Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ireland sweeps 19th European Championships

The 19th European Championships went down last week in The Hague, Netherlands. Ireland proved to be the team to beat, as the Irish swept the team titles as well as the individual divisions. Johnny O’Keeney of Ireland won gold in Men’s Singles by defeating German Arne Schmitz, 15-8, 15-4, in the final.

O’Keeney had a chance for double gold, as he and Joe Devenney were in the Men’s Doubles final, but they were beaten by countrymen Darragh O’Donoghue and Padraic Ryder, 3-15, 15-13, 11-7.

In women’s play, Donna Ryder won gold in both Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles with partner Katie Kenny. In the singles final, Ryder defeated Kenny, 15-6, 15-10.

19th European Championships - September 13-16, 2017
The Hague, Netherlands


Men’s Singles - Final

Johnny O’Keeney (Ireland) d. Arne Schmitz (Germany), 15-8, 15-4

Semi-Finals

Johnny O’Keeney (Ireland) d. Marcel Czempisz (Germany), 15-12, 15-14
Arne Schmitz (Germany) d. Padraic Ryder (Ireland), 15-11, 9-15, 11-10

Women’s Singles - Final

Donna Ryder (Ireland) d. Katie Kenny (Ireland), 15-6, 15-10

Semi-finals

Donna Ryder (Ireland) d. Ailbhe Gill (Ireland), 15-12, 15-6
Katie Kenny (Ireland) d. Olivia Downey (Ireland), 15-1, 15-8

Men’s Doubles - Final

Darragh O’Donoghue & Padraic Ryder (Ireland) d. Johnny O’Keeney & Joe Devenney (Ireland), 3-15, 15-13, 11-7

Semi-Finals

Johnny O’Keeney & Joe Devenney (Ireland) d. Marcel Czempisz & Arne Schmitz (Germany), 15-9, 14-15, 11-4
Darragh O’Donoghue & Padraic Ryder (Ireland) d. Pascal Matla & Edwin Schipper (Netherlands), 15-12, 15-10

Women’s Doubles - Round Robin

1. Donna Ryder & Katie Kenny (Ireland)
2. Ailbhe Gill & Olivia Downey (Ireland)
3. Lara Ludwig & Daphne Wannee (Germany/Netherlands)

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Horn wins singles, Rios & Ugalde doubles at 2017 WRT Grace Warrior Ministries Atlanta Open

Andree Parrilla was set up to have a great day Saturday at the World Racquetball Tour (WRT) 2017 Grace Warrior Ministries Atlanta Open in Lilburn, Georgia, as he was in the finals of both singles and doubles. But it didn’t work out so well for him, as Parrilla lost both. David Horn beat Parrilla, 15-10, 15-13, in the singles final, and then Fernando Rios and Jose Daniel Ugalde defeated Parrilla and Sebastian Franco, 15-7, 15-2.

Horn’s victory was his 3rd WRT title, and second of the year, as he also won the WRT Midwest Championships in March. Horn’s first win was back in 2015 at the San Luis Open.

In the singles final, Parrilla and Horn were tied at 10-10 in game one. But Horn was able to win the last five points to take the game, 15-10. Horn drove serve at 14-10, but it was short, so he hit a nick lob serve to the left side as the second serve. Parrilla tried to hit a backhand reverse pinch to the front right corner, which was an ambitious choice, and he skipped it.

Horn carried the momentum over into game two, as he took a 6-1 lead. But Parrilla called a time out at that point, and then turned the tables, as he scored the next eight points to lead 9-6. Parrilla continued to lead at 11-7, and 13-10, and it looked like he was going to force a tie-breaker.

But Horn had other ideas. Just like in game one, Horn scored five points in a row to close out the game, 15-13, and the match in two games. The winning point came as Horn drove a Z serve to the left side, and Parrilla hit a backhand down the line, which skipped.

Horn and Parrilla are similar players, as they are more shooting players rather than power players. Also, they are very good at keeping the ball in play. Saturday, Horn was more on his game than Parrilla, who also wasn’t sharp in his semi-final with Gerardo Franco earlier in the day.

The doubles final was not close, as Rios and Ugalde took big leads in both games, and won them comfortably over Parrilla and Franco. Rios and Ugalde have played doubles together for years representing Ecuador several times, and that undoubtedly helped them in the final.

They took a 8-1 lead over Parrilla and Franco in game one, and never trailed from there. Parrilla and Franco did make it close at 8-6, but they never got closer, as Rios and Ugalde won game one 15-7. Game two had a similar pattern, except Rios and Ugalde took a bigger lead at 12-1, and then won 15-2.

There will be two WRT events in October. They’ll be in Mexicali, Mexico for the WRT Casino Open, October 11-15, and then in Salt Lake City for the WRT Rocky Mountain Open, October 25-28.

2017 WRT Grace Warrior Ministries Atlanta Open - Lilburn, Georgia
September 14-16, 2017

Final - Saturday

2) David Horn d. 1) Andree Parrilla, 15-10, 15-13

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Andree Parrilla d. 4) Gerardo Franco, 15-10, 15-8
2) David Horn d. 3) Jake Bredenbeck, 15-11, 15-14

Doubles - Final - Saturday

4) Fernando Rios & Jose Daniel Ugalde d. 3) Sebastian Franco & Andree Parrilla, 15-7, 15-2

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Round of 16 & Quarterfinals at 2017 WRT Grace Warrior Ministries Atlanta Open

Few upsets on the first day of play at the World Racquetball Tour (WRT) 2017 Grace Warrior Ministries Atlanta Open in Lilburn, Georgia. In the Round of 16, only Sebastian Franco had the upset, as he defeated 7th seed Mauricio Zelada, 15-1, 15-13.

Franco almost caused a second upset in the quarterfinals, as he came back from a game down to force a tie-breaker with 2nd seed David Horn. And after Horn got up 10-5 in the breaker, Franco came back to 10-9, but Horn was able to stop the Franco there, and finish off the game and match, winning 15-7, 8-15, 11-9.

Andree Parrilla, the top seed this weekend, is on track to win a third consecutive WRT title in Atlanta after defeating Jose Daniel Ugalde in the quarterfinals, 15-13, 15-7. He’ll play Gerardo Franco in the semi-finals, as Franco beat Francisco Troncoso, 15-4, 15-2.

Jake Bredenbeck will play Horn in the other semi, as he won a close match with Jose Diaz, 15-12, 15-12, in the quarters.

The big upsets came in doubles, as Ugalde and Fernando Rios took out Bredenbeck and Diaz, who were the top seeds, 15-10, 15-6. Gerardo Franco and Troncoso were the second seeds, but they also lost their first match, falling to Jim Minkel and Bryan Titus, 15-14, 15-9, in the quarterfinals. Minkel and Titus, the seventh seeds, fell in turn to third seeds Parrilla and Sebastian Franco, 15-8, 15-9, in the semi-finals. Thus the final will be the third seeds Parrilla and S. Franco versus fourth seeds Rios and Ugalde.

You can watch Saturday’s action live from Lilburn via the WRT website beginning with the singles semi-finals at 11 AM and noon Saturday with the finals at 5 PM for singles and 6 PM for doubles.

2017 WRT Grace Warrior Ministries Atlanta Open - Lilburn, Georgia
September 14-16, 2017

Round of 16

1) Andree Parrilla - BYE
8) Jose Daniel Ugalde d. 9) Hiroshi Shimizu, 15-10, 15-7

5) Francisco Troncoso d. 12) Austin Cunningham, 8-15, 15-4, 11-3
4) Gerardo Franco d. 13) Jim Minkel, 15-11, 15-6

3) Jake Bredenbeck d. 14) Fernando Rios, 15-7, 15-10
6) Jose Diaz d. 11) Jeremy Best, 15-5, 15-5

10) Sebastian Franco d. 7) Mauricio Zelada, 15-1, 15-13
2) David Horn d. 15) Roger Subieta, 15-0, 15-0

Quarterfinals

1) Andree Parrilla v. 8) Jose Daniel Ugalde, 15-13, 15-7
4) Gerardo Franco v. 5) Francisco Troncoso, 15-4, 15-2

3) Jake Bredenbeck d. 6) Jose Diaz, 15-12, 15-12
2) David Horn d. 10) Sebastian Franco, 15-7, 8-15, 11-9

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Andree Parrilla v. 4) Gerardo Franco - Noon
2) David Horn v. 3) Jake Bredenbeck - 11 AM

Doubles - Quarterfinals

1) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz - BYE
4) Fernando Rios & Jose Daniel Ugalde d. 5) Roger Subieta & Mauricio Zelada, 15-1, 15-3

3) Sebastian Franco & Andree Parrilla d. 6) Jeremy Best & David Sable, 15-6, 15-13
7) Jim Minkel & Bryan Titus d. 2) Gerardo Franco & Francisco Troncoso, 15-14, 15-9

Doubles - Semi-finals

4) Fernando Rios & Jose Daniel Ugalde d. 1) Jake Bredenbeck & Jose Diaz, 15-10, 15-6
3) Sebastian Franco & Andree Parrilla d. 7) Jim Minkel & Bryan Titus, 15-8, 15-9

Doubles - Final - Saturday

3) Sebastian Franco & Andree Parrilla v. 4) Fernando Rios & Jose Daniel Ugalde - 6 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….