Sunday, March 20, 2022

Waselenchuk & Carson to face off for 82nd time in final of 37th Annual IRT PapaNicholas Coffee Shamrock Shootout

Kane Waselenchuk and Rocky Carson - 40 and 42 years old, respectively - have schooled all the young’uns that they’ve faced this weekend at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 37th Annual PapaNicholas Coffee Shamrock Shootout in Lombard, Illinois, so the veterans will meet in an IRT final for the first time in over three years on Sunday. They are the most familiar of foes, as they have played more IRT matches against each other than any other pair of players in IRT history: 81. Waselenchuk holds the decisive advantage over those 81 matches with 78 wins to Carson’s 3.

In Saturday’s semi-finals, Waselenchuk, the IRT’s #3 player, defeated IRT #7 Conrrado Moscoso in two straight games, 15-6, 15-7, and IRT #8 Carson came back to beat IRT #3 Alejandro Landa, 14-15, 15-4, 11-9.

In the doubles semi-finals, current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Champions Javier Mar and Rodrigo Montoya from Mexico defeated Jake Bredenbeck and Samuel Murray, 15-11, 15-11, and will play Bolivians Roland Keller and Moscoso, who squeaked out a win over Carson and Eduardo Portillo, 8-15, 15-7, 11-10.

When a match goes to a third game after two lopsided games, it’s almost always close in the breaker, and so it was with Keller and Moscoso versus Carson and Portillo. Keller and Moscoso did lead the whole way, including at 10-5. But Carson and Portillo fought off an initial match point and then got four points of their own to get within one at 10-9.

Carson then skipped a forehand shot to give the Bolivians the serve, yet they couldn’t finish it as Moscoso got hit by the ball as he was on the floor by the left wall, and then Carson hit a winning backhand wide angle pass to get his side back in the service box.

The game tying point came as the ball got caught up in the back left corner, so Moscoso couldn’t return it, giving Carson and Portillo a match point. On the next rally Moscoso hit a backhand winner to put Carson and Portillo half down, and then Portillo skipped a forehand pinch shot, so two match point opportunities went for naught and the Bolivians were back to serve.

Moscoso skipped a forehand shot on his team’s second match point opportunity. Then Carson had a good chance to win it as the ball came well off from the back left corner, and he set up to hit a backhand pinch shot into the front left corner but skipped the shot. Thus, Keller and Moscoso won, and will face the IRF World Champions Sunday in the final.

The IRT singles final will be noon Sunday with the doubles to follow at 1 PM. All times are Central. Look for the action via the IRT YouTube channel., as well as its Facebook page.

37th Annual IRT PapaNicholas Coffee Shamrock Shootout
March 17-20, 2022 - Lombard, Illinois

IRT Singles - Semi-finals - Saturday

8) Rocky Carson d. 4) Alejandro Landa, 14-15, 15-4, 11-9
3) Kane Waselenchuk d. 7) Conrrado Moscoso, 15-6, 15-7

IRT Singles - Semi-finals - Sunday

3) Kane Waselenchuk v. 8) Rocky Carson - Noon

IRT Doubles - Semi-finals - Saturday

4) Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso d. 8) Rocky Carson & Eduardo Portillo, 8-15, 15-7, 11-10
2) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya d. 3) Jake Bredenbeck & Samuel Murray, 15-11, 15-11

IRT Doubles - Final - Sunday

2) Javier Mar & Rodrigo Montoya v. 4) Roland Keller & Conrrado Moscoso - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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