Monday, November 9, 2015

Excitement in Santo Domingo

Racquetball is an individual sport. With individual sports, it can be awkward to cheer for one player over another, because regardless of who you choose - Waselenchuk or Carson, Longoria or Vargas - you know your favorite's opponent is a good person to, and worth supporting.

But put players on teams, and it becomes obvious who to cheer for: the player on your team. Thus, International Racquetball Federation (IRF) events can be more fun from a spectator point of view than pro events: you know who to cheer for: the players from your country.

If the tournament is a junior event, then you can add to the mix parents, who are naturally cheering for their kids, and other kids, who are cheering for their team-mates, and craziness can ensue.

So it was Monday night at the 2015 World Junior Racquetball Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as two doubles matches went to tie-breaker. Both involved the USA and Canada.

In Girl's U18, Americans Hollie Scott and Lexi York were taking on Danielle Drury and Michèle Morissette. Scott and York won game one, 15-12, and then were ahead 10-3 in the second, only to see Drury and Morissette come back and win 15-14. In the tie-breaker, the Americans were up again, at 9-3 this time, and looked to be set for the win, but the Canadians came back to win 11-9.

In Boy's U14, Americans Julian Singh and Mitchell Turner played Canadians Ian Frattinger and Sean Sauvé. The Canadians won game one, 15-10, but the Americans came back and won game two, 15-8, force the breaker.

In the breaker, Singh and Turner led most of the way, although it was always close, and only once was the difference as many as three points, when the USA led 8-5. But the Canadians tied it at 8-8. After an American timeout, Singh and Mitchell pushed the score to 10-8 - match point.

However, they couldn't get that last point, as the Canadians got a sideout. The Canadians served it out from there, winning three rallies with their first server Frattinger serving.

The crowd was very enthusiastic - for both sides - to say the least.

We'll have full coverage of World Juniors as they move into the elimination round later this week.

The World Junior Championships are an annual event. The tournament format is three days of pool play, and those results will seed all the players into a single elimination draw: win and advance or lose and be done.

The final day of the pool play is Tuesday. The elimination round begins Wednesday.

There will be live streaming of the event from Santo Domingo beginning on Thursday via the IRF website.

Follow the bouncing ball….

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