Thursday, January 19, 2017

2017 IRT Lews Drug Pro-Am Preview

The International Racquetball Tour (IRT’s) is back in action this weekend with its second event of the year: the 2017 Lewis Drug Pro-Am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Unfortunately, IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk will not be there, as he withdrew due to injury earlier this week. But one man’s absence is another man’s opportunity. However, this man will capture this opportunity?

Rocky Carson, IRT #2, is the most likely player to take advantage, as he has won at least one event in nine of the last ten IRT seasons. He’s yet to win this season, but has been in four finals, all against Waselenchuk. Daniel De La Rosa, the IRT’s #3 player, is most likely to stop Carson in Sioux Falls. Carson has a winning record against De La Rosa at 13-7, but they have split they last eight meetings, 4-4, with each player winning two in a row. The bad news for Carson, or good news for De La Rosa, is that Carson’s won the last two, so if that pattern is to continue, it’s De La Rosa’s turn.

Also, to get to the final, Carson will likely have to defeat 4th seed Alvaro Beltran in the semi-finals. Carson and Beltran have almost 50-50 records against each other, although Carson has won the last four meetings to hold a 25-20 advantage over their long careers.

A special aspect of the Lewis Drug Pro-Am is that they always have a IRT Doubles event as well. There are some interesting teams in this year’s draw. In past years, Carson and Beltran have teamed up, but not this year, as Beltran is playing with De La Rosa and Carson is playing with Jose Diaz.

Yet the team to beat might be 3rd seeds Jose Rojas and Marco Rojas, the brothers team that won the US Open IRT Doubles title last year. Other teams of note are 4th seeds Jansen Allen - half of the USA Pan Am Games gold medal winners in 2015 (Jose Rojas was the other half) - and young Canadian Samuel Murray, the 8th seed double Alejandro team of Alejandro Landa and Alejandro Herrera, who won Men’s Doubles at the 2014 World Championships, as well as 5th seeds Sebastian Franco, who was Herrera’s gold medal partner at Worlds in 2014, and Mario Mercado.

The IRT Network will have the action from Sioux Falls starting with the Round of 16 on Friday morning at 10 AM Central.

2017 IRT Lewis Drug Pro-Am, January 19-22
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday

Thyler Thielen v. Jordan Barth
Justus Benson v. Jeff Zomer

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday

Q8) Matthew Majxner v. Samuel Murray
Q1) Felipe Camacho v. Thyler Thielen or Jordan Barth

Q4) David Horn v. Tanner Prentice
Q5) Scott McClellan v. Lee Connell

Q6) Alejandro Landa v. Bradly Rogers
Q3) Andree Parrilla v. James Landeryou

Q2) Robert Collins v. Justus Benson or Jeff Zomer
Q7) Jose Diaz v. Alejandro Herrera

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Rocky Carson v. Q8
8) Mario Mercado v. Q1

5) Jansen Allen v. Q4
4) Alvaro Beltran v. Q5

3) Jose Rojas v. Q6
6) Marco Rojas v. Q3

7) Sebastian Franco v. Q2
2) Daniel De La Rosa v. Q7

IRT Doubles Round of 16 - Friday

1) Rocky Carson & Jose Diaz - BYE
8) Alejandro Herrera & Alejandro Landa v. 9) Scott McClellan & Thyler Thielen

5) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado v. 12) Jordan Barth & Justus Benson
4) Jansen Allen & Samuel Murray - BYE

3) Jose Rojas & Marco Rojas - BYE
6) Felipe Camacho & Robert Collins v. 11) Bradly Rogers & Art Spelts

7) David Horn & Andree Parrilla v. 10) Matthew Majxner & Richard Wagner
2) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Weekend Round Up - Wins for Scott, Franco, Franco & Mercado and Simmons

Hollie Scott won the Women’s Open division at the Longhorn Open in Austin, Texas Sunday, as she beat Da’monique Davis, 15-2, 15-14, in the final. Scott advanced to the final by defeating Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-5, 15-9, in one semi-final, while Davis ousted Kelly Gremley in the other, 15-6, 15-1.

Sebastian Franco won the New Jersey Open - a Tier 4 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) event in Warren, New Jersey. Franco beat Mario Mercado in the final, 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9. In the semi-finals, Franco defeated Joel Barshaw, 11-3, 11-4, 11-4, and Mercado went four games with Jose Flores Jr., winning 5-11, 11-2, 16-14, 11-1.

Franco and Mercado teamed up in Men’s Doubles winning a final in a tie-breaker against Travis Aldinger and Seth Parker, 15-6, 12-15, 11-4. Also in Warren, Samantha Simmons won Women’s Open by defeating Beth Shea, 8-15, 15-2, 11-3.

This weekend’s big event will be the IRT Lewis Drug Pro-Am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They will be playing both singles and doubles in Sioux Falls, which makes it a special event on the calendar.

2017 WRT Longhorn Open, January 13-15
Austin, Texas

Women’s Open Singles Final

Hollie Scott d. Da’monique Davis, 15-2, 15-14


Da’monique Davis d. Kelly Gremley, 15-6, 15-1
Hollie Scott d. Maria Renee Rodriguez, 15-5, 15-9

2017 New Jersey Open - IRT Tier 4 - January 13-15
Warren, New Jersey

Men’s IRT Singles Final

Sebastian Franco d. Mario Mercado, 11-4, 11-7, 8-11, 11-9


Sebastian Franco d. Joel Barshaw, 11-3, 11-4, 11-4
Mario Mercado d. Jose Flores Jr., 5-11, 11-2, 16-14, 11-1

Men’s IRT Doubles Final

Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado d. Travis Aldinger & Seth Parker, 15-6, 12-15, 11-4


Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado d. John Behm & Jose Flores Jr., 15-9, 15-2
Travis Aldinger & Seth Parker d. Joe Kelley & Samuel Kelley, 15-10, 15-8

Women’s Open Singles Final

Samantha Simmons d. Beth Shea, 8-15, 15-2, 11-3


Samantha Simmons d. J. J. Crosskey, 15-6, 15-5
Beth Shea d. Elizabeth Simmons, 15-3, 15-9

Follow the bouncing ball….

Montoya wins singles, Mar & Martinez doubles at 2017 WRT Longhorn Open

Rodrigo Montoya won the first World Racquetball Tour (WRT) event of 2017, as he defeated Javier Mar in the final of the Longhorn Open in Austin, Texas Sunday. Montoya came from a game down to beat Mar in three games, 13-15, 15-8, 11-2. Montoya’s drive serve got hot in game two, and proved to be the difference in the match.

Game one was long, and Mar led from 2-1 on. But even though Mar seemed to be in control, he was never that far ahead of Montoya, leading more no more than three points at any time. When Montoya tied it at 13-13 with a drive serve ace to the right side, there was a sense that he might steal it from Mar. However, Mar got the serve back with a backhand pinch return, and then hit two winners to end the game, 15-13.

They were close early in game two also, but Mar seemed to be using more energy, and seemed to tire, as he took a timeout down 4-2. Montoya extended that lead to 6-2, but Mar came back to tie at 6-6 with a winning kiss lob serve to the left side.

Montoya hit a backhand winner on Mar’s next serve, and then regained the lead with a drive serve ace to the right side making it 7-6. Montoya ran the score to 12-7 helped by two more aces and a service winner. Shortly after Montoya closed out game two at 15-8.

In the tie-breaker, Montoya took the early lead going up 6-0. Mar called a timeout, got the serve back and scored a two points to make it 6-2. However, he didn’t score again, as Montoya continued to pressure him with strong drive serves to both sides. Montoya finished the match with a drive serve ace to the left side.

But Mar got the better of Montoya in the doubles final, as he and Edson Martinez defeated Montoya and Andree Parrilla in two straight games, 15-9, 15-7. Mar ended the match by driving forward to make a backhand kill shot winner.

The next WRT event will be the 2017 West Coast Championship in Concord, California, January 27-29.

2017 WRT Longhorn Open, January 13-15
Austin, Texas

Singles - Final

5) Rodrigo Montoya d. 22) Javier Mar, 13-15, 15-8, 11-2

Doubles - Semi-finals

1) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla d. 5) Patric Mascorro & Joseph Lee, 15-13, 11-15, 11-1
6) Javier Mar & Edson Martinez d. 7) Chase Robison & Ethan Wadsworth, 15-6, 15-5

Doubles - Final

6) Javier Mar & Edson Martinez d. 1) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla, 15-9, 15-7

Follow the bouncing ball….