June 21st, 2007 by Adam Katz
Every player played at least one match today at the 34th USA Racquetball Junior Olympic National Championships presented by Penn Racquet Sports and the matches were all very entertaining.
In the Girl’s 18 Singles, they are down to the quarterfinals as all the higher seeds advanced with the exception of the 6th seed, Brittany Leggett of Oregon. Playing California’s Sue Sublaban, Brittany’s 1 year absence from Junior Nationals showed as Sue fought through 2 very tough games and the 15-14, 15-11 victory. Next up is the 3rd seed, Sharon Jackson from Indiana.
In the Girl’s 18 Doubles, there was a very highly anticipated matchup as the reigning 16 World Champions, Holly Hettesheimer of Ohio and Sharon Jackson of Indiana took on Michelle Key of Arizona and Gabrielle Schnurman of Iowa. Again in two tough games Holly and Sharon were able to gain the 15-11, 15-9 victory and now can start to look forward to Saturday’s match with Kara Mazur and Samantha McGuffey who are the defending champions in this division.
The Girl’s 16 singles continued their round robin today as both Sheryl Lotts and Danielle Key earned 2 game wins to inch a step closer to their meeting on Saturday which could determine the champion in this division.
In the Girl’s 16 Doubles, Danielle and Sheryl teamed up to gain an impressive victory today. I only saw a little of that match so I don’t have the scores but they looked very much in control for that part that I did see.
The Girl’s 14 Singles are now down to the quarterfinals and the match that caught my attention here was Ohio’s Lily Berry taking on Idaho’s Savannah McVay. Lily earned her first appointment to the US Junior Team last summer in Michigan and looked very much like she wanted to re-qualify for the team as she rolled to a 15-1, 15-1 victory. I honestly don’t recall her missing a single shot in this match as she powered her way into a meeting with Connecticut’s rising star, Samantha Rosado tomorrow.
In the Girl’s 14 Doubles, we had a definite Match of the Day in the battle between the Rosado Sisters and Courtney Chisholm of Massachusetts and Devon Pimentelli of California. Courtney and Devon started this one very strong to gain the 15-6 win in the game one, but found themselves down 11-3 quickly in the second game. It appeared that this was headed to the tiebreaker, but they fought back with all they had to knot the score at 14. As they clearly had the momentum it looked like this one would now end in two, but they lost the serve and during a long rally, the ball struck Courtney after Devon had played her shot and just like that, we were on to the tiebreaker. That tiebreaker consisted of 2 big runs. Courtney and Devon went ahead 2-0 before Jackie and Samantha put together a 7 point run. When Courtney and Devon returned to the service box, they ran 7 points themselves before we settled into a 9-7 score for a full service rotation. Jackie and Samantha would get to 8, but they would get no more as Courtney and Devon finished the 11-8 win and can now start to think about their Sunday meeting with Aubrey O’Brien from California and Ohio’s Lily Berry.
The Girl’s 12 Singles will kick it into gear tomorrow with the quarterfinal matches. There was one match in this division today, but I didn’t see it. I do know that Sara Leon of California beat Arizona’s Nicole Ortega, but I don’t have any other information on that match.
The Girl’s 12 Doubles also played one match in this 3 team round robin as Oregon’s Hollee Hungerford and California’s Sabrina Viscuso defeated Oregon’s Fladstol Sisters, Alecia and Victoria in two close games.
The Girl’s 10 Singles also played one match today to set up the quarterfinals tomorrow as Kaitlin Simmons from Maryland defeated California’s Julia Lanman.
In the Girl’s 10 Doubles again just one match played as Kaitlin joined her doubles partner, Abby Carter of Florida to defeat the California team of Ashley O’Brien and Julia Lanman.
In the Girl’s 8 Singles, they are down to the Semifinals as Ohio’s Christina Lavely won a very tough match over Oregon’s Sierra Reid by scores of 15-12, 5-15, 11-5. That victory sets up a semifinal with top seed, Erika Manilla of Colorado. The other half of the bracket has Florida’s Jordan Cooperrider taking on Michigan’s Mary Zeng.
On the Boy’s side in the 18 Singles today, they are to the quarterfinals and I have to say that the top 4 seeds are all looking very impressive. None of them has dropped so much as a game to this point, but I would have to give a slight edge to Jose Rojas who just looks like he is totally in control of his matches from the moment he walks onto the court to warm up. He certainly has an air of confidence about him and yet he is the most humble individual away from the court. I talked with him briefly today and you would never know that he is just plowing through the field at this point.
In the Boy’s 18 Doubles, they are also down to the quarterfinals and the top 4 seeds again are looking very strong as they haven’t dropped a game between them yet. I haven’t seen any of these matches yet, but will make a point to do so tomorrow.
In the Boy’s 16 Singles, they are down to the quarterfinals and Jose Rojas is looking extremely dominant in this divison. The matchup that I am looking forward to, however, is the quarterfinal between doubles partners in Oregon’s Taylor Knoth and Minnesota’s Jake Bredenbeck. This should be a great match tomorrow, and is my early candidate for Match of the Day.
In the Boy’s 16 Doubles, they are down to the semifinals and the top four seeds will battle it out. The match that I’m looking forward to in this one is the 2-3 battle of Taylor Knoth/Jake Bredenbeck against Ohio’s Danny Lavely and Chad McGuffey. Danny and Chad won the World title in the 14 Doubles 2 years ago and Taylor and Jake just missed with a silver medal performance in the 14 Doubles last year, so this has the potential to be a very special match.
In the Boy’s 14 Singles, again they are down to the quarterfinals and the top four seeds are looking very impressive. Dylan Reid of Oregon had a very good match today with Chase Stanley of Louisiana. I was very impressed with both players ability to retrieve seemingly killed shots, but in the end Dylan’s consistency and strong shot selection kept his title hopes alive 15-10, 15-2.
In the Boy’s 14 Doubles, they are down to the semifinals and it is looking like a finals showdown between Joseph Lee of Louisiana and Oregon’s Dylan Reid and the California team of Marco Rojas and Jose Diaz. These two teams have just appeared to be a level better than anyone else in this division.
In the Boy’s 12 Singles, they are down to the quarterfinals and Team Colorado’s Adam Manilla is still on track in his quest for 2 gold medals. Adam played some absolutely great racquetball today to gain a hard fought 15-10, 15-3 win over California’s Sawyer Lloyd. After that first game, Adam just seemed to turn it up another gear and Sawyer had no response. Also looking very strong today was the second seed, Sam Reid from Oregon.
In the Boy’s 12 Doubles, they are down to the semifinals and the top two seeds have advanced but 3 and 4 were sent packing today.
In the Boy’s 10 Singles, they are down to the quarterfinals and again a Team Colorado player has kept alive his dreams of 2 Gold medals. This time, it is Matt McAdam who looked very impressive in his 15-4, 15-1 victory over Wisconsin’s Justus Benson.
In the Boy’s 10 Doubles, they are in the semifinals and there is another Diaz/Rojas California combination looking to take home the title. They’ll play the top seeds tomorrow and that match could be another match of the day candidate.
In the Boy’s 8 Singles, they only had a couple of matches today and I didn’t see either one. They, like all the rest, are down to the quarterfinals.
As I wrap up today’s recap, I must say that I am extremely impressed with the overall level of play of each and every one of these players. There may have been some lopsided scores on the scoresheets, but points have still been difficult to come by. When all is said and done the players that will win the National Title in each division will have truly earned it.
I’ve been having problems connecting to the internet over at the Student Rec Center and so I cannot send pictures out at this time. I will continue to work on this problem tomorrow and hopefully have something out before the tourney ends, otherwise, I will send pictures out when I return home to Colorado early next week.
- Introducing the 2008 USA Racquetball National Junior Team
- 2006 Junior Nationals – Wednesday
- 2007 Junior Nationals – Day 1
- 2007 Junior Nationals – Day 4
- 2007 Junior Nationals – The Finals