Here’s a recap of the excellent satellite IRT event from this past weekend in Juarez. Congrats to your winners on the weekend:
IRT Singles: Andree Parrilla
Open Doubles: Rodrigo Montoya & Javier Mar
IRT21 Singles: Erick Trujillo
R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39837
Lets review the notable matches in the Pro Singles draw. Not too many surprises before the quarters; Cuevas got a walkover against Christian Longoria, @Jordy Alonso was a no-show, giving Diego Gastellum a pass into the 16s, otherwise the top players advanced. In the 16s,
Andree Parrilla took out former WRT #1 Alex Cardona in two games.
Gastellum got a marquee win, topping Cuevas to get to the quarters.
Rodrigo Montoya handled former Mexican national champ Polo Gutierrez in two, a solid win against a very tough opponent.
Alvaro Beltran went breaker to top the under-rated Jaime Martell (who I thought would get this upset).
#2 and tournament namesake @Alex Landa had his typical slow start and dropped a game to Sebastian Hernandez before advancing.
All in all, only a couple of minor surprises into the quarters.
In the Quarters
#1 Parrilla handled the upstart Gastellum in two to advance to the semis.
#4 Montoya blitzed #5 Sebastian Fernandez , donuting him in the first to advance in two. Kind of a shocking result honestly.
“The Kid” Erick Trujillo took out the Veteran @Alvaro Beltran in a breaker. It looked like it would be a two game win, but Beltran had a huge comeback in game two to force the breaker, where Trujillo ran away with it 11-2. Another excellent result for the reigning 18U Mexican national (and World) champ.
– Landa made a statement against his long-time Mexican rival @Javier Mar, taking game one 15-1 and holding on for a two-game win.
The Semis went chalk:
#1 Parrilla, who has a losing record in tier1s against his long-time rival Montoya, flipped the script and took out Rodrigo in a breaker. After saving match points against in game two, Parrilla blew out the breaker 11-1 to win.
#2 Landa won two close games against the upstart Trujillo to move into the final.
In the Finals, it was a tale of streaks between the two top seeds. Landa cruised to a game one win, then Parrilla ran of a ton of points straight to win game two … then Landa blew it out in game three 11-1 to take the title in his home town tourney.
Open Doubles review The doubles draw was relatively chalk into the finals, where the two top seeds of IRT veterans (#1 Montoya/Mar and #2 Landa/Beltran) were set to meet.
In the final, the #1 seeds took a close game one win, then cruised to a two game victory and the title.
IRT 21 Singles results:
#1 Trujillo advanced to the final from the top half, but not before getting pressed by Luis Renteria , who is playing in his age 17 season. The bottom half featured a big run of upsets by @Jose Ramos (who holds 6 junior Mexican titles himself and just matriculated out of 18U), who topped both Orteaga and Cuevas with relative ease to make the final.
In the final, Ramos gave Trujillo everything he could handle, and it went down to the wire, with Trujillo taking a thrilling 11-10 win.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Dean Baer, Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre and the IRTLive crew
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Next up? Per our handy master racquetball calendar … https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/
there’s a break in the schedule on the 8/7 weekend, then 8/15 marks the first pro tournament since May, with the LPRT returning to Mexico for a grand slam kickoff to their new season.
As you may have already seen on KRG and elsewhere in social media, there’s a very solid IRT satellite tournament scheduled for this weekend, the Torneo de Raquetbol Landa Open 2022, in honor of current IRT #4 Alex Landa . It is being held in Juarez, one of the bigger racquetball communities in Mexico, right across the river from El Paso where Landa resides. The pro singles draw has 34 pro players, almost entirely from Mexico. The Guatemalan team is here, along with Set Cubillos Ruiz from Colombia and a couple of Americans, but this is almost entirely a domestic draw. And its stacked; this is arguably a deeper draw than the last Mexican Nationals event, and it should be a ton of fun to watch from afar. r2sports link: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39837 Here’s a quick preview of the Singles and Doubles draws. Play gets kicked off later today, Thursday 7.28.22, and the @International Racquetball Tour streaming team is in the house to get us some live action.
Reminder: Juarez is Mountain time zone, so its 2 hours earlier than EST for timing purposes.
round of 32s to look for:
#9 @Erick Cuevas Fernandez versus #24 @Christian Longoria is compelling: Longoria is better than his seeding, while Cuevas’ seeding in an IRT event is inflated due to his playing more events. This is a pretty even match.
#21 @Jose Ramos versus #12 Cubillos: Ramos won a slew of Mexican Junior national titles and lost his last 18U season to Covid. This is a nice test against a veteran international player.
#20 @Polo Gutierrez vs #13 @Christian Wer; Polo was at one point recently a force in Mexican racquetball and won a slew of WRT events before an elbow injury curtailed the back half of his career. He’s still a very solid player and is an upset watch all weekend.
Both Renteria brothers are entered (owners of 9 junior national titles between them), and both take on Guatemalan competition in the openers.
– 15-18 @Guillermo Ortega versus @Sebastian Hernandez should be a close match between two up and comers in the Mexican scene.
Projecting the 16s, which are all scheduled for Friday night. Here’s some match-ups I’m projecting and hoping to see:
#1 @Andree Parrilla projects to face #17 Alex Cardona (who I think advances past Guatemalan Mendoza in the 32s). That’s a brutal draw for the former WRT #1; this is a quarters quality matchup.
#4Rodrigo Montoya vs #20 Gutierrez. A contrast in styles, with Montoya’s power and athleticism heading up against Polo’s pin-point control and unorthodox playing style. Montoya should advance but upset watch here if Polo is rested and in form.
#3 Alvaro Beltran vs #14 Jaime Martel ; Martell is one of the better players in the world that you may not know of, with multiple recent wins over players ranked in the teens on the IRT. I hate picking against Alvaro, but he’s struggled in singles events lately and Martel can beat players. Upset watch.
#1 Parrilla over #8 @Jordy Alonso: Alonso probably is a top 10 player if he toured regularly, with wins over Horn, Jake and Sebastian Franco earlier this year. But Parrilla is too tough for him here.
#4 Montoya over #5 @Sebastian Fernandez : Patata has a relatively straightforward path into the quarters, but there is set to face the tough Montoya. Both of these players are athletic as all get-out, and this would be a fantastic match to see live. Rodrigo moves on.
#6 Erick Trujillo over #14 Martel: with wins over the likes of Natera, Garay, and Franco t his year, Trujillo is starting to become a feared opponent on tour. Martell is a veteran, and certainly can win this game, but i’ll go with the youngster to move on.
#2 Landa over #7 @Javier Mar: the only times I have these two meeting was in Mexican Nationals in 2017 (Mar win in the final) and 2019 (Landa win in the quarters). On paper this is a Landa win; Mar has taken time off from singles recently to rehab an injury, while Landa has also fought off injury issues in the last year, but both should be recovered. Expect a tactical shot making match here, with Landa moving on in two close games.
Montoya over Parrilla: Montoya just has Parrilla’s number, having just beat him in the World Games and owning a 6-3 adult record h2h against him. Makes you wonder why Montoya isn’t also in the top 4 in the world, if he can continually beat the current #2 player. Anyway; i’m going with another Montoya win here.
Landa over Trujillo; experience trumps youth here; Trujillo has the talent to get into main IRT draws but not to win them just yet. Landa solves him and moves into the final of his namesake tourney.
Final: Montoya over Landa. Montoya topped Landa in Birmingham (though landa was under the weather), and they have a 3-3 head to head record dating to 2017 in top-level events. Montoya has won the last two meetings on tour/internationally and is riding the hot hand.
IRT U21 preview In the Under21 pro division, 14 players are entered, headlined by Trujillo and Cuevas. this is a great showcase for rising talent and i’m glad to see this division again.
Predictions: Trujillo over Hernandez from the top half, Ortega over Cuevas from the bottom half, and Trujillo wins the title.
Open Doubles Preview This 12-team draw features some fun teams. it is headlined by Montoya/Mar, perhaps the finest doubles team in the world. They should advance to the final with relative ease. The bottom half features a throwback veteran team of Landa/Beltran as the #2 seed; they should be able to outlast #3 Hernandez/Trujillo to get to the final.
The final should be chalk though, as Montoya/Mar are hard to beat.
As mentioned, streaming on the IRT this weekend. Follow the IRT and sign up for live streaming notifications.
Hello Outdoor Racquetball Fans! With Outdoor Nationals in the books, the second leg of the three-leg Outdoor Cup Series for 2022 is in the books. This post is to give you an update on the cup standings for outdoor Men and Women pros and publish the full standings.
(If you want to read the standings after Beach Bash, published in Late March, click here: https://blog.proracquetballstats.com/…/outdoor-cup…/)
LPL Financial Women’s Outdoor Cup Series Click here: https://rball.pro/uvy for the updated standings after Outdoor Nationals. Top 5 Women after Outdoor Nats:
Michelle De La Rosa : 855 pts
Hollie Scott : 598.75 pts
Carla Munoz : 437.5 pts
Kelani Lawrence : 325 pts
Katherine,neils : 321.875 pts Michelle De La Rosa extends her lead at the top with two 1st place finishes at Outdoor Nationals, and will be very difficult to catch in Vegas for the top prize. Hollie moves up from 5th place after Beach Bash to #2 on the back of three 2nd place finishes in three divisions in Huntington Beach. Munoz, who missed Beach Bash due to previous commitments, roars into the top 3 thanks to two titles in California. Kelani and Katie remain in contention, but it looks like the prize money will come down to the current top 3 ladies.
6-10 goes Masiel Rivera , @Erika Manilla , Jessica Parrilla , and then tied for 9th are @AAngela Veronica Vera Ortega and @VicVictoria Rodriguez .
KWM Gutterman Men’s Outdoor Cup series Click here: https://rball.pro/br0 for the updated Men’s cup standings after Outdoor Nationals. Top 5 Men after Outdoor Nationals:
Daniel de la Rosa : 1081.25 pts
Andres Acuna : 613.125 pts
Eduardo Portillo : 600.625 pts
Javier Mar: 510 pts
@Alvaro Beltran : 504.68 pts Daniel, unsurprisingly, has a massive lead atop the standings thanks to two titles in Florida and another in California; he likely has sewn up the cup title unless he misses Vegas altogether. Acuna, who was not in the top 5 after Beach Bash, roars into 2nd place thanks to his singles title in California. Lalo moves up to 3rd from 6th place thanks to his 2nd place finish in Mixed Doubles in Huntington Beach. Mar and Beltran remain in the hunt, but Mar’s absence in California prevents him from building on his fantastic Beach Bash results.
6-10 goes Robert Sostre , Josh Tucker , Jason Geis , Micah Rich, and @Greg Solis .
As always, thanks greatly to 3Wall Ball and Mike Coulter for organizing the cup series, thanks to LPL Financial and Kwm Gutterman for underwriting the cups for both the Women and the Men, and thanks to the players for making outdoor majors as much fun as they are. See you in Vegas! WOR – World Outdoor Racquetball @USA Racquetball
Women’s Pro Doubles: Michelle De La Rosa and Carla Munoz
Mixed Pro Doubles: Michelle De La Rosa & Daniel de la Rosa
Men’s Singles: @Andres Acuna
Women’s Singles: Carla Munoz
CPRT: @Josh Tucker and @Greg Solis
Executive Summary: Geis/Rich hold off DLR/Beltran in the final for the 2nd year in a row, the DLRs continue to dominate in Mixed, mDLR gets another weekend outdoor double, as does Munoz, and Acuna goes back-to-back titles in indoor and outdoor, and a HoFamer takes the CPRT with a future outdoor HoFamer in Tucker.
R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=38652
Triple Crown Reports: These links list the “triple crowns” of Outdoor racquetball majors; its a nice way to see all the past winners in one place.
Men’s Pro Doubles: https://rball.pro/j47
Women’s Pro Doubles: https://rball.pro/2vv
Mixed Pro Doubles: https://rball.pro/y43
Men’s Pro Singles: https://rball.pro/86z
– Women’s Pro Singles: https://rball.pro/x8g
Lets do a quick recap of the pro draws. Men’s Pro Doubles: https://rball.pro/i2u Thanks perhaps to the new outdoor player ranking system in place, the seedings were un-assailable at this event, and the draw was almost entirely chalk. Out of the 13 pro doubles matches played on the weekend, there was just one upset by seed (#10 @Robert Sostre and Andree Parrilla over #7 Thomas Gerhardt and Danny Lavely in the round of 16.
1 seeds and defending champions Gies/Rich destroyed the indoor-pro team and finalists at Beach Bash of Acuna/Portillo 1,3 in the quarters to set the tone for the rest of the weekend. They advanced frequent Marina Park shootout rivals @Rocky Carson and @Jesus Ustarroz in the semis to advance to the anticipated final.
From the bottom-side, #2 DLR and Alvaro Beltran (the 2019 winners here) defeated the 2018 winners in Josh Tucker and Brandon Davis in two games to advance to the title match. DLR/Beltran came out firing, winning the first game 15-3 and giving the crowd a buzz; this is the third time in two years these two teams have met in a 3-wall outdoor pro doubles final. However, Rich/Geis came back and took game two 15-12 … but not before some real drama. At game point against, a ball came across the court to Alvaro on the right-hand side, who prepared to take a backhand. However, Geis was pinned and moved off the court. Beltran took the shot and hit Geis, looking for an avoidable hinder, but the referee (and line judge) ruled the ball was struck in a way that it wouldn’t have made the front wall; point against DLR/Beltran and game two. DLR and Beltran were furious, and had to be separated from the referee. Not a great look for two veteran pros. Once everything settled down, the tiebreaker was a back and forth streaky affair, with DLR/Beltran taking the early lead but Rich/Geis running a few points at the end to take the title.
The expected Las Vegas rematch should be interesting.
Women’s Pro Doubles: https://rball.pro/gfq Michelle De La Rosa and Carla Munoz won their 4th straight Outdoor Nationals women’s pro doubles event, and 6th outdoor pro major together, by twice holding off the reigning USA indoor national doubles champions Kelani Lawrence and Hollie Scott . The 7 ladies teams played a double elimination draw, and thus in the match report the winner’s bracket final is listed as the “semis” and thus it looks like the semis and finals were a duplication in the database. We don’t get too many double elimination draws (I can count on one hand the number I’ve seen across all federations doing data entry for 20+ years), so the code/database isn’t built to handle it perfectly right now.
Bravo to @Angela Veronica Ortega and @Victoria Rodriguez, who advanced to the loser’s bracket final and finished 3rd by defeating some seasoned outdoor and pro teams.
Mixed Pro Doubles: https://rball.pro/8q6 The De La Rosa husband-wife team continues their dominance over Mixed Pro racquetball, winning this event for the 6th time in the last 7 years, and winning their 17th mixed pro outdoor major doubles title together. They remain on track to do the “triple,” winning all three outdoor major titles in one year.
They topped up-and-coming outdoor regulars Eduardo Portillo and Hollie Scott in a close final, but were given a scare in the semis by the Parrilla bro/sis combo, who beat them in game one 15-4 before the DLRs made the inevitable adjustment and blew them out 2,3 from there on.
@Josh Tucker and @Greg Solis, who have a combined 9 outdoor nationals pro doubles titles between them (but never one together), took the CPRT 40+ pro draw as the top seed. They beat SoCal expert 40+ players @Scott St Clair and Tony Burg in the final.
Men’s Singles: https://rball.pro/3cu Andres Acuna , who won this event last year at Outdoor Nationals and was the #1 seed, took out #2 IRT player Andree Parrilla and then #2 seed veteran outdoor player Danny Lavely to repeat as singles champion here. It’s been a nice two weeks for Andree, who took the World Games in Birmingham on Tuesday, hopped on a plane, then took the title here in a completely different racquetball discipline. Oh and apparently he got married recently.
A nice month for the Costa Rican. Bravo.
Women’s Singles: https://rball.pro/3it
@Carla Munoz , the #1 seed and defending champ, defended her title here by ousting the improving Ortega, then two fellow LPRT touring vets in Lawrence and Scott to take the title. After missing Beach Bash, Munoz had some catching up to do with the cup series, and she took the double this weekend. She took out Scott in the final, fitting in that Hollie won the Beach Bash singles title.
Outdoor Cup Series status: we’ll do a separate post later this week on the machinations of this weekend’s results on the Cup standings.
Wor HOF class of 2022 Induction
On Saturday afternoon, the latest WOR Hall of Fame class was inducted. 1979 champs Dave Trenton & Steve Fey were added to the Hall; these were important transitional players who helped get outdoor Racquetball from its Paddleball roots of the 1970s into the power game dominated by Southern and Hawkes in the 1990s.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, headlined by the LPRT team with SoCal’s JT R Ball often on the mike, bringing on outdoor legends to help commentate. It is always a treat to listen to these specialists.
Next up? Per our handy master racquetball calendar … https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/ … we’re in the dead of summer now; no events next weekend, then in two weeks time there’s a tier 3 IRT event in Alejandro Landa ‘s name in Juarez that should get some big names.
August is shaping up to be super busy: Worlds, the return of the Paola Longoria experience in Mexico, and a big Outdoor event in Chicago.
Thanks to your tournament directors this weekend @Geoff Osberg and @Jesus Ustarroz. Thanks to @3wa3Wall Ball ‘s @PeggiPPeggine Tellez and @Mike Coulter for all your support for the event and for your weekend experience help. Thanks of course to title sponsor @RaRandy r and his company Team Root for underwriting the event, to the presenting sponsor Pro Kennex, and to all the other sponsors who make this event possible.
Welcome to the 2022 Outdoor Nationals! The 48th annual event runs from July 14th – July 17th 2022 at the Marina Park outdoor courts in Huntington Beach, California. This tournament was first held in 1974, on the grounds of Orange Coast College in nearby Costa Mesa, California. It was the brainchild of two kinesiology professors by the names of Bob Wetzel and Barry Wallace, who had converted from playing handball to outdoor 3-wall racquetball in the early 1970s and were so enamored of the sport that they began teaching it at the college.
They organized the first ever “National Championship” to be held on the July 4th weekend in 1974, and convinced all the top indoor pros of the day to compete in it as well. After much cajoling, Bob Kendler (head of the NRC, which was the main “pro tour” of the day) signed off on the event and encouraged his players to attend. The first Outdoor Nationals included a who’s who of the top “indoor” pros of the day, including historic names like Charlie Brumfield, Bill Schmidtke, Steve Keeley, Steve Serot, Craig McCoy, Dr. Bud Muehleisen, and a precocious 16-yr old named Marty Hogan, who was just about to take over the pro tour and forever transform the sport. These top NRC pros competed with the best outdoor players of the day, a list that included Wallace and Wetzel, Jim Carson (who would later become the director of this tournament for a number of years), R.O. Carson (father of Rocky Carson), Rich Carson (R.O.’s brother and Rocky’s uncle), and Mark Susson. In the end, Brumfield topped Serot to take the first ever Outdoor Nationals singles title. Brumfield also teamed with his long-time doubles parter Dr. Bud to win the first pro doubles title. After some time, the tournament moved from the Orange Coast college to nearby Golden West College, and then in 2006 moved to its current location in Marina Park. This will be the 16th iteration of this event that has been held at Marina Park, and the pink and green courts are now the de-facto home of outdoor racquetball in Southern California. The courts are big, very big: the front wall is nearly 23’ tall, the courts are 22 1/2 ‘ wide, and the back line is an inch short of 46 feet, making these courts the largest regularly-played courts in the country. The size of the court (and the height of the front wall) makes for some very specialized strategies, and you’ll see these strategies in play all weekend. The 2022 event is shaping up to be a very strong field, thanks in no part to the two Outdoor Cup Series going on. Outdoor Nationals is the second leg of the LPL Financial LPRT Outdoor Cup, and is also the second leg of the KWM Gutterman Men’s Pro Outdoor Cup. With thousands of dollars on the line going to the best finisher amongst the three Outdoor “Majors,” interest in competing is high. R2 Sports App link: https://www.r2sports.com/website/event-website.asp?TID=38652 Here’s a quick preview of the Men’s and Women’s pro draws (doubles, mixed, and singles). Play starts 9am PST Friday 7/15/22.
The Brackets are not yet available as of this writing so we’ll talk about the leading teams in each draw.
Men’s Pro Doubles Last year, the talented team of Micah Rich/Jason Geis topped the presumed “best doubles team in the world” in Alvaro Beltran/Daniel De La Ros en route to taking the title. However, Alvi and Daniel got some revenge a few months later, beating Rich & Geis in the Vegas final. Both teams are back for 2022 (presumably as the #1 and #2 seeds), and they’ll be joined by a dozen other top pro teams competing for the title. Some of the teams to watch for this year include:
Andres Acuna/Lalo Portillo : Acuna has proven to be a quick study on the outdoor courts, and Lalo is recovered from a knee injury and should be in full form. These two made the final of the 2022 Beach Bash and are a formidable team.
Rocky Carson/Jesus Ustarroz are a long-time pairing and are 2-time winners here. They continue to play together in the regularly held shootouts on the court and are usually found in the back end of the draws. But they’ve been bedeviled in the latter stages of this event the last few years, losing in the final of 2018 and the semis in both 2019 and 2021. They’ll still be a top seed and will look to get an upset on Saturday of the event.
Brandon Davis/Josh Tucker won this event together in 2018, and Tucker is a constant presence in the semis of this event. He’s been a semi-finalist or better ten times since 2007, with three titles. Davis is no slouch either; he’s been in the semis or better five times since 2011. This is the team nobody wants to see in the quarters, or perhaps at all in this tournament. They’re both frequent players on the Marina Park courts and are cerebral tacticians when it comes to the outdoor genre.
Greg Solis/Scott Davis: Solis has 6 Men’s titles dating to 1995, and made the final last year with Tucker. This year he’s entered with Brandon’s brother Scott, himself also a mainstay in the quarters and semis of this event and a finalist in 2014.
Andree Parrilla/Robert Sostre: Parrilla doesn’t have much outdoor pedigree, but Sostre certainly does. He’s won no less than 11 Men’s Major outdoor titles in his career, and is now teamed up with one of the most skilled indoor pros out there.
Don’t forget about solid pairings such as Natera/Fernandez, Coe/Koll, and Lavely/Gerhardt, all of whom are solid teams.
From the round of 16 onwards, there are no easy matches at Outdoor Nationals. This will be a neutral’s paradise to watch from afar.
Women’s Pro Doubles Last year, Michelle De La Rosa/Carla Munoz cruised to the Women’s doubles title, dominating the 5-team round robin. This year the draw will be significantly deeper, with a number of LPRT players pouring into the draw. Here’s some teams to watch for:
Kelani Lawrence/Hollie Scott: the newly crowned USA National indoor champs are teaming up to give it a go in outdoor, and Scott’s one-wall pedigree should help power this team.
Jessica Parrilla/Maria Renee Rodriguez are teaming up for the first time to compete here this weekend. Parrilla has competed in outdoor before, while this is a first for MRR.
– Heather Mahoney/Jazmine Trevino bring some California presence to this draw. Mahoney is fresh off Junior Nationals, where she captured the 18U title with ease.
Mixed Doubles The mixed draw is of course headlined by the husband-wife pair of Daniel & Michelle De La Rosa; they’ve now won 14 major outdoor titles together since 2014, and they have not lost a match together since the final of the 2018 3WB event in Las Vegas. Who can challenge them? Here’s the teams shooting for an upset this weekend:
Rick “Soda Man” Koll/Maria Renee Rodriguez: Koll always competes well in Mixed and has a number of titles to his credit. MRR is newer to outdoor but may prove to be a quick study.
Micah Rich/Kelani Lawrence: this could be my pick to make some noise this weekend. Rich of course is one of the best outdoor players out there, while Kelani can hold her own against any female player on the right side.
Alan Natera/Carla Munoz: for years Munoz has played with Sostre in mixed and was a regular finalist. Now she’s trading the hall of famer for her husband in Natera (understandable), and will look to make it an all husband-wife affair in the finals against the DLRs.
Andree & Jessica Parrilla: perhaps the best brother-sister combination in the history of the sport teams up to play mixed in California; these are two top 10 touring pros who both can play.
Eduardo Portillo/Hollie Scott: Scott is quickly becoming an outdoor force, and Portillo can hang with most any player.
Robert Sostre and …. A game day decision to see who pairs with Sostre. As of this writing, the hall of famer and multi-mixed titlist was seeking a partner. Sostre can carry a player to the final; can he find a partner to break through and win it? Men’s Singles features 8 brave players battling it out on the massive Marina Park courts. And there’s some big-time names in this draw. World Games champ Acuna, IRT #2 Parrilla, Hall of Famer Sostre, and fellow Hall of Famer Greg Solis are the favorites here. Solis is searching for that elusive singles title; he’s been a runner-up several times.
Women’s Singles: Carla Munoz is back to defend her 2021 singles title, and she’s got a slew of regular touring pros challenging her for the 2022 title. Lawrence, Parrilla, Rodriguez, and Scott are in the draw, along with outdoor specialists Victoria Rodriguez and Mexican Junior Angela Ortega. Scott has won the last three Beach Bash singles titles, but 3-wall is a different beast in singles than one-wall. This should be a competitive draw.
Look for Streaming on 3Wall Ball , led by the invaluable @jt rball. Thanks to the Tourney Directors @Jesus Ustarroz and @geoff Osberg for putting this event on! They’ve been running Outdoor Nationals for 10 years now and continue to do a fantastic job. Thanks to @3WBall and Mike Coulter and Peggine Tellez for your help as well. 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. Associations @WOR – World Outdoor RacqueWoR @USA Racquetball onewallball / Ruben Pagan 3wallball / Mike Coulter / mc vegas AGE Solutions / Andy Gomer team root / Randy Root KWM Gutterman / Keith Minor APCON/MZ Companies / Abel Perez Team Dovetail / Mike Kinkin Daily Racquetball Hashtags #racquetball #proracquetball #outdoorracquetball #irt #lprt #wor
A fantastic result for Acuna, who wins his first major title of any kind, and he beat a number of solid players to do so. Meanwhile, Longoria crushed the draw absent of her two closest rivals to take her third straight World Games title. Click here for the list of all World Games Quarters/Semis/Finals from 1981 to present, Men’s Open: https://rball.pro/9xe Same for Women’s Open: https://rball.pro/edc R2 Sports App home page for event: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39815 Interesting tournament notes: for one of the few times that i can recall … we could not get live streaming for part of the tournament due to sport ownership/broadcast licensing issues. We’re so used to free streaming on FB that it was a shock to the system of most viewers when we found out that the broadcast rights were exclusive to … someone else for the Semis and finals. CBS Sports? Olympic Channel? It was not clear at the time of the match. Eventually we found that the semis were broadcasting live on the Olympic channel’s youtube feed … would have been nice to have the IRF actually tell us that. Then, in an apparent massive gaffe, the two semis ran so far over on time (gee, thought rally scoring was supposed to solve that!) that the professional broadcast team left, meaning no streaming or recording of the final? That seems inexplicable. Lets just hope we actually see these matches on a CBS sports network TV feed or somewhere in the future. Since that was kind of the whole point of standing up the portable court in the first place.
Lets review the notable matches in the Men’s Singles draw.
Singles Match report in the PRS database: https://rball.pro/2il
In the 16s, because of the nature of this format, there were mostly blowouts. Only a couple of the opening matches were legitimately competitive:
in the 8/9 match, Argentina’s @Diego Garcia got a game off of @RoRodrigo Montoya but couldn’t push it any further, losing in four.
In the 7/10 match, Guatemalan #1 @JuJuan Jose Salvatierra took a very, very close 3-game win from Costa Rican @Felipe Camacho 14,14,13.
– #13 Canadian @Lee Lee Connell , who got into this event just in the last week, pushed #4 Jake Bredenbeck in a couple of games but fell in three straight.
In the Quarters, some major upsets.
#9 Montoya took out a visibly fatigued #1 Landa in four. Landa reportedly was ill heading into the tournament, and looked fatigued on longer rallies throughout the match. Montoya’s power and retrieving was on full display, and he ground down Landa over the course of four games.
#5 Parrilla “upset” #4 Jake in three, though this was certainly not an upset by IRT rankings.
#3 Mercado handled the tough Ecuadorian #1 Ugalde in three straight.
– #2 Acuna took care of business against hte Guatemalan #1 Salvatierra in three.
In the Semis, we got two solid matches with predictable results:
Despite Parrilla being #2 in the world, his bugabu is Montoya. Rodrigo improves to 6-3 in post-Junior results against Parrilla, taking him out in four.
Acuna solidly advanced past the dangerous Mercado in four to secure his third straight IRF men’s singles final.
In the Finals, Acuna won three close games 12,13,14 to take the title. Not that anyone could see it.
Lets review the notable matches in the Women’s Singles draw. Singles Match report in the PRS database: https://rball.pro/z7x In the 16s, as with the Men, only a couple of matches were really close:
in the 8/9, two LPRT foes squared off with Chilean @Carla Munoz holding off Guatemalan Maria Renee Rodriguez in four games.
– In the 7/10, Two LPRT veterans faced off for the 20th time in their careers, with Mexico’s @Samanatha Salas taking out @AmaCris Amaya in three.
The quarters saw some solid action:
#1 Longoria handled #9 Munoz in three
#5 Barrios got a really solid win against #4 Mendez, winning in four games. This portends well for Angelica’s attempts to move up in the LPRT standings, if she can get a win against the current #4 ranked player.
#6 Gaby made fast work of #3 Rajsich 8,9,8, another “upset” by seed but certainly not by current LPRT ranks.
In the best match of the quarters, and the only match so far to go five games, #7 Salas upset #2 Lawrence in a great comeback. Lawrence was up 2 games to 1, but Salas dominated the 4th to force the tiebreaker, which she took 11-9. No Americans into the semis on home soil. In the Semis:
Longoria won a straightforward, if slightly closer than you may have expected, semi over Bolivia’s Barrios 12,12,9.
Gaby took down the red-hot Salas in four games to setup a rematch of the 2018 Worlds final against Paola.
In the final, Paola came out on fire to win the first game 15-2 before Gaby pulled back one for respectability. From there, Paola ground out the expected win to take her 3rd straight title.
Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from primary broadcasters Gary Mazaroff and Alexis Iwaasa, your lead broadcasters. Thanks to the IRT crew (@Pablo Fajre) for heading to Birmingham to setup the streaming equipment; it looked fantastic all weekend. A comment on the streaming: once the Olympic channel people got in, with their million dollar equipment and high-bandwidth capabilities … man did the sport look good. From here on out, I’ll be using what we saw on youtube as my defacto response to people who ignorantly claim that hte sport is “too fast to broadcast.” No it isn’t; you just need the right equipment.
An additional observation: perhaps we should have re-thought the qualification for this event. The top 4 racquetball playing countries are USA, Mexico, Canada, and Bolivia. You know who was not here on the Men’s side competing? All four of the current reigning champions from these four countries. Carson, De La Rosa, Murray, and Moscoso. It was only half as bad on the female side, with Manilla (USA current champ) and Lambert (Canadian champ) not here. If this is the biggest showcase the sport has had in decades (when was the last time the IOC president showed up to watch Racquetball??), if it was worth the tens of thousands of dollars of expenditure for a MASSIVE IRF staff, a slew of referees, the portable court, etc … maybe we should have had our best players there? The round of 16 was an abomination as compared to what we see day in and day out on the pro tour, and less than half the current pro top 10 on either side competed. Opportunity Lost.
Thanks to @BoBob Frazer and all the staff who helped setup and breakdown the portable court; it looked amazing and the setup was awesome.
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 … https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/ Outdoor Nationals 2022 is this weekend! Its the second outdoor major of the year, the second leg of the Outdoor Cup series, and one of the longest running tournaments in our sport.
We have a rather unique tournament coming up this weekend; its the Racquetball Component of the World Games. The World Games is a sporting event comprised of sporting disciplines that are NOT competed in the Olympics. Its meant to be the Olympics of non-Olympic sports. And that certainly includes our sport, which endeavored for decades to try to get into the Olympics and never succeeded. The first World Games was held in 1981 in Santa Clara, CA. Racquetball as a sport used this platform as a way to initiate our own version of an international championship, therefore we also called the 1981 event the first ever IRF “Worlds” Six countries sent players (USA, Mexico, Japan, German, Ireland, and the Netherlands, but curiously not Canada, the 2nd biggest playing country at the time) and the tournament was not surprisingly dominated by American players. The top 3 Men’s and Women’s seeds at the event were all team USA, and the finals were both all USA affairs. On the Men’s side in 1981, #1 seed @Ed Andrews defeated #3 @Mark Martino 15,18 to win the inaugural title. On the Women’s side in 1981, #1 seed @Cindy Baxter defeated #2 @Barbara Faulkenberry 6,(18),2 in the final (games back then were played to 21). Both Andrews and Baxter are now enshrined in the USAR Hall of Fame.
Click here for the Match Report from the 1981 World Games Men’s Open: https://rball.pro/4nn
And click here for the Women’s Open: https://rball.pro/bvd Since 1981, the World Games have been held every four years in spots rotating around the world … but the Racquetball component has not always been present. In 1985 future IRT star @AAndy Robert topped long-time Canadian #1 @Roger Harripersad in the final, while Baxter repeated as champion, topping Canadian Carol Dupuy in the final. However, the racquetball component was cancelled in multiple World Games events in the 80s and 90s due to the selection of sites with no racquetball courts. In Germany in 1989, in Finland in 1997, Japan 2001, and Germany 2005 all cancelled the racquetball components. In fact, the most recent World games from 2017 also cancelled racquetball when Poland couldn’t get the budget to build new courts. So, since 1981 there’s been just five events played …. and 2022 will be the sixth.
Click here for a full list of World Games Men’s Open finals: https://rball.pro/2ig
And click here for the full list of Women’s Games Women’s finals: https://rball.pro/tjb In 2022, @Paola Longoria has a chance to win her 3rd ever World Games title; she was the winner in 2009 over Rajsich and in 2013 over Amaya; all three of these players will be competing at the 2022 event.
Meanwhile on the Men’s side, the last winner of the World games in 2013 was @Polo Gutierrez, who defeated his countryman @Gilberto Mejia in the final 11-10 . Both these players retired from full-time play years ago, so we’ll definitely have a new champion this time around.
Here’s a preview of the 2022 event. We waited until the day of the event since the draws were just released. They’re also on R2 here: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39815 The 16 Qualifiers on each side were determined by their exact finish at the 2021 IRF World games. The top 12 by all non-European/Asian countries, then the last 4 spots reserved for Europe and Asia’s top qualifiers. However, on both the Men’s and Women’s side we did see some qualifiers decline the invites, and thus we had to go to the 13th and higher placing players to fill this event. They slotted into the seeding ahead of the European/Asian players in the draw. Here’s the replacement players:
#4 Moscoso was replaced by the 17th place finisher Cueva from 2021 Worlds, and Cueva slots into the #11 seed here.
#12 Manzuri was replaced by the #18 finisher from the DR Ramon De Leon; he becomes the #12 seed here.
Korea’s auto qualifier Mingyu declined to come, so the organizers went on down the line form Worlds and ended up with Canada’s Lee Connell, who slots into the #13 seed here.
Just one woman qualifier declined to come; that being the quite-pregnant Vargas; she is replaced by the 13th place finisher from Worlds, Bolivian junior @MMicaela Menese Unfortunately … they only have time for a single-elimination draw. So all these players are flying in for a one-and done draw. So tensions will be high. Here’s my preview: On the Men’s side, here’s how I see the competition going. round of 16:
#2 @Andres Acuna faces South Korea’s #2 @LeeGunhee Lee
#3 Mario Mercado takes on Ireland #2 Ken Cottrell
#4 @Jake Bredenbeck , who gets the bump up with Moscoso’s absence (as well as everyone else here on down), now faces Canadian Connell in the opener.
#5 @Andree Parrilla will take on the DR’s De Leon in the opener.
#6 Ugalde will take on Cueva in a ridiculous situation where two players from the same country are flying thousands of miles to play a one-and-done tournament against each other.
#7 An interesting Latin American battle between Guatemala’s #1 Salvatierra and former IRT touring pro Costa Rican Camacho.
In the best match of the opener, Bolivian turned Argentinian Diego Garcia takes on the vastly under-seeded former Pan Am Games/World champion @Rodrigo Montoya. I like Garcia’s game, but Montoya should move on here. As you’re about to see, the seedings will end up giving us finals-quality matchups in the quarters. If I was re-seeding this event from scratch i’d probably go Landa, Parrilla, Montoya, Acuna, Mercado, Bredenbeck, Garcia, and then probably Camacho. Quarters preview:
#1 Landa vs #9 Montoya: Well, on paper this is a projected win for Landa. Landa is on “home” soil as the USA rep. However, Montoya always plays well internationally and has proven he can beat Landa time and again in their careers. I think this is going to be close, but Landa pulls it out in a 5th game thriller. Would not be surprised in the least if Montoya wins.
4/5 Parrilla vs Bredenbeck: a tough draw for Jake, pulling the now-#2 ranked IRT player in Parrilla. Andree moves on.
3/6 Mercado will take out the surviving Ecuadorian winner of Ugalde/Cueva.
#2 Acuna likely faces his countryman Camacho, who he’s played a thousand times before. Acuna should move on. Semis:
#5 Parrilla over #1 Landa: I think Parrilla has the confidence and the game to take out Landa at this juncture. However, if this is Montoya and not Landa … watch out for a very competitive coin-flip of a match.
#2 Acuna over #3 Mercado: these two faced off in the semis of 2021 Worlds, a fascinating 11-9 thriller taken by the up and coming Acuna. I think the result goes the same.
Final: Parrilla over Acuna. Acuna’s game has taken light year steps forward in the last two years, but Parrilla is the better player
Women’s preview: The round of 16 for the women will give us a couple of fun matches.
#1 Longoria over Japan’s Hanashi
#9 Munoz over #8 MRR: these two LPRT regulars have met a few times over the years and Munoz has never lost.
#5 Barrios vs #12 Meneses: both the Bolivians meet in the first. A real bummer for the junior, who got in as a “lucky loser” but now will go down in the first to a player she plays a lot back home but cannot yet beat.
#4 Mendez over Korea’s Lee
#3 Rajsich vs #14 Hickey. This should be a win for Rhonda … but Hickey can play.
#6 Gaby Martinez should advance over #11 Canadian Morisette.
#7 Salas over long-time rival #10 Amaya
#2 Lawrence should advance over Ireland’s Haverty. In the quarters:
#1 Longoria is 18-0 over Munoz for their career and will make it 19-0. Carla will push for some points to make it close.
#5 Barrios over #4 Mendez: these two are 1-1 career, but Barrios took their last meeting on the pro tour. I like Barrios in rally scoring; she defends well and gets sneaky points.
#6 Gaby over #3 Rhonda: seedings aside, Gaby is one of the top women in the world right now and should advance past Rhonda, even though Rhonda always plays well internationally.
#2 Lawrence will have her hands full with #7 Salas; this could be an upset in the making here. They’ve only played twice, both dominant Salas wins, but they were both prior to 2020 when Samantha’s game took a downturn and Kelani stepped up. This will be a fascinating match. Salas got a ton of solid wins to make the semis in the KC Super max … can she continue that trend? Salas in 5. Semis:
#1 Longoria is unstoppable and will dominate Barrios to move to the final.
If Salas advances … she just beat Gaby in KC, and beat her handily 5,12. If Kelani ekes it out in the quarters, she’s never beaten Gaby. So its a hard one to predict. I’m going to go Salas in a continuation of her current form, making the finals.
Finals: Longoria tops her long-time doubles partner and rival Salas to win her 3rd straight World Games.
Follow IRF and IRT on Facebook for streaming: they’ll be doing early rounds. Its unclear what happens for the latter rounds; it may be on the IOC feed or somewhere else. Looking forward to some international racquetball!
r2sports home page for all the brackets: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39341
Congrats to your @USA Racquetball Junior National winners on the weekend. Champions were crowned in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles for six age groups on the weekend, so lots of champions to recognize.
This post is official notification that we’ve added the data to the database at www.proracquetballstats.com . This is the first time we’ve had a 21U junior division, so we’ve also made a bunch of coding changes to the behavior of the site. Please let us know if you see any issues or cannot see data as expected.
A reminder on our data entry policies for juniors: we put in full brackets for 14+ and older divisions, just the finalists for younger divisions, and just the finalists for doubles. The finalists of each Singles division and the Champions of each Doubles division qualify for the US Junior National team, and have first right of refusal to compete at Worlds in November. Singles
Boys 21U: Micah Farmer
Boys 18U: Josh Shea
Boys 16U: Nikhil Prasad
Boys 14U: Nathan Rykus
Boys 12U: Vaishant Mangalampalli
Boys 10U: Noah Jakola
Girls 21U: Annie Roberts
Girls 18U: Heather Mahoney
Girls 16U: Naomi Ros
Girls 14U: Andrea Perez-Picon
Girls 12U: Aarya Shetty Boys/Girls Doubles
Boys 21U: Assuan Castaneda & Micah Farmer
Boys 18U: Josh Shea & Paul Saraceno
Boys 16U: Gatlin Sutherland & Nikhil Prasad
Boys 14U: Eshan Ali & Nathan Rykhus
Boys 12U: Lucas Frost-Biskup & Vaishant Mangalampalli
Girls 21U: Graci Wargo & Shane Diaz
Girls 18U: Heather Mahoney & Julia Stein
Girls 16U: Ava Kaiser & Naomi Ros
Girls 14U: Aarya Shetty & Sarah Bawa Mixed Doubles
Mixed 21U: Shane Diaz & Micah Farmer
Mixed 18U: Heather Mahoney & Timmy Hansen
Mixed 16U: Naomi Ros & Cole Sendrey
Mixed 14U: Montserrat Torres & Axel Lopez
Mixed 12U: Aarya Shetty & Vaishant Mangalampalli
The best ways to see all the winners in one place are via the Junior Matrix Reports at the website. Click here: https://rball.pro/mey for the Boys Junior winner’s matrix for all USA junior titles, dating back to 1974. Click here: https://rball.pro/cpf for the same report for the Girls.
However, for each of the singles draws you can see all the match results by pulling down the event at the main Junior home page. Go here, then hit the event pulldown: http://rb.gy/rnps1f
Here’s some commentary on the Boys singles divisions one by one. Boys 21U: Micah Farmer held serve as the #1 seed and held off #4 Castenada in a 5-gamer in the semis and then Elkins in the final for the win. Boys 18U came down to #1 vs #2 as predicted, and they played a barn burner. NY’s Josh Shea cruised to the first two games to make it look like it’d be laugher, but defending champ @Timmy Hansen took the next two to force the 5th. There, Shea ground out an 11-7 win for his first Junior National title. Boys 16U came down to 1v2 in the final, and #1 Nikhil Prasad had to come back from 2-1 games down to secure the title over #2 @Gatlin Sunderland. Prasad repeats as 16U champ and secures his 7th career junior national singles title. Boys 14U has a new titlist, as #2 Nathan Rykhus moved up from 12U and defeated the defending champion #1 Eshan Ali in a 5-game barn burner. This is Rykhus’ third junior singles title, and interestingly his 3rd in a row in new age groups. Boys 12U was 1v2 in the final, with Fremont’s Vaishant Mangalampalli taking his first junior national title over #2 seed Alejandro Robles Pico.
Boys 10Udb’s RR group was taken by Texan Noah Jakola. Fellow Texan Fernando Miguel Carpena finished 2nd.
Here’s some thoughts on the Girls Singles draws: Girls 21U: @Annie Roberts took the solid RR group, with wins over fellow LPRT part timers like Diaz, Wargo, and Perez-Picon. Solid win. Girls 18U Heather Mahoney returned to the winner’s circle, topping #2 Julia Stein in the final to secure her 9th Junior National title and her first since 2019. She can’t reach the all-time record for junior titles by a US Female (@Adrienne Haynes with 11) but she can get close with one more 18U title. Girls 16U was taken by #1 @Naomi Ros to repeat as 16U titlist. She topped #2 Ava Kaiser in the final. Ros now holds 2 US junior national titles and at least 2 Mexican Junior National titles in younger ages (our records are incomplete). Girls 14U was taken by #1 Andrea Perez-Picon in dominant fashion, without dropping a game. She secures her 6th US Junior National title and has a chance at the all-time record if she can run the table here on out. Girls 12U was taken by Arya Shetty, who won the 4-person RR. Girls 10U was won by Anum Mitha, who topped Anna Sikorski h2h for the title.
We also capture Junior Doubles data, but only the winners of the draws going back in time. https://rball.pro/o0y
Click on the PRS home page for Junior Doubles results and you can pull up winners by division.
Congrats to all the new members of the Junior National team. They qualify to represent the US at World Juniors in November, which apparently will be at the new facility in Guatemala City (though the IRF has not officially announced the site).
Thanks to @Connor Shane for running the event, thanks to Leo Vazquez for streaming and broadcasting all weekend.
Next up? Per our handy master racquetball calendar … https://docs.google.com/…/1V6OTid6rZ356voXVkoV2sN7KMMb…/ Next up on the Racquetball calendar is a break for the 4th of July weekend, then the World Games happen in Birmingham from 7/10 to 7/13, then the big Outdoor Nationals happens in Huntington Beach!
We’re back on the US National tournament circuit, a month past May’s Singles and Doubles, and this time we’re in Des Moines, IA for the 48th annual @USA Racquetball Junior Nationals tournament. First held in 1974 in San Diego, the first Boys 18U winner was one Jerry Zuckerman, who went on to play in 39 pro events throughout the 1970s. The second ever junior nationals 18U division was won by none other than @Marty Hogan , who of course would go on to quickly start adding Pro titles to his resume and who changed the course of the sport. The Girls didn’t start having divisions until 1978, and the first Girls 18U champ was Lislie Lindskog. 101 participants are in Iowa this weekend, a nice improvement over last year’s junior turnout, and they’re in for a ton of racquetball. R2sports link: https://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=39341
Click here for Junior matrix Reports which show every winner for every year in one place:
Boys US Junior National champs: http://rb.gy/pju5me
Girls US junior national champs: http://rb.gy/lucca0 Junior tournaments are like previewing 20 individual tournaments, since you’re talking about multiple age group draws, so here’s a few words about each of the singles draws: Boys 21U: The relatively new 21U division has 7 players playing it, headlined by #1 seed Micah Farmer. I suspect it will be an upset if Farmer doesn’t take it. Boys 18U features four names familiar to most pro rball fans; #1 seed Timmy Hansen (son of Hall of Famer Tim Hansen), #2 seed New Yorker Josh Shea , #3 seed lefty Iowa’n @AnAndrew Gleason , and #4 seed Texan @D.J. Mendoza. All four are periodic IRT players and the semis should be excellent. Hansen is the defending champ but I think Shea is the favorite to win this. Boys 16U is headlined by the defending champ @Nikhil Prasad , who already has 6 Junior National titles and is an overwhelming favorite here. But there’s a huge draw with a ton of challengers here. #2 @Gatlin Sunderland was a semi finalist in 16U last year, #6 Mendoza is competing in both 16U and 18U and could be a dark horse, and #5 @Benjamin Horne made the quarters of 18U last year as a 15yr old. Lots of fun here. Boys 14U: The #1 seed is last year’s champ Eshan Ali, but he’ll be challenged by last year’s 12U champ and fellow Northern California player #2 Nathan Ryhkus to repeat and claim his 5th junior national title. Boys12U’s will have a new champ, with Ryhkus moving up. Last year’s 10U champ Alejandro Robles-Pincon is the #2 seed and a favorite, projected to face #1 seed Vaishant Mangalampalli if seeds hold.
Boys 10U Double Bounce returns for the first time since 2019, with four new-comers set to compete. No other younger groups (8U, 8Umb, 6U) are being competed this year.
Girls 21U will be a fun one, with a few LPRT regulars entered along with a couple of newer names that could surprise. Graci Wargo , @Annie Roberts, @Shane Diaz, and @Estefania Perez-Picon have all featured on the pro tour this season, and watching these up and coming American’s compete here will be great experience. My money is Roberts 1, Diaz 2, Perez-Picon 3. Girls 18U features a full 16 player draw, headlined by 8-time US Junior champ @Heather Mahoney as the #1 seed. #2 is @Julia Stein, a veteran junior player who won 10U in 2013. The rest of the draw is filled with veterans of High School nationals, with 10 players hailing from the St. Louis league. Girls 16U’s draw is headlined by its defending champ @Naomi Ros, who also happens to have played in half the LPRT events this year. She took the 16U final last year over #2 seed @Ava Kaiser … so hard not to predict a rematch there. Ros won a couple of Mexican Junior national titles before moving here in 2020, and now is set to compete for the US for the forseeable future. Watch out though for the #3 and #4 seeds: Sonya Shetty has 3 junior national titles herself, and Andrea Perez-Picon is no stranger to the pro tour herself (and the 14U finalist to Shetty last year). Tough semis and finals here.
Girls 14U: #1 Andrea Perez-Picon is in the driver’s seat here, the finalist last year and also reigning 12U champ.
There’s also both gender doubles and Mixed doubles this weekend, with many players competing in all three. The 18U doubles tournaments in particular look great, and I hope we get to see some streaming. Leo Vazquez is back on the USAR mike this weekend; follow USAR and sign up for live stream notifications all weekend.
This post highlights some of the noteworthy news items for the LPRT this year. I periodically publish these items to this link: https://www.proracquetballstats.com/…/lprt_tour_history…
So, if you want a trip down memory lane for the LPRT you can read that page from the top down. It isn’t comprehensive to the beginning of the tour in the detail captured recently … but it is built out pretty decently.
Here’s a quick summary of items of interest that happened on tour this year, to the tour itself or to its players. If you think I’m missing something, by all means let me know. This was a subjectively collected list of “news” items and I may have missed something worth capturing.
7/11/21: LPRT #1 Paola Longoria is heading to the Tokyo Olympics as a Sports Commentator for TUDN. She ends up doing sports broadcasting for the whole of the Olympics and misses the season opening tournament in Denver as a result.
8/23/21: Mattel Latin America included LPRT’s #1 Paola Longoria as one of three Latin American athletes to create Barbie doll likenesses for, in order to recognize Latin American athletes. Paola’s place in the landscape of sports media in Mexico continues to be strong.
10/2/21: Argentinian Natalia Mendez signs an agreement with Nike. It isn’t often we hear about our athletes signing with such a major brand.
10/11/21: Longoria takes her 11th US Open title, but not before an upset-laden tournament results in multiple top-8 seeds taken out in the 32s and 16s. Erika Manilla is the biggest shock, advancing out of qualifiers and into the semis despite never making a round of 16 previously.
1/17/22: Rhonda Rajsich is named the Mark Bingham Athlete of the Year for 2022.
3/6/22: Alexandra Herrera tops Longoria for the second final in a row, the first time Longoria has lost two finals in a row since Sept 2010. Is this the start of a new rivalry on tour?
4/10/22: PARC 2022 kicks off without a slew of major pro names, not the least of which was #1 Paola Longoria, who misses a “major” IRF event for the first time since 2014. Her absences are referred to vaguely as being due to a “lack of support” by the Mexican federation, and led to a significantly weaker Mexican team. The women’s singles is eventually won by Bolivian #5 Angelica Barrios over #3 Vargas in the final.
4/22/22: In the latest incident of Bolivian-born players lamenting the lack of support from their Ministry of sport, newly crowned PARC champion Angelica Barrios heavily criticizes the Bolivian organizations for promising and then reneging on financial support for Barrios, yet continuing to use photographs of her accomplishments with their logo attached. This comes hot on the heels of the Men’s PARC 2022 champion Conrrado Moscoso also criticizing the lack of support and possibly considering a switch to another country.
5/15/22: Longoria holds off Herrera in the final of the Sweet Caroline Grand Slam to reverse the trend of the last two events, and to seal the 2021-22 year end title, her 13th.
6/1/22: Herrera posts on social media herself in a walking boot: turns out she had a grade 2 ankle strain a couple weeks back but still traveled to Kansas City to compete in the Super Max. She forfeited out of singles early, but still managed to win the Doubles draw with Erika Manilla serving as a roving player. Herrera misses an opportunity to move up in the rankings ahead of the beginning of next season, but is still well positioned to challenge Longoria at the top in 2022-23.
6/10/22: Sunshine Arterburn makes history, becoming the first known transgender woman to compete on the LPRT. Arterburn previously competed as Michael Arterburn on the IRT as recently as Sept 2019, then began the transition process. She lost in the first round in both the pro and Open draws in Kansas City, both times ostensibly withdrawing with an injury.
6/11/22: Maria Jose Vargas plays the final event of the season 4.5 months pregnant. She takes an uncharacteristic loss early in the singles, but the bigger news will be her likely missing a good chunk of the 2022-23 season due to her expecting her 3rd child in the fall. This will have significant ramifications to the top of the tour, opening up some pathways for the current #3 ranked player.
6/11/22: Thanks to some major upsets at the SuperMax, three American women advance to the quarter finals for the first time since 2016.
6/12/22: Longoria wins the Kansas City Super Max 14,10 over Mejia, a rematch of last year’s final/upset win for Montse. It was a close match, with Mejia looking comfortable against the GOAT, but Paola ground out a win. This closes the book on the 2021-22 season.