Sunday, September 20, 2015

Waselenchuk wins 16th Annual Ghost of Georgetown

Kane Waselenchuk was hobbled but still came through on top at the first International Racquetball Tour (IRT) event of the 2015-16 season, as he defeated Rocky Carson in the final of the 16th Annual Ghost of Georgetown tournament in Overland Park, Kansas, 11-5, 11-0, 11-13, 11-2, on Sunday.

Waselenchuk injured his right knee late in game three, as he apparently hit on the right side wall as he tried to return a Carson serve at 11-11. As a result, Waselenchuk’s return was unsuccessful giving Carson game point at 12-11, and Waselenchuk took a few minutes of injury time before continuing.

Carson won game three on the next rally when play resumed, and one had to wonder how Waselenchuk, the IRT's #1 player, would respond. In game four, Waselenchuk started slowly, as they were tied at 2-2 early, but then he settled in, and his serving efficiency was again high, as it had been in game two. Perhaps Waselenchuk felt that he didn’t want to play any long rallies with the injury, so focussed more on serving well. He was helped by Carson, who made a few unforced errors in game four that did not help his cause.

Game one was relatively close, as they were tied at 2-2 early. Then Waselenchuk took a 7-2 lead, but Carson cut that to three points at 8-5 before Waselenchuk closed it out 11-5. Waselenchuk scored 15 straight points, as he went from 8-5 up in game one to 1-0 up in game three before Carson scored a point.

In game three, Carson and Waselenchuk were close all the way. Carson took the lead at 7-4, only to have Waselenchuk score five points in a row to lead 9-7. Then it was Carson’s turn to put a run together, as he got to game point at 10-9 with an ace drive serve to the left for the 10th point.

Waselenchuk got two points to get a match point at 11-10. But Carson fought that off with a backhand serve return. Carson then tied it with a backhand pinch, and on the next rally Waselenchuk hurt his knee.

This results mirrors last year’s start to the IRT season, as Waselenchuk defeated Carson in four games then also, although that was at the Krowning Moment Bobcat Open in San Marcos, Texas. But in the nine finals he reached after that Waselenchuk won all nine in three straight games.

The next IRT event is the US Open October 7-11 in Minneapolis.

The 16th Ghost of Georgetown, September 17-20, 2015
Overland Park, Kansas

Final - Sunday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 2) Rocky Carson, 11-5, 11-0, 11-13, 11-2

Follow the bouncing ball….

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