Racquetball: Double Donut Studios | Racquetball Action Photography

Update on Rhonda Rajsich’s Injuries

It’s been a while since visiting Rhonda’s Website to get some updates on her condition, so I decided to stop today after remembering a rumor that she actually played at the World Championships in Ireland, as well as the Outdoor Nationals in California.  I should have guessed that Rhonda would take no time in getting back in action, but TEN DAYS!?!? You go, girl.

Rhonda, tell your website person that you need RSS feeds for your news!!

From www.rhondarocks.com :

Rhonda has been making fantastic progress as she heals and recovers from the June 1, 2008 assault.  She started to train again in early July and is getting her strength back on a daily basis.

Rhonda was welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd at the WOR Championships in Huntington Beach, California.  This tournment was Rhonda’s first tournament since the assault.  Although she felt the lingering effects of the attack, the crowds were excited to see her return to play.  Because her face continues to heal, she is required to wear a custom fit mask while playing.

She will be competing with Team USA at the IRF World Championships August 1-10, 2008 in Kingscourt, Ireland.

Rhonda would again like to thank all of her fans for the love and support as she continues to recover.

August 27th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Misc. Racquetball Updates

There’s a bunch of stuff in the queue I wanted to post here, but always seemed too short for a post but too long for a tweet.  So here is a quick summary post.

Rocky Carson

Just won the Men’s title at the 2008 World Racquetball Champs.  Also in 2007/2008, was the champion for 2008 National Doubles, 2008 National Singles, 2008 Outdoor Nationals, 2007 IRT World Championships, and the 2007 US OPEN. And a BUNCH of other Tier 1 IRT Pro Stops.  Nice work, Rocky (and nice website, by the way)!!

The Racquetball Blog

Evan Pritchard, of Racquetball Canada (assuming, correct me if I’m wrong, Evan), has started up his very own Racquetball Blog, The Racquetball Blog. He’s got some great coverage from the 2008 World Racquetball Championships, great commentary on Racquetball and the Olympics, and lots more.  I’d highly recommend checking it out, or better yet, just add it to your news feed.  Evan has covered every USA Racquetball US OPEN Championship I’ve been to, and I’ve worked with him on many occasions.  He’s got some great knowledge and insight on the world racquetball scene!

Racquetball on an Aircraft Carrier

Got this interesting email from Peggine Tellez, California State Racquetball (CSRA) President:

Again sorry to send this to everyone, but please pass it on to any armed service members you know.

SAVE THE DATE!!!  November 14 – 16, 2008

ALL MILITARY RACQUETBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

ADDITIONAL NEWS

November 12 – 13, 2008:

We are in the early stages of producing a Pro Racquetball Exhibition onboard a LARGE DECK AIRCRAFT CARRIER !!  Watch as Racquetball history is made featuring some of the Top 10 Professional Racquetball players from the International Racquetball Tour, doing exhibitions, clinics, demonstrations & Play the Pro opportunities.

It is our intention to make this an exciting and fulfilling week dedicated to Racquetball in support of our Veterans (serving in our Armed Services now and in the past). We have been thrilled with the initial response from the racquetball and military communities.  As promised, we have some additional information regarding the All Military Racquetball National Championships.  We heard from several of you that it would be nice to include military retirees, so to that end, the event WILL BE OPENED to all active, reserve and retired military service personnel with the DD-214 Military Identification.

Please note that the tournament will have a limited number of entries allowed.  We are working on the figure and will communicate the number of players that we can accommodate in the days leading up to the opening of the electronic entry system. Note; we will only be accepting electronic entries verses the traditional paper-copies that could be either mailed or faxed in.

Another exciting addition to this tournament is that for the first time in history, (12th and 13th of November / Wednesday and Thursday) we will are in the initial planning stages to have an outdoor Racquetball Court in the hangar bay of a large deck aircraft carrier to give a demonstration / exhibition  with the top professionals in the sport today.  They will give a clinic to the sailors onboard, play a few games among themselves, and to have all of this streamed lived to reach all military bases throughout (even those overseas)!!!

We have had early indications from many folks who want to help us with financial/product assistance to make this a great event.  Keep the emails coming; we will be in touch with each of you to gather your support in providing a healthy diversion for our men and women in uniform.

As mentioned before, with the support and backing of the USRA, Moral, Welfare & Recreation (MWR), EKTELON and CSRA, this will be a racquetball event design specifically for all of the military forces competing against one another and for the glory of their branch of service.

There will be plenty of play with Men’s / Women’s Singles and Double and Mixed Doubles, especially since we will be using the Round Robin / Pool Play format for all participants except in the OPEN and ELITE divisions.  We have also made arrangements for lodging, where out of town players will be able to stay on base for no more than $30/night.  We really can’t do anything about flight arrangements, but hopefully coming from overseas duty stations (ie. Korea, Bahrain, Germany, etc), you will be able to catch a MAC flight to the States, and then find a cheap flight to San Diego.  Right now, all services really don’t have funding to cover this event, but hopefully the costs / registration fees won’t deter people from coming out and having a great time.  We highly recommend that you ask your command for NO COSTS / PERMISSIVE TAD orders, so you don’t burn your leave time up for this event.

Please be on the look out for additional entry information in about 1-2 weeks.  There will be online entry available for this event. Still in rough draft status.

We hope you will be able to join us for this is an event.  If there is anything we can do to get your here, please let me know.  LCDR Steven Harper (USN), out of San Diego, can be reached at:

e-mail:  militaryrball@pacbell.net

Unfortunately, they didn’t need a photographer :) I’m REALLY hoping they are planning on taking some photos, though!!!

Racquetball High Performance Camp Held At The USOC Training Complex & Lynmar Racquet Club

This sounds like a great week of racquetball! Start with some high peformance training, and end at the World Championships!

A perfect camp for all athletes!

Camp starts at 7pm on Thursday Sept. 4 in Colorado Springs and ends Tuesday Sept 9.

Checkout by 9am on the 10th.  Or you can plan to play or/and watch the IRT Motorola World Championships in Denver, CO September 11-14. (45 miles away) this grand slam event features the 4 glass wall court! (go to r2sports.com to register for the tournament only)

48 hours of competitive racquetball instruction

  • Racquetball Book, an Instructional DVD, Plus Your Own Personalized Instructional DVD, With Video Analysis
  • Individualized Training Plan
  • Video Analysis
  • Stroke Mechanics and Shot Selection
  • Personalized DVD
  • Footwork Analysis
  • Sports Psychology
  • Weight Training
  • Room and All Meals At The Great Usoc Village
  • Jo Shattuck , Dennis Fisher, Rhonda Rajsich , Mitch Williams, Andy Hawthorne—( Attendance Numbers Permitting)
  • Get A Peek Into The Elite Camp… See A 2 Minute Video at www.Racquetballacademy.Com
  • Evening lectures and legendary morning exercise

Lecture topics include “planning your workouts” with USA Racquetball Hall of Fame coach- Jim Winterton (camp director) and  lectures: “what it takes to make a champion.” “goal setting”, “& “visualization”

Do the math-this camp has the best instructors, best facilities, and best program for the best price! The best food ever,-train like an Olympic athlete at the USOC for less than $85 per day!

Camp cost: $495, (foreign athletes- without usa address) add $200
spaces are limited!!

Applications are available online at  www.usaracquetball.com,  (see programs & camps).

Questions? Ask heather fender at hfender@usra.org or camp director Jim Winterton coachwint1@aol.com. As soon as you sign up—you will begin receiving our famous “what to expect” emails, and enrollment information.

Send apps with $200 deposit to:

High Performance Camp USA Racquetball
1685 West Uintah, Colorado Springs, CO, 80904

Call Heather Fender at 719-635-5396 to secure your place.

August 20th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Update on Rhonda Rajsich 6/23

Rhonda’s website (www.rhondarocks.com) has been updated again about her recovery status following the latest surgery.  It sounds like things are progressing along slowly but surely.  If you’d like to leave Rhonda a get well message, just visit her website and click on the square banner on the right that says "Send Rhonda get well messages".

Get well soon Rhonda!!!

From www.rhondarocks.com:

Rhonda has been recovering nicely since her surgery on June 11, 2008.  The post-surgery swelling has been decreasing.  The surgical stitches in her eyebrow area have been removed.  The surgical stitches in her mouth will dissolve.

Although Rhonda was unable to eat solid food the first few days after her surgery, she has been slowly able to eat solid food as the pain in her jaw has decreased.  She was even able to eat an In-N-Out Burger (without the bun)a couple of days ago.

Rhonda would like to thank all of her friends and family for the overwhelming support she has received.  Updates will continue to be posted here on her website at www.rhondarocks.com.

1 comment June 23rd, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

DLC Sports – Rhonda Rajsich "Rhonda Fund" Shirts

I noticed today that DLC Sports has created a line of T-Shirts to contribute funds to aiding Rhonda Rajsich financially recover from her injuries.  They feature designs for men and women, and are available in assortment of colors. They are priced at $18.99, and all proceeds go to Rhonda.

June 20th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Rhonda Rajsich Completes Surgery

I finally figured out that Firefox was giving me issues on Rhonda Rajsich’s website, www.rhondarocks.com, and switched to IE to find she had some updates on her current condition.  It sounds like everything went well, and she is on the full and lengthy road to recovery.  If you know Rhonda, or have seen her play, and like to leave her a get well message, check our her website and click on the little banner on the right that says "Send Rhonda Get Well Wishes, Click here".

From "News" on www.rhondarocks.com:

Rhonda’s surgery on Wednesday, June 11 went well.  At this time it appears that the surgeons were able to repair all of the fractures in her face area.  She spent the night in the hospital and will most likely be discharged sometime later today.  

Although Rhonda’s doctors expect her to make a full recovery, she will have some difficult days ahead of her.  Again, she wants to thank all of her fans for their thoughts prayers and support.

Rhonda’s website will be updated regularly regarding her condition.

June 16th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

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

Photos: 2008 National Singles

The uploading of photos from the 2008 USA Racquetball National Singles Championships is underway!  I’ve got photos up from the Men’s final featuring Rocky Carson and Jack Huczek, as well as the Women’s Semifinal with Kristen Bellows and Rhonda Rajsich (get well, Rhonda!). I’ll keep adding photos over the next several days, and you can either periodically check back at www.doubledonut.com, subscribe to my feed, or follow my updates on Twitter to know when new photos have landed.

IMG_6662 IMG_6758

The latest updates are in the 2008 National Singles Photo Gallery.

There were also a few other photographers in Houston taking photos.  Julian Gomez, from 801Creative in Salt Lake City, was helping me with USA Racquetball duties, and Adam (Aaron?) Clark, a local player from Houston, was sharpening his skills with his new camera.  I’ll be in contact with Julian to see if he intends to post anything online, and Adam has already added some photos to the Racquetball Group on Flickr.  As always, the photo situation on the courts at the Houston YMCA is VERY challenging, with low light, dots on the glass, and lights that cycle resulting in color shifts in all the photos (not to mention that racquetball is one of the hardest sports to shoot!).  Hats off to anyone who gets decent shots (of which Adam and Julian both accomplished!!).

IMG_5773

IMG_5831

If anyone else at the event has pictures you’d like to share, I’d HIGHLY recommend posting them to www.Flickr.com, and then adding them to the Racquetball Group on Flickr.  In fact, I’d recommend adding ANY racquetball photos to that group so the world can see!!

June 11th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Rhonda Rajsich Injured in Unprovoked Assault

Ektelon’s Scott Winters has forwarded on some additional information about the latest news for Rhonda Rajsich.  In the press release below, there is some information about her surgery, which is scheduled for today.  If you are reading this, please send some positive thoughts Rhonda’s way for a quick recovery.

If you’d like to send Rhonda a message, a questbook has been created for her online: http://www.e-guestbooks.com/sign/rhondarajsich

Rhonda Rajsich, the number one ranked women’s professional racquetball player, was injured in an unprovoked assault on Sunday, June 1, 2008, outside of her Hermosa Beach, California residence.  Hermosa Beach Police are investigating the incident.

As a result of the attack, Rhonda suffered several fractures to the right side of her face.  She will be undergoing surgery on Wednesday, June 1lth.  The surgery is expected to last four to five hours and will involve the placing of titanium plates and screws in Rhonda’s cheek, jaw and eye orbital areas.  The full extent of the damage will not be known until after the surgery is complete and the healing process begins.  At that time, the doctors will be able to determine whether Rhonda may require further surgery. 

Rhonda is also under the care of an ophthalmologist.  Barring any complications, at this time it does not appear that she will have any permanent vision impairment.

Although it is expected that Rhonda will make a full and complete recovery, at this time her doctors have not been able to determine when she will be able to return to the racquetball court.  More information regarding her recovery time will be available sometime after she undergoes surgery.

In order to assist Rhonda with her expenses while she is unable to play, a fund has been established at Wells Fargo Bank.  Checks can be sent to the Rhonda Rajsich Relief Fund, c/o Peter Nitschke, Southern California Sports Management Group, 23861 El Toro Road, Suite 700, Lake Forest, CA, 92630.  Funds can also be deposited at any Wells Fargo Branch under the following account “Peter Nitschke for the Benefit of Rhonda Rajsich Relief.”  For more information regarding the Rhonda Rajsich Relief Fund, please contact Peter Nitschke at Southern California Sports Management Group.

Rhonda thanks all of her fans for their thoughts, prayers and support during this difficult time.

Updates concerning Rhonda’s progress will be posted on her website at http://www.rhondarocks.com.

1 comment June 11th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

MWRA Benefit Tourney for Rhonda Rajsich

The MWRA (Maryland Washington Racquetball Association) is hosting a tournament on July 12th and 13th to help raise money for Rhonda’s medical bills following her hospitalization.   If you’re able to make the trip, it sounds like a great event!!

Dear members from the racquetball community,

By now, many of you have heard the news about Rhonda Rajsich being attacked and severely beaten as she walked alone on a beach near her apartment in California.  Rhonda is in the hospital and is stable but has multiple contusions and abrasions and a broken jaw.  She is in the hospital and will be there indefinitely. She will be undergoing operations to reconstruct the left side of her face. Her eye is swollen shut but tests show that her vision will be ok. Please keep Rhonda in your thoughts and prayers.

In place of our annual end of the season tournament, the MWRA is hosting a 2 day round robin tournament on July 12 &13, 2008 at Severna Park Racquetball and Fitness ClubAll proceeds will go to the fund established to help Rhonda defray her medical costs as she tries to recover from her injuries. 

The entry fee will be $30.00 for the first event and the second event is free.  We will serve meals throughout the weekend, but we are going to forgo the shirts and trophies so those proceeds can go to Rhonda.  Depending on the response we get and the number of divisions we field, we are going to try to schedule divisions during certain blocks of time throughout the day.  If you play 2 divisions, you will have 2 blocks of time, and if you are in a large draw with brackets, the playoffs will then be in a 3rd block. 

The mail-in application is attached to this email and you can also find it at www.mwraweb.com.  We look forward to seeing you there.

The MWRA committee

June 10th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Get Well Rhonda!!

IMG_6399I’m a tad late in posting this article, partially because I’m still somewhat in shock over the events which have occurred.  Following the 2008 National Singles Championships two weeks back in Houston, Rhonda Rajsich was walking on the beach near her home when she was assaulted by two men, and beaten unconscious.  Rhonda is in the hospital recovering from her injuries, and is apparently scheduled for surgery on her cheek due to a broken cheekbone.  I can’t imagine what would cause someone to do this, and I hope the responsible parties are caught and fully prosecuted (or even better, served a little “back alley justice”).

Rhonda, you are in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope for a full and speedy recovery.

From Dave Ellis, US National Team Coach:

Friends of the US National Team:

This is a sad note concerning a most dedicated teammate. Rhonda was walking near her apartment in Hermosa beach Saturday night when she was approached by two men. The two men attacked her, brutally beating her unconscious. She is in the hospital and will be there indefinitely. She will be undergoing operations to reconstruct the left side of her face. Her eye is swollen shut but tests show that her vision will be ok.

Please remember Rhonda in your prayers. How sad that this happened to Rhonda, a friend to all and such an enthusiastic leader in our sport. We all pray for full recovery.

Dave Ellis, Coach
USA Racquetball

IMG_5693

From Son Nyugen, Oneshot Sports:

I went to visit Rhonda today, and she is physically beat up!!! Not surprising to those that know Rhonda, she still had her sense of humor and made me laugh a few times!

This incident was unprovoked and she believes it would’ve happened to anyone. She was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. Police speculate that these guys were on some sort of drugs and or alcohol.

Her face is obviously swollen and her eye is swollen shut, but her vision is good! Reconstructive surgery will be next week. Doctors want her swollen face to heal as much as possible and then do the surgery. The police department is working on finding these two cowards. Rhonda does have insurance, but it will not cover everything. She will obviously not be able to compete for a while and will not be able to earn a living.

If anyone is interested in sending a monetary donation, please send a check payable to Rhonda Rajsich, and send it directly to me:

Oneshot Sports: 6392 Sligo Circle Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Keep her in your prayers………………………………..Son

June 9th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Rhonda Rajsich on ESPN NEWS

As racquetball claws its way back into mainstream sports media, Rhonda Rajsich is scheduled to be interviewed in ESPN News to talk about dominating performance on the women’s pro tour this season.  If any is successful recording this, I’d love to have a copy to post on the site! Here’s a press release from Shannon Feaster of the WPRO:

#1 WPRO Pro Rhonda Rajsich will appear on ESPNEWS’ “The Pulse” this Saturday (May 3) between 1-3pm ET to discuss her recent victory in New Orleans at the 2008 Chemtech WPRO World Championship presented by Ektelon! Rhonda will also talk about her career accomplishments and how she got to be #1 in the world for the third straight time. Rajsich won the last four major WPRO events to close out the 2007-08 season. We will try to send an update on the approximate segment time if we can but please set your VCR’s, DVR’s and Tivo’s to record the show! For more information about Rhonda, visit her Web site at www.rhondarocks.com.

Next season’s schedule will be posted on the tour’s Web site the first week of June, so please check out www.wpro-tour.com to see when the top WPRO pro’s will be in a city near you! On behalf of the WPRO, thanks for your support an d we hope to see you soon.

May 1st, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

New Pro Contracts

‘Tis the time of year that the major equipment manufacturers start announcing any new contracts with Pro level players. This list is not comprehensive of all Pro players, as many are in the middle of existing contracts. Here is a quick summary:

Ektelon:

  • Rhonda Rajsich – 2 year contract

Head:

  • Shane Vanderson – 3 year contract
  • Jason Thoerner – 3 year contract
  • Mike Guidry – 2 1/2 year contract
  • Mike Green – 2 year contract
  • Ryan Smith – 2 year contract

Wilson:

  • Kerri Wachtel

Pro Kennex:

  • Kane Waselenchuk (*** no official word has been released to date, but Kane has been seen on event posters with his new “Krowning Moment” racquet. It appears to be his own line, produced by Pro Kennex – as noted by the Pro Kennex logo on the posters and racquet stencil)

E-Force:

Gearbox:

I’ll update this list as any new information surfaces ..

3 comments April 22nd, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

Chemtech WPRO World Championships presented by Ektelon – Finals

Well folks, I wish I could tell you that I was in New Orleans for the final match as I figured, based on the way they were playing, that it would be something special, and from the scores and brief description that I’ve received, it certainly was.

The winner of the 2008 Chemtech WPRO World Championships presented by Ektelon, and the #1 player on the tour for the third time in her career is Rhonda Rajsich (Phoenix, AZ). She won the final in what looks like a true battle scores were 11-6, 2-11, 8-11, 13-11, 11-4, so as you can see both ladies had to have been playing extremely well. This is logical since they both had played so well just to reach the finals, especially in the manner that each did. Each woman only lost 1 game on their road to the final.

This concludes the 2007/2008 WPRO season and I thank you for your support!

April 21st, 2008 by Adam Katz

Chemtech WPRO World Championships presented by Ektelon – Quarters / Semis

Chemtech WPRO World Championships presented by Ektelon Quarterfinals

First up on the show court was the match between World #2, Cheryl Gudinas Holmes (Naperville, IL) and World #7, Brenda Kyzer (Leesville, SC). It took Cheryl a little while to find her rhythm in this one, so Brenda used that to her advantage for an early lead. And then Cheryl slowly started chipping away and finding her zone. Brenda tried to hold her off with her some strong passing shots, but Cheryl now had her own precision game firing on all cylinders. Brenda had some solid moments throughout this match, but Cheryl seemed to want it a little more , and so she was able to close out each game with her precise shooting from all over the court. She’s now on to the semifinals later this afternoon.

The match between World #3, Angela Grisar (Santiago, Chile) and World #6, Paola Longoria (San Luis Poteci, Mexico) started at the same time on the very next court. This one started as a battle of wills as both ladies came out shooting lights out trying to impose their own will on this match. As the first game progressed, Paola continued to keep the pressure on with some amazing pinches and powerful passes that finally enabled her to pull out the first game with a late run to 11. That win seemed to energize Paola as she sprinted to an 8-2 lead in the second game. Angela dug deep to hold her, but now the crowd coul d sense that Paola was on a mission and she wasn’t going to stop until a spot in the semifinals had been earned. Angela gave it all she had, but Paola was not to be denied and is on her way to a meeting with Cheryl Gudinas Holmes.

Next up was the match between World #4, Kerri Wachtel (Cincinnati, OH) and World #5, Kristen Bellows (Salt Lake City, UT). These two seem to meet at every stop so most everyone knew that this wouldn’t be over in three games and these ladies didn’t disappoint. Both players came out shooting strong with excellent placement, but Kristen’s serves seemed to have a bit more in them to start and she was able to pull out the first game, 12-10. That got Kerri fired up as she came out with her usual strong placement in the second game. Both players were playing extremely well, but Kerri started to take control and was able to sweep the l ast three games, all very close but Kerri just had a little extra at the end of each game.

The last quarterfinal match had World#1, Rhonda Rajsich (Phoenix, AZ) playing World #8, Adrienne Fisher (Centreville, OH) for the right to face Kerri Wachtel later on this afternoon. To say that Rhonda came out on fire is a true understatement. She simply couldn’t miss and she rolled to the first game. But Adrienne dug deep and trailing 7-10 in the second game starting hitting some incredible shots of her own. She went on the run that would get the second game and kept Rhonda diving and guessing throughout. The crowd was starting to sense that they were watching something special and the third game proved to be a point for point battle as each player was now hitting extremely well, and Rhonda seemed to be diving wi th almost every rally. In the end she grabbed the all important 2-1 game lead with the 13-11 win. That only fired her up as she raced to an 8-2 lead in the fourth. Adrienne fought back once again after Rhonda replayed a match point that was called in her favor. Adrienne got it back to seven but went no further. And so Rhonda moves on to the semifinals.

The first semifinal featured World #2, Cheryl Gudinas Holmes and World #6, Paola Longoria and this one was a fantastic match. Paola came out shooting everything in sight and raced to 3-0 and 7-2 leads. Cheryl changed things up and slowly gained the momentum as she was hitting some great passes and pinches to keep Paola off balance. Once she got the lead, she carried it straight through until 4-0 in the 3rd game. At that point, Paola started changing things up herself, as she regained that early fire when she couldn’t miss. Up until that moment, it appeared that Cheryl might sweep, but Paola had other ideas and she fought back to take the third game. The crowd was very happy as they were truly enjoying this match as both players were on fire. As the players walked onto the court for the fourth game, Cheryl had a look in her eyes that indicated she was ready for the moment. Hitting solid serves and incredible shots, she inched her way up to match point and then Paola fought back. Forcing a couple of sideouts, she tried to get herself back into the game, but Cheryl could see the finish line and wasn’t about to let up. Finally, on her third attempt, she was able to end it and move on to tomorrow’s Championship Match.

The second semifinal featured World #1, Rhonda Rajsich and World #4, Kerri Wachtel and this one also was a great match. Rhonda came out hitting solid, especially with her serve as she raced to a 7-0 lead, but Kerri wasn’t about to just give this match away. Slowly she inched her way back, but the initial lead and Rhonda’s athleticism eventually put this game away. Kerri tried to change things up as the second game began, but Rhonda was moving extremely well and her serves were certainly “on fire”. Kerri continued to fight through this one, but Rhonda could see the finals and she just kept putting on the pressure. Kerri kept the games close, but she couldn’t find the serves at the end of each game and so Rhonda was able to close it out and move on to the finals.

So it comes down to #1 versus #2 here at the 2008 Chemtech WPRO World Championships presented by Ektelon. Considering the season that both ladies have had, it is certainly fitting that they should meet with this Grand Slam Title on the line. They have met many times this season and many times over the past few years, so you can be sure that it will be a great match. Tune in at Noon Central Time as this is one you won’t want to miss. Check it out at:

http://www.racquetballonline.tv

April 21st, 2008 by Adam Katz

RB Update

Just wanted to send congratulations out to Kara Mazur, University of Alabama, and Tony Carson, Colorado State University – Pueblo, for their victories last weekend in the #1 Gold Division at Intercollegiates. Those wins have earned each a 1 year appointment to the US National Team.

Still awaiting word if Kara will now go on to New Orleans and the Chemtech WPRO World Championships presented by Ektelon April 17-20. This one will be a great event as Rhonda Rajsich and Cheryl Gudinas Holmes fight it out for the coveted year end #1 ranking. You can enter online for this one at:

http://www.r2sports.com/tourney/home.asp?TID=3645

The IRT is currently in Tijuana, Mexico, and 3 Herrera’s have made the main draw. Last week’s beaten finalist from the Men’s #1 Gold, Anthony Herrrera, has rebounded nicely to qualify into the main draw where he plays Rocky Carson.

There are some great matches slated for this tournament this weekend, so check out the results at:

http://www.irt-tour.com

This all leads up to the Big One…The Motorola IRT Pro Nationals presented by Verizon Wireless. All I can say is, get to Chicago if you can. Rocky Carson and Jack Huczek will be bringing all they have to win the year end #1 ranking. The brand new Lucite Court will make its debut and ESPN360 will be there, as well as ESPN Classic. You can check out the website at:

http://www.irt-pronationals.com

entry forms are available at that site. I didn’t see an online entry there, but you can download the form. If I can find the online entry, I will send that along.

April 4th, 2008 by Geoff Thomsen

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