Wednesday, November 5, 2014

IRT Red Swain Shootout - Preview

The International Racquetball Tour (IRT) resumes its 2014-15 season this weekend with the Red Swain Shootout in Davison, Michigan, but the big news has been off court, as IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk has announced a recurrence of the inner ear problem that has troubled him at times during his career.

According to the announcement on the IRT website, Waselenchuk will be seeing an inner ear specialist on November 18, which means he'll likely also miss next weekend's IRT Turkey Shootout in Garden City, Kansas. Waselenchuk's appearance at either of the December events - the Kitsap Splat Pro-Am in Washington state December 4-7 and the Rollout New Jersey Open in Varren, N.J. December 11-14 - could be in jeopardy as well, as he indicated he "may miss extended … time this season" due to his condition.

Hopefully, Waselenchuk can find a solution to his inner ear condition that will allow his absence to be brief, as he is the best racquetball player on tour and arguably the best racquetball player ever.

Back on court

Alvaro Beltran is the defending Red Swain Shootout champion, which cannot be said about any other tournament, as his victory in Davison last year was his first on tour in a lengthy career. It was also the first all Mexican IRT final, as Beltran beat Daniel De La Rosa in the final.

Beltran's win wasn't the only remarkable performance last year in Davison, as former IRT #1 Cliff Swain defeated two Rojases to make the semi-finals. Swain beat Jose Rojas in the Round of 16 and then Jose's brother Marco in the quarterfinals before losing to Beltran in the semis.

The tournament's proximity to Canada means that several Canucks will be making the trek to Davison to compete, including Canadian #1 Mike Green, as well as Lee Connell, Kurtis Cullen, Canadian Junior Team member Trevor Webb, and Eric Desrochers, who defeated veteran Andy Hawthorne to make the the 16s last year, where he lost to Chris Crowther.

The IRT Network will have action live from Davison beginning with qualifying matches from 6 PM EST on Thursday.

Red Swain Shootout
Davison, Michigan - November 6-9, 2014

Qualifying Round 1

Gregory Lewerenz v. Francisco Gomez Reyes
Mike Green v. Aaron Booker

Eric Desrochers v. Ryan Minto
Lee Connell v. Trevor Webb

Kurtis Cullen v. Jacob Matthews
William Garrow v. Andres Ramirez

Qualifying Round 2

Q8: Brad Schopieray v. Felipe Camacho
Q1: Jansen Allen v. Gregory Lewerenz or Francisco Gomez Reyes

Q4: Cliff Swain v. Mike Green or Aaron Booker
Q5: Mauricio Zelada v. Eric Desrochers or Ryan Minto

Q6: Robert Collins v. Lee Connell or Trevor Webb
Q3: Danny Lavely v. Kurtis Cullen or Jacob Matthews

Q2: Charlie Pratt v. William Garrow or Andres Ramirez
Q7: Alejandro Herrera v. Thomas Carter

Round of 16 - Friday (with seeding)

1. Rocky Carson v. Q8
8. Marco Rojas v. Q1

5. Chris Crowther v. Q4
4. Daniel De La Rosa v. Q5

3. Jose Rojas v. Q6
6. Ben Croft v. Q3

7. Tony Carson v. Q2
2. Alvaro Beltran v. Q7

Follow the bouncing ball…

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