Sunday, September 13, 2009

Waselenchuk and Huczek win the semis in Denver

Kane Waselenchuk and Jack Huczek will meet in the finals of the Motorola World Racquetball Championships in Denver - the first tournament of the 2009-2010 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) season and a Grand Slam event. The matches are being played outdoors, as the portable all Lucite court is set up in downtown Denver.

Waselenchuk defeated Shane Vanderson 11-5, 11-0, 11-1, and Huczek took out Rocky Carson, 11-3, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5.

It took two days to get the semi-finals done, as there was a rain delay in the middle of the match between Huczek and Carson. They split the first two games with Huczek winning game one 11-3, and Carson taking game two 11-7. It was 8-8 in game three when play was halted. When play resumed Sunday morning, Huczek was able to finish off game three, 11-8. Then in game four Huczek got the lead at 3-2, and never relinquished it, winning 11-5.

Huczek said the delay made the match "bizarre" and a "challenge." The strangest part for him was starting off Sunday at 8-8 in game three.

Carson expressed frustration at his play, but said "Jack played better than me." Carson thought Huczek's serve execution was "excellent."

That serve execution will be tested in the final, as Waselenchuk stated that service return was what he was focussing on in his match with Vanderson, and he felt his "service return was phenomenal." It will need to be that way again against Huczek.

Like Carson, Vanderson was frustrated at his performance after having worked hard in the off season. He said his "game plan was to hit drive serves and put pressure on Kane," but "today was not a good day."

Vanderson got behind early in game one of his match with Waselenchuk getting down 5-0. Vanderson did close the gap to three at 7-4. But Waselenchuk only surrendered two points after that, taking the match 11-5, 11-0, 11-1.

Back on Saturday, in game one of the first semi-final, Huczek got off to a good start, getting a 4-0 lead on Carson. Carson fought back to close the gap to 5-3, but that's a close as he got as Huczek went on to win game one 11-3. Huczek was using primarily lob serves, especially lobs to the right side that would nick of the side wall. Then on serve return, he was cutting off Carson's Z serves before they reached the back left corner.

Game two began slowly, as they played 14 rallies only to be tied at 2-2. Then Huczek again went into the lead at 7-3 causing Carson to call a timeout. He came back in, got a side out and scored three points to close the gap to 7-6. Huczek then regained serve only to have Carson take it right back and score four points to make it 10-7.

Huczek called a time out, and they exchanged serves for a few times before Carson finished it off 11-7 to level the match at one game a piece.

Game three also began slowly with the serve going back and forth until Carson was down 2-3 and began hitting drive z serves to the back left corner. That resulted in a six point run, including a diving winner that made it 8-3. Huczek got the serve back, cut the deficit to one at 8-7 at which point there was a short rain delay of a couple of minutes.

When play began, Huczek got another point to make it 8-8. Then another rain delay occurred, and play was delayed until Sunday morning. It's the first time racquetball matches have been delayed due to rain. At least, it's likely a first for 4 wall racquetball.

The final will be streamed live on line at beginning at 1:30 PM Mountain time on Sunday.

2009 Motorola Racquetball World Championships, Denver

Semi finals

Kane Waselenchuk vs. Shane Vanderson, 11-5, 11-0, 11-1
Jack Huczek d. Rocky Carson, 11-3, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5

Kane Waselenchuk vs. Jack Huczek

Follow the bouncing ball....

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