Saturday, October 5, 2019

Croft & Waselenchuk win IRT Doubles at 2019 UnitedHealthcare US Open

Ben Croft and Kane Waselenchuk won the rubber match with Alvaro Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa as the two teams met in the final of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Doubles division for the 3rd year running at the 2019 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships in Minneapolis. Beltran and Daniel De La Rosa were defending champions, and Croft and Waselenchuk won two years ago, and they did again on Saturday, defeating Beltran and De La Rosa, 15-11, 15-8. Croft and Waselenchuk have won the US Open IRT Doubles title four of the six years its been played.

Early in game one, it looked like Beltan and De La Rosa might successfully defend their title, as they got the first two points of the match. However, Croft and Waselenchuk got the next nine, and went from 2-1 to 9-2 on eight straight rallies.

The defending champions came back, and got within three at 11-8, and then within two at 13-11. But they got no closer as Waselenchuk hit winners on back to back rallies to get the serve back.

They called a timeout before serving, and when play resumed the rarest thing happened. Kane Waselenchuk whiffed on a ball. To be fair, it was close the side wall, but still! Reality was restored as he hit winners on the next two rallies to close out the game, 15-11.

Although Beltran and De La Rosa seemed to have some momentum from the second half of game one, that evaporated as Croft and Waselenchuk took a 5-0 lead in game two. From there the writing was on the wall, as the lead extended to 8-2 and 11-3.

Beltran and De La Rosa did put together a string of five straight points to get close at 11-8, and you thought "maybe there's a chance." But they didn't score again after that.

Croft and Waselenchuk got the serve back, and scored three points to reach match point at 14-8. Then Waselenchuk was forced into a skip, as the ball was hit at him. He tried to hit the ball back between his legs, which he's often successful with, but not this time.

Yet Beltran and De La Rosa couldn't score. De La Rosa skipped a shot that he was diving for, and then Beltran skipped a pinch shot, which seemed like an unforced error, to give the service back to their opponents.

On the next rally, the ball was driven wide into the back court, and De La Rosa dove again to try to keep it in play, but to no avail. That made it 15-8, and made Croft and Waselenchuk US Open Doubles Champions for the fourth time.

If you missed the final, check out the IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page.

2019 UnitedHealthcare US Open Racquetball Championships
Minneapolis, Minnesota - October 2-6, 2019

IRT Doubles - Final - Saturday

2) Ben Croft & Kane Waselenchuk d. 1) Alvaro Beltran & Daniel De La Rosa, 15-11, 15-8

Follow the bouncing ball….

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