MWRA Season Opener Recap
Washington, Mo. September 19, 2018- The first event of the 2018-2019 International Racquetball Tour’s (IRT) season finished on Saturday this past weekend in Laurel, Maryland and set the bar for the rest of the season!
The #1 ranked player in the world, Rocky Carson from Landera Ranch, California, finished the event in the same place of his ranking….NUMBER ONE! Carson defeated the #7 ranked player on Tour, Sam Murray from Baie-Comeau, Quebec, in the finals by a score 15-7, 15-12 to give Carson his 26th championship title. Murray has reached three semi-finals before, but this was his first finals appearance since he has played on Tour.
In an exciting three-game tiebreaker, Carson defeated Andree Parrilla, from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, by a final score of 15-9, 14-15, 11-10. Parrilla was down 6-14 midway through the second game, but made a mountain of a comeback to take game two and send himself and Carson to a tiebreaker.
Sebastian Franco, from Cali, Columbia, and Adam Manilla, from Centennial, Colorado squared off in their quarter-final match, which Franco won decisively by scores of 15-9, 15-4.
Murray and Thomas Carter, from Murrysville, Pennsylvania went head-to-head in their quarter-final match which was closer in the second game than the first. Murray defeated Thomas, who advanced into the quarter-finals with a bye after defeating Justus Benson from New Braunfels, Texas, by a final score of 15-2, 15-11.
It was a Texan showdown in the final quater-final between the #2 ranked player on Tour, Alex Landa residing in El Paso, Texas, and Jansen Allen, from Rice, Texas. In a close first game, Landa pulled off the victory with a final score of 15-12. In game two, Allen let Landa have too much control of the court and was defeated 15-3.
The first semi-final match between Carson and Franco started with Franco in the lead 4-0 before Carson got down to business and took game one 15-8. Franco started the second game just as Carson started the first, slow and playing from behind at 5-1 with Carson in the lead. Carson went on a tear and took the lead at 9-8, before rallying off a couple more killshots and finishing off Franco 15-12.
In the second semi-final, Murray and Landa traded results and almost the same scores in the first two games with scores of 15-8 Murray and 15-9 Landa. It was in the game three tiebreaker where we witnessed Murray advance to his first ever Tier 1 final on Tour. Murray defeated Landa with a final score of 11-7 in game three.
In the Saturday night final, fans got to witness some entertaining rallies and some top-level performances from both Carson and Murray. Carson seemed to be in control as he defeated Murray in game one by a final score of 15-7. Murray fought hard in game two against Carson showing great talent and little emotion, but was defeated in the end 15-12. With that being Murray’s first final with the IRT, look for him in future finals this season.
From September 26-30 the Tour will be traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada to broadcast the World 3 Wallball Championships and then immediately heading to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the 2018 UnitedHealthCare US Open from October 3-7. Watch all the live action from the IRT’s multiple online platforms: Facebook, TwitchTv, YouTube and the IRT Network!
Head Staff Writer:
Kelly R. Diesel