Monday, March 20, 2017

Horn & Gudinas win Open titles at Shamrock Shootout

David Horn won the Men’s Open division at the 32nd Annual Shamrock Shootout in Lombard, Illinois Sunday. He survived a field of 36 players to come out on top. In the final, Horn defeated Mario Mercado, 15-14, 15-8, in what was their second meeting in a final in as many weekends. Horn and Mercado faced off in the final of the World Racquetball Tour (WRT) Midwest Championships on the previous weekend, when Horn also won. That win was 15-14, 15-14, so together with Sunday’s result, Horn and Mercado have played four games to 15 and three of them have ended 15-14.

In the semi-finals, Horn beat Gerardo Franco, 15-11, 15-9, while Mercado took out Samuel Murray, 15-9, 15-7.

Veteran Cheryl Gudinas won the Women’s Open division in Lombard, as she outlasted Masiel Rivera in the final, 7-15, 15-6, 11-8. Gudinas beat Rebecca Bowman in one semi-final, 15-4, 15-4, while Rivera defeated Samantha Simmons, 15-8, 15-4, in the other.

Finally, Jake Bredenbeck and Bryan Crosser defeated Thomas Carter and Kyle Ulliman, 15-12, 15-10, to win the Men’s Open Doubles title.

Looking ahead, the IRT will be back in action this coming weekend in Dayton, Ohio for the Raising Some Racquet for Kids Pro-Am, March 23-36. But the field will be much smaller than this past weekend at the Shamrock Shootout in Lombard, Illinois, as only 17 players are currently registered to play in Dayton compared with 37 in Lombard.

2017 IRT Shamrock Shootout, March 16-19
Lombard, Illinois

Men’s Open Final

David Horn d. Mario Mercado, 15-14, 15-8


David Horn d. Gerardo Franco, 15-11, 15-9
Mario Mercado d. Samuel Murray, 15-9, 15-7


Gerardo Franco d. Felipe Camacho, 15-11, 15-6
David Horn d. Andres Gómez, 15-2, 15-6
Samuel Murray d. Sebastian Franco, 15-11, 15-8
Mario Mercado d. Andres Acuña

Women’s Open Final

Cheryl Gudinas d. Masiel Rivera, 7-15, 15-6, 11-8


Cheryl Gudinas d. Rebecca Bowman, 15-4, 15-4
Masiel Rivera d. Samantha Simmons, 15-8, 15-4

Men’s Open Doubles Final

Jake Bredenbeck & Bryan Crosser d. Thomas Carter & Kyle Ulliman, 15-12, 15-10


Jake Bredenbeck & Bryan Crosser d. Marco Rojas & Bruce Young, 15-2, 15-7
Thomas Carter & Kyle Ulliman d. Jorge Ortiz & Fernando Javier Rivera, 15-6, 15-11

Follow the bouncing ball….

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Waselenchuk defeats Parrilla to win 32nd Annual IRT Shamrock Shootout

Kane Waselenchuk, the #1 player on the International Racquetball Tour (IRT), broke the glass slipper Andree Parrilla had worn in his run to the final of the 32nd Annual Shamrock Shootout in Lombard, Illinois, as Waselenchuk defeated Parrilla 11-1, 11-4, 12-10, in the final.

Waselenchuk remains undefeated this season, winning all six events he’s entered, and eight in a row dating back to last season.

Despite the loss, Parrilla came to Lombard as the 14th ranked IRT player. He’s a little more than 150 ranking points behind 10th ranked Felipe Camacho, who has Round of 16 finish in Lombard, so it’s possible that Parrilla may crack the top 10 with his first IRT final appearance.

In reaching the final, Parrilla knocked off IRT #2 Rocky Carson in the semi-finals, and IRT #3 Daniel De La Rosa in the Round of 16, as well as 11th ranked Alejandro Landa in the quarterfinals. So, he wasn’t gifted the spot in the final. Parrilla earned it.

Moreover, although Waselenchuk won in three straight games, Parrilla scored more points than he had in any of the previous four meetings on tour. Indeed, in their last meeting - earlier this season at the 2016 US Open - Waselenchuk blanked Parrilla, 11-0, 11-0, 11-0. Thus, Parrilla’s 15 points today is certainly a better result than that.

The IRT will be back in action next weekend in Dayton, Ohio for the Raising Some Racquet for Kids Pro-Am, March 23-36.

2017 IRT Shamrock Shootout, March 16-19
Lombard, Illinois


1) Kane Waselenchuk d. Andree Parrilla, 11-1, 11-4, 12-10

Follow the bouncing ball….

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Parrilla into final after beating Carson at IRT Shamrock Shootout

Andree Parrilla had a stunning win in the semi-finals of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 32nd Annual Shamrock Shootout in Lombard, Illinois, as he took out the #2 IRT player Rocky Carson, 3-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 11-8, to reach an IRT final for the first time in his career. Indeed, it was his first appearance in the semi-finals, and only the third time he’s reached the quarterfinals.

Parrilla will face Kane Waselenchuk, the #1 IRT player, in the final Sunday, as Waselenchuk comfortably defeated IRT #4 Alvaro Beltran, 11-2, 11-2, 11-5. Although Waselenchuk didn’t look quite as sharp as earlier in the tournament, he was still hitting some rockets both on the serve and during rallies.

After dropping the first game, 11-3, Parrilla led early in game two, 3-0. Carson came back and tied it at 4-4, and then went ahead 7-4. Parrilla took his turn in coming back and tied it 8-8, and then went on to win 11-8, levelling the match at a game a piece.

Game three went to Carson, who got out to a 6-2 lead, and never looked back, winning it with a backhand down the line shot. But again Parrilla bounced back, as he got on the board first in game four at 2-0. They were back and forth after that until the score was 5-5. From there Parrilla scored six unanswered points. Carson called a timeout at 8-5, but to no avail.

Two of the shots of the match came on either side of that timeout, as Parrilla hit overhead forehand pinch shots into the front left corner. It seemed that he cut the ball - moved the racquet across it - as he hit those off speed winners. But Parrilla won game four with a more conventional shot: a backhand pinch shot that was flat out of the left corner.

That set up the breaker. Carson served first, but a Parrilla forehand pinch created a side out. Parrilla went up 5-0 before Carson got the serve back with a backhand pinch return. Carson scored a point, but then lost serve. He got the serve back right away, but Carson gave up the serve with an uncharacteristic double fault, as he put a drive jam serve long.

That error led to four more Parrilla points, and a 9-1 lead. Of Parrilla’s nine points, eight were winners. The most impressive of those came from a diving pinch kill shot after Carson had hit a good backhand serve return. With the score 9-1, Carson called a timeout, and when play resumed he got the serve back with a backhand winner.

Cue Carson’s comeback. He went from 9-1 to 9-6 relatively quickly, and then Parrilla called a timeout. But that didn’t stop Carson’s comeback, as he scored two more points to make it 9-8. A forehand pinch shot got Parrilla back the serve, and then he managed to hit a backhand winner that was initially called a skip, although both players seemed to think it was good. A video review confirmed the players’ opinions, and Parrilla had his first match point.

One match point was all Parrilla needed as he hit a forehand pinch shot for a winner on the ensuing rally to reach his first career IRT final.

Waselenchuk and Parrilla have met four times on tour with Waselenchuk winning all four matches in straight games. Indeed, Parrilla hasn’t scored more than five points against Waselenchuk in any game and no more than 10 in a match. Their last meeting was earlier this season at the 2016 US Open, when Waselenchuk blanked Parrilla in the Round of 16, 11-0, 11-0, 11-0.

If there was betting on Sunday’s final, it would be an over-under on how many points Parrilla will score.

The IRT Network will broadcast the Shamrock Shootout final Sunday at 1 PM.

2017 IRT Shamrock Shootout, March 16-19
Lombard, Illinois

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 4) Alvaro Beltran, 11-2, 11-2, 11-5
Andree Parrilla d. 2) Rocky Carson, 3-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 11-8

Final - Sunday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. Andree Parrilla - 1 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….