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2008 WPRO Post-season Summary

As for the players on the IRT, I’ve also compiled a list of placements for the 10 top stops on the WPRO tour. It’s no doubt that Rhonda Rajsich ended up with the season title after not missing a single semifinal appearance in any Tier 1 or grand slam event, and then only missing two finals. A few of the top contenders missed several of the events throughout the season, including Christie Van Hees, Paola Longoria, and Brenda Kyzer.

    missed Quarters Semis Finals Champ
1 Rhonda Rajsich 0 10 10 8 5
2 Cheryl Gudinas Holmes 0 10 8 7 3
4 Angela Grisar 0 10 7 1  
3 Kerri Wachtel 0 10 7 1  
6 Paola Longoria 4 6 3 1 1
5 Kristen Bellows 0 10 3 1  
8 Brenda Kyzer 2 7      
7 Adrienne Fisher 1 6      
9 Christie Van Hees 8 2 2 1 1
12 Diane Moore - 3      
11 Jo Shattuck - 1      
10 Doreen Fowler - 2      
14 Vivian Gomez - 1      
18 Samantha Salas - 1      
27 Janell Wheeler - 1      

update 6/20: Changed rankings to reflect final 2007-2008 season standings

June 12th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

2007 US OPEN – Semifinals

Cheryl Gudinas Holmes versus Christie Van Hees

Cheryl began this match with a short serve, and that gave Christie a little momentum out of the gate. Jumping ahead 2-0 and then 5-2, it looked like Christie would be more than happy to relive last year’s final. However, Cheryl had other ideas and came back to tie the score each time. Tied at 5, Christie decided it was time to take one more lead and once she had it she closed it out.

That only served to fire Cheryl up. She’s been playing very well in recent events and that certainly continued today. The players took turns grabbing one point leads early in Game 2 until Cheryl led 4-3. At that point, there was a close call on the left side wall. That particular call went Christie’s way, but Cheryl used that and regained the momentum quickly. She built her lead to 7-3 before Christie was able to get the service back. Cheryl then kept the pressure up and built her advantage to 10-5. Christie then went on a run to bring it back to 9-10, but that was as close as she would get. Cheryl closed it out on her next service to even the game count at 1.

Each player knew they needed game three to put additional pressure on their opponent, and both players came out firing. Cheryl built a quick 2-0 lead, but Christie came right back and strung together five points for a 5-2 lead. Cheryl then pushed it up to another level and stormed back with nine straight points to close it out.

Cheryl now sensed her moment, but Christie came out for a quick 2-0 lead. Cheryl erased that right away with four straight points. At that point, they started trading points with some amazing shots. At 10-8, Cheryl served another short serve, but quickly regrouped with a side out. She would end in on her next serve and now looks forward to another championship final on the stadium court at the 12th Choice Hotels US OPEN.

Rhonda Rajsich versus Angela Grisar

This one started fairly slow as both players adapted to their surroundings on the stadium court. Eventually Rhonda put a run together to grab a 7-1 lead, but Angela started to calm her nerves and got back into the game at 4-7. Playing on the stadium court seemed to hinder Angela’s usual precise shots as she had a few serves go out of bounds on the fly for side outs and Rhonda continued to take advantage. Building her lead, very slowly Rhonda inched her way to game one 11-7.

Game two was a back and forth affair as Angela was able to grab her first lead of the match. Playing very controlled and smooth, she built a 7-3 lead before she stalled. Rhonda increased the pressure with some incredible diving kills and was able to end the game with an 8-1 run.

Rhonda’s momentum seemed to be building but Angela refused to go down without a fight. She grabbed a quick 2-0 lead, but now Rhonda sensed her opportunity. She knew she didn’t want to let Angela get comfortable and she moved the score to 2-2 with another great show of athleticism. Angela briefly grabbed a 3-2 lead, but once Rhonda got the lead back, she wouldn’t give it up. 11-3 to Rhonda and onward to the finals here at the 12th Choice Hotels US OPEN Racquetball Championships.

Rocky Carson vs Jason Mannino

Rocky came into this one very focused. Brimming with confidence from his recent win in Albuquerque combined with his first Grand Slam title in Colorado Springs, he could see the ultimate prize out there and he decided to grab it. keeping Jason on the defensive from the outset, Rocky stormed out to a 2 games lead. But Stadium Court at the Racquet Club of Memphis is like a second home for Jason and he wasn’t about to let some outsider in. Being the only former champion in the draw, he didn’t want to see someone else’s name go on the Silver Champions Cup and he blitzed Rocky in the third game 11-1. The crowd started to sense a comeback, but it was not to be. Rocky regrouped and managed to pull out a point for point battle in the 4th game to take the match and earn his second successive Choice Hotels US OPEN Final berth.

Jack Huczek vs Shane Vanderson

Shane had another amazing battle with Alvaro yesterday, and that seemed to take something out of him. And when you have to play the number 1 player that’s not a good thing. Jack took advantage of a slightly sluggish Shane and closed this one in 3. Shane did put up a good fight and probably should have won the second, but Jack proved that his ranking is a true reflection of his character. He’s onto the final tomorrow of the 12th Choice Hotels US OPEN.

November 17th, 2007 by Adam Katz

WPRO – Superbowl Open Racquetball Championships

While the men’s professionals on the IRT are battling it out on the East Coast, the women of the WPRO will be having a showdown of their own in Stockton, CA at the Super Bowl Open Racquetball Championships. The top women’s players in the world will compete for precious ranking points as the season passes its halfway mark. Rhonda Rajsich started the season in the number one spot, but now trails Cheryl Gudinas by a narrow margin. Also to note is the race for number three, as Kerri Wachtel continues to climb the ladder with exceptional play and her eye on Angela Grisar’s 8-point third place lead. Also charging up the list is Brenda Kyzer, and after several semifinals appearance this year, trails number five player Kristen Walsh by just 36 points.

The draws have been posted for the Super Bowl Open, and if the top eight players advance to the quarterfinals, the matchups will be:

  • Q1: Cheryl Gudinas vs. Samantha Salas
  • Q2: Kerri Wachtel vs. Kristen Walsh
  • Q3: Angela Grisar vs. Brenda Kyzer
  • Q4: Rhonda Rajsich vs. Jo Shattuck

The bottom half of the draw should be very interesting, as the 2006 Pan American Women’s Singles Champion Paola Longoria plays Jo Shattuck in the 16′s. Also to note is the absence of Christie Van Hees in the draw for this event. There was a rumor that she was going to finish the season with appearances at each remaining stop, but that appears not to be the case.

Rankings as of January 7th, 2007:

Rank Name Points
1 Gudinas Holmes, Cheryl 1009
2 Rajsich, Rhonda 974
3 Grisar, Angela 722
4 Wachtel, Kerri 714
5 Walsh, Kristen 537
6 Kyzer, Brenda 501
7 Van Hees, Christie 460
8 Moore, Diane 338
9 Shattuck, Jo 293
10 Fowler, Doreen 291
11 Salas, Samantha 220
12 Gomez, Vivian 177
13 Fisher, Adrienne 167
14 Acosta, Susy 133
15 Hostovich, Candi 128
16 Brown, Tammy 101

January 18th, 2007 by Geoff Thomsen

WPRO – And we’re off!

After what seems to have been the LONGEST off-season ever, the professional athletes on the Womens’ Professional Racquetball Organization are back in action this weekend at the Outback Blast It! Pro-Am in Fayetteville, NC (live internet video feeds! See links below!).  Rhonda Rajsich returns as the number #1 ranked player on the tour to defend her title against an always tough draw.  One item to note is the absence of Christie Van Hees, who is rumored to have started a new job which prevents her from traveling as much.  Will we see her at other stops this season?

If the top eight ranked women make it to the quarterfinals this weekend, the matchup’s will be:

  • Q1: Rhonda Rajsich (1) vs. Tammy Brown (8)
  • Q2: Angela Grisar (4) vs. Diane Moore (5)
  • Q3: Kristen Walsh (3) vs. Brenda Kyzer (6)
  • Q4: Cheryl Gudinas (2) vs. Jo Shattuck (7)


September 11th, 2006 by Geoff Thomsen

WPRO / IRT Update

The New Mexico Open was played this weekend as a full tour stop for WPRO, and a Tier 2 event for the IRT.

In women’s play, number one seeded Christie Van Hees managed a NARROW 12-10 win in game 5 over Cheryl Gudinas (6, 8, (4), (3), 10). DRAWS WPRO

On the IRT draw, Rocky Carson cruised to a first place finish after meeting Josh Tucker in the finals (4, 4, 9). DRAWS IRT-TOUR

October 24th, 2005 by Geoff Thomsen


OK, long enough with no updates!

IRT: Kane Waselenchuk maintains his healthy lead in the IRT point standings with a win over Huczek in both New York and Virginia, but has been on a brief hiatus missing the San Diego and Boston pro stops. Jack Huczek takes advantage of Kane’s absence with a win in Boston over Shane Vanderson. Cliff Swain proves the 2004 US Open was no fluke by working through a tough draw in San Diego which included a win over Vanderson in the finals.

IRT Top Three: Waselenchuk, Huczek, Swain
IRT Events: April – Pro Nationals, Chicago; May – Players Championships, Dallas

LPRA: Christie Van Hees storms back from her injury at the US Open with wins in Stockton and Nashville to establish her LPRA ranking of #1. Rhonda Rajsich takes a win in Miami over LPRA Tour up-and-comer Angela Grisar.

LPRA Top Three: Van Hees, Gudinas, RajsichLPRA Events: May – Wilson Pro Nationals

COLLEGIATES: University of Alabama (2nd Mens, 1st Women’s, 1st Team) and Brigham Young University (3rd Men’s, 2nd Men’s, 2nd Team) are the bigger winners at the 2005 USA Racquetball Intercollegiates. I went to Oregon State back in the day (4th Men’s, 4th Women’s, 4th Team), so they get a plug too =)

HIGH SCHOOL: Congrats to Oregon Teams Catlin Gable, Beaverton High, and Sprague High for taking 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in final standings at the 2005 USA Racquetball High Schools. Complete team results are here.

April 14th, 2005 by Geoff Thomsen

Pics – Christie Van Hees Clinic

Christie Van Hees was in Portland this week doing a few clinics.

Racquetball Photo: Christie Van Hees

Check out the Gallery for some pictures from her appearance at the MAC club October, 13th.

October 14th, 2004 by Geoff Thomsen

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