Friday, September 14, 2018

Quarterfinals at 2018 IRT MWRA Pro-Am

Top seed Rocky Carson, the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), squeaked through his quarterfinal match versus Andree Parrilla at the MWRA Pro-Am in Laurel, Maryland, winning 15-9, 14-15, 11-10. Carson will play 4th seed Sebastian Franco, who was a straight game winner over Adam Manilla, 15-9, 15-4, in the quarters.

In the middle of the second game, it looked like Carson was going to win in two relatively comfortable games, as he led 14-6 after winning the first game. That is, Parrilla looked to be dead, and if not buried, at least had a few shovelfuls of dirt on him.

But he kept plugging away, and fought off Carson’s first match point with a backhand pinch return. Parrilla put up a couple of points before a Carson forehand switched the servers. But again Parrilla hit a backhand winner to deny Carson his second match point. Two more points for Parrilla, including a great backhand pinch shot, and Carson called a timeout with the score 14-10 in his favour.

That timeout didn’t stop Parrilla, as he hit two more backhand winners to make it 14-12. Carson skipped a backhand serve return off a drive Z serve to the left, which was the serve Parrilla used to create his comeback, and the score was 14-13.

On the next serve - another drive Z to the left, Carson hit a backhand return winner, which set up his third match point. Parrilla denied that Carson that opportunity with a great backhand pinch shot. Carson then gave Parrilla a game point chance after skipping a forehand pinch shot.

In the next rally, Parrilla had an opportunity to hit a backhand down the line, but instead went cross court with it. It came off the back wall, and Carson hit a pinch winner into the front right corner to earn his fourth match point.

However, four was not the charm for Carson, as he drove a jam serve to the left that came out into the middle so Parrilla could hit a forehand winner back to the left side. With his second game point, Parrilla changed the serve up, and drove it to the right side, where Carson skipped a forehand return sending the match to a tie-breaker.

In the breaker, they were close through out the game. Six rallies got them to 2-2, but after 14 more rallies the score had only progressed to 5-3 with Parrilla leading, and seeming to have some momentum. On the next rally Carson hit a forehand shot from around the service box to the left side. It was called a skip, but Carson appealed it. Because of the proximity of Carson to the front wall there wasn’t a lot to see on the replay, but it was enough that the referee overturned his call, which meant a sideout to Carson, who was serving at 3-5 rather than Parrilla serving at 6-3.

That call shifted the momentum from Parrilla to Carson, who scored four points before Parrilla called a time out with Carson leading 7-5. Carson maintained the lead to 9-6, when Parrilla got the serve back with a pinch backhand return off a drive Z left.

Parrilla took advantage to win the next four points with three winners and a penalty hinder call against Carson, and that put Parrilla on his first match point at 10-9. He had a good chance to win it, as Carson put a ball into the middle of the court, which Parrilla was right there to make a solid backhand cross court winner with. However, Parrilla skipped it. The only explanation we have for that was that the ball came a bit close to Carson, which may have caused a slight hesitation by Parrilla and put his swing timing off.

He didn’t get a second chance.

Carson hit a forehand shot to win the next rally to make it 10-10, and then won it on his fifth match point with a forehand pinch shot after Parrilla had made two dives to keep the rally going.

Second seed Alejandro Landa is also through to the semi-finals after defeating 7th seed Jansen Allen, 15-12, 15-3. Allen had a substantial lead in game one at 10-2, but Landa worked his way back, and tied the game at 10-10. Allen didn’t have a response for Landa’s run, and after winning game one, Landa cruised through game two.

Samuel Murray will be Landa’s opponent in the semi-finals, as Murray defeated Thomas Carter, 15-2, 15-11. After being rolled in game one, Carter had a good response in game two, which was close right to the end, when Murray was able to put together to close out the game and match.

Landa and Murray are no strangers to each other, as they have played doubles together on several occasions. In fact, they have played more IRT doubles matches with each other than with any other partner.

The semi-finals will be Saturday morning at 11 AM and noon, and look for the action at the IRT Network, or the IRT Facebook page. The final will be Saturday at 7 PM. All times Eastern.

2018 IRT MWRA Pro-Am, September 13-15, 2018
Laurel, Maryland

Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Rocky Carson d. Andree Parrilla, 15-8, 14-15, 11-10
4) Sebastian Franco d. Adam Manilla, 15-9, 15-4

6) Samuel Murray d. Thomas Carter, 15-2, 15-11
2) Alejandro Landa d. 7) Jansen Allen, 15-12, 15-3

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Rocky Carson v. 4) Sebastian Franco - Noon
6) Samuel Murray v. 2) Alejandro Landa - 11 AM

Follow the bouncing ball….

1 comment:

Blacketballer said...

Great recap! Many thanks!