Friday, November 20, 2015

2015 IRT St Louis Winter Rollout - Quarterfinals

Kane Waselenchuk, the #1 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) player won his quarterfinal match against Jansen Allen, 11-2, 11-1, 11-4, at the St Louis Winter Rollout in St. Louis, Missouri to advance to the semi-finals on Saturday. He’ll face the winner of 4th seed Daniel De La Rosa and 5th seed Marco Rojas, who play later.

Rocky Carson, the #2 IRT player, also advanced to the semi-finals, but his quarterfinal match with Jose Rojas was much more difficult than Waseelenchuk’s, as Carson had to come from two games down to win, 6-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-1.

Indeed, after he dropped the first two games, Carson found himself down 8-5 in game three, and on the verge of going out of the tournament. But he came back, and took the lead at 9-8. Rojas got the serve back at that point, and with a forehand cross court shot, reached game point first at 10-9.

However, Carson hit a forehand killshot that the referee judged to have rolled out, denying Rojas’s match point opportunity. It would be his only chance, as Carson tied it with a touch backhand shot, got to 11-10 when Rojas skipped a backhand serve return shot, and then won it with a forehand cross court pass.

Despite dropping game three, Rojas came out strong in game four, going up 4-0. Carson came back and tied it at 4-4, then went ahead 6-4. Rojas responded by tying it at 6-6, and then taking the lead with ace drive serve to the left: Carson’s backhand side. Rojas added one to that, making it 8-6, but Carson got a time out, and there was a break in the action, as the court needed to be wiped down and there was banter between the players.

Carson made it 7-8 with a flat backhand reverse pinch. Rojas gifted him an eighth point by skipping a backhand serve return that tied the game at 8–8. Rojas took a timeout. When play resumed, two Carson forehands - a pinch and a crosscourt - got him to game point at 10-8. Rojas got the serve back with a backhand return rollout from a Carson Z serve.

But Rojas couldn’t get any more points, as Carson got the serve back with a backhand return and then won it on the subsequent rally.

In game five, they were back and for six rallies and tied at 1-1. From there, Carson ran 10 unanswered points to win game five going away, completing what seemed like an improbable comeback.

Prior to today, Carson had not beaten Rojas in a five game match, going 0-2 in their preview five games. Overall, Rojas’s record in five game matches is better than Carson’s. Rojas is now 29-15 (0.659), while Carson is 59-44 (0.572) when going five games.

Next up for Carson will be Mario Mercado who defeated Maurcio Zelada in three straight games, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7, to reach his first career semi-final on the IRT. It’s also the first career semi for a Bolivian born player.

Waselenchuk will play IRT #4 Daniel De La Rosa in the semi-finals on Saturday, as De La Rosa made short work of 5th seed Marco Rojas in the quarters, winning 11-7, 11-0, 11-3. Rojas did not have his “A” game by any means, but De La Rosa was ruthless with his opportunities. De La Rosa lob served during most of the match, and mostly hit them to the right side: Rojas’s forehand, which Rojas did not have a good answer for.

The quarterfinals conclude Friday evening with the semi-finals set for 11 AM and noon Saturday. Please note the Winter Rollout final will be 7 PM CST on Saturday night. As always you can watch it live via the IRT Network.

2015 St Louis Winter Rollout, November 19-22
St. Louis, Missouri


1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 8) Jansen Allen, 11-2, 11-1, 11-4
4) Daniel De La Rosa d. 5) Marco Rojas, 11-7, 11-0, 11-3

Mario Mercado d. Mauricio Zelada, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7
2) Rocky Carson d. 7) Jose Rojas, 6-11, 4-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-1


1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 4) Daniel De La Rosa - 11 AM
2) Rocky Carson v. Mario Mercado - Noon

Follow the bouncing ball….

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