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January 2013-Rocky Carson/Paola Longoria Dominate, Sharon Jackson to Represent USA

January 30th, 2013 Comments off

Paola has extended her undefeated streak of matches won on the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour (LPRT) into another calendar year by winning in Cincinnati, OH this past weekend, January 25-27. Longoria’s last loss on the LPRT was in May 2011. With her win at this weekend’s “Tour of Hope” event in Cincinnati she has yet to lose a match in 20 months. The San Luis Potosi, Mexico native now holds a streak of 14 LPRT Tier 1 events won in a row. Add in two smaller satellite events and Paola has won 16 professional tournaments in a row and has won 65 consecutive professional matches.

During her streak, Longoria has also dominated the courts during international competition. She won the Women’s Singles Title at the 2011 Pan American Games, the 2012 Pan American Championships and the 2012 International Racquetball Federation’s (IRF) World Championships. Her overall consecutive match win streak for international play and on the women’s professional tour now sits at 88.

Meanwhile in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the same weekend of January 25-27, Rocky continued a winning streak of his own by winning the Lewis Drug Pro-Am, an International Racquetball Tour (IRT) event in Sioux Falls. Coupled with Rocky’s win two weeks ago at the IRT event in New York, the California native is undefeated on the young  2013 year. The win will propel Carson to the top spot on the IRT’s “Season to Date” rankings.

Both of my players are getting ready to play in their respective country’s National Championships fighting for a spot on the United States or Mexican Racquetball Team to represent their countries. Rocky will be playing in mid-February in Tempe, AZ at the National Doubles Championships and Paola will be playing in MX at the National Singles & Doubles Championships. The top doubles team and the top 2 singles players will be representing their countries in any of the International competitions scheduled this year.

Sharon Jackson is finally going to represent the greatest country in the world, the USA, in the sport she loves, racquetball. She will be heading to Cali, Columbia to compete in the Pan American Games, March 23-31, with the rest of the US Racquetball Team. Sharon shares her deepest thoughts, “I’d like to give a big thanks to Head Racquetball for their continued support over the years; and especially a huge thanks to Fran Davis who has helped me get to this point in my racquetball career. There is no higher honor than displaying the letters “USA” on your back. One of my life long dreams has come true!”

Connor Laffey, one of my players from my Jr. Championship Team, took 2nd in the boys singles and 1st in the boys doubles at the Oregon H.S. State Championships where 300+ high students came from all over the state to compete. Lexi York, walked away with 1st in girls singles at the same event. Congratulations to both of them.

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January 2013 Update

January 22nd, 2013 Comments off

Rocky had a great start to the 2nd half of the season…2 tournaments and 2 finals. He had one win and one 2nd, to Kane. I know being home for the holidays and getting time with the family and time to rest was a key component in such a strong start.

The first weekend in January, Rocky was in his home town of So. CA and performed well, beating Alvaro Beltran in the semi finals in a tie-breaker to advance to the finals. When he showed up on Sunday to play the finals against Kane he showed up to play. It was a well played match with Rocky taking the 1st and 4th games and Kane taking the 2nd and 3rd games. It was back and forth in the 5th game with Kane squeaking out an 11-8 victory. This is the 1st time in 2 years Kane was pushed to a tie-breaker and once again it was Rocky.

Just four days later, the second weekend in January, Rocky was back on the road heading to NY for another Tier 1 tournament. Rocky and I were quite concerned how he would play as he caught the flu from his wife and  instead of being on the court practicing he was in bed until Thursday when he left for NY. Thank goodness for visualization and videos as that is all Rocky could do. The toughest match of the tournament was playing Chris in the semi-finals. It was truly a barn burner as Rocky was down 2 games to 1 and in the 4th game Chris was serving for the match at 10-9.  Chris went for a crack ace to win the match and Chris thought he got it, but it was called short by the ref ( a controversial call, but the HEAD Instant Replay cam proved the call correct.) Rocky got the serve back and tied the game 10-10 and eventually won the game 12-10, to force a 5th. It was all Rocky in the 5th, winning 11-5. Rocky then played Jose Rojas in the finals who beat both Ben Croft and Alvaro Beltran in tie-breakers to make the finals. Rocky played his best on Sunday and beat Jose in 3 straight games to get his 2nd tour victory this season.

Rocky is now preparing for National Doubles as he will be defending his title with Ben Croft Valentine’s Day weekend at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Paola has her first Tier 1 tournament to start off the 2nd half of the season the last weekend in January 25-27, 2013 in OH and then in mid-February she will have the Mexican National Championships in both singles and doubles which determines the 2013 Mexican National Team.

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