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Kane Sweeps 15th Annual Ghost of Georgetown KC ProAm; Eyes UnitedHealthcare US OPEN

altEarly round upsets ran their course in the semifinals, as a familiar pairing entered center court for Sunday’s final. #2 Rocky Carson fell in three quick games to #1 Kane Waselenchuk. Next up: UnitedHealthcare US OPEN Racquetball Championships in Minneapolis, MN, October 8-12. Watch live at IRTNetwork.com.

Click HERE for the Pro Draw

 Final:

Early round upsets ran their course in the semifinals, as a familiar pairing entered center court for Sunday’s final. #2 Rocky Carson fell in three quick games to #1 Kane Waselenchuk.   

#1 Kane Waselenchuk v#2 Rocky Carson 11-5, 11-2, 11-2

Semifinal Round:

Down 2 games in the first semifinal of the evening, #3 Alvaro Beltran made a comeback to take game 3, but couldn’t hold on for the match as #2 Rocky Carson won the first semifinal in 4 games. #1 Kane Waselenchuk swept his semifinal match against #5 Ben Croft. 

#1 Kane Waselenchuk d #5 Ben Croft 11-0, 11-5, 11-5

#2 Rocky Carson d #3 Alvaro Beltran 11-3, 11-2, (4-11), 11-5

Quarterfinal Round:

The #5 seed, Ben Croft, upset #4 Jose Rojas in the quarterfinals, joining the other top 3 seeds in the semifinal round. Croft faces #1 Kane Waselenchuk after the #2 Rocky Carson versus #3 Alvaro Beltra match-up, starting Saturday at 5 p.m.

#1 Kane Waselenchuk d #8 Chris Crowther 11-3, 11-5, 11-0

#3 Alvaro Beltran d #11 Charlie Pratt 11-7, 11-4, 11-1

#2 Rocky Carson d #10 Marco Rojas 11-5, 11-3, 11-4

#5 Ben Croft d #4 Jose Rojas (10-12), 11-8, 11-3, (8-11), 11-5

Round of 16:

 A couple of early-round upsets shook up the Quarterfinal Round pairings, as in the Round of 16 the #10-seed Marco Rojas defeeated #7-seed Daniel De La Rosa in a 5-game tiebreaker and #11-seed Charlie Pratt took out #6 Tony Carson. 

#1 Kane Waselenchuk d #17 Gerardo Guevara 11-3, 11-2, 11-3

#8 Chris Crowther d #9 Jansen Allen (5-11), 11-9, (2-11), 12-10, 11-4

#5 Ben Croft d #12 Matthew Majxner 11-6, 11-6, 11-1

#4 Jose Rojas d #13 Danny Lavely 11-2, 11-0, 11-8

#3 Alvaro Beltran d #19 Jaime Martell (7-11), 11-8, 11-4, 11-6

#11 Charlie Pratt d #6 Tony Carson 10-12, 11-6, 11-6, 11-0

#10 Marco Rojas d #7 Daniel De La Rosa (7-11), 11-5, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4

#2 Rocky Carson d #15 Daeyong Kwon 11-1, 11-0, 13-11 

“The Ghost” Turns 15; Will Kansas City Haunt Kane in 2014?

By Kyle Blasco

The last time pros converged on The Athletic Club in Overland Park, Kansas a year ago September, an unfamiliar tune was sung. It was the first time then-and-still-current-#1 player Kane Waselenchuk took a loss aside from injury forfeits since January of 2009. Jose Rojas ended Kane’s astonishing streak in the semifinals of the tourney in just four games, later going on to top #2 Rocky Carson in five to take the Ghost of Georgetown Championship. Rojas’ march to victory marked the first time in 13 years in which the #1 or #2 seeds did not come out of the tournament victorious.

With last year’s theatrics setting the stage, the 15th annual Ghost of Georgetown Championships appear primed for top-quality action as Waselenchuk, Carson, Alvaro Beltran and the rest of most talented racquetball players in the world look to supplant Rojas as he defends his title.

According to Tournament Director Mike Wedel, fans can expect the trend of thrilling matches and upsets throughout the early to mid-stages to continue. “To me, it’s a by-product of the tournament being at the start of the IRT season,” said Wedel—the Krowning Moment Bobcat Open kicks off the season just a week earlier—“The top seeds will come in better prepared and ready to play. However, there are still those hungry up-and-comers that will give it everything to win. I am looking forward to watching all of the players. Jose Rojas will be ready to defend. Daniel Del La Rosa is going to be in the mix as a rising star. And you can never discount Alvaro Beltran, Ben Croft, and Chris Crowther.”

As always, there will be plenty of racquetball played aside from world-class competition as the Ghost of Georgetown features divisions for all skill levels and age groups. The pros will have a free Jr. Clinic Saturday starting at 10:30 a.m., with a Player Appreciation Party that evening poolside at The Court Side Café and Bar. The Player Appreciation Party will feature plenty of giveaways as well as a Silent Auction to benefit the (KRA) Kansas Racquetball Association.

The Ghost of Georgetown has come a long way since now-IRT President Jason Mannino took home the title in 2007 the first year the name changed from the Kansas City Open, and also the first year it became an official Tier 1 tournament. The tournament name changed to honor the former Georgetown Club that had closed.

Everyone wanted the tournament to continue and to keep the name similar so everyone would associate it with the closed club. So, we called it The Ghost of Georgetown. It has been one of our largest and most attended tournaments ever since, for 15 years now,” said Wedel, who was the biggest proponent of making the Ghost of Georgetown an IRT event.

“When I was given the task of running the tournaments I approached the General Manager at the time, Julie Heitkamp, about making the Ghost an IRT event. She said ‘let’s do it big’. We have grown it each year and it has become one of the top tournaments in the Midwest.”

Wedel believes the continued growth of the event can be attributed to a combination of venue, location and the conscious effort to offer a variety of activities throughout the weekend. The Athletic Club holds nine courts, a full bar and restaurant. On top of that, the location is an easy one to get to with plenty of hotels within walking distance to The Athletic Club.

Tickets are $35 for unlimited pro matches, which include lunch and dinner on both Friday and Saturday. The event will be broadcast live all weekend long on the IRT network starting with pro qualifying on Thursday, September 25.

The Ghost of Georgetown Kansas City Championship’s made possible by Novasors, the Kansas Racquetball Association, Edward Jones, and NextPage- More Than Print. The event commences on Thursday, September 25 and runs through Sunday, September 29.

By Kyle Blasco