Saturday, October 6, 2018

Beltran & De La Rosa win IRT Doubles at 2018 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa unseeded the champs, as they defeated Ben Croft and Kane Waselenchuk, 15-11, 15-6, in the final of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) doubles division at the 2018 UnitedHeathcare US Open Racquetball Championships in Minneapolis. It was the second meeting in as many years between these two teams, and last year Croft and Waselenchuk won it in a tie-breaker. But Beltran and De La Rosa were not to be denied this year.

They put the writing on the wall early, as Beltran and De La Rosa went up 8-1 in game one. But any team with Waselenchuk can never be counted out, and it looked like he and Croft were going to snatch game one from the Mexicans when they went from 12-3 down to 12-10 down without giving up serve. But a De La Rosa return got his side the serve back, and they scored one on a Beltran backhand back to the right side, and then a second when De La Rosa hit a forehand winner from the front court.

But when Waselenchuk hit a flat pinch shot to regain the serve, the other side had to be concerned. However, Croft and Waselenchuk only scored one point before giving the serve back at 14-11.

De La Rosa made good on his side's second game point opportunity, as he hit a forehand from center court over to the right side to end the game, 15-11.

Croft and Waselenchuk were undeterred, and took the early lead at 3-1 in game two. But Beltran and De La Rosa tied it at 3-3, and then the rally of the match occurred. It was crazy, and hard to completely describe, as there were multiple dives and great gets and it went on and on. It took a diving kill shot by Beltran, who pinched the ball into the front left corner, to end it.

That only gave them a one point lead at 4-3, but it seemed like a momentum switch, as Beltran and De La Rosa went out to a 9-3 lead. Croft and Waselenchuk cut the deficit to five at 10-5. But a De La Rosa forehand put an end to that, and the Mexicans scored four points to get to match point at 14-5.

Waselenchuk pinch rolled a lob left by De La Rosa to deny the first match point, and regain the serve. But he then skipped a ball on the next rally, which was an uncharacteristic unforced error. Croft then got a technical for hitting the ball out of the court after the rally, although it seemed to be unintentional. Yet that made the score 14-4.

A skip by each of Beltran and De La Rosa got Croft and Waselenchuk to 14-6, but that was as much as they could muster on this day, as Beltran and De La Rosa got the serve back. On the next rally Beltran hit a forehand into the right side wall, and it got to the front wall for a winner, which wasn't the greatest shot so it was an anticlimactic end to a great doubles match.

If you missed IRT doubles action - or you want to see it again, and believe us when we say YOU DO - check out the action across the IRT outlets: the IRT Network, IRT Facebook page and IRT YouTube channel.

2018 UnitedHealthcare US Open
Minneapolis, Minnesota - October 3-7, 2018

IRT - Doubles - Final - Saturday

2) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. 1) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk, 15-11, 15-6

Follow the bouncing ball….

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