Rajsich Wins Gold at Pan Am Racquetball Championships

By Leo R. Vasquez | April 16, 2017, 9:32 p.m. (ET)
Rhonda Rajsich

Rhonda Rajsich (USA) defeats Paola Longoria (MEX) in the finals of the women’s singles, 7-15, 15-13, 11-9.

Rhonda RajsichColorado Springs, Colo. - Rhonda Rajsich (USA) defeated Paola Longoria (MEX), 7-15, 15-13, 11-9 to claim her third women’s singles title at the XXX 2017 Pan American Racquetball Championships. This was an amazing win but also an upset since Longoria had won the last 11 consecutive international events hosted by the International Racquetball Federation. (Pan American Championships and World Championships) and came to to Costa Rica as the defending Pan American Champion.

Longoria’s last loss in singles international competition came at the hands of Rajsich during the 2011 Pan American Racquetball Championships held in Nicaragua. Rajsich defeated Longoria 15-11, 6-15, 11-5 in the semifinals and went on to win the gold medal in singles over Samantha Salas Solis (MEX).

Rajsich won her third Pan American Racquetball Championship singles title (2007, 2011, 2017) over Longoria (2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016) in front of a standing room only crowd at the San Jose Indoor Club in Costa Rica. The tie-breaker saw Longoria score two points with forehand winners to tie it up at 9-9 and serving with momentum on her side. Rajsich returned serve with her own version of a forehand one wall winner to get the side out and then score the next two points to win the match and the gold medal.

Some questioned if anyone could overtake a dominating champion such as Longoria but Rajsich answered that question with a spectacular performance in Costa Rica. Rajsich also had a tough battle in the semifinals against Longoria’s doubles partner, Samantha Salas Solis who pushed Rajsich to a tie-breaker as well before Rajsich closed it out, 14-15, 15-11, 11-2.

Rhonda Rajsich and Junior PlayersDuring her post match interview, Rhonda thanked her teammates and everyone back home who supports TEAM USA. “Thank you to the country of Costa Rica and the staff of the San Jose Indoor Club for hosting,” said Rajsich. “I also want to dedicate this win to my father and my best friends mother, who’s service is today.”

Congratulations to Rhonda who did what no other player has been able to do in the last six years of international competition. TEAM USA is extremely proud of Rhonda and all of her championship performances.

For more information about TEAM USA visit the USA Racquetball website: www.USARacquetball.com

About USA Racquetball

USA Racquetball, founded in 1969, is recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport. The organization annually conducts six national championships and sanctions hundreds of tournaments for players of all ages and skill levels. The organization also directs the Adult and Junior National Racquetball Teams, oversees the Official Rules of Racquetball, administers National Player Rankings, manages a college scholarship program, and supports the introduction of new players to the sport.