IRT Minnesota HoF Event Wrap-Up

Kane is back. Photo credit: unknown

Congrats to your Pro winners on the weekend:

– Singles: Kane Waselenchuk

– Doubles: Andree Parrilla and Adam Manilla

Kane returns to the winner’s circle, winning his 125th career title. It has been nearly two years since Kane stood in the winner’s circle of the IRT, as he’s gone through quite a journey of injury recovery. He also, at the age of 42 years and 114 days becomes the oldest player ever to win a tier 1, besting Ruben Gonzalez’ former record by a year and a half.

R2 Sports App home page for event:


Let’s review the notable matches in the Singles draw.

Singles Match report in the PRS database:


In the 32s: we got a couple of compelling matches and one real upset.

– #21 John Goth got the biggest upset of the round, taking out #12 @Robert Collins in a breaker. I thought this result might be in play, but it’s been more than 10 years since Goth made his surprise run to the USA Nationals final. But clearly, he’s still got it. He makes the main draw of an event at age 42, not quite a record but still impressive (see here for list of “oldest players to…” do stuff, something that will come up again later in this event: )

– #13 Jaime Martell was taken to a breaker by veteran Guatemalan @Juan Salvatierra , though the scores seem to indicate that Martell “turned it up” after losing game one. Final score: (13),1,2.

– Reigning 18U world champ @jhonatan Flores held his own against #3 @Jake Bredenbeck , losing by the relatively respectable score-line of 5,10.

– #26 @Mauricio Zelada pressed #7 @Alan Natera in game one but then the Mexican cruised. Final score 11,3

– #10 @Erick Trujillo perhaps was looking past his first round opponent and was shocked in game one against Guatemalan Edwin Galicia 15-4. He rebounded to take the next two 13 and 2 to move on and avoid the upset.

In a recurring theme, the top 8 players all won in two straight games, and as a reminder there has been just one tiebreaker and zero upsets of a top 8 player since the tour went back to a full 32 draw. Scores of your top 8 seeds in order: 3&4, 6&5, 5&10, 10&3, 8&4, 7&4, 11&3, and wbf-ns. A little better than the last event for the lowest ranked players, but I attribute that to the unusually large presence of internationals in this draw who are a bit better than their seeds.


In the 16s, two upsets by seed, though neither was surprising:

– #11 @Kane Waselenchuk topped #6 @Andres Acuna with ease 2,6. Kane enters this event looking like he’s lost a little weight and is moving around pretty darn well, especially for someone north of 42.

– #10 @Erick Trujillo beat #7 @Alan Natera 7,9 and makes a statement about the current pecking order of Mexican racquetball. Trujillo, who burst onto the scene a couple years ago and then kind of scuffled against his like-aged competitors, has really stepped it up this year on tour.


In the Quarters

– #1 Conrrado Moscoso made fast work of #8 Thomas Carter.

– #4 @Andree Parrilla held on to east past his doubles partner this weekend #5 @Adam Manilla in a breaker. After losing the first game 13, Parrilla found another gear and won going away 3,2.

– #3 @Jake Bredenbeck was not able to find his mojo against Kane, and lost 13,8. The match was close at times, but there was no letup from the King this time around. I predicted that Jake would have a good shot to win here, based on his results against Kane earlier this season, but it wasn’t to be. After a great run all last season of making the back end of events, Jake’s 2024 so far is a Loss in the qtrs, a Loss in the 16s, and now another loss in the quarters. After being in the mix for the title all the way till the death last season, Jake’s chances are now mostly kaput of winning #1.

– #2 @Rodrigo Montoya was pressed by the young Trujillo but held on 4,14.


In the Semis

– #1 Moscoso returned to the final and guaranteed that he’ll greatly extend his lead at the top of the tour by topping #4 Parrilla 10,11.

– #11 Waselenchuk played a fascinating match against #2 Montoya. The first game was back and forth, a great contest between two of the better power servers the game has seen. Kane’s method of operations is to use his pinpoint accuracy to end rallies on balls where he can set his feet, but Montoya time and again made fantastic anticipating or diving gets to extend rallies. Kane held on to win game one 15-14 but Montoya countered with a relatively dominant game two win 15-7 to push it to the breaker. Early in game 3, a call went against Montoya that he didn’t like and he seemed to drift focus-wise for a few points. Suddenly it was 7-2 down before he called time out and the damage was done. Kane put his foot on Rodrigo’s throat and closed it out 11-2. You can’t lose focus for one second against Waselenchuk and you have to play perfect ball to beat him. To this observer, Kane looks as good as he has in several years.

In the Finals, we got another fantastic matchup against the former King and the likely future King of the sport. Moscoso, who has returned to his foot-faulting ways, was forced to deal with a line judge in the final (at Kane’s request) and had multiple calls go against him. Kane went up huge early, but Moscoso fought back. A very entertaining and competitive game came down to just a few moments; I noted in the comments of the video during game one how similar the two players really were: both have huge serves and drive a ton of pressure from them, and both really penalize weak service returns to do 3-shot rallies. The real difference between them right now to me is this: Kane plays smart, while Moscoso plays risky. When Moscoso makes his low-percentage shots (on top of everything else in his game) you see him run to 15-4 game wins. But when he misses … it’s just enough to give the game to the steady Kane 15-13. Also as noted … Moscoso is a notorious front runner, and often capitulates in heavy game two losses after close game one wins … and that’s exactly what happened here. Game 2 was a waste, one way traffic that was just the two players playing out the string at the end. Kane wins 13,2


Points Implications of results

I’ll caveat this points analysis as I probably always should: sometimes I’m not privy to oddities that go on in the IRT rankings system, since it runs through R2 and includes little offities that even the tour owners aren’t always aware of. What I believe will happen, if I have my xls right, is this: because there’s fewer than ten tier1s in the last 365 days, all satellite points are dropped and the tour is just adding together the results from the tier1s.

Moscoso has opened up a sizeable lead at the top of the tour; he now leads #2 Montoya by nearly 500 points. Meanwhile, Daniel remains in 4th but now trails the top by nearly 900 points … it happened just that fast. DLR missed Chicago last year so he won’t drop too much further for a while, but the writing is on the wall. By mid-summer he may be entirely out of the top 10. He won’t be in Chicago either.

Kane should move up to #8, a spot he secured once he made the final. Portillo is just barely hanging onto the top 10, Natera gets dumped down to #12, and Trujillo now pushes for the top 10. Landa loses a ton of points from this event last year and now is barely clinging to a top 20 spot. With the win, Kane is in the lead for “season to date” points, which by the end of the year will be the only thing that matters.

However curiously, as of this writing Kane is not entered into the next IRT event (Shamrock Shootout in Chicago in two week’s time). He’s also not entered into the competing Beach Bash, which he likely would have played if it wasn’t a competing event. My guess is that he’ll go to chicago and we may get another couple of showdowns like we saw this weekend. (update: he entered Chicago earlier today). Thanks to DLR’s absense, we won’t be forced with Moscoso-Kane in the quarters … so we have a good shot of getting another Kane-Moscoso final in two weeks.


Doubles review

Match report in the PRS database:

The doubles draw saw top ranked Montoya carry Cullen into the final by beating #2 Moscoso/Carrasco, but they played just a handful of points before the final was called off due to injury. #1 Manilla & Parrilla cruise to the title.


Open Singles, other notable draws

– Alan Natera, seeded 7th but ranked just outside the top 8 so by contract he can play Open, took the Open draw, topping Bolivian junior Flores in the final. Barth and Galicia semi finalists.

– Home town team of Jordan Barth / Mike Klocker took Open doubles, taking out Pando & Meinerz in the final.

– Ava_Kaiser & Barb Hoffner took women’s doubles.

– Sponsor extraordinaire Keith Minor and Rebecca Bowman took Mixed Open.


Thanks for all the streaming on the weekend, especially from broadcasters Favio Soto, Pablo Fajre, guest commentators and the IRTLive crew.


Next up?

Per our handy master racquetball calendar …

We’ll recap the LPRT and USAR HS Nationals in the next couple of days. After that, we get a break until the next uber-busy 3/17 weekend.



International Racquetball Tour

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