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Vargas takes Season 5th in Greenville, SC

May 18, 2024

Maria Jose Vargas (ARG) earned another title at Greenville, South Carolina’s Sweet Caroline Open, her 5th for the 2023-2024 season. She fought off a comeback from Paola Longoria (MEX) to win 11-10 in the tiebreaker, Longoria was down 10-5. In doubles action, the duo of Montse Mejia (MEX) and Alexandra Herrera (MEX) took home another trophy, solidifying why they are the #1 ranked doubles players.
The LPRT would like to thank the team that hosted the 2024 Sweet Caroline Open, it was another fantastic event. Thank you to South Carolina Racquetball President Jacob Varughese along with James Stone, Kooper Pablo-Keita Buchanan, Jerry J Josey Jr., Maria Renee Rodríguez, Matt Dersch, Josh Osborne, Holli Snyder Meindl, Amber Ritacco, Brittany Bracket, Amy Farmer, and Geoff Goldberg. Thank you to the host site Sportsclub Greenville for supporting racquetball. And a big shout out to Mrs. Watkins for supplying the event with her world-famous banana pudding.

Thank you to Todd Boss of for his event recap:

LPRT 2024 Sweet Caroline Wrap-up
Congrats to your Pro winners on the weekend:
- Singles: Maria José Vargas
- Doubles: Alexandra Herrera and Montse Mejia
Both #1 seeds take the pro draws, but both also had to endure 11-10 wins to do so along the way.
Let's review the notable matches in the Singles draw.
In the 32s:
- #17 Michelle Key continues to build points after being away from touring for years by topping #16 Stephanie Synhorst
- #21 Sheryl Lotts, who's also been away from the tour for months after being a regular fixture, returned with a great win over #12 Hollie Scott .
In the 16s:
- #9 Carla Munoz took out #8 Cris Amaya 7,6 to try to stay in the tour's top 10.
- #11 Natalia Mendez got her best win in months, taking out the mercurial #6 Brenda Laime to move into the quarters for the third time this season.
- - #7 @Kelani Lawrence survived a 15-14 game one to advance past the the resurgent #10 @Jessica Parrilla .
In the Quarters
- the top 4 seeds advanced as expected, with a couple of the matches being close.
- #4 @Alexandra Herrera ground out a close 13,14 win against #5 Ana Gabriela Martinez to get back to the semis.
- #1 Vargas was pressed by long-time South American rival #8 Munoz 11.10.
In the Semis
- #1 Vargas cruised past #4 Herrera 8,5 to earn her 5th final out of the 7 tournaments played this season.
- #3 Paola Longoria reminded everyone where she belongs in the pecking order right now, taking out last year's tour champ #2 Mejia in a hard fought 11-8 breaker.
In the Finals, Vargas took game one 12, then fell in game two 7 to set up another finals tiebreaker against the long time tour champion. In the tiebreaker, Vargas was fully in control and cruised to a 10-5 lead, but Longoria fought back. Vargas served for the match another 6 times without winning the final point as Longoria amazingly got it back to 10-10 and had some opportunities, but couldn't capitalize.
Doubles review
The top ranked team survived an 11-10 thriller in the semis against the hodge-podge team of Martinez & Parrilla, then destroyed #2 Vargas/Mendez in the final for yet another title. Herrera & Mejia have now won 5 of the season's 6 titles and lost in the final of the one event they didn't win.
Open Singles, other notable draws
- Mendez topped San Antonio USA junior Naomi Ros in the final of Women's Open. Ros got there by beating #1 seed Munoz, which has to be a career best win.
- the Commish @TJTj Baumbaugh teamed with Kanesha Madison to take the 3-team Women's Open Doubles draw.
- Former IRT touring pro @Maurice Miller topped #1 seed @Dylan Pruitt for the Men's Open singles title.
- Pruitt teamed with Georgia's @Austin Cunningham to take the Men's Open Doubles title.
- Pruitt made it a "double double" (also my favorite order at In and Out Burger) by taking the Mixed Pro/Open title with Lotts.

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