Monday, March 27, 2017

Franco & Lotts wins Open divisions in Dayton

Sebastian Franco won the Men’s Open division at the Raising Some Racquet for Kids tournament in Dayton, Ohio on the weekend. Franco defeated Mario Mercado in the final, 15-8, 15-12. In the semi-finals, Franco beat Adam Taylor, 15-12, 10-15, 11-5, and Mercado defeated Justus Benson, 15-12, 10-15, 11-1.

Franco and Mercado teamed up to win the Men’s Open Doubles title, as they defeated Benson and Robert Collins in the final, 12-15, 15-4, 11-4.

Sheryl Lotts won Women’s Open by defeating Adrienne Fisher in the final, 15-14, 15-9.

The next major event on the tournament schedule will be the Pan American Championships in San Jose, Costa Rica, April 8-15.

2017 IRT Raising Some Racquet for Kids, March 23-25
Dayton, Ohio

Men’s Open Final

Sebastian Franco d. Mario Mercado, 15-8, 15-12


Sebastian Franco d. Adam Taylor, 15-12, 10-15, 11-5
Mario Mercado d. Justus Benson, 15-12, 10-15, 11-1

Men’s Open Doubles - Final

Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado d. Justus Benson & Robert Collins, 12-15, 15-4, 11-4

Women’s Open Final

Sheryl Lotts d. Adrienne Haynes, 15-14, 15-9


Sheryl Lotts d. Lily Berry, 15-2, 15-7
Adrienne Haynes d. Rebecca Bowman, 15-5, 15-3

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Carson defeats De La Rosa to win IRT Raising Some Racquet for Kids tournament

With the top seed playing the 2nd seed, Saturday’s final of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Raising Some Racquet for Kids tournament in Dayton, Ohio should have been a close match, and it was, as Rocky Carson narrowly defeated Daniel De La Rosa in four games, 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8, to win his first event of the season. The win extends Carson’s streak of winning at least once an IRT season to seven straight seasons, and it was the 25th win of Carson’s long career.

Carson drove served throughout the final, and it was especially effective in the fourth game, when he hit four aces to the left side. But match point was a drive serve to the right side that cracked out, and caused a skip return from De La Rosa.

In the middle of game one, it looked like De La Rosa was going to come out on top, as he led 8-5. They were close the whole way, but De La Rosa was first to 10, leading 10-9. But Carson fended off that game point with a great sidewall front wall shot from deep in the court. Carson then won it with three straight points on consecutive rallies. De La Rosa thought there should have been a screen on the last one, but none was called.

De La Rosa was undeterred though, as he took a 3-0 lead in game two. However, Carson came back with six straight points to lead 6-3. De La Rosa then got three of his own to tie it 6-6. Carson took his turn to put a run together, and took a 10-6 lead. A backhand skip by Carson gave the serve back to De La Rosa, who cut the lead to one at 10-9, but a forehand winner by Carson stopped De La Rosa there. On his second game point, Carson hit a jam drive serve to the left side that De La Rosa couldn’t return.

Two close games, but Carson won them both, and when he went up 5-1 in game three, it looked like he’d win in three. But De La Rosa didn’t quit. Instead, he came back and tied it at 6-6. Fifteen rallies later, and it was 7-7.

They tied again at 9-9, and it was De La Rosa who got to 10 first with a forehand cross court shot. Carson fought off De La Rosa’s game point with a forehand wide angle pass, but he couldn’t score himself, as De La Rosa got the serve back with a forehand shot. De La Rosa then won it with a forehand cross court to force a fourth game.

In the fourth, Carson again took the early lead at 4-0 and 6-1. Carson continued to put the pressure on, and took the score up to 9-2. Cue the comeback, as De La Rosa got the next six points to make the 9-8. His streak was stopped, when De La Rosa skipped an open opportunity on his backhand.

De La Rosa wouldn’t serve again, as Carson got his 10th point with a backhand push shot into the left corner, and then won it with the drive serve to the right side.

De La Rosa used a straight lob to the right side for most of the match. Carson generally returned it with an overhead cross court shot. De La Rosa did vary his serve more later in the match, especially in game four.

The next IRT event will be the Florida Pro-Am in Sarasota, April 27-30.

2017 IRT Raising Some Racquet for Kids, March 23-25
Dayton, Ohio

Final - Saturday

1) Rocky Carson d. 2) Daniel De La Rosa, 12-10, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8

Follow the bouncing ball….

Carson & De La Rosa to meet in final of IRT Raising Some Racquet for Kids tournament

Rocky Carson and Daniel De La Rosa will face off Saturday night in the final of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Raising Some Racquet for Kids tournament in Dayton, Ohio. Carson reached the final by defeated Samuel Murray in one semi-final, 10-12, 11-0, 11-9, 11-2, and De La Rosa came back from 2-1 down to get a win over Jansen Allen in five games, 11-5, 10-12, 7-11, 11-4, 11-1.

Carson had a slow start against Murray, as he was down 6-3 in game one. He came back, however, and led late at 10-7. Carson skipped a forehand shot at that point, which gave Murray, playing in his first IRT semi-final, an opportunity. Murray took full advantage, as he scored five points on consecutive rallies to take game one, 12-10.

Carson’s response to losing game one was swift, and firm, as he won game two without giving up a point. Carson carried that momentum over into game three, as he went out to a 7-2 lead. Murray called a timeout then, which began a comeback.

Murray tied the game at 8-8, but he could get a lead as they went back and forth before the veteran Carson closed it out at 11-9 after Murray skipped a backhand return of a Z serve to the left.

Early in game four, Murray dove to retrieve a ball, and went down hard. He took an injury timeout, but continued to play. However, he seemed slowed by the injury, and was never really in the game, as Carson won it comfortably, 11-2, closing out the match in four games.

De La Rosa took the first game against Allen, 11-5, although they were close early in the game. De La Rosa continued to carry the play early in game two, but Allen keep fighting and he tied the game at 7-7, and then went on to win 12-10.

Allen continued to play strong in game three, and never trailed as he took an 8-2 lead, and went on to win 11-7 and lead the match 2-1. But the table’s turned in game four, as De La Rosa got the early lead, and was never behind as he went on to win 11-4 and force a tie-breaker.

In the breaker, De La Rosa got off to a great start with a 5-0 lead. Allen got a point to make it 5-1, but that was all he got, as De La Rosa went on to win 11-1 and take the match in five games.

Carson and De La Rosa have played 20 times on the IRT, and Carson has won 13 of those matches. Their last two meetings were this season, and Carson won them both: at the US Open and the California Open.

Carson has won at least one tournament for six straight seasons, but has yet to do so this season. De La Rosa won his second career event in January in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The IRT Network will broadcast the final at 7:30 PM.

2017 IRT Raising Some Racquet for Kids, March 23-25
Dayton, Ohio

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Rocky Carson d. Samuel Murray, 10-12, 11-0, 11-9, 11-2
2) Daniel De La Rosa d. 6) Jansen Allen, 11-5, 10-12, 7-11, 11-4, 11-1

Final - Saturday

1) Rocky Carson v. 2) Daniel De La Rosa - 7:30 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….