Saturday, May 30, 2015

Carson & Waselenchuk to meet in Fresno Summer Kickoff final

Rocky Carson, the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), defeated fifth seed Marco Rojas, 11-9, 11-1, 11-3, in the semi-finals of the Fresno Summer Kickoff in Fresno, California. He’ll face off with IRT #2 Kane Waselenchuk in the final Saturday night, as Waselenchuk beat Alvaro Beltran, 11-5, 12-10, 11-7.

Rojas had the lead late in game one against Carson at 8-4 and 9-8. But he wasn’t able to finish. The mark of a champion is winning a game that you have no business winning, and that’s what Carson did.

After that Carson rolled through games two and three.

Waselenchuk also won in straight games, although Beltran played him closer. But wasn’t close early in game one, as Waselenchuk took a 10-2 lead. Beltran scored three unanswered points, and thought he had an opportunity to score more. But his return of serve on Waselenchuk’s the third game point was called a skip, ending the game at 11-5.

Beltran didn’t take the call well. He threw his racquet in the direction of the referee while still on the court, and it bounced off the court walls. The result was a technical assessed to begin game two. Thus, Waselenchuk began serving at 0-(-1).

In game two, Waselenchuk again took a big lead at 9-2, and again Beltran came back. This time he tied the game at 10-10 when Waselenchuk skipped a touch shot at the front of the court after Beltran had dove to keep the ball in play. But Beltran couldn’t score on the ensuing rally despite two more dives. With the serve back, Waselenchuk scored two points to finish the game with the winning point coming off a backhand cross court.

Beltran got his first leads of the match in game three at 1-0 and 2-1. But Waselenchuk took the lead after that and never gave it up, although they were close at 6-5. From there Waselenchuk scored five unanswered points to lead 10-5.

A backhand cross court return got the serve back for Beltran. He scored two points with a forehand pinch, and an encroachment call on Waselenchuk. Beltran wanted an avoidable on the next rally, but the referee ruled only a hinder on Waselenchuk, who hits a winning return down the line to regain serve. The match ends with a Beltran backhand skip.

Carson and Waselenchuk will be meeting in the final for the 8th time this season. Waselenchuk has won all seven of the previous matches, and six of the seven matches were three straight games. Only once did their final go four games, and that was the first final of the season in San Marcos back in September.

The final at 7 PM PDT Saturday via the IRT Network.

2015 Fresno Summer Kickoff
Fresno, California


1 Rocky Carson d. 5 Marco Rojas, 11-9, 11-1, 11-3
2 Kane Waselenchuk d. 3 Alvaro Beltran, 11-5, 12-10, 11-7


1 Rocky Carson v. 2 Kane Waselenchuk - 7 PM PDT

Follow the bouncing ball….

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