Thursday, October 6, 2016

2016 United Healthcare US Open IRT Doubles Quarterfinals

Two time defending International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Men's Doubles champions, Ben Croft and Kane Waselenchuk, were hard pressed to in the first match of their title defense by David Horn and Andree Parrilla, but they proved their mettle and came back from a game down to win, 13-15, 15-5, 11-6.

The outcome was in doubt early, as Horn and Parrilla took a 9-1 lead in game one. But Croft and Waselenchuk got a side out then, and called a time out. After some back and forth rallies, Croft and Waselenchuk put together a string of points to cut the lead to 9-7. Horn and Parrilla scored another point to make it 10-7, but then six points went by for the champs, which got them the lead at 13-10.

It looked like the champions were free and clear, but the young challengers had other ideas, and they got the serve back and ran five straight points to win game one, 15-13.

In game one, Waselenchuk took all the serve returns, as he and Croft played an I formation initially. Parrilla hit lobs to the right side - the side he was playing - and with Waselenchuk returning them, Croft was pushed to the left, so the lefty-righty team of Waselenchuk and Croft had their backhands to the sidewalls. That might have helped Horn and Parrilla get their lead.

Game two saw Croft and Waselenchuk taking the big lead, going up 10-1, and keeping it to win comfortably and force a tie-breaker.

In the breaker, it was close early, and then Horn and Parrilla got a slight lead at 4-2. But the champions held them there, and scored seven straight points to lead 9-4. Horn and Parrilla got to within three after Waselenchuk skipped a couple of shots, but then a Horn skip got the champions the serve again.

A Waselenchuk winner got them to match point, and then Horn skipped a backhand shot to end the match.

Croft and Waselenchuk will play the Rojas brothers, Jose and Marco, in the semi-finals Friday. Rojas and Rojas defeated Charlie Pratt and Dylan Reid, 15-13, 11-15, 11-9, Thursday.

In another tie-breaker, Bredenbeck and Diaz, last year's finalists, squeaked past Sebastian Franco and Mario Mercado, 15-13, 10-15, 11-7. In the breaker Bredenbeck and Diaz were up early at 4-1, but Franco and Mercado tied it at 4-4. Bredenbeck and Diaz went ahead again at 6-4, only see Franco and Mercado tie it again at 6-6.

But after Franco skipped two shots - one of them forced - that made the score 8-6 for Bredenbeck and Diaz, the lead never changed. Diaz hit an ace serve that got them to match point. Mercado, on the right side, hit a winning cross court return on the first match point, but on the second Franco skipped and forehand shot that ended it at 11-7.

In the semi-finals, Bredenbeck and Diaz will play Daniel De La Rosa and Edson Martinez, who were upset winners over Rocky Carson and Alvaro Beltran, 15-6, 15-13.

The IRT doubles semi-finals will be Friday evening, and the IRT doubles final at the 2016 United Healthcare US Open will be 5 PM Saturday at the Life Time Athletic Target Center club in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

2016 United Healthcare US Open
Minneapolis, Minnesota - October 5-9, 2016

IRT Men’s Doubles - Quarterfinals - Thursday evening

1 Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk v. David Horn & Andree Parrilla, 6-15, 15-13, 11-6
4 Jose Rojas & Marco Rojas d. Dylan Reid & Charlie Pratt, 15-13, 11-15, 11-9

Daniel De La Rosa & Edson Martinez d. 3 Alvaro Beltran & Rocky Carson, 15-6, 15-13
2 Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz d. Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado, 15-13, 10-15, 11-7

IRT Men’s Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday evening

1 Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk v. 4 Jose Rojas & Marco Rojas
2 Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz v. Daniel De La Rosa & Edson Martinez

Follow the bouncing ball….

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