Day 7 of the USA Racquetball XXIX 2017 Junior World Racquetball Championship Blogs has been published by Cheryl Kirk.
Originally published on November 10, 2017.
US Junior Team — Blog #7
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Brrr..a chilly day in Minneapolis where the temperature barely touched 20 degrees F. As of this writing, it’s 11 degrees, but wait! There’s a heat wave on the way that will take us to 29 degrees tomorrow. Yay (covered and heated) Skyway! Weather report complete, on to racquetball…
Coach Charlie Summarizes
Today was a pivotal day. We saw most of our team make an exit from the tournament. Sahil, Dane, Lucas, Jordan, Mitch, and Julian lost in their single elimination brackets. Briana and Hollie lost their singles but are still in doubles. Hollie and Megan beat Ecuador to seal at least a silver medal. Briana and Graci are undefeated so far in their round robin and have made it to the podium with two matches to go.
Annie Roberts started us off strong with a tiebreaker win over Canada to earn a spot in the semifinals. She plays Mexico’s #1 player tomorrow. Nikita beat Canada’s #1 in two very close games after being down 14-9 in the first game. She plays Mexico’s #1 tomorrow in the semis also. Antonio (aka Tatoe) beat Bolivia’s #2 player for the second time this tournament and plays Mexico’s #1 in the semifinal tomorrow.
Akul had an absolute barnburner match with Mexico’s #2 player Erick Trujillo. He had match point several times in the second game, but Trujillo fought back from 11-14 to win 15-14 and force a tiebreaker. Akul was up 10-5 only to have Erick climb back to 9-10. Akul took a timeout and won the next two rallies to win 11-9. Another near heart attack for Coach Pratt. As excited as we were for the win, the sight of the exhausted, teary-eyed Trujillo was enough to put things into perspective. He played so hard and no doubt worked hard for this tournament, and I couldn’t help but feel his pain as I myself have been in his shoes. Much respect to Erick, a true class act at such a young age. We have not seen the last of him.
Team Captain Daniel, won his quarterfinal against Set Cubillos in a tiebreaker. Set was actually in control most of the match, but Daniel scored the points when it was important. It is always hard watching single elimination in 18 & Under as you know it is, a lot of the time, their last match as a junior. You see it all come to an end. For Set, this was it. He’s another class act who has a bright future. For now, he will no doubt reminisce about his journey. The same can be said for players such as Justus Benson, Kevin Vazquez, Wayne Antone, and Erika Manilla. It is hard to know what the future holds after juniors, but the only way to find out is to keep playing. Keep competing. This game is a part of us all and has so much to offer, perhaps not financially but for the glory, the friendships, the family. And that’s what it’s all about. That has never been as apparent as this event, with the support we have seen from everyone, our racquetball family. I am here to tell you, as coach of this team, that the best days are in fact in front of you. Keep your racquets close by. The journey has just begun.
See you all tomorrow! Go USA!!