Saturday, February 15, 2014

47th USA Racquetball Doubles Championships - Semi-finals

The 2013 women's US Team champions - Aimee Ruiz and Janell Tisinger - will have a chance to defend their title at the 47th USA Racquetball Doubles Championships at the Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, but last year's men's champions - Jansen Allen and Tony Carson - were upset in the semi-finals on Friday.

Ruiz and Tisinger defeated Jackie Paraiso and Hailey Miller, 15-10, 15-0. We're not sure if Paraiso and Miller served at all in the second game. They certainly didn't serve more than once each.

The defending champs will face Rhonda Rajsich and Kim Russell-Waselenchuk in the final, as Rajsich and Russell-Waselenchuk defeated veterans Cheryl Gudinas and Laura Fenton in the other semi, 15-7, 15-12.

Last year's men's champions were not as fortunate. Allen and Carson lost a tie-breaker to Ben Croft and Tom Fuhrmann, 15-9, 9-15, 11-8. In the other semi-final, Rocky Carson and Jose Rojas beat Charlie Pratt and Jake Bredenbeck, 15-4, 14-15, 11-7.

After the first game, it looked like Carson and Rojas were going to cruise against Pratt and Bredenbeck, but the lower seeded team dug in and kept plucking away in game two. Pratt and Bredenbeck were down the whole of game two, including 13-10, but then they put together a four point run to make it 14-13.

But they couldn't close it out, and Carson and Rojas got the serve back, tied it and had a chance to win the match in two straight, but couldn't take advantage.

On the next rally, Pratt, who played on the left side, won it with a backhand down the line.

That brought on game three. In the tie-breaker the teams went back and forth until they were tied at 6-6. Then Carson and Rojas put together four points to get to match point at 10-6.

However, they couldn't finish through four match points. But Pratt and Bredenbeck could only get one point closer, as they made it 10-7.

Then on the fifth match point, another long rally ensued and the ball came off the back wall and right at Pratt, who could only crouch down to get out of the way of the ball, but Rojas was standing right there to take the shot. An avoidable was called against Pratt and the match was over.

But it was a very entertaining match. Bredenbeck was the standout player, in part because of the four he's clearly the least experienced, but more than held his own.

The semi-final results set up a final which will pit two former partners against each other, as Croft and Rocky Carson played together the last two years. But they will be opponents in Saturday's final.

The men's and women's finals are going on Saturday evening Mountain time, and can be viewed for free via the USA Racquetball Network.

2014 47th USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships
Tempe, Arizona
US National Team Divisions


Quarter finals
- Thursday

Jansen Allen & Tony Carson - BYE
Ben Croft & Thomas Fuhrmann d. Mike Harmon & Mitch Williams, 15-10, 15-6

Charlie Pratt & Jake Bredenbeck v. Chris Crowther & Nick Montalbano, 15-9, 15-10
Rocky Carson & Jose Rojas - BYE

Semi-finals - Friday

Ben Croft & Thomas Fuhrmann d. Jansen Allen & Tony Carson, 15-9, 9-15, 11-8
Rocky Carson & Jose Rojas d. Charlie Pratt & Jake Bredenbeck, 15-4, 14-15, 11-7

Final - Saturday 7:45 PM MST

Rocky Carson & Jose Rojas v. Ben Croft & Thomas Fuhrmann


- Friday

Aimee Ruiz & Janel Tisinger d. Hailey Miller & Jacqueline Paraiso, 15-10, 15-0
Rhonda Rajsich & Kim Russell-Waselenchuk d. Cheryl Gudinas & Laura Fenton, 15-7, 15-12

Final - Saturday - 6:30 MST

Aimee Ruiz & Janel Tisinger v. Rhonda Rajsich & Kim Russell-Waselenchuk

Follow the bouncing ball....

No comments: