Friday, January 20, 2017

2017 IRT Lewis Drug Pro-Am Quarterfinals - Wins by Carson, De La Rosa, Beltran & Landa

The top two seeds - Rocky Carson and Daniel De La Rosa - are through to the semi-finals at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2017 Lewis Drug Pro-Am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but the match of the quarters was won by Alejandro Landa, who was up 2-0 on Andree Parrilla, only to be forced into a tie-breaker and then down 10-2 in that breaker, yet Landa overcame that deficit with ten straight points to advance to the semi-finals Saturday.

Landa won games one and two versus Parrilla comfortably, although game two was close, as they were tied 8-8 before Landa won 11-8. But it was in game three that Landa become unglued. After being close early, Parrilla went on a run that took him from 4-4 to 9-4. At that point, Landa banged his racquet, and received a technical, making the score 9-3. He immediately did it again and got a second technical that made the score 9-2 for Parrilla. The incidents occurred out of view, but the commentator later suggested Landa banged the racquet in the direction of the match referee.

From there, Landa just gave up on game three, and even seemed to be exiting the court before the ball bounced twice on Parrilla’s lob serve at 10-2.

Early in game four, Landa was called for an avoidable hinder, and a couple rallies later a hinder was called on Parrilla, not an avoidable. Both of these calls seemed to be appropriate, but that they both went against Landa, they added to his frustration.

Still, Landa was able to keep ahead of Parrilla for most of game four until late in the game, when Parrilla tied it at 8-8. Landa called a timeout, but Parrilla then went ahead, and got to game point at 10-8. Landa held Parrilla there, and scored two points himself to tie it at 10-10. But Parrilla twice prevented Landa from getting past 10, and then scored two straight points to force the breaker, winning the game with a solid backhand shot.

Between games Landa let his frustration get the better of him, and said something to the referee, which earned him another technical. Under IRT rules a player does not forfeit a match until they have received four technicals. Thus, game five began with Parrilla serving 0 to -1. Parrilla took full advantage of that and ran out to a 6-0 advantage.

Landa called a timeout at that point, and he was able to get on the board at 6-1. But Parrilla continued on to match point at 10-2. However, Landa hit a solid forehand to fight off match point, and get the serve back.

Then things got interesting.

Landa, who had done both drive serves and lob serves in the match, switched to a Z serve to the left - Parrilla’s backhand - early in game five, hitting it at 3/4 speed and 6-8’ off the ground. He scored point after point with it, as Parrilla generally let it go into the back corner, which didn’t allow for the strongest returns. At 10-6, Parrilla took a timeout.

But didn’t stop the bleeding. At 10-10, Parrilla tried to cut off Landa’s serve before it got to the back left corner, but that only resulted in a big skip, a wail of frustration from Parrilla, and match point for Landa. A long rally ended with a hinder, and on his second match point Landa won it by driving a ball from right to left with his forehand, and the ball jammed off the side wall such that Parrilla got his racquet on it, but was forced into skipping the shot.

A big comeback by Landa in the game denies Parrilla a big comeback in the match, as Landa didn’t give up serve from 10-2 to 12-10.

Landa will play 2nd seed Daniel De La Rosa in the semi-finals Saturday, as De La Rosa also needed five games to fend off 7th seed Sebastian Franco, 3-11, 11-9, 11-3, 5-11, 11-3.

On the top side of the draw, two familiar foes will face off in the other semi-final, as top seed Rocky Carson will play 4th seed Alvaro Beltran. In the quarterfinals, Carson defeated Mario Mercado, 13-11, 12-10, 11-4, and Beltran beat 5th seed Jansen Allen, 11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 11-3.

There were no upsets in the IRT Doubles draw, and there should be some great matches in the quarters and semis, which will be played Saturday morning.

The IRT Network will have two of the doubles quarterfinals and both semi-finals from Sioux Falls Saturday morning with the singles semi-finals Saturday afternoon. The finals will be Sunday at 11 AM (singles) and noon (doubles). If you missed any of Friday’s matches, check them out at the IRT Network Facebook page.

2017 IRT Lewis Drug Pro-Am, January 19-22
Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Rocky Carson d. 8) Mario Mercado, 13-11, 12-10, 11-4
4) Alvaro Beltran d. 5) Jansen Allen, 11-6, 11-4, 6-11, 11-3

Alejandro Landa d. Andree Parrilla, 11-4, 11-8, 2-11, 10-12, 12-10
2) Daniel De La Rosa d. 7) Sebastian Franco, 3-11, 11-9, 11-3, 5-11, 11-3

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Rocky Carson v. 4) Alvaro Beltran - 4 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa v. Alejandro Landa - 5 PM

IRT Doubles Round of 16 - Friday

1) Rocky Carson & Jose Diaz - BYE
8) Alejandro Herrera & Alejandro Landa d. 9) Scott McClellan & Thyler Thielen, 15-13, 15-4

5) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado d. 12) Jordan Barth & Justus Benson, 15-6, 15-13
4) Jansen Allen & Samuel Murray - BYE

3) Jose Rojas & Marco Rojas - BYE
6) Felipe Camacho & Robert Collins d. 11) Bradly Rogers & Art Spelts, 15-11, 14-15, 11-9

7) David Horn & Andree Parrilla d. 10) Matthew Majxner & Richard Wagner, forfeit
2) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa - BYE

IRT Doubles Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Rocky Carson & Jose Diaz v. 8) Alejandro Herrera & Alejandro Landa - 9 AM
4) Jansen Allen & Samuel Murray v. 5) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado - 9 AM

3) Jose Rojas & Marco Rojas v. 6) Felipe Camacho & Robert Collins - 10 AM
2) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. 7) David Horn & Andree Parrilla - 10 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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