Friday, October 6, 2017

Top seeds to meet in IRT Doubles final at 2017 UnitedHeathcare US Open

Two time US Open International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Doubles Champions, Ben Croft and Kane Waselenchuk will have a chance to make it three on Saturday at the 2017 UnitedHealthcare US Open in Minneapolis, as they beat Rodrigo Montoya and Andree Parrilla in a feisty semi-final, 15-5, 15-10. Montoya and Parrilla were making their first appearance in the US Open semi-finals.

Croft and Waselenchuk started well, taking a 5-1 lead in game one. But Montoya and Parrilla worked their way back into the game, and got to within three at 6-3. However, Croft and Waselenchuk held them to only two points from there, while scoring nine of their own to take game one 15-5.

In game two, Croft and Waselenchuk went up 7-0 before their opponents even served. They added three more points to lead 10-0 before Montoya and Parrilla got on the board. Yet the young Mexicans got the lead down to three at 13-10, and there was some doubt whether the former champions could get it done in two games.

But Waselenchuk, the #1 IRT player, removed that doubt with winners on three consecutive rallies. He got his side the serve back with a forehand return, put them match point with a forehand cross court shot, and won it with another forehand cross court shot. Parrilla felt there was a hinder on the last play, but the referee did not call a hinder, which seemed to be the appropriate call.

In the other semi, 2nd seeds Daniel De La Rosa and Alvaro Beltran went tie-breaker with 3rd seeds Jansen Allen and Samuel Murray, winning 15-6, 14-15, 11-5. It almost didn't go breaker, even though Allen and Murray had a 14-8 lead in game two. De La Rosa and Beltran fought off several game points to get to a match point that slipped away, as Beltran skipped a shot.

In the breaker, it was Allen and Murray who took control early, going up 5-1. However, De La Rosa and Beltran were not to be denied, as they came back with 10 unanswered points to win it, and advance to the finals for the first time. The best shot of the run might have been De La Rosa's rollout that he hit forwards while facing the back wall. The match ended when Allen skipped a makable forehand pinch shot when standing in the service box.

The IRT doubles final at 2017 UnitedHealthcare US Open will be Saturday at 5 PM at the Life Time Athletic Target Center club in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.

2017 UnitedHealthcare US Open
Minneapolis, Minnesota - October 4-8, 2017

IRT Men’s Doubles - Semi-finals - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk & Ben Croft d. Andree Parrilla & Rodrigo Montoya, 15-5, 15-10
2) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran d. 3) Jansen Allen & Samuel Murray, 15-6, 14-15, 11-5

IRT Men’s Doubles - Final - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk & Ben Croft v. 2) Daniel De La Rosa & Alvaro Beltran - 5 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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