Sunday, October 5, 2008

Waselenchuk's streak continues with a win at the IRT Kentucky Open

The streak goes on. Kane Waselenchuk defeated Alvaro Beltran, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5, in the final of the International Racquetball Tour's (IRT's) Kentucky Open in Bowling Green on Sunday to run his match winning streak to 17 from the start of the season.

But in the match it was Beltran who had the great start. In game one, he took an early lead at 5-1 and 8-1. But Waselenchuk fought back to level the game at 8-8, and then go ahead at 9-8. Then there was a long rally that ended with Beltran diving forward and killing the ball to regain serve. He used that to get the lead back at 10-9, and pushed on to win 11-9.

In game two, Waselenchuk was ahead from start to finish, grabbing an early lead at 5-1 and riding that to an 11-5 victory. The turn game was more of the same from Waselenchuk, as he scored seven points in a row to get a 7-1 lead. Beltran took a time out, but that only delayed the inevitable as Waselenchuk went on to win game three 11-5.

Waselenchuk's dominance of the match continued in game four, as he went out to a 5-0 lead, and cruised to an 11-5 win.

Beltran's well known for his lob serve down the right wall, which is perhaps his best serve. He used it in game one, but he went away from it after that as Waselenchuk scored more and more points. In not using his best serve, Beltran handicapped himself. It was as if he felt he had to do something better than the things that had got him into the final.

Sunday's final was the third meeting of the season between Waselenchuk and Beltran. Waselenchuk has won all three matches, losing only two games in the process and giving up an average of 5.36 points per game to Beltran.

In a post-match interview, Waselenchuk confirmed that he will be in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada next week for the Canadian Racquetball Classic the next stop on the IRT. An Edmonton native, Waselenchuk will be playing in his hometown, and the site of his positive drug test two years ago at the 2006 Canadian National Championships, which led to his 2 year ban from racquetball competition.

Had that positive test not occurred, Waselenchuk's match winning streak might be far longer.

Final (IRT ranking)

(14) Kane Waselenchuk d. (4) Alvaro Beltran, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5

Follow the bouncing ball....

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