Friday, January 31, 2020

Top two seeds into semis at 2020 IRT Lou Bradley Memorial Pro-Am

Kane Waselenchuk, the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), is into the semi-finals at the 22nd Lou Bradley Memorial tournament in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, as he defeated 9th seed Rodrigo Montoya, 15-6, 15-10, in the quarterfinals. In the semi-finals, Waselenchuk will play 4th seed Alvaro Beltran, who came back from a game down to defeat 5th seed Samuel Murray, 11-15, 15-12, 11-8.

Alejandro Landa, the IRT’s #2 player, is also into the semis with a win over 10th seed Sebastian Franco, 15-5, 15-5. It was a match that was closer than the score reflected. Landa will play 11th seed Mario Mercado in the semi-finals Saturday, as Mercado beat 14th seed Gerardo Franco in the quarters, 15-13, 15-2.

There was spot of controversy in the Waselenchuk-Montoya match, as at 3-3 in game two there was a long rally that ended when Waselenchuk shoved into Montoya to try and reach a Montoya forehand cross court shot. A hinder was called, but Waselenchuk wanted a penalty hinder.

Montoya’s shot was the 16th of the rally, which is an especially long racquetball rally, so Waselenchuk might have wanted to make sure he didn't lose it. A hinder was probably the best call, although the ball might been by too, so it might have been no hinder at all. We didn’t think it was a penalty hinder.

Waselenchuk’s move into Montoya was excessive, and perhaps he was channeling his inner hockey player. Waselenchuk could have been assessed a technical for such a violent shove into his opponent.

Two other points about that rally (it happens at 30:30 in). First, Montoya could have asked for a hinder or even a penalty hinder earlier in the rally when he had to go right around Waselenchuk to get to a touch pinch shot that was way up. Second, Waselenchuk didn’t make an appeal of the call.

Finally, if you are believer in “the ball knows,” you should know that Waselenchuk lost the next rally.

The Lou Bradley concludes Saturday, so don't wait to catch some of the action, and check it out via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The semi-finals Saturday at Noon and 1 PM, and the final at 8 PM Saturday. All times Central.

2020 IRT Lou Bradley Memorial, January 30-February 2, 2020
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

Quarterfinals - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 9) Rodrigo Montoya, 15-6, 15-10
4) Alvaro Beltran d. 5) Samuel Murray, 11-15, 15-12, 11-8

11) Mario Mercado d. 14) Gerardo Franco, 15-13, 15-2
2) Alejandro Landa d. 10) Sebastian Franco, 15-5, 15-5

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 4) Alvaro Beltran - 1 PM
2) Alejandro Landa v. 11) Mario Mercado - Noon

Follow the bouncing ball….

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