December 19th, 2006 by Adam Katz
What an incredible day of racquetball, the action was non stop and this was just the last day of pool play. The rest of the tournament promises to be very exciting as we now move to the single elimination portion of the Junior World Cup.Head Coach Kelley Beane mentioned that the team was still doing well and everyone is looking forward to the next phase of this tournament.
In the Girl’s 18s today, teammates Michelle Key and Ashley Willhite met in pool play to determine final placement in the main draw. These two had a point for point battle throughout the match. And once again, Michelle Key managed to get the win in three very tough games 10, (12), 9. Both ladies hit some great shots throughout this match, but Michelle seemed to be able to put together a few more runs in the end.
The doubles team of Kara Mazur and Samantha McGuffey were just getting ready to start as I was leaving so I am not sure what happened in that match.
In the Girl’s 16s, we had the match of the day involving Sharon Jackson and Canada’s Denise Haynes. This match was also one of the longest of the day lasting close to 2 hours. Denise got off to a very hot start in Game one grabbing a quick 5-2 lead. From that moment she seemed in control of the match as she was able to parlay that into a 15-5 first game victory. But Sharon wasn’t going to lose without a fight, and game 2 certainly proved that. Point for point from start to finish, Sharon was able to gut out the victory and force the tiebreaker 15-14. That tiebreaker had the Student Rec Center rocking as each rally had half of the crowd exploding with cheers. In the end, Sharon had a little more than Denise and was able to gain the 11-6 victory. Afterwards, coach Beane told me that this one was all heart on Sharon’s part. I have to agree.
Sheryl Lotts also faced a Canadian opponent in Frederique Lambert. In this match, Canada was able to turn the tables and Frederique grabbed the win 6,2. Sheryl was able to get all the nerves out in the pool play, and she is now looking forward to the main draw starting tomorrow.
The doubles hadn’t started when I left (after 13 plus hours in the facility) so I would again encourage everyone to check the draws online.
In the Girl’s 14s, another split day as Aubrey O’Brien defeated Mexico’s Yesenia Malvaez while Danielle Key lost a tough tiebreaker match to Mexico’s Jessica Parilla. I don’t have the scores for either match, although I do know that Danielle lost the tiebreaker 11-7. Aubrey looked particularly sharp in this last match before the real show begins.
The Girls doubles team of Lily Berry and Danielle Key lost a tough one to Mexico (Parrilla/Magdelena) in two close games.
On the Boy’s side in the 18s, Allan Crockett led off with his match against Canada’s Michael Burgess. In warmups, this looked like it was going to be quite the battle, but when the action started Michael was ready to play and Allan had an off day. Michael jumped to a big lead in the first game and continued the momentum into the second winning by scores of 6,1. Allan was obviously disappointed after this match, but he was able to put it into perspective when he told me that it’s better to get this out of his system now in the pool play rather than later in the week in the main draw. Chris Coy was just taking to the court when I left, so again, please check the draws.
In the doubles, Chris Coy and Zach Apperson were victorious over the Irish team of Christoper Carey and Colm O’Regan to win their pool and clinch the third seed in the main draw.
In the 16s, Team USA enjoyed a 3-0 day as Ishmael Aldana started things off with a tough 10,6 win over Canada’s Sean Barclay. Sean came out on fire in this match, but Ishmael was able to whether the storm and claim the win.
Jose Rojas came out firing on all cylinders early to grab a 6-0 lead against Canada’s Barrett Husuluk, but Barrett had something else in mind when he came back to take game one 15-13. That effort seemed to drain him, though, and Jose rolled through the second game and tiebreaker 3 and 4.
In the doubles, Ishmael and Jose were able to beat the team from Ecuador to win their pool and move into the main draw as the second seeds.
In the 14s, Taylor Knoth and Brad Kirch both won their matches and their groups fairly convincingly to move into the main draw as the first and third seeds, respectively.
In the doubles, Taylor Knoth and Jake Bredenbeck won their match today and their pool to move into the main draw as the top seed.
On the Espirit Cup front, the girl’s 12 singles players had the day off as they are in the semifinals. However, the doubles team of Mercedes Arias and Ines Lecland had a very tough battle with the team from Bolivia today. Playing hard throughout, the Americans lost in two very close games.
In the Girl’s 10s, the singles will resume action tomorrow with quarterfinal round matches. In the doubles, Abbey Lavely and Elizabeth Vargas managed to win a tough tiebreaker match against fellow Americans Sabrina Viscuso and Ashley O’Brien. This match was tough as all the parents were there cheering on all the players and nobody seemed to want to step forward and coach the girls for fear of showing favortism, but they all perservered and a great match was the result. The tiebreaker ended 11-3 for Abbey and Elizabeth.
The Girl’s 8s players enjoyed a day off today, but will be back at it bright and early tomorrow morning.
In the Boy’s 12s, Marko Rojas continues to roll through the field winning today’s match 4 and 0. However, doubles partner and fellow singles point earner, Jose Diaz lost a tough match against Mexico’s Rodrigo Garay 10 and 14.
Jose was able to regroup though for the doubles as he and Marko teamed to win over Mexico’s De los Rios and Jurado 14 and 9.
In the Boy’s 10s, Adam Manilla has made it through to the quarterfinals, but he got all he could handle today from Costa Rica’s Nicholas Arguello. Adam built big leads in both of the games, but seemed to stall both times allowing his opponent to chip away. In the first game, Adam got to 14-9 and served for the game more times than I could count. Eventually Nicholas tied it at 14, and they both served for the game several times, but each serve was met with an even better return before Adam was finally able to put the game away. It looked like the same thing would happen in game two, but Adam was able to regroup and claim the win at 9.
The Boy’s doubles were off today, but will be back at it with the semifinals tomorrow evening.
The Boy’s 8s had the day off today and both American point earners are currently playing in the Blue division.
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