Thursday, March 24, 2011

IRT - Party with the Pros in St Louis - Preview

Qualifying for the International Racquetball Tour's (IRT's) Party with the Pros tournament in St. Louis, Missouri begins today. Tony Carson, a quarter finalist last weekend in Salt Lake City, and Charlie Pratt are the primary players in qualifying, but Juan Herrera, Lee Connell and Brian Simpson are also in St. Louis.

The survivors of today's qualifying rounds will face one of the top 8 IRT players in the Round of 16 tomorrow. Of note in the main draw is that Jack Huczek is seeded 3rd and Ben Croft 4th. The IRT hasn't updated its rankings since last week, so we can only assume that Huczek is now ranked #3 and Croft #4 based on the St. Louis draw.

That seeding change is significant, because it means Croft rather than Huczek will play IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk, with his on court undefeated record, in the semi-finals rather than the final. Also the seeding sets up another possible Huczek-Rocky Carson battle in the semi-finals.

All of Friday's matches are being streamed live over the internet via the IRT Network. Their streaming will begin at 11:30 AM CDT Friday.

2011 Party with the Pros - St Louis, Missouri

Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday

Ira Baldwin v. Dan Whitley
Brad Shoperiray v. Drew Finke

Juan Martinez v. Blasé Zera

Arthur Schmeiser v. Hal Rutherford
Ryan Maher v. Zach Archer

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday

Q8: Rich Berich v. Stacey Young
Q1: Charlie Pratt v. Ira Baldwin or Dan Whitley

Q4: John Scott v. Brad Shoperiray or Drew Finke
Q5: Brian Simpson v. Juan Martinez or Blasé Zera

Q6: James Slamko v. Erik Leetch
Q3: Tony Carson v. Arthur Schmeiser or Hal Rutherford

Q2: Juan Herrera v. Ryan Maher or Zach Archer
Q7: Lee Connell v. Keith Minor

Main Draw Round of 16 - Friday

Kane Waselenchuk v. Q8
Jose Rojas v. Q1

Chris Crowther v. Q4
Ben Croft v. Q5

Jack Huczek v. Q6
Shane Vanderson v. Q3

Andy Hawthorne v. Q2
Rocky Carson v. Q7

Follow the bouncing ball....

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