Sunday, June 18, 2017

Salas beats Rajsich to win 2017 LPRT Paola Longoria Challenge

Samantha Salas won her 2nd career Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT’s) Sunday, when she beat Rhonda Rajsich, 11-3, 11-2, 11-6, in the final of the Paola Longoria Challenge in Chihuahua, Mexico. Salas’s last win came back in 2010 against Kerri Wachtel in the Puget Sound Classic. Salas also won the doubles final, as she and Paola Longoria defeated Alexandra Herrera and Monserrat Mejia, 15-1, 15-6.

Salas and Rajsich were close early in game one, but Salas tied the scored at 3-3 with a drive serve ace to the right side, which was a omen of things to come. Salas served four more drive serve aces to the right side, as she took game one 11-3.

Salas went on a roll to start game two, going up 7-0. Rajsich took a timeout, and got on the board at 7-1, but it was only delaying the inevitable, as Salas continued to score. She ended game two with another drive serve ace to the right side, although on that serve Salas was in the center of the sevice box, while most of the match she served from the right side of the box.

Salas took the early lead again in game three at 4-0. But then the game stalled, as it took thirteen rallies to go from 4-0 to 6-1. Then the momentum shifted, as Rajsich put a few points together to make it 6-4, and then 7-6. But Rajsich couldn’t tie the game, as Salas got the serve back with a forehand cross court shot.

Three serves put Salas on game point, as she hit a drive left that Rajsich got her racquet on, but couldn’t return, followed by an ace to the left with Rajsich moving right, and then another drive left that cracked off the left side wall for an ace and made it match point at 10-6.

Salas’s first serve at match point was a short drive serve. Her second serve was a drive Z serve to the right that Rajsich returned into the middle, where Salas was standing, and she hit a backhand kill shot to win the rally, ending the game and match.

Despite the loss, it was Rajsich’s best showing of the season, as it was her first final. Rajsich did miss a few tournaments in the middle of the season after the sudden passing of her father in October, so this was her first final since then.

2017 LPRT Paola Longoria Challenge, June 16-18, 2017
Chihuahua, Mexico


5) Samantha Salas d. 6) Rhonda Rajsich, 11-3, 11-2, 11-6

Doubles - Semi-finals

1) Paola Longoria & Samantha Salas d. 3) Alexandra Herrera & Monserrat Mejia, 15-1, 15-6

Follow the bouncing ball….

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