Mejia Wins Third Career Title at 30th Annual LPRT Christmas Classic
by T. J. Baumbaugh, LPRT Commissioner
Montse Mejia (Mexico) earned her third pro title at the 30th Annual LPRT Christmas Classic Pro-AM, December 9-11, 2022, hosted at the Severna Park Racquetball & Fitness Club in Millersville, Maryland. This was Mejia’s second title in a row after winning at Chicago’s Platt Hill Nursery 30th Anniversary Turkey Shoot Open in November, and in both events, she took out #1 Paola Longoria (Mexico) and #2 Alexandra Herrera (Mexico) to do so.
With her third title, Mejia joins an elite group with the same number of pro wins including current LPRT athletes Samantha Salas (Mexico), Herrera, and Maria Jose Vargas (Argentina).
Thank you to Todd Boss of ProRacquetballStats.com for his picks of the most notable matches in the singles draw. Here is what Todd had to say:
“The big talking point and big upset of the round of 16 was #13 Valeria Centellas (Argentina) mounting a fantastic comeback from 5-10 down in the breaker to upset #4 Erika Manilla (USA). There was lots of online chatter about bad calls at the expense of Manilla, but this observer didn't really see anything to be that upset about. There were two calls in particular (a cross court side-out winner that Manilla thought skipped but Centellas immediately walked to the box for, and then a "cut backhand" slice shot Manilla hit for what she presumed was a winner, but which sounded funny on the front wall and was called a skip. Tough loss either way.
“In a continuing rivalry that keeps popping up this season, #7 Carla Muñoz (Chile) took the latest episode over #10 Samantha Salas (Mexico) in a tight round of 16 match (11-8 breaker).
“Then in the final ... a dominant 8,7 win for Mejia.”
In doubles action, the recently paired team of Herrera and Salas won their second title in a row. The #1 seeds met the #3 seed team of Mejia and Longoria in the final. The first game was quite lopsided, 15-0 in favor of Herrera and Salas, with fans wondering if they should leave early, but the next two games were worth the “ticket price.” Game two went 13-15, and the third was an 11-7 tiebreaker with an impressively dominant Salas stepping up as MVP in this match up.
There is no question why this seasonal festive tournament has been around for so long, even though the location has changed three times. The local players and fans are as warm and friendly as they come, so thank you to everyone who came out to watch and cheer for the LPRT athletes. The LPRT would also like to thank AGE Solutions and all the sponsors for supporting the 30th Annual Christmas Classic. We also give a big shout-out to our generous tournament directors/sponsors, Karen and Mike Grisz, who give back to this sport in so many ways including their support of the LPRT for this event.