December 21st, 2005 by Adam Katz
2005 IRF 17th World Junior Racquetball Championships – DRAWS
Before I get into the World Cup play for today, I want to take a moment and congratulate the first World Champion crowned at this year’s Junior World racquetball Championships. That would be Centennial, Colorado’s Erika Manilla who won the Girl’s 6 and Under Multi Bounce World Championship today.
Overall, not a very good day for Team USA, but once again there were some bright spots along the way. Being that we are on the penultimate day of this week long event, the Quarterfinals and Semifinals in each bracket were played today.
The day started with Sheryl Lotts playing Ecuador at 8am. She played with everything she had today, but in the end she had no answer for the young South American and lost in two games. Danielle Key followed playing Mexico and started off that match playing extremely well. The crowd started to build mid way through the first game as Danielle continued to dominate. After winning the first game, the largely pro-Mexican crowd got behind their own, and helped to push her on to a tiebreaker victory. In the doubles, Sheryl and Danielle will team to play Mexico for 2nd tomorrow as Ecuador has already clinched that title. The Girl’s 14 final will pit Ecuador against Canada.
The Girl’s 16s started on a much more positive note as Kara Mazur took on Canada and dominated this one from start to finish. Controlling the tempo and making some amazing shots, she finished her off quickly and was able to rest before her semifinal showdown with Mexico. Shannon Inglesby started off against Mexico and although she started slowly, in the end her power was too much for her opponent and she was able to pull away for an 11-7 tiebreaker win. This set up a semifinal against Canada. The semis were a mixed bag as Kara came out a bit flat and her opponent, Paola Longoria from Mexico, was on fire. That was a bad combination for Team USA, and that match was over with fairly quickly. Kara played well throughout this tournament, but it ended a round too early. Shannon, however, kept US hopes alive with another convincing win. She is serving extremely well right now and has the ability to serve people off the court in a manner similar to Mike Keddie. In the doubles, Shannon and Brittany Leggett will play Mexico for the gold medal tomorrow.
In the Girl’s 18s, our players gave it all they had, but they came up a little short when all was said and done. Sarah Hettesheimer had to start against Mexico and played a great match pushing it to a tiebreaker, but once that started she seemed to run out of gas and was out in the quarterfinals. Kelley Fisher, playing in her final junior worlds, came out strong in the quarterfinals and won in two quick games, but couldn’t carry that momentum over to the semifinal against Mexico. Playing the last match of the night before the banquet, the court area was packed and the atmosphere electric, but Kelley went down in 2 close games. The Girl’s doubles have a shot at the bronze medal in their match tomorrow.
In the Boy’s 14s, Jose Rojas had a great day, dominating his opponents in both the quarters and semis, he steamrolled his way into the Finals. With his mentor, John Ellis, looking on Jose put on quite the show for all in attendance. He possesses a great combination of speed and power and totally dominated both of his opponents today. Danny Lavely looked to be matching him every step of the way, but his momentum didn’t hold true in the semifinals as he lost a close one to the top seeded Mexican. I believe the scores were 15-13, 15-14. However, Danny was able to put that behind him and score a victory in the doubles with partner, Chad McGuffey. They will meet Mexico tomorrow for the gold.
In the Boy’s 16s, neither Ishmael Aldana nor Allan Crockett had an answer for the Mexicans and were beaten in their respective matches. In the doubles, though, Ishmael and Jose Rojas will meet Mexico for the gold in a repeat of a pool play match.
The Boy’s 18s saw the end to a long period of US domination as Chris Coy and Mike Keddie had to meet in the quarterfinals. This match was a long affair as these players are friends and doubles partners. Although Chris won in two games, the match lasted almost 2 hours. That took something out of Chris when he had to turn around and play Mexico in the semifinals and he was beaten in two games. The doubles final will pit Mexico against Canada, as the Canadians came back against the US. Recovering from a 0-15 first game, they will again face the Mexicans that they challenged in pool play losing 11-10 in the tiebreaker.
On the Espirit Cup front, things again went more Mexico’s way, but we did have some bright spots along the way.
Elizabeth Vargas, of Aurora, Colorado, played Mexico for the Girl’s 8 gold medal. She played as well as you could hope for, but in the end lost out on the gold in a very close match.
Abbey Lavely lost in the semifinals of the Girl’s 10s and none of the point earners made the finals in the Girl’s 12s, but the Girl’s 12 Doubles team of Elizabeth Brenner and Courtney Chisholm played an inspired match against Mexico to earn a spot in the Finals tomorrow.
The Boy’s 8s and 10s will have all Mexican match ups in singles and the Boy’s 10 doubles will also feature and all Mexican match as Adam Manilla and Sam Reid lost a heartbreaker today. I’m still very emotional about this match, so I won’t pass along any details, but Sam and Adam played with such great heart and integrity and I am extremely proud of both of them.
In the Boy’s 12s, looks like Team USA will dominate here as the final is an All American event and the doubles pits he US and Mexico.
On the Friendship Cup Front, Chris Good played as well as he could today with his hand still bothering him from a blister, but he lost out in both singles and doubles. He did, however earn bronze medals in both the White Division for singles and the Red Division for doubles.
Kevin Hernandez started the day off right by winning his Boy’s 16 White semifinal against Venezuela. For a while it seemed that he wanted to go to a tiebreaker, but he fought back in the second game to close out the match and earn a spot in the finals tomorrow. In the doubles in the Gold division, he and his partner lost a tough one to Mexico in the semifinals. He has earned a bronze in the Gold division for doubles and either a gold or silver in the White division for singles.
Our Colorado team still has a few matches tomorrow, but we’ve already counted our medal haul and are extremely proud to report that our 7 entrants will be bringing home 15 medals including one World Champion.
Tomorrow’s report is going to be a bit difficult as we are getting on the road right after some matches, but I will do what I can.
- Junior Worlds – Day Three
- Junior Worlds – Day Two
- Junior Worlds – Day One
- Junior Worlds – Day Four
- 2005 Junior Worlds – Final Day