SWEET CAROLINE 2019

The first event of 2019 set a sweet, sweet tone for the rest of the season.

The professional women of the LPRT returned to Greenville, South Carolina for the 3rd annual Sweet Caroline Open presented by Ob Hospitalist Group. This event is becoming a tradition. Sweet Caroline kicked off 2019 with as Grand Slam deep with wonderful hospitality and as it has every year, it raised money for a good cause.

 The Finalists

• Any use of photos INCLUDING use with photo-crediting, IS PROHIBITED without expressed written consent.

• Cualquier uso de estas fotografías está estrictamente prohibido, al menos que exista un consentimiento escrito por parte del autor.

World #1 Paola Longoria (Mexico), launched 2019 by capturing her record setting 95th professional title. Longoria has won every event in the first half of the 2018-19 season. She also won her 6th Doubles title, making that an incredible 38 doubles titles in the last 4 seasons. Paola, at age 29, continues trending to become the best woman racquetball player of all time.

• Any use of photos INCLUDING use with photo-crediting, IS PROHIBITED without expressed written consent.

• Cualquier uso de estas fotografías está estrictamente prohibido, al menos que exista un consentimiento escrito por parte del autor.

Samantha Salas (Mexico) kicked off 2019 proving she is one of the best players in the world by making yet another pro final. At last year's event, Samantha was just getting back from shoulder surgery and lost in a tiebreak quarterfinal to Jessica Parrilla, who is off-tour due to injury this year. For Salas, this was her 5th final of the 2018-19 season, making the final in every event she competed in this season.

 Semifinalists

Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina) kicks off 2019 with her first semifinal finish this season, exactly a year after her return to full-time touring after leaving to start a family. Vargas, a former #2 ranked player, has worked her way into the top of the rankings in her time back. This finish lands her at the #4 rank.

• Nancy Enriquez (Mexico) was a finalist at last year's Sweet Caroline Open and again, put on a good showing. Enriquez is also back on tour after having left to start a family. With Nancy in her 3rd career semifinal, this year's event semifinals were well-represented by power moms. Enriquez is currently ranked #6 on tour. 

 Quarterfinalists

• Gaby Martinez (Guatemala): Gaby is last year's IRF World Champion and in her quarterfinal was set up to rematch Paola Longoria, whom she beat back in August for the IRF title. Martinez has yet to prevail against Longoria on tour with a record of 0-7 in this match-up. Even so, Gaby is set to lunge into the top of the rankings when she hits the tour full-time. 

• Rhonda Rajsich (USA): Rhonda will undoubtably make the Hall of Fame someday and it's crazy that she continues to perform at the level she does. In South Carolina, she faced Maria Jose Vargas in the quarters. Rajsich and Vargas have met a total of 27 times on tour. Vargas now is one of 4 players ever to have a winning record against Rhonda (13-14). Rhonda hangs tough at the #5 spot in the rankings.

• Alexandra Herrera (Mexico): Alexandra continues to be the gate-keeper to the top of the LPRT rankings. Currently ranked at #3, Herrera made her 17th career quarterfinal at Sweet Caroline.

• Adriana Riveros (Colombia): Adriana had missed a couple of events this season due to a nagging elbow injury. She returned in South Carolina and had a good showing, taking out Natalia Mendez (#9) in a close tie-break in the round of 16's. Riveros rounds out the top of the rankings at #10 after this event.

 LPRT Doubles

Sweet Caroline Doubles Champions: Samantha Salas and Paola Longoria

Paola Longoria teamed up with her steady partner Samantha Salas for their 26th professional doubles title as a team. Together, they have 5 doubles wins this season on the LPRT with Paola owning 6 doubles wins so far for 2018-19.

Sweet Caroline Open Doubles Finalists: Maria Jose Vargas (Left) and Natalia Mendez

Maria Jose Vargas and Natalia Mendez are teammates from Argentina and are both in the top 8 on the LPRT rankings (4th and 7th respectively.) This was their third pro finals appearance together as a team on tour.

 Sweet Time

"If you close your eyes and just listen to a rally between two well-matched racquetball players, it sounds nearly like a heartbeat. The ball repeatedly hits the wall, then the floor, creating two solid beats in succession, again and again. It's the sound of life."

 

Starting off 2019 in South Carolina is truly a great way to kick off the season. Setting the tone, the LPRT was invited to a fund-raising banquet that benefits a good cause and stirs up excitement for the next few days of professional play. You can download the event program here and check out what the Sweet Caroline Open is all about. 

The LPRT extends a very special thank you to: 

 

• Mary and David Swain

• Lynette Froehlich

• J Jerry Josey

• Russ Brun

• Sportsclub Fitness & Wellness

Left to Right – LPRT President TJ Baumbaugh, Paola Longoria, Samantha Salas, The Swain Family, Maria Jose Vargas, Natalia Mendez, Lynette Froehlich, J. Jerry Josey, Russ Bruns

(and Abraham Peña - title photo) 

 Event Photos

Scroll through 400+ photos.

1/101

•  Photos subject to LPRT Terms Of Use •  Any use of photos INCLUDING use with photo-crediting, IS PROHIBITED without expressed written consent.

 

•  Las fotografías de la LPRT están sujetas a Términos De Uso    Cualquier uso de estas fotografías está estrictamente prohibido, al menos que exista un consentimiento escrito por parte del autor.

The Sweet Caroline Open has a very special place on our schedule. It sets the tone for our year with a positive focus, incredible hospitality and a fantastic environment for the best racquetball in the world.

The Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour is the event driven, governing body of a growing membership of the highest-level professional women players in the world. The LPRT is comprised of elite athletes representing over a dozen countries including the United States, Mexico, Chile, Canada, Colombia, Japan, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

© 2019 LPRT