Saturday, May 4, 2013

IRT - Stockton Pro-Am - Waslenchuk & Carson win semi-finals

Kane Waselenchuk, the International Racquetball Tour's (IRT's) #1 player and Rocky Carson, the IRT's #2, will face off in the final of the Stockton Pro-Am in Stockton, California on Sunday, as they won their respective semi-finals on Saturday, and both did so in a convincing fashion.

Waselenchuk beat Ben Croft, 11-7, 11-0, 11-2, with great drive serves and shot-making, while Carson defeated Daniel De La Rosa, 11-8, 11-2, 11-2, with some veteran patience and execution.

Croft served notice that he came to play right off the hop, as he served two aces against Waselenchuk in game one. They were drive serves down the right side, which was to the left-handed Waselenchuk's backhand.

They went back and forth early in that game, but then Waselenchuk took the lead at 5-4, and maintained the advantage, although Croft did draw close at 9-7 before Waselenchuk closed it out at 11-7.

Waselenchuk served first in game two, and scored eleven unanswered points as he blanked Croft, 11-0. Croft did serve a few times in the game, but never successfully.

Croft scored the first point of game three, but Waselenchuk then got four in response before Croft scored again. That was the last point Croft got, as Waselenchuk went on to win it 11-2.

Both players drove serve exclusively. Croft almost always served to the right side, while Waselenchuk varied his serves more hitting to both the left and right.

Like Waselenchuk, Carson found himself down in game one of his semi-final match, as De La Rosa led 8-6. But Carson held De La Rosa there and outscored him 27-4 the rest of the match.

From that point on, Carson used a half lob z serve to the left - De La Rosa's backhand - at a slow speed that the young Mexican just couldn't find a good answer for.

Thus, it'll be #1 versus #2 for only the fifth time this season. Waselenchuk won the first four, but the last one went to Carson as Waselenchuk had to retire during the Denver final due to a knee injury.

But Waselenchuk looks fully fit, and maybe even fitter than he has in some time, in Stockton as well as in Portland last weekend, so if Carson is going to get the win, he'll have to bring his 'A' game and hope that Waselenchuk doesn't.

The IRT Network will web-cast the final noon PDT on Sunday.

2013 Stockton Pro-Am, Stockton, California


Kane Waselenchuk d. Ben Croft, 11-7, 11-0, 11-2
Rocky Carson d. Daniel De La Rosa, 11-8, 11-2, 11-2


Kane Waselenchuk v. Rocky Carson - Noon PDT Sunday

Follow the bouncing ball....

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