Thursday, January 19, 2017

2017 IRT Lews Drug Pro-Am Preview

The International Racquetball Tour (IRT’s) is back in action this weekend with its second event of the year: the 2017 Lewis Drug Pro-Am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Unfortunately, IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk will not be there, as he withdrew due to injury earlier this week. But one man’s absence is another man’s opportunity. However, this man will capture this opportunity?

Rocky Carson, IRT #2, is the most likely player to take advantage, as he has won at least one event in nine of the last ten IRT seasons. He’s yet to win this season, but has been in four finals, all against Waselenchuk. Daniel De La Rosa, the IRT’s #3 player, is most likely to stop Carson in Sioux Falls. Carson has a winning record against De La Rosa at 13-7, but they have split they last eight meetings, 4-4, with each player winning two in a row. The bad news for Carson, or good news for De La Rosa, is that Carson’s won the last two, so if that pattern is to continue, it’s De La Rosa’s turn.

Also, to get to the final, Carson will likely have to defeat 4th seed Alvaro Beltran in the semi-finals. Carson and Beltran have almost 50-50 records against each other, although Carson has won the last four meetings to hold a 25-20 advantage over their long careers.

A special aspect of the Lewis Drug Pro-Am is that they always have a IRT Doubles event as well. There are some interesting teams in this year’s draw. In past years, Carson and Beltran have teamed up, but not this year, as Beltran is playing with De La Rosa and Carson is playing with Jose Diaz.

Yet the team to beat might be 3rd seeds Jose Rojas and Marco Rojas, the brothers team that won the US Open IRT Doubles title last year. Other teams of note are 4th seeds Jansen Allen - half of the USA Pan Am Games gold medal winners in 2015 (Jose Rojas was the other half) - and young Canadian Samuel Murray, the 8th seed double Alejandro team of Alejandro Landa and Alejandro Herrera, who won Men’s Doubles at the 2014 World Championships, as well as 5th seeds Sebastian Franco, who was Herrera’s gold medal partner at Worlds in 2014, and Mario Mercado.

The IRT Network will have the action from Sioux Falls starting with the Round of 16 on Friday morning at 10 AM Central.

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

Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday

Thyler Thielen v. Jordan Barth
Justus Benson v. Jeff Zomer

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday

Q8) Matthew Majxner v. Samuel Murray
Q1) Felipe Camacho v. Thyler Thielen or Jordan Barth

Q4) David Horn v. Tanner Prentice
Q5) Scott McClellan v. Lee Connell

Q6) Alejandro Landa v. Bradly Rogers
Q3) Andree Parrilla v. James Landeryou

Q2) Robert Collins v. Justus Benson or Jeff Zomer
Q7) Jose Diaz v. Alejandro Herrera

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Rocky Carson v. Q8
8) Mario Mercado v. Q1

5) Jansen Allen v. Q4
4) Alvaro Beltran v. Q5

3) Jose Rojas v. Q6
6) Marco Rojas v. Q3

7) Sebastian Franco v. Q2
2) Daniel De La Rosa v. Q7

IRT Doubles Round of 16 - Friday

1) Rocky Carson & Jose Diaz - BYE
8) Alejandro Herrera & Alejandro Landa v. 9) Scott McClellan & Thyler Thielen

5) Sebastian Franco & Mario Mercado v. 12) Jordan Barth & Justus Benson
4) Jansen Allen & Samuel Murray - BYE

3) Jose Rojas & Marco Rojas - BYE
6) Felipe Camacho & Robert Collins v. 11) Bradly Rogers & Art Spelts

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

Follow the bouncing ball….

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