#3 Alvaro Beltran powered into the first game, delivering an aggressive game plan to #1 Kane Waselenchuk, which the #1 player returned to take a tight game one, 12-10. The back injury Alvaro has been battling struck three points into game two, leaving Kane Waslenchuk to claim the championship plaque – featuring hometown favorite Jose Rojas’ photo on the front. Click more read how the matches played out, follow the draw, or watch archives on the IRTNetwork.com.
#1 Kane Waselenchuk d #3 Alvaro Beltra WBF Injury
Alvaro powered into the first game, delivering an aggressive game plan to Kane, which the #1 player returned until his fourth chance at game point when he walked away pocketing a tight, 12-10 finish.
At the start of game two, the back problem that Alvaro has been battling (that reared up during game two of his semifinal match against Rocky), forced him to withdraw from the match. Kane Waselenchuk walked off the court earning the championship plaque — with Jose Roja’s photo on the front.
#1 Kane Waselenchuk delivered a 3-game defeat to hometown favorite, #4 Jose Rojas demonstrating “the damage he could do when healthy.” #3 Alvaro Beltran tied his lifetime head-to-head record against Rocky to 18 matches each after a nearly three hour semifinal match.
#1 Kane Waselenchuk d #4 Jose Rojas 3, 1, 2
Jose came out firing, racking up a 2-0 lead serving aces, until Kane came back to tie it at 3-3 before delivering an ace of his own for the lead at 4-3. He never looked back, delivering precision and heat for a game one win, 11-3. With speed measured in broken balls (2 by 3-0), Jose had a hard time getting his racquet on the ball, as Kane rocketed to an 11-1 win. In game 3, Rojas got on the board at 1-3, after a skip call Kane questioned but the hometown crowd loved. Jose converted the next point as Kane kept up the pressure, racking a 9-2 lead when Jose took a timeout. Kane kept the pressure on, closing out the match 11-2.
#3 Alvaro Beltran d #2 Rocky Carson 8-11, 11-6, 11-13, 11-3, 11-6
Rocky’s hits were crisp and clean as he looked ready to run away with game 1. Alvaro came back. The two pressed through long rallies, tying at 6-6. A broken ball at Rocky’s game point only delayed his win, 11-8.
In game 2, Alvaro had a bit of a back spasm which forced him to focus and take control with an 11-6 win to tie the match at 1 game a piece.
In game three the two played it tight, keeping the score close and then tying point-for-point 9-9, 10-10, until Rocky pulled away 13-11. Again the two tied the score at 3-3 in game four, until Alvaro’s exact shotmaking notched point after point for an 11-3 win.
In game 5, Beltran seemed to flat roll out the ball, climbing to a 4-0 lead and hardly looking back. At 1-8 Rocky returned to center box, delivering a tough z-serve to the back corner for which Alvaro no answer beyond his frame clanking against the wall. Rocky started a run of his own, sticking with the serve until at 8-4, he snuck in a forehand drive. 9-6 lead, Beltran flattened out a ceiling ball and, for 10-6. Couldn’t close it out, but returned another rollout for the serve, point, and game at 11-6 to win in the over 2-1/2 hour match. The two have met 36 times, and now tied their lifetime record to18 games each.
The hometown crowd loudly backed #4 Jose Rojas, who won an exciting tiebreaker in the quarterfinal against Daniel De La Rosa to face #1 Kane Waselenchuk on Saturday, May 3 at 5 p.m. PDT. #3 Alvaro Beltran, who fended off #14 Cliff Swain in a tight tiebreaker in the 16s before taking out Chris Crowther in three in the quarters, went on to face #2 Rocky Carson, who ended Jansen Allen’s upset victory to a quarterfinal finish.
#4 Jose Rojas defeated #5 Daniel De La Rosa 11-5, 1-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-8
Daniel De La Rosa took Jose to an exciting 11-8 tiebreaker, with the hometown crowd solidly behind the top Stockton pro.
#3 Alvaro Beltran over #6 Chris Crowther 8, 8, 9 with games were not as close as the scores.
#2 Rocky Carson d Jansen Allen, who looked good winning the first game before Rocky’s fitness took over and he easily won the next three for the match in four.
#1 Kane Waselenchuk over #8 Ben Croft 11-0, 11-1, (7-11), 11-3. “A clinick.”
Round of 16
#3 Alvaro Beltran d #14 Cliff Swain 11-13, 9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 11-7. Alvaro and Cliff were locked in a tight tiebreaker, Cliff down 1-5 before taking his first lead in game 5, at 6-5. tied. Beltran was too strong, tying at 6 before puling ahead to a 9-6 lead and then 11-9 for the match.
#2 Rocky Carson d #18 Francisco Troncoso in a routine 3, 0, 3, 6
#10 Jansen Allen in 5 over #7 Tony Carson, (8), 6, (6), 5, 3 in an upset after a long match with Jansen’s consistent play forcing many errors from Tony.
#1 Kane Waselenchuk in 3 over #17 Tom Furman 7, 1, 3
# 8 Ben Croft in 4 over #9 Marco Rojas 7, 4, (8), 6 in a heated battle, where even with a technical in game 4, Croft had too much experience for Markie.
#6 Chris Crowther over #11 Charlie Pratt 3, 9, (8), 3, in four with the first 3 close games followed by Chris wining big in the forth
#4 Jose Rojas over #13 David Horn after a tight tiebreaker, 8, (9), 8, 6, 14-12
4 Pros Have Ektelon Battle of the Ages Home Court Advantage
By Brian Gill
Like King Arthur showcasing his bravest knights, former top-ranked IRT pro and Stockton local John Ellis recently took to Facebook to throw down a proverbial racquetball gauntlet to any other area code’s challengers brave enough to take on the “209.”
John Ellis Facebook post (3-26-14)
When it comes to RB, we now have here in the 209:
– Jose Rojas: No. 2 USA player on the tour and National Doubles Champion
– Markie Rojas: USAR National Champion
– Jose Diaz: Collegiate National Champion
– David Horn: USAR National Runner-up
– Daniel Rojas: High School National Champion
Proud of these dudes!! They help keep my parents and I young at heart. BTW, we’ll take on any other city that wants a piece!! Anyone……Proud of these dudes!! They help keep my parents and I young at heart. BTW, we’ll take on any other city that wants a piece!! Anyone……Proud of these dudes!! They help keep my parents and I young at heart. BTW, we’ll take on any other city that wants a piece!! Anyone……
Proud of these dudes!! They help keep my parents and I young at heart. BTW, we’ll take on any other city that wants a piece!! Anyone……
Well, King Ellis…your challenge has been accepted by nearly 300 game racquetball players in 20 men’s and women’s amateur divisions—and, of course, in the exclusive Tier 1 pro draw!
Needless to say, when Tour veterans Kane Waselenchuk (No. 1), Rocky Carson (No. 2), and Alvaro Beltran (No. 3) arrive in Stockton, they’ll be greeted by a young cadre of highly ranked local talent determined to keep this Tier 1 title in the “209.”
3 Reasons to Watch – and why outlined below
1) Top local talent looking to defend home turf
2) Semifinal shake-up
3) “Gladiator” Division
Young Guns Aim to Dethrone Racquetball’s Royalty
No. 4 ranked Jose Rojas looks to further his case as the future of racquetball. In September 2013 at the Kansas City Pro-Am, Rojas did what no one has done since January 2009: defeat Kane Waselenchuk. Jose beat Kane in the semifinals and went on to knock out Rocky Carson in the finals to earn his second Tier 1 victory. Will home court advantage be enough for Rojas to repeat his upset at the IRT’s season opener? “Everyone here is pumped up for this tournament—myself included. For the local players here in Stockton, there would be nothing more satisfying than keeping this Tier 1 title with us all year long,” says Rojas.
Locking arms with Rojas are Stockton-based, fellow Ektelon Team Adrenalin players:
– Marco Rojas (No. 9) – made the quarterfinals of this tournament in 2013.
– Jose Diaz (No. 12) – is fresh off his win at the 2014 National Intercollegiate Championships.
– David Horn (No. 15) – is on a nice trajectory with an 86.58% win rate over higher ranked players.
– Mauro Rojas (No. 108) – 2014 Boys’ Singles High School National Champion, will be brimming with confidence coming into this tournament.
Each will contend for a share of the $20,000 prize money, and together they look to secure this Tier 1 title for the 209.
“The best moment will be when one of our own wins this tournament. It didn’t happen for me, and that hurts, but a little of that hurt will go away if one of these guys can get it done. It’s time!” says John Ellis, Ektelon 209 Battle of the Agestournament director.
If past performance is the best predictor of future behavior, then we could be in for another semifinal shakeup:
– Charlie Pratt and Tony Carson – both semifinalists at the recent Florida Spring Break Pro-Am will be looking to make sure their names are advanced as far as possible to the far right side of the draw sheet.
– Daniel De La Rosa – made the semifinals here at last year’s 2013 Stockton Open, and will be looking to raise the stakes this year.
You know how today’s oversized racquets are made with carbon graphite, sprinkled with titanium, and laced with tiger’s blood? Well, it wasn’t always that way. Racquetball racquets used to be made of metal and wood, and they were much, much smaller. There’s even an old urban legend of a pro player using a frying pan to beat an opponent who claimed he would be nothing without his modern day racquet. In this spirit, we unveil to you the Gladiator Division—where brave warriors dust off their Original Sized Racquets and test their mettle (pun intended) once and for all. Be sure to tune in and see which former pros show up to claim their share of the prize money!
Fun Facts for the 209
– Ektelon 209 Battle of the Ages is home court to more pros than any other Tier 1 tournament.
– This is the longest running pro stop on the IRT.
– The Nor Cal area is a true hotbed of racquetball in the US.
– This year the Ektelon 209 Battle of the Ages will serve as the State Championships for both California and Nevada.
Watching Online at www.IRTNetwork.com?
Let us help you plan your weekend. Remember all matches are Pacific Time.
– Round of 16 (Fri., 5/2) – 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
– Quarterfinals (Fri., 5/2) – 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.
– Semifinals (Sat., 5/3) – 5 p.m., 6 p.m.
– Finals (Sun., 5/4) – Noon
In-Shape: West Lane (The Club)
Helping you live the “In-Shape Lifestyle,” In-Shape Health Clubs is ranked one of the top 20 health club companies in the United States and owns and operates 70 locations in California. Sure, they have all the amenities you could ask for—from weights and sports to childcare and massage—but the only thing that matters May 1–4, 2014, is that Ektelon and Stockton Athletic Hall of Famer John Ellis are bringing the men’s professional International Racquetball Tour to town. Come watch the action!
Address: 1074 E. Bianchi Road, Stockton, CA 95210
Phone: (209) 472-2100
Event Sponsors (Thank you!)
Ektelon (Title Sponsor), Mike Lippitt, Harold Jagoda, John Parks, Greg Meyer, Craig Walters, Jason Ede, Dale Millhollin, City of Stockton Visitors Bureau, Tori Davis, Ray Franco, John Dalisky, Victor Manilla, Bill George, Big Valley Ford, Darrell Vincent, Dave Powell, Collins Electric, Bill Kendall, Gary Long’s Jewelers, Denny Erardi, George Retamoza.