubles title.


Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Timothy Baghurst and Sandy Rios


Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar …


Next weekend there’s a long-running DC area event called Wintergreen, that used to be IRT related but which has downsized considerably since its old days being held in Laurel. the US Open of Paddleball is also next weekend, which features some crossover names who play a ton of Rball. The LPRT returns to action mid-May in South Carolina, and the IRT has its SoCal Open later in May.



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