A couple of freshmen showed early on that they are going to be the players to beat for the next three years. Jose Rojas of Delta College in Stockton, CA, and Sheryl Lotts of Baldwin Wallace in Ohio showed a lot of poise and determination to win #1Men’s and Women’s Gold Crown.
Jose and Sheryl kept Tony Carson of Colorado State University-Pueblo and Kara Mazur of University of Alabama from repeating as champions. Tony did go on to take home 3rd place over Anthony Herrera of University of Colorado. Kara would lose to Sheryl to take home the Silver medal.
Another freshman, Sharon Jackson of University of Alabama, won #2 Women’s Gold. She is another future Top Pro Prospect, as she also won Women’s #1 Gold Doubles with Kara Mazur over Sheryl and Sarah Hettesheimer (all four pictured on left).
When asked how she felt about being an Intercollegiate National Racquetball Champion, Sheryl Lotts said:
“It did not hit me at first that I won, but having so many people tell me congratulations, it feels amazing! It was my goal from the beginning of the year and I’m so happy to be able to accomplish this. Hopefully, I have more wins to come in the future.”
Tony Carson would get revenge over Rojas as Tony and Jansen Allen defeated Ismael Aldana jr. and Rojas in the finals of Men's #1 Gold Doubles.
Jose and Sheryl both get one-year appointments to the USA Racquetball Adult National Team. I would bet that this won’t be the last time they will be a part of the National Team.
Oregon State University won the Overall Team Title for the second year in a row. Leading the way for OSU were Ashley Willhite and Joey Lakowski; and fielding a team of 14 with strong play from everyone would be a deciding factor in holding off University of Alabama and Brigham Young University, finishing second and third, respectively.
OSU won the Women’s Title, and the men finished third overall.
A school to watch out for next year is Delta College. They finished second in Men’s Division I, but tenth in the overall Women’s Division. With only one female on the team who scored 210 points by herself and finished third in Women’s Gold #1, you can expect that if they can add two female players Delta may just get into the top three. Jose Rojas and Ismael Aldana Jr. are sure to be stronger and tougher to beat next year.
Racquetballonline.tv had live coverage all week from the Arizona State University Rec Center as the competition went on.
There were positive talks from Shane Wood, USA Racquetball Collegiate Program Chairman, along with many others about growing collegiate racquetball and putting conferences into place.
You can expect an increase in participation over the next few years because Midwest Collegiate Racquetball is starting to gain momentum. Tournament participation continues to rise, and new schools are getting in the mix and holding their own events.
The East Coast Racquetball Conference continues to show the most success, with West Coast Collegiate Racquetball continually growing.
There are a couple of new conferences starting continued up in the Central Region and Ohio Region. They should start off strong, as many of the schools in the Central Region have been running tournaments for five years and up with increase in participation.
# # #
Lawler Sports is a major online retailer for all your racquet needs. We specialize in racquetball, tennis, squash, badminton, and pickleball. Lawler Sports is a company that strongly believes in the growth of racquetball and its potential to hit mainstream. Our website is http://www.lawlersports.com and telephone number is 800-875-3701.