Thursday, April 5, 2018

2018 IRT Cincinnati - Preview

The penultimate event of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2017-18 season begins today in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids event takes place. Rocky Carson is the top seed in Cincinnati, as Kane Waselenchuk is yet to return to the IRT since injuring his knee in January.

The IRT did come out with a release on March 22 indicating Waselenchuk was cleared to play after having a grade 2 MCL sprain. But results from an MRI on his knee indicate he has a cyst on his meniscus that “will require surgery in the future,” although playing on it now won’t cause more damage. So hopefully Waselenchuk will be back in action soon, but it seems this weekend was too soon.

The IRT is on a streak. Six (6!) different players have won the last six IRT events. Will that streak continue? That streak is even more incredible considering that Rocky Carson and Alvaro Beltran - the IRT’s #2 and #4 players - are not included in it. The streak started in November with Waselenchuk, then Charles Pratt won in December, Daniel De La Rosa and Alejandro Landa in January, and Sebastian Franco and Andree Parrilla in March.

One thing that won’t happen this weekend is there won’t be back to back winners on tour, as Parrilla is not in Cincinnati, although David Horn, who was runner up to Parrilla in Lombard, Illinois, is there.

Cincinnati is the second last event of the season with the Florida IRT Regional Championships April 26-29 set to be the last one. Carson may be able to finish as the #1 player this season, given that Waselenchuk has missed five events. But Carson has a lot of points to defend, because he won the Ohio event last season and finished second in Florida. Waselenchuk missed Ohio last season and won Florida, so he doesn’t have as many points to defend.

All in all it should be an exciting weekend of IRT racquetball, and we’re looking forward to it.

Look for the action on the IRT Network from the 2nd Round of Qualifying on Friday morning at 11 AM with the Round of 16 from 6 PM Friday afternoon. The quarterfinals will be 10 and 11 AM Saturday morning. The semi-finals will be at 5 PM and 6 PM Saturday with the final at noon Sunday. All times eastern. For action on Thursday, check out the IRT Facebook page.

2018 IRT Mercedes Benz of Ft. Mitchell Raising Some Racquet for Kids, April 5-8, 2018
Cincinnati, Ohio

Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday evening

Mauricio Zelada v. Juan Martinez III - 6 PM
Troy Warigon v. Rom Dresbach - 6 PM
Sebastian Fernandez v. Erick Cuevas Fernandez - 6 PM

Fabrizio Mora v. Hiroshi Shimizu - 6 PM
Miguel Rodriguez Jr. v. Ferd Samson - 8 PM

Qualifying Round 2 - Friday morning

Q8) Thomas Carter v. Nicholas Riffel - Noon
Q1) David Horn v. Mauricio Zelada or Juan Martinez III - Noon

Q4) Jose Diaz v. Troy Warigon or Rom Desbach - Noon
Q5) Jake Bredenbeck v. Sebastian Fernandez or Erick Cuevas Fernandez - Noon

Q6) Adam Manilla v. Scott McClellan - 11 AM
Q3) Charles Pratt v. Fabrizio Mora or Hiroshi Shimizu - 11 AM

Q2) Felipe Camacho v. Miguel Rodriguez Jr. v. Ferd Samson - 11 AM
Q7) Robert Collins v. Gerardo Franco - 11 AM

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Rocky Carson v. Q8 - 7 PM
8) Sebastian Franco v. Q1 - 7 PM

5) Jansen Allen v. Q4 - 7 PM
4) Alejandro Landa v. Q5 - 7 PM

3) Alvaro Beltran v. Q6 - 6 PM
6) Samuel Murray v. Q3 - 6 PM

7) Mario Mercado v. Q2 - 6 PM
2) Daniel De La Rosa v. Q7 - 6 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

No comments: