Caryn McKinney got the chance she had been waiting for Sunday. McKinney, the second-ranked women’s racquetball player in the United States, was playing in the final of a major tournament, and Lynn Adams wasn’t her opponent.
Adams, the No. 1 player in the country, had defeated McKinney seven consecutive times in tournament finals but was forced to withdraw from the A’ME Pro/AM Racquetball Championship at Los Caballeros Sports Village because of a sprained ankle. Thus, conditions seemed perfect for McKinney to capture the championship.
But McKinney, 28, ran into third-ranked Marci Drexler, 20, an up-and-coming pro from Santa Monica, who used a power game to defeat McKinney, 11-3, 7-11, 6-11, 11-0, 11-4. Drexler’s first professional victory earned her $2,400. McKinney received $1,400.
Drexler scored many of her points on kills, when she simply hit shot too well and too hard for McKinney to return.
“I felt I controlled the pace of the game,” Drexler said. “I didn’t play as well as I wanted, but I made the shots that counted.”
After losing the third game, Drexler became angry and tossed her glasses across the court. When she reappeared to start the fourth game, she had calmed down. Drexler outscored McKinney, 22-4, in the final two games of the match.
“I felt I lost my concentration a little bit in the third game,” McKinney said. “Sometimes when I lose my temper it hurts me, but today it helped.”
McKinney, who is president of the Women’s Professional Racquetball Assn., thought Drexler played extremely well.
“I might have lost a little concentration out there,” McKinney said. “But Marci really executed well today. She served well and put away the shots whenever she had a chance.”