Friday, October 5, 2018

IRT semi-finals at 2018 UnitedHealthcare US Open

The International Racquetball Tour's (IRT's) #1 player, Rocky Carson, earned his way into the semi-finals at the 2018 UnitedHeathcare US Open Racquetball Championships in Minneapolis on Saturday with a win over Mario Mercado, 15-9, 15-2, in the quarterfinals Friday afternoon. Carson will play IRT #4 Daniel De La Rosa, who defeated Jose Diaz, 15-10, 15-9, in the quarters.

De La Rosa took control of game one, when he ran the score from 2-2 to 8-2. He extended that lead to 10-3 and 11-4, but Diaz came back to get within three at 11-8. De La Rosa got the serve back then, and called a time out.

Coming out of the time out, De La Rosa scored three points, making the score 14-8. Diaz continued to battle, though, before De La Rosa ended game one, 15-10. Diaz carried the momentum from the end of game one into game two, as he went up 4-0.

De La Rosa tied the score at 4-4, and then they were back and forth to 8-8. Diaz led 8-7, and made a couple of bad shot choices from good opportunities that gave De La Rosa sideouts. After the second one, De La Rosa scored four points to go from 7-8 down to 11-8 up. That run included a great lay out dive where De La Rosa hit a forehand reverse pinch that made it 10-8.

Diaz called a timeout at 11-8, and was able to make it 11-9 after that. But that would be as much as Diaz would get as De La Rosa scored four points on the next six rallies to win it, 15-9. Diaz fought off one match point, but on the second De La Rosa served to the right side. Diaz's return was in the middle of the court, so De La Rosa was able to hit a soft cross court pass that Diaz dove to get, but wasn't able to reach.

Defending champion Kane Waselenchuk only needed two games to beat Sebastian Franco, 15-6, 15-2. Perhaps the shot of that match, which had several highlight reel shots, was Waselenchuk hitting the ball into the back wall, and having it crack out of the front right corner. Waselenchuk may plan many of his spectacular shots, but we don't think he planned that one. Both players were chuckling about it afterwards.

Waselenchuk will play Andree Parrilla in the semi-finals, as 10th seed Parrilla got the better of 2nd seed Alejandro Landa, 6-15, 15-10, 11-5. Two years ago at the US Open, Waselenchuk beat Parrilla, 11-0, 11-0, 11-0. A lot has happened since then, including Parrilla winning his first IRT Tier 1 event, which happened earlier this year in Lombard, Illinois. Thus, we think that Parrilla will get some points on Saturday, although maybe not 15 in a game.

Look for IRT action live from Minneapolis via their various outlets. Check out the IRT Network, IRT Facebook page and IRT YouTube channel.

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

Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Rocky Carson d. 8) Mario Mercado, 15-9, 15-2
4) Daniel De La Rosa d. 12) Jose Diaz, 15-10, 15-9

3) Kane Waselenchuk d. 6) Sebastian Franco, 15-6, 15-2
10) Andree Parrilla d. 2) Alejandro Landa, 6-15, 15-10, 11-5

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Rocky Carson v. 4) Daniel De La Rosa - 2 PM
3) Kane Waselenchuk v. 10) Andree Parrilla - 11 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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