Another Sweet Title for Longoria
Feb 18, 2020
World #1 Paola Longoria battles past #2 Maria Jose Vargas in Greenville, SC, 15-5, 15-6 in their sixth Finals pairing of the season. Longoria has now beaten Vargas 5 of 6 and now 4 in a row.
Longoria played comfortably this weekend with just 8 points scored against her as the high water mark in any game (by Montse Mejia) and 11 total points in a match (by Mejia in the Quarters and by Vargas in the Finals).
Vargas, on the other hand, had some close games early in the 16s and Quarters vs Sheryl Lotts and Valeria Centellas respectively before finishing them off in the 2nd game of the match. Then, Vargas needed a tie-breaker with #6 Rhonda Rajsich losing the 2nd game before taking the 3rd 11-1 to reach the Finals.
2020 Sweet Caroline LPRT Grand Slam Singles Wrap-Up
In the 32s:
– #12 Jessica Parrilla made a statement in her win over junior Bolivian Angelica Barrios, winning the first game 15-1 and holding on 15-12 in the second.
– Good friends and doubles partners Ana Laura Flores and Erin Rivera battled it out in a tie-breaker, with Rivera advancing.
– #22 Susy Acosta got a solid win over tour vet Adriana Riveros 7,12 to advance into the 16s for the 2nd time this season.
– #23 Valeria Centellas got the better of #10 Masiel Rivera for the second week in a row, earning the upset win to move into the 16s.
– #15 Sheryl Lotts got a hard-earned tie-breaker win over #18 Guatemalan Maria Renee Rodriguez to move on.
In the 16s:
– #9 Montse Mejia took out #8 Cristina Amaya in a tight 14,9 match, as one would expect in the 8/9 meeting.
– #12 Jessica Parrilla took #5 Natalia Mendez to the brink, nearly pulling off the upset before Mendez advanced 11-8.
– #23 Vale Centellas made short work of #7 Nancy Enriquez, dominating to win 7,5 and move into the quarters for the second time this season. She’s a force to be reckoned with.
In the Quarters:
– #1 Paola Longoria dominated her young Mexican rival #9 Montse Mejia 3,8 to move into the semis. More and more Mejia’s win over Longoria at the 2019 Mexican Nationals is looking like a fluke; Longoria has beaten Montse the last three times they’ve played on tour by the score lines 5,6 then 2,6 and today 3,8.
– #4 Alexandra Herrera needed a tie-breaker to get past #5 Natalia Mendez in what could be an interesting budding rivalry.
– #6 Rhonda Rajsich became the latest player to get an upset win over #3 Samantha Salas Solis this season, taking out her long-time rival in a breaker by the slimmest of margins 11-10. Salas has now been beaten prior to the finals in all six of this season’s events she’s entered; last season she played 9 events and made 9 finals.
– #2 Maria Jose Vargas was pressed in game one by the junior phenom Centellas (now officially her country-woman having made the switch to represent Argentina), but pulled away to win in two.
In the Semis:
– Longoria continued to dominate in Greenville, beating #4 Herrera in two games 3,7 to return to the final.
– Rajsich pushed Vargas to the breaker and looked for a moment like she could get to a final for the first time since June 2017 … but ran out of gas in the breaker.
In the Finals:
We get the 5th final between Longoria and Vargas on the season. The first four were Longoria wins … and we got another Longoria win here too. Paola dominated the #2 player on tour to win 5,6 for the singles title.
2020 Sweet Caroline LPRT Grand Slam Doubles Wrap-Up
In Doubles, the #1 seeds Paola Longoria and Samantha Salas Solis beat #3 seeds Alexandra Herrera and Montse Mejia in straight games 15-5, 15-12. This is the 4th Finals meeting for these 2 teams with both sides now with 2 apiece. Overall, this is the 4th doubles title this season for the Longoria/Salas Solis pairing.
In other doubles matches, the all-Bolivian junior team of Angelica Barrios and Valeria Centellas upset the 5th and 4th seeds to advance to the semi. In the 16s, Barrios/Centellas pulled off the close 11-10 tie-break win over #5 seeds Lexi York and Masiel Rivera. And then took down #4 seeds Jessica Parilla and Nancy Enriquez 15-10, 15-5.
Tournaments cannot be held and run without a substantial number of sponsors, staff, and supporters. To that end, we wanted to extend our thanks to title sponsors OB Hospitalist and Piedmont Comprehensive Pain Management Group, as well as other sponsors and volunteers including: Sportsclub, Kevin Dehlinger, Wayne & Ruthie Reed, Jeff Hoffman, Jay Josey, Lynette Froehlich, The Swain Family, Racquet Therapy, and Rqtblr. Thanks to South Carolina Racquetball and their board for being such amazing hosts and supporters of the LPRT!
We want to say a special thank you to Piedmont Comprehensive Pain Management Group LLC who have sponsored the development of a LPRT Hall of Fame to be built at Sportsclub in Greenville, South Carolina. The Hall of Fame will be completed by next year and the first inductees will be honored at next season's Sweet Caroline Grand Slam.