Friday, February 11, 2011

2011 USA National Doubles Championships

Play has begun at the 44th USA National Doubles Championship in Tempe, Arizona. Some of the matches in the men's and women's US Team Qualifying Divisions can be seen via the IRT

The odds on favorite in the men's division is the team of Rocky Carson and Jack Huczek. The pair have won 5 doubles championships together, which ties them for most ever with Dan Obremski, who won four times with Doug Ganim and once with Kelvin Vantrease.

The other big story in the men's competition is the absence of Ben Croft, who was one of the defending champions with Mitch Williams. However, Williams's shoulder injury and announced retirement from the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) have left Croft without his fellow champion.

Thus, it seems Croft has chosen to sit this one out rather than play with someone else. Given the hectic IRT schedule Croft has had it's probably a good choice for him to rest up.

Finally also curious is that the 2nd seeded team is Jason Mannino, who retired from the IRT last year to become its commissioner full time, and Eric Muller, who won two doubles titles with John Ellis in the early 1990's.

In women's play, four time defending champions Aimee Ruiz and Jackie Paraiso and looking to win a fifth this weekend in Tempe. If they win, it will be a seventh straight title for Ruiz, who also won twice with Laura Fenton, and Paraiso will have taken 7 of of the last 9 titles. The last time the winning team didn't have Ruiz or Paraiso was 2001 when Cheryl Gudinas and Kim Russell won.

Both Gudinas and Russell-Waselenchuk are in Tempe to try and knock off the champions. But they aren't playing together. Gudinas has teamed up with Krystal Csuk and Russell-Waselenchuk is playing with Rhonda Rajsich.

Also of note is Kristen Bellow playing her first tournament since December 2009. She's partnered with Janel Tisinger.

2011 44th USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships
Tempe, Arizona
US National Team Division


First Round

Jeff Stark & Shawn Royster d. Blake Joseph Martin & Brian Pineda, 15-6, 15-11
Jansen Allen & Tony Carson d. Mike Orr & Travis Aldinger, 13-15, 15-4, 11-6
Anthony Herrera & John Scott d. Dale Valentine & Jared Imhausen, 15-6, 15-10

Quarter finals
Jack Huczek & Rocky Carson v. Anthony Herrera & John Scott
Cliff Swain & Josh Tucker v. Andy Hawthorne & Jose Rojas
Chris Crowther & Shane Vanderson v. Jeff Stark & Shawn Royster
Eric Muller & Jason Mannino v. Jansen Allen & Tony Carson


Quarter finals

Jacqueline Paraiso & Aimee Ruiz - BYE
Danielle Key & Michelle Key vs Janel Tisinger & Kristen Bellows
Krystal Csuk & Cheryl Gudinas vs Laura Fenton & Liz Alvarado
Kim Russell-Waselenchuk & Rhonda Rajsich vs. Kelani Bailey & Malia Bailey

Jacqueline Paraiso & Aimee Ruiz vs Danielle Key & Michelle Key or Janel Tisinger & Kristen Bellows
Kelani Bailey & Malia Bailey or Kim Russell-Waselenchuk & Rhonda Rajsich vs. Krystal Csuk & Cheryl Gudinas or Laura Fenton & Liz Alvarado

Follow the bouncing ball....

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