Saturday, January 19, 2019

Montoya & Parrilla win doubles at the 41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am

Rodrigo Montoya and Andree Parrilla won the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) doubles division at the 41st Lewis Drug IRT
Pro-Am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as they defeated Alejandro Landa and Samuel Murray, 15-11, 15-13.

It was a close match throughout, and Landa and Murray had leads early in both games only to see Montoya and Parrilla come back to win. A good match had a bad end, as Landa skipped two balls on the last two rallies both on serve returns of Parrilla's straight lob serve on the right side. On the first, Landa tried to go to the ceiling with the resturn, and it didn't get to the front wall. The second he took early, just as the ball crossed the receiving line, but again Landa skipped it.

The singles final will be Sunday at 11 AM. Look for all the action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page.

41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am, January 17-20 2019
Sioux Falls, South Dakota


IRT Doubles Final - Saturday

5) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla d. 2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray, 15-11, 15-13

Final Singles - Sunday

3) Kane Waselenchuk v. 4) Daniel De La Rosa - 11 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

De La Rosa & Waselenchuk to face off in 41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am final

Daniel De La Rosa ended Rodrigo Montoya’s run at the 41st Lewis Drug International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Pro-Am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in convincing fashion, winning 15-1, 15-4. The win puts De La Rosa back in the final for a 3rd straight year. He won the 2017 Lewis Drug Pro-Am and was runner up last year.

De La Rosa’s opponent in the final is a familiar one: Kane Waselenchuk. It will be their 3rd meeting in a final this season. They played earlier this month in the final of California Open, as well as last year’s US Open final. Waselenchuk won both of those matches. In Sioux Falls, Waselenchuk defeated Rocky Carson in the other semi, 15-2, 15-9.

Looking ahead, Waselenchuk will likely move up in the rankings from his #3 position, as he didn’t play the Lewis Drug event last year due to injury, so a final appearance or win will be a big addition to his points total. De La Rosa - the IRT #4 - has at least matched his result from last year, so he’ll either maintain his points or gain, if he wins on Sunday.

Montoya, who is only 18th in the IRT rankings, should move up also. Finally, Carson was a quarterfinalist last year in Sioux Falls, so his semi-final finish this year could help him stay in the #2 position. Current #1 Alejandro Landa, who was the defending Lewis Drug champion, will likely drop positions, as he lost in the Round of 16 to Montoya.

De La Rosa had a chance to be in the doubles final also, but he and Alvaro Beltran - the #1 seeds - were knocked off by Montoya and Andree Parrilla, 14-15, 15-11, 11-10. After two close games, it looked like the tie-breaker wouldn’t be close, as Montoya and Parrilla took a 8-2 lead.

But De La Rosa had other ideas. After he and Beltran took a timeout, De La Rosa got them the serve back with two winners, then hit four more. That combined with two penalty hinder calls tied the game at 8-8. When Montoya tanked an overhand forehand shot, it seemed he and Parrilla had thrown the match away, especially as De La Rosa hit another winner - a soft forehand pinch - to reach match point at 10-8.

However, Montoya redeemed himself with a backhand pinch shot to put De La Rosa and Beltran half down, and then hit a winning backhand serve return off a De La Rosa lob serve to the left side. With the serve back, Montoya didn’t stop, as he hit a forehand pinch winner and a great backhand kill shot from shoulder high and 38’ that put his side on match point at 10-10.

There was a spot of controversy on the last rally, as a penalty hinder was called on De La Rosa, who was right on the right side wall as Parrilla was taking his shot. The call came before the shot, which Parrilla still took but didn’t end the rally. Yet the call seemed reasonable, although not to De La Rosa and Beltran.

The doubles semi-finals are noon and 1 PM Saturday, with the doubles final at 4:30 PM Saturday. The singles final will be Sunday at 11 AM. Look for all the action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page.

41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am, January 17-20 2019
Sioux Falls, South Dakota


Semi-finals - Saturday

4) Daniel De La Rosa d. Rodrigo Montoya, 15-1, 15-4
3) Kane Waselenchuk d. 2) Rocky Carson, 15-2, 15-9

Final - Sunday

3) Kane Waselenchuk v. 4) Daniel De La Rosa - 11 AM

IRT Doubles Semi-finals - Saturday

5) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla d. 1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa, 14-15, 15-11, 11-10
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray d. 6) Mario Mercado & Mauro Rojas, 15-11, 15-11

IRT Doubles Final - Saturday

2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 5) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla - 4:30 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, January 18, 2019

Montoya moves on and Beltran & De La Rosa survive scare in doubles at 41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am

Rodrigo Montoya reached the semi-finals of an International Racquetball Tour (IRT) event for only the 2nd time Friday, as he defeated Alvaro Beltran, 15-12, 15-6, in the quarterfinals of the 41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Beltran played a tough doubles match shortly before his quarterfinal, and he looked tired in the second game against Montoya.

Montoya will play fellow Mexican, Daniel De La Rosa, in the semis, as De La Rosa beat Samuel Murray, 15-13, 15-8, in the quarters.

On the other side of the draw, IRT #2 Rocky Carson will play #3 Kane Waselenchuk in the semi-finals. In the quarterfinals, Carson defeated 7th seed Jose Diaz, 15-10, 15-9, and Waselenchuk beat 6th seed Andree Parrilla, 15-8, 15-11.

In doubles, Tony Carson and Charles Pratt had three chances to upset the top seeds Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa in the quarterfinals Friday, as they served at 14 in game two of their match after winning game one. But they couldn’t get the last point, as Beltran and De La Rosa forced a tie-breaker, and then won the breaker to take the match in three games, 10-15, 15-14, 11-3.

Beltran and De La Rosa will face 5th seeds Rodrigo Montoya and Andree Parrilla in the semi-finals on Saturday, as Montoya and Parrilla were upset winners over 4th seeds Jake Bredenbeck and Jose Diaz, 15-8, 15-9.

The singles semi-finals will be 10 AM and 11 AM Saturday morning. Look for it via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The singles final will be 11 AM Sunday. The doubles semi-finals are Saturday at noon and 1 PM with the final Saturday at 4:30 PM.

41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am, January 17-20 2019
Sioux Falls, South Dakota


Quarterfinals - Friday

Rodrigo Montoya d. 8) Alvaro Beltran, 15-12, 15-6
4) Daniel De La Rosa d. 5) Samuel Murray, 15-13, 15-8

3) Kane Waselenchuk d. 6) Andree Parrilla, 15-8, 15-11
2) Rocky Carson d. 7) Jose Diaz, 15-10, 15-9

Semi-finals - Saturday

4) Daniel De La Rosa v. Rodrigo Montoya - 10 AM
2) Rocky Carson v. 3) Kane Waselenchuk - 11 AM

IRT Doubles Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. 8) Tony Carson & Charles Pratt, 10-15, 15-14, 11-3
5) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla d. 4) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz, 15-8, 15-9

6) Mario Mercado & Mauro Rojas d. 3) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho, forfeit
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 7) Adam Manilla & Nicholas Riffel, 15-11, 15-7

IRT Doubles Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. 5) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla - Noon
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 6) Mario Mercado & Mauro Rojas - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Round of 16 action at 41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am

Rodrigo Montoya upset the Alejandro Landa - the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) - in the Round of 16 at the 41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, winning 15-8, 9-15, 11-10, to move on to the quarterfinals later today. In the quarters, Montoya will play 8th seed Alvaro Beltran, who was a straight game winner over Tony Carson, 15-9, 15-7. Montoya was the only lower seed to win in the 16s.

IRT #2 Rocky Carson was a straight game winner over Gerardo Franco, 15-10, 15-4, as was IRT #3 Kane Waselenchuk, who defeated Sam Bredenbeck, 15-5, 15-2. Daniel De La Rosa, the IRT’s #4 player, also won in two straight over Adam Manilla, 15-13, 15-10.

Often when a match has two close games that are split between the players, the tie-breaker tends not to be close, and that was case with Andree Parrilla and Jake Bredenbeck, who could not have been closer after the first two games, as Parrilla won game one, 15-14, and Bredenbeck game two, 15-14. Their breaker could not have been more lop-sided, as Parrilla blanked Bredenbeck, 11-0, to take the match and move on to the quarterfinals, when he’ll play De La Rosa.

In doubles action earlier on Friday, Tony Carson and Charles Pratt beat Sam Bredenbeck and Robert Collins, 15-7, 15-6, and Adam Manilla and Nicholas Riffel defeated Alejandro Herrera and Cesar Castillo, 15-12, 15-9.

Carson and Pratt will play top seeds Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa in the quarterfinals Friday afternoon, while Manilla and Riffel will be up against 2nd seeds Alejandro Landa and Samuel Muraay.

The singles Round of 16 will begin at 1 and 2 PM Central. Look for it via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The quarterfinals at 7 and 8 PM Friday night. The semi-finals will be at 10 AM and 11 AM Saturday with the final at 11 AM Sunday. The doubles quarterfinals are Friday afternoon at 4 and 5 PM with the semi-finals Saturday at noon and 1 PM, and the final Saturday at 4:30 PM.

41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am, January 17-20 2019
Sioux Falls, South Dakota


Round of 16 - Friday

Rodrigo Montoya d. 1) Alejandro Landa, 15-8, 9-15, 11-10
8) Alvaro Beltran d. Tony Carson, 15-9, 15-7

5) Samuel Murray d. Sebastian Fernandez, 15-7, 15-1
4) Daniel De La Rosa d. Adam Manilla, 15-13, 15-10

3) Kane Waselenchuk d. Sam Bredenbeck, 15-5, 15-2
6) Andree Parrilla d. Jake Bredenbeck, 15-14, 14-15, 11-0

7) Jose Diaz d. John Goth, 15-11, 15-2
2) Rocky Carson d. Gerardo Franco, 15-10, 15-4

Quarterfinals - Friday

8) Alvaro Beltran v. Rodrigo Montoya - 7 PM
4) Daniel De La Rosa v. 5) Samuel Murray - 7 PM

3) Kane Waselenchuk v. 6) Andree Parrilla - 8 PM
2) Rocky Carson v. 7) Jose Diaz - 8 PM

IRT Doubles Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa - BYE
8) Tony Carson & Charles Pratt d. 9) Sam Bredenbeck & Robert Collins, 15-7, 15-6

5) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla - BYE
4) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz - BYE

3) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho - BYE
6) Mario Mercado & Mauro Rojas - BYE

7) Adam Manilla & Nicholas Riffel d. 10) Cesar Castillo & Alejandro Herrera, 15-12, 15-9
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray - BYE

IRT Doubles Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. 8) Tony Carson & Charles Pratt - 4 PM
4) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz v. 5) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla - 4 PM

3) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho v. 6) Mario Mercado & Mauro Rojas - 5 PM
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 7) Adam Manilla & Nicholas Riffel - 5 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Upset winners claim 5 of 8 spots in the Round of 16 at the 41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am

The 41st Lewis Drug Pro-Am - a Tier 1 event on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) - began Thursday, and already there have been upsets, as five of the eight players qualifying for the Round of 16 on Friday are lower seeded players.

But they are not all surprises. Tony Carson is a former top 10 IRT player, and he’s through to the 16s after beatting 9th seed Mario Mercado, 15-4, 15-10. But Carson’s doubles partner - Charles Pratt - didn’t fare as well, as Sebastian Fernandez, still a junior, defeated Pratt, 15-14, 7-15, 11-6, and will play Samuel Murray in the Round of 16 Friday. Carson will play Alvaro Beltran.

Brothers Jake Bredenbeck and Sam Bredenbeck are into the 16s. Jake is the 11th seed, so his qualifying isn’t a surprise; he beat Brad Hansen, 15-6, 15-3, to get there. But Sam had to defeat two higher seeded players. He needed a tie-breaker to defeat 14th seed Thomas Carter, 8-15, 15-13, 11-9, in the first round of qualifying and then beat 19th seed Nicholas Riffel, 15-12, 15-13, in the second qualifying round. This is the first time brothers have made the Round of 16 since April 2017, when Jose and Marco Rojas played at the Florida Pro-Am.

In the Round of 16, Sam will play 3rd seed Kane Waselenchuk and Jake will play 6th seed Andree Parrilla. If they both win, they will meet in the quarterfinals.

There were also two upsets in the bottom bracket of the draw. John Goth - after getting a forfeit win over 10th seed Jansen Allen in round one of qualifying - beat 23rd seed Tim Landeryou, 15-13, 15-7, in the second round, and will meet Jose Diaz in the Round of 16. Also, Gerardo Franco defeated 15th seed Felipe Camacho, 15-12, 15-7, to set up a showdown with IRT #2 Rocky Carson.

Top seed and IRT #1 Alejandro Landa will face Rodrigo Montoya, the current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Champion, in the 16s, which will be there 2nd meeting in as many tournaments. Landa defeated Montoya in a tie-breaker earlier this month at the 2019 California Open. In qualifying on Thursday, Montoya beat Robert Collins, 15-3, 15-9, to set up the rematch with Landa.

The Round of 16 should be available via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page beginning Friday afternoon at 1 and 2 PM Central with the quarterfinals at 7 and 8 PM Friday night. The semi-finals will be at 10 AM and 11 AM Saturday with the final at 11 AM Sunday. The doubles quarterfinals are Friday afternoon at 4 and 5 PM with the semi-finals Saturday at noon and 1 PM, and the final Saturday at 4:30 PM.

41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am, January 17-20 2019
Sioux Falls, South Dakota


Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday afternoon

Robert Collins d. Tanner Prentice, 15-10, 13-15, 11-2
Rodrigo Montoya d. Brent Walters, 15-7, 15-13

Mario Mercado - BYE
Tony Carson d. Erick Cuevas Fernandez, 15-1, 15-0

Sebastian Fernandez d. Ricardo Diaz, 15-12, 15-12
Charles Pratt d. Andrew Gleason, 15-7, 15-11

Adam Manilla d. Timmy Hansen, 15-6, 15-3
Mauro Rojas d. Christian Longoria, 15-12, 15-7

Nicholas Riffel d. Lee Connell, 15-13, 15-12
Sam Bredenbeck d. Thomas Carter, 8-15, 15-13, 11-9

Jake Bredenbeck d. Cesar Castillo, 15-1, 15-2
Brad Hansen d. Scott McClellan, 12-15, 15-8, 11-8

Tim Landeryou d. Michael Arterburn, 15-1, 15-1
John Goth d. Jansen Allen, forfeit

Felipe Camacho d. Matthew Majxner, 15-4, 15-8
Gerardo Franco d. Alejandro Herrera, 15-2, 10-15, 11-9

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday night

Q8) Rodrigo Montoya d. Robert Collins, 15-3, 15-9
Q1) Tony Carson d. Mario Mercado, 15-4, 15-10

Q4) Sebastian Fernandez d. Charles Pratt, 15-14, 7-15, 11-6
Q5) Adam Manilla d. Mauro Rojas, 15-11, 15-14

Q6) Sam Bredenbeck d. Nicholas Riffel, 15-12, 15-13
Q3) Jake Bredenbeck d. Brad Hansen, 15-6, 15-3

Q2) John Goth d. Tim Landeryou, 15-13, 15-7
Q7) Gerardo Franco d. Felipe Camacho, 15-12, 15-7

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alejandro Landa v. Rodrigo Montoya - 1 PM
8) Alvaro Beltran v. Tony Carson - 1 PM

5) Samuel Murray v. Sebastian Fernandez - 1 PM
4) Daniel De La Rosa v. Adam Manilla - 1 PM

3) Kane Waselenchuk v. Sam Bredenbeck - 2 PM
6) Andree Parrilla v. Jake Bredenbeck - 2 PM

7) Jose Diaz v. John Goth - 2 PM
2) Rocky Carson v. Gerardo Franco - 2 PM

IRT Doubles Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa - BYE
8) Tony Carson & Charles Pratt v. 9) Sam Bredenbeck & Robert Collins - 10 AM

5) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla - BYE
4) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz - BYE

3) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho - BYE
6) Mario Mercado & Mauro Rojas - BYE

7) Adam Manilla & Nicholas Riffel v. 10) Cesar Castillo & Alejandro Herrera - 10 AM
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

Landa back to defend title at 41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am

When Alejandro Landa last came to the northern plains, he was the 8th seed at the annual Lewis Drug Pro/Am. But this year Landa arrives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota as the defending champion and the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT). What a year it’s been for Landa, who won twice last season, which few - if any - people would have predicted, and he’ll have a chance to defend the first of those titles this weekend at the 41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro/Am tournament.

Landa will have his work cut out for him, as 18 of the top 20 IRT players are in the draw, including IRT #2 Rocky Carson, #3 Kane Waselenchuk, who missed last year’s event due to injury, and #4 Daniel De La Rosa, who was runner up to Landa in last year’s final.

Overall there are 39 players in the field. Other notable players are Andree Parrilla and Charles Pratt, who both won on the IRT last season, Rodrigo Montoya, the current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Champion, as well as Mexican veteran Alvaro Beltran.

As usual in Sioux Falls, they will play doubles as well. Beltran and De La Rosa are the top seeds, and won doubles at the IRT California Open earlier this month. Landa and Samuel Murray are the 2nd seeds in doubles with Jansen Allen and Felipe Camacho 3rd seeds, and Jake Bredenbeck and Jose Diaz 4th seeds.

Look for the action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. Qualifying matches are Thursday afternoon and evening with the first round of doubles happening on Friday morning. The Round of 16 for singles will be Friday afternoon at 1 and 2 PM Central with the semi-finals at 7 and 8 PM Friday night. The semi-finals will be at 10 AM and 11 AM Saturday with the final at 11 AM Sunday. The doubles quarterfinals are Friday afternoon at 4 and 5 PM with the semi-finals Saturday at noon and 1 PM, and the final Saturday at 4:30 PM.

41st Lewis Drug IRT Pro-Am, January 17-20 2019
Sioux Falls, South Dakota


Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday afternoon

Robert Collins v. Tanner Prentice
Rodrigo Montoya v. Brent Walters

Mario Mercado - BYE
Tony Carson v. Erick Cuevas Fernandez

Sebastian Fernandez v. Ricardo Diaz
Charles Pratt v. Andrew Gleason

Adam Manilla v. Timmy Hansen
Mauro Rojas v. Christian Longoria

Nicholas Riffel v. Lee Connell
Thomas Carter v. Sam Bredenbeck

Jake Bredenbeck v. Cesar Castillo
Scott McClellan v. Brad Hansen

Tim Landeryou v. Michael Arterburn
Jansen Allen v. John Goth

Felipe Camacho v. Matthew Majxner
Gerardo Franco v. Alejandro Herrera

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday night

Q8) Robert Collins or Tanner Prentice v. Rodrigo Montoya or Brent Walters
Q1) Mario Mercado v. Tony Carson or Erick Cuevas Fernandez

Q4) Sebastian Fernandez or Ricardo Diaz v. Charles Pratt or Andrew Gleason
Q5) Adam Manilla or Timmy Hansen v. Mauro Rojas or Christian Longoria

Q6) Nicholas Riffel or Lee Connell v. Thomas Carter or Sam Bredenbeck
Q3) Jake Bredenbeck or Cesar Castillo v. Scott McClellan or Brad Hansen

Q2) Tim Landeryou or Michael Arterburn v. Jansen Allen or John Goth
Q7) Felipe Camacho or Matthew Majxner v. Gerardo Franco or Alejandro Herrera

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alejandro Landa v. Q8 - 1 PM
8) Alvaro Beltran v. Q1 - 1 PM

5) Samuel Murray v. Q4 - 1 PM
4) Daniel De La Rosa v. Q5 - 1 PM

3) Kane Waselenchuk v. Q6 - 2 PM
6) Andree Parrilla v. Q3 - 2 PM

7) Jose Diaz v. Q2 - 2 PM
2) Rocky Carson v. Q7 - 2 PM

IRT Doubles Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa - BYE
8) Tony Carson & Charles Pratt v. 9) Sam Bredenbeck & Robert Collins - 10 AM

5) Rodrigo Montoya & Andree Parrilla - BYE
4) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz - BYE

3) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho - BYE
6) Mario Mercado & Mauro Rojas - BYE

7) Adam Manilla & Nicholas Riffel v. 10) Cesar Castillo & Alejandro Herrera - 10 AM
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Waselenchuk wins 2019 IRT California Open

Kane Waselenchuk maintained his undefeated season on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Sunday with a win over Daniel De La Rosa, 15-8, 15-10, at the 2019 IRT California Open in Canoga Park, California. De La Rosa had to console himself with a win in the doubles final, as he and Alvaro Beltran defeated Alejandro Landa and Samuel Murray, 15-11, 15-8.

Early in game one of the singles final, Waselenchuk and De La Rosa were close, tied at 3-3 and 5-5. But a De La Rosa skip off a forehand pinch shot gave Waselenchuk the serve, and he scored five points on the next five rallies, making the score 10-5. Waselenchuk hit winners for all five of those points, including an ace drive serve to the right side.

De La Rosa got the serve back when Waselenchuk skipped a forehand reverse pinch shot, but Waselenchuk took the serve right back with wide angle forehand winner. He added two more points, and the second was another ace serve: this time a drive to the left side that made the score 12-5.

They went back and forth a bit from there, and De La Rosa picked up a few points to make it 12-8. Waselenchuk - a left-handed player - got the serve back with a backhand return winner off a half lob serve to the right side. He closed out the game from there with a forehand pinch winner, an avoidable call, and a soft backhand that De La Rosa couldn’t quite reach to keep the ball in play, making the final score 15-8.

De La Rosa started game two with what looked like a cat and mouse approach, which seemed to be a bad way to go, as Waselenchuk is a tiger. Yet De La Rosa got out to a 5-1 lead, so hard to be too critical of what De La Rosa was doing. De La Rosa was hitting soft shots, and then mixing in hard shots as well to try to keep Waselenchuk off balance.

Waselenchuk got to within a point at 6-5, but De La Rosa then extended his lead to 8-5. A Waselenchuk backhand winner made the score 8-6, but De La Rosa got the serve back with a forehand winner, and then called a timeout.

After the timeout, there was an exchange of sideouts, and then Waselenchuk took control. Waselenchuk scored a string of points, just as he had in game one, which took the score from 8-6 for De La Rosa to 12-8 for Waselenchuk. De La Rosa stopped the bleeding at that point, and scored two points of his own to trail by two at 12-10.

Waselenchuk took the serve back with a backhand cross court winner, and then called a timeout. On the next rally, De La Rosa skipped a shot, and although he appealed, the call stood, making the score 13-10. Then De La Rosa hit a winner to get the serve back.

De La Rosa hit a lob serve to the left side that Waselenchuk returned with a forehand reverse pinch shot pulling the ball off the left wall and over to the front right corner: a remarkable shot. Waselenchuk followed that up with winners on the next two rallies. A forehand cross court shot got him to game point, and then he won it with a forehand splat shot, 15-10.

The IRT began using the current match format of two games to 15 and tie-breaker to 11 a year ago at the 2018 California Open. Since then Waselenchuk has not lost a game to 15. He’s played no tie-breakers, and remains unbeaten on court in that period.

In the doubles final, De La Rosa and Beltran continued to prove they are the best men’s doubles team in the world. They are the reigning IRT US Open Champions, as well as the International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Men’s Doubles World Champions.

Yet the final looked like it might go the other way in game one, and that despite a 7-0 start by the World Champs. However, Landa and Murray came back and tied the game at 7-7, and then went ahead 9-8. But they failed to score on four service opportunities, and it was Beltran and De La Rosa who took advantage. They scored five points to go from 9-8 down to 13-9 up.

Landa and Murray did score two more points to make it 13-10, but that was as close as they got, as Beltran and De La Rosa closed it out, 15-10.

Beltran and De La Rosa got another good start in game two, going up 6-1. Landa and Murray came back, but only to 6-4, so Beltran and De La Rosa ran it up to 9-4. They maintained at least a four point lead from there, as they went on to win the game 15-8, and take the match in two games. Beltran hit the match winner, as he rolled a ball out of the front left corner with a backhand shot he took standing with his back right along the right side wall.

If you missed any of the action, you can look for it on the IRT media outlets: the IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page.

2019 IRT California Open
January 3-6 - Canoga Park, California


Final - Sunday

4) Kane Waselenchuk d. 3) Daniel De La Rosa, 15-8, 15-10

IRT Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. 2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray, 15-11, 15-8

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, January 5, 2019

De La Rosa & Waselenchuk to face off in final of 2019 IRT California Open

Daniel De La Rosa, the #3 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), upset #2 Rocky Carson in three games in the semi-finals of the California Open in Canoga Park, California, winning 15-14, 6-15, 11-10. In the final, De La Rosa will play #4 Kane Waselenchuk, who beat IRT #1 Alejandro Landa, 15-0, 15-9, in other semi.

De La Rosa came back from a large deficit to take game one, and the effort led to him not having much for game two, which Carson took advantage of to force a tie-breaker. In the breaker, De La Rosa led early at 6-3, but Carson came back, tied it at 7-7, and then went ahead 9-7.

Momentum shifted again, as De La Rosa tied the game at 9-9 with a drive serve to the right side that cracked out for an ace. He followed that up with a forehand winner on the next rally to reach match point at 10-9. But Carson fought off that point to get the serve back.

They exchanged sideouts with winning serve returns. Then Carson served a drive jam to the left side that forced De La Rosa to get out of the way, and then dive to keep in play. His dive was successful, but after getting to his feet for the next shot, De La Rosa slipped, so he was unable to return Carson’s forehand shot to the right side.

That made the score 10-10 with Carson serving for the match for the first time. De La Rosa fought off that point with a winning forehand shot. Carson thought there was a hinder, but the referee didn’t call one, which seemed like the correct call.

With his third match point, De La Rosa drove serve to the left, but it was short. On second serve, he hit a lob to the right side, and Carson took it early hitting a forehand overhead cross court shot. De La Rosa drove a backhand shot to the front wall, which forced Carson to hit a ceiling ball. That provided De La Rosa with a back wall set up, and he made no mistake driving a forehand shot to the right side where it cracked out along the wall.

In the other semi-final, if you blinked, you might have missed the first game, as Waselenchuk blanked Landa, 15-0. But Landa played quite respectably in the second game, and looked like he might be capable of forcing a tie-breaker. But Waselenchuk pulled away in the middle of the game and when he got to 12-8, it just seemed like it was a matter of time before the end.

De La Rosa could be a double winner Sunday, as he’s in the doubles final also with partner Alvaro Beltran. They defeated Sebastian Franco and Andree Parrilla, 15-10, 15-12, in a very good match. Midway through the second game, it looked like it might go breaker, as Franco and Parrilla led 10-8, but the veterans came through in the end.

The rally of the match happened early in game two, when the ball was in the front court. De La Rosa dove to the right to get it, and hit a pinch to the right corner. Franco dove over De La Rosa to re-pinch the ball to the left corner. The ball came to De La Rosa, who tried to re-dive despite still being on the ground, but he skipped the shot. Not sure we’ve ever seen one player dive over another player to make a shot.

De La Rosa and Beltran will play Landa and Samuel Murray in the final on Sunday, as Landa and Murray beat Jansen Allen and Felipe Camacho, 15-10, 15-7, in the other semi-final.

The final will be Sunday at noon, and it will be streamed live via one of the IRT media outlets: the IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The doubles final will follow the singles final on Sunday. All times Pacific.

2019 IRT California Open
January 3-6 - Canoga Park, California


Semi-finals - Saturday

4) Kane Waselenchuk d. 1) Alejandro Landa, 15-0, 15-9
3) Daniel De La Rosa d. 2) Rocky Carson, 15-14, 6-15, 11-10

Final - Sunday

3) Daniel De La Rosa v. 4) Kane Waselenchuk - Noon

IRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. 5) Sebastian Franco & Andree Parrilla, 15-10, 15-12
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray d. 3) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho, 15-10, 15-7

IRT Doubles - Final - Sunday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. 2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Friday, January 4, 2019

Top 4 seeds make the semi-finals at 2019 IRT California Open

Alejandro Landa, the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), put a decisive end to Eduardo Portillo’s run through the draw at the California Open in Canoga Park, California, winning their quarterfinal match 15-3, 15-5. Landa will face IRT #4 Kane Waselenchuk in the semi-finals on Saturday, as Waselenchuk was equally decisive in his win over Andree Parrilla, 15-3, 15-5.

Third seed Daniel De La Rosa needed three games to get past Jose Diaz, 15-4, 6-15, 11-5. Both players were diving during the match, and De La Rosa needed to take injury time to deal with a wound to his right knee. He took one such timeout in game two, and then twice in the breaker. De La Rosa was clearly annoyed by injury, as it wasn’t hampering him at all, but still needed to be dealt with.

De La Rosa got the early lead in game three at 5-1, and he extended that lead to 9-2. Diaz kept fighting, and got to within four at 9-5. But De La Rosa hit a backhand return winner off a drive Z to the left. He followed that up with a great forehand splat for his first match point opportunity at 10-5.

The next rally was stopped by the referee seemingly because of a court hinder, although there were reportedly no court hinders, so it’s not clear why the referee stopped the rally. After play resumed, Diaz hit a backhand return winner off a De La Rosa backhand lob to the left side.

However, Diaz couldn’t take advantage, as De La Rosa hit a backhand ceiling ball into the back left corner that Diaz couldn’t return. De La Rosa won the match with his 2nd match point, when Diaz skipped a forehand shot: an unforced error that put a bad end on a good match.

For the 49th time

The last quarterfinal was the 49th match on tour between IRT #2 Rocky Carson and 7th seed Alvaro Beltran. Carson held a 26-22 advantage over Beltran in their 48 previous matches, and he made it 27-22 after coming back to win their quarterfinal, 8-15, 15-11, 11-8.

In the breaker, Beltran led most of the way. He was up 5-1, and then 8-5. But Carson held him at 8, while scoring six unanswered points to come back to win the breaker and advance to the semi-finals, when he’ll play De La Rosa.

Beltran fought off two match points with winning backhand serve returns, but on Carson’s third match point, he skipped a backhand shot that was the fourth shot of the rally to give the match to Carson.

It was the second time Beltran and Carson have played under the best of three games scoring system. They played a tie-breaker in the the first match also. Prior to today, 33% of their matches had gone tie-breaker with only 40% being over in three straight games. Carson has the edge in three game matches under the best of 5 games format: 8-5, but they are even in matches that go breaker, as both have won 8 under the best of 5 format and now one each under the best of 3 format.

The semi-finals are set for 11 AM and noon on Saturday, and they will be streamed live via one of the IRT media outlets: the IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The final will be Sunday at noon. The doubles semis will be 2 and 3 PM on Saturday and the final will be 1 PM Sunday. All times Pacific.

2019 IRT California Open
January 3-6 - Canoga Park, California


Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Alejandro Landa d. Eduardo Portillo, 15-3, 15-5
4) Kane Waselenchuk d. 5) Andree Parrilla, 15-3, 15-5

3) Daniel De La Rosa d. Jose Diaz, 15-4, 6-15, 11-5
2) Rocky Carson d. 7) Alvaro Beltran, 8-15, 15-11, 11-8

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Alejandro Landa v. 4) Kane Waselenchuk - Noon
2) Rocky Carson v. 3) Daniel De La Rosa - 11 AM

IRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. 5) Sebastian Franco & Andree Parrilla - 3 PM
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 3) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho - 2 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Portillo into the quarterfinals at 2019 IRT California Open

Welcome to the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Eduardo Portillo! After defeating David Horn on Thursday to make the Round of 16 at the California Open in Canoga Park, California, Portillo upset 8th seed Samuel Murray, 15-14, 15-14. The win puts Portillo - the current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) Boy’s U18 World Junior Champion - into the quarterfinals later on Friday, when he will play IRT #1 Alejandro Landa, who needed tie-breaker to defeat Rodrigo Montoya, the current IRF Men’s Singles World Champion, 10-15, 15-7, 11-6.

Jose Diaz also had an upset win in the 16s, as he defeated 6th seed Sebastian Franco, 11-15, 15-4, 11-8. Diaz will play 3rd seed Daniel De La Rosa, who was a straight game winner over Mauro Rojas, 15-4, 15-13.

IRT #2 Rocky Carson faces Alvaro Beltran, and IRT #4 Kane Waselenchuk plays Andree Parrilla in the other two quarterfinal matches. Carson, Waselenechuk and Parrilla were straight game winners in the Round of 16, but Beltran needed to comeback from a game down to defeat Jansen Allen in a tie-breaker, 11-15, 15-3, 11-1.

All four quarterfinals will be streamed live Friday from 4 PM via one of the IRT media outlets: the IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. Also, the semi-finals will be 11 AM and noon Saturday with the final Sunday at noon. The quarterfinals of doubles are Friday at 1 and 2 PM. The doubles semis will be 2 and 3 PM on Saturday and the final will be 1 PM Sunday. All times Pacific.

2019 IRT California Open
January 3-6 - Canoga Park, California


Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alejandro Landa d. Rodrigo Montoya, 10-15, 15-7, 11-6
Eduardo Portillo d. 8) Samuel Murray, 15-14, 15-14

5) Andree Parrilla d. Sebastian Fernandez, 15-, 15-13
4) Kane Waselenchuk d. Jake Bredenbeck, 15-8, 15-3

3) Daniel De La Rosa d. Mauro Rojas, 15-4, 15-13
Jose Diaz d. 6) Sebastian Franco, 11-15, 15-4, 11-8

7) Alvaro Beltran d. Jansen Allen, 11-15, 15-3, 11-1
2) Rocky Carson d. Robert Collins, 15-7, 15-0

Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Alejandro Landa v. Eduardo Portillo - 4 PM
4) Kane Waselenchuk v. 5) Andree Parrilla - 5 PM

3) Daniel De La Rosa v. Jose Diaz - 6 PM
2) Rocky Carson v. 7) Alvaro Beltran - 7 PM

IRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa d. 8) Rodrigo Montoya & Eduardo Portillo, 15-13, 15-9
5) Sebastian Franco & Andree Parrilla d. 4) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz, 15-13, 15-6

3) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho d. 6) Adam Manilla & Nicholas Riffel, 15-14, 12-15, 11-5
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray d. 7) Tim Herman & Michael Myers, 15-9, 15-10

IRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa v. 5) Sebastian Franco & Andree Parrilla - 3 PM
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 3) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho - 2 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

2019 IRT California Open - Round of 32 & 64

Some young guys upset a few veterans on Thursday at the 2019 International Racquetball Tour (IRT) California Open in Canoga Park, California, with two of the surprise winners being the last two International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Junior Champions in Boy’s U18. Eduardo Portillo, the current Boy’s U18 champion, had the largest upset, as he defeated David Horn, 15-11, 15-13, in the final round of qualifying. Portillo will play 8th seed Samuel Murray in the Round of 16 on Friday.

Mauro Rojas, who won Boy’s U18 at World Juniors in 2017, narrowly defeated Costa Rican veteran Felipe Camacho, 15-11, 12-15, 11-6. Rojas plays 3rd seed Daniel De La Rosa in the 16s. Also, Sebastian Fernandez beat Adam Manilla, 15-8, 15-12, and will play Andree Parrilla in the Round of 16.

The IRT Round of 16 will be streamed live Friday from 10 AM via one of the IRT media outlets: the IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The quarterfinals will be Friday afternoon from 4 PM on. Also, the semi-finals will be 11 AM and noon Saturday with the final Sunday at noon. The first round of doubles will be Friday at 9 AM with the quarterfinals Friday at 1 and 2 PM. The doubles semis will be 2 and 3 PM on Saturday and the final will be 1 PM Sunday. All times Pacific.

2019 IRT California Open
January 3-6 - Canoga Park, California


Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday

Rodrigo Montoya d. Edgar Gomez, 15-0, 15-0
Gerardo Franco d. Bradley Levine, 15-2, 15-0

David Horn - BYE
Eduardo Portillo d. Diego Garcia, 15-12, 15-11

Sebastian Fernandez d. Daniel Neri, forfeit
Adam Manilla d. Erik Solter, 15-3, 15-5

Jake Bredenbeck d. Guillermo Jesus Ortega Jr, 15-2, 15-6
Oscar Nieto Valadez d. Scott McClellan, 15-8, 12-15, 11-10

Mauro Rojas d. Dane Elkins, 15-11, 15-6
Felipe Camacho d. Felipe Mercado, 15-11, 15-9

Jose Diaz - BYE
Justus Benson d. Michael Arterburn, 15-1, 15-1

Erick Cuevas Fernandez d. John Wolfe, 15-2, 15-3
Jansen Allen - BYE

Robert Collins d. Sebastian Longoria, 15-5, 15-4
Nicholas Riffel d. Luis Avila, 14-15, 15-12, 11-8

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday

Q8) Rodrigo Montoya d. Gerardo Franco, 15-9, 15-6
Q1) Eduardo Portillo d. David Horn, 15-11, 15-13

Q4) Sebastian Fernandez d. Adam Manilla, 15-8, 15-12
Q5) Jake Bredenbeck d. Oscar Nieto Valadez, 15-4, 10-15, 11-3

Q6) Mauro Rojas d. Felipe Camacho, 15-11, 12-15, 11-6
Q3) Jose Diaz d. Justus Benson, 15-5, 15-4

Q2) Jansen Allen d. Erick Cuevas Fernandez, 15-5, 15-7
Q7) Robert Collins d. Nicholas Riffel, 14-15, 15-12, 11-8

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alejandro Landa v. Rodrigo Montoya - 11 AM
8) Samuel Murray v. Eduardo Portillo - 11 AM

5) Andree Parrilla v. Sebastian Fernandez - 11 AM
4) Kane Waselenchuk v. Jake Bredenbeck - 11 AM

3) Daniel De La Rosa v. Mauro Rojas - 10 AM
6) Sebastian Franco v. Jose Diaz - 10 AM

7) Alvaro Beltran v. Jansen Allen - 10 AM
2) Rocky Carson v. Robert Collins - 10 AM

IRT Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & 3) Daniel De La Rosa - BYE
8) Rodrigo Montoya & Eduardo Portillo d. 9) Sebastian Fernandez & Diego Garcia, 15-5, 15-2

5) Sebastian Franco & Andree Parrilla - BYE
4) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz - BYE

3) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho - BYE
6) Adam Manilla & Nicholas Riffel - BYE

7) Tim Herman & Michael Myers d. David Horn & Mauro Rojas, forfeit
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray - BYE

IRT Doubles - Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & 3) Daniel De La Rosa v. 8) Rodrigo Montoya & Eduardo Portillo - 2 PM
4) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz v. 5) Sebastian Franco & Andree Parrilla - 2 PM

3) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho v. 6) Adam Manilla & Nicholas Riffel - 1 PM
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray v. 7) Tim Herman & Michael Myers - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2019 IRT California Open - Preview

A new year has begun, and the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) will resume its 2018-19 season this weekend in Canoga Park, California, where the 2019 California Open will start on Thursday. Once again, the field is led by IRT #1 Alejandro Landa with Rocky Carson #2, Daniel De La Rosa #3 and Kane Waselenchuk #4.

Waselenchuk won the last IRT event of 2018: the Pelham Memorial Tournament of Champions in Portland, Oregon, when he defeated Alvaro Beltran in the final. Beltran is seeded 7th this weekend, so will likely face Carson in the quarterfinals. Beltran beat Carson in the semi-finals in Portland.

Highlights from the Thursday matches include Rodrigo Montoya - the current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Champion - likely facing Gerardo Franco with the winner to play Landa in the Round of 16 on Friday. Also, David Horn will play one of two good junior players in Mexican Eduardo Portillo and Bolivian Diego Garcia. The Portillo-Garcia match should be a good one.

Portillo and Garcia will also face off in doubles, as Portillo and Montoya will play Garcia and Sebastian Fernandez in the first round of doubles with the winners to take on top seeds Beltran and De La Rosa. Landa and Samuel Murray are seeded 2nd.

The IRT Round of 16 will be streamed live Friday from 10 AM via one of the IRT media outlets: the IRT Network, the IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The quarterfinals will be Friday afternoon from 4 PM on. Also, the semi-finals will be 11 AM and noon Saturday with the final Sunday at noon. The first round of doubles will be Friday at 9 AM with the quarterfinals Friday at 1 and 2 PM. The doubles semis will be 2 and 3 PM on Saturday and the final will be 1 PM Sunday. All times Pacific.

2019 IRT California Open
January 3-6 - Canoga Park, California


Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday

Rodrigo Montoya v. Edgar Gomez - 4 PM
Gerardo Franco v. Bradley Levine - 4 PM

David Horn - BYE
Eduardo Portillo v. Diego Garcia - 4 PM

Sebastian Fernandez v. Daniel Neri - 5 PM
Adam Manilla v. Erik Solter - 5 PM

Jake Bredenbeck v. Guillermo Jesus Ortega Jr - 6 PM
Scott McClellan v. Oscar Nieto Valadez - 6 PM

Mauro Rojas v. Dane Elkins - 5 PM
Felipe Camacho v. Felipe Mercado - 5 PM

Jose Diaz - BYE
Justus Benson v. Michael Arterburn - 5 PM

John Wolfe v. Erick Cuevas Fernandez - 6 PM
Jansen Allen - BYE

Robert Collins v. Sebastian Longoria - 6 PM
Nicholas Riffel v. Luis Avila - 6 PM

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday

Q8) Rodrigo Montoya or Edgar Gomez v. Gerardo Franco or Bradley Levine - 8 PM
Q1) David Horn v. Eduardo Portillo or Diego Garcia - 8 PM

Q4) Sebastian Fernandez or Daniel Neri v. Adam Manilla or Erik Solter - 8 PM
Q5) Jake Bredenbeck or Guillermo Jesus Ortega Jr v. Scott McClellan or Oscar Nieto Valadez - 9 PM

Q6) Mauro Rojas or Dane Elkins v. Felipe Camacho or Felipe Mercado - 8 PM
Q3) Jose Diaz v. Justus Benson v. Michael Arterburn - 9 PM

Q2) Jansen Allen v. John Wolfe or Erick Cuevas Fernandez - 9 PM
Q7) Robert Collins or Sebastian Longoria v. Nicholas Riffel or Luis Avila - 9 PM

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alejandro Landa v. Q8 - 11 AM
8) Samuel Murray v. Q1 - 11 AM

5) Andree Parrilla v. Q4 - 11 AM
4) Kane Waselenchuk v. Q5 - 11 AM

3) Daniel De La Rosa v. Q6 - 10 AM
6) Sebastian Franco v. Q3 - 10 AM

7) Alvaro Beltran v. Q2 - 10 AM
2) Rocky Carson v. Q7 - 10 AM

IRT Doubles - Round of 16 - Friday

1) Alvaro Beltran & 3) Daniel De La Rosa - BYE
8) Rodrigo Montoya & Eduardo Portillo v. 9) Sebastian Fernandez & Diego Garcia - 9 AM

5) Sebastian Franco & Andree Parrilla - BYE
4) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz - BYE

3) Jansen Allen & Felipe Camacho - BYE
6) Adam Manilla & Nicholas Riffel - BYE

7) David Horn & Mauro Rojas v. Tim Herman & Michael Myers - 9 PM
2) Alejandro Landa & Samuel Murray - BYE

Follow the bouncing ball….