2018 Pan Am Racquetball Championships Conclude

April 09, 2018, 1:27 p.m. (ET)

Team USA Brings Home Gold and Silver in Women’s and Men’s Singles at the 2018 Pan American Racquetball Championships.

For the second consecutive year, USA Racquetball’s Adult National Team has brought home the gold medal in Women’s Singles and silver in the Men’s Singles divisions at the 2018 Pan American Racquetball Championships held in Temuco, Chile. Rhonda Rajsich defeated Mexico’s Paola Longoria 15-3, 14-15, 11-7, while David “Bobby” Horn brought home the silver medal, losing to Bolivia’s Carlos Keller 12-15, 15-5, 11-7.

Rajsich dominated her match against Maria Jose Vargas in the quarterfinals 15-2, 15-6. In the semifinals match against Ana Gabriela Martinez of Guatemala, Rajsich struggled in the first game, falling behind 0-8. Gaining momentum half way through, Rhonda battled back to win the first game 15-13 and took the match in two, 15-10. After the match, Rajsich handled her win like the professional she is. “Thanks for the congratulations, but I’m not done yet.” Firmly believing in Henry Ford’s famous quote, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right,” Rajsich was ready to defend her title in a repeat of the 2017 finals in Costa Rica.

Rhonda attacked in the first game with vicious serves leading to weak returns and subsequent rally-ending shots. This was the second year in a row that America’s #1 Women’s Singles player overwhelmed the #1 in the world to win gold at the Pan American Championships.

David “Bobby” Horn found revenge in the semifinal round, defeating Andree Parilla of Mexico in two 15-13, 15-14. Just a few days before leaving for the Pan American Championships, Parilla defeated Horn 15-1, 15-9 at the Pro Stop in Lombard, Illinois. Battling back and forth, with several lead changes, at 14-7 Horn served a crack ace to close out the first game.  While Andree led throughout most of the second game and had numerous game point opportunities, Bobby stayed tough and had match point at 14 all, breaking a string. Popular and familiar to the kids in Temuco from giving clinics and lessons, Horn asked one of the kids sitting on the floor near the door, “Which racquet should I use to get this match point and win the game?” Slightly startled, young Paula picked one of the racquets. Horn went back on the court and scored, winning the match.

It was Bobby Horn versus Bolivia’s Carlos Keller in the Men’s Singles final. The first game was back and forth, with Keller taking the game. The second game was all Bobby with a score of 15-5. Keller is a deceptively good player with great lateral movement and lots of reach. He dominated the tiebreaker with an 11-7 win. 

The U.S. Women’s Doubles Team of Rhonda Rajsich and Janel Tisinger was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Carla Munoz and Josefa Parada of Chile 15-14, 15-2. The U.S. Men’s Doubles Team of David “Bobby” Horn and Intercollegiate Champion Thomas Carter, also fell in the quarterfinals to Samuel Murray and Nicolas Bousquet of Canada 15-10, 15-4.

Overall, the U.S. Women’s Team came in third place behind Mexico and Guatemala as did the Men’s Team behind Mexico and Bolivia. In the Overall Team Standings, the United States brought home third place overall behind Mexico and Bolivia. To view the Daily Blogs and event photos visit www.usaracquetball.com.

The U.S. Team members will compete at the upcoming National Singles Racquetball Championship in Pleasanton, California May 23-27, 2018. This will be the third and final qualifying event for the 2018-19 U.S. National Team and will determine the Singles Team members for the 2018 International Racquetball Federation’s World Championships in Cali, Colombia, this August.

If you would like to support members of Team USA, please visit the USA Racquetball Team Challenge. A tax-deductible donation of $100 or greater will be matched by our generous benefactors, and 100% of donations go directly to our National Teams.

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. USA Racquetball also organizes 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.