by Justin Johnson
Ben Croft’s much anticipated return to the racquetball court ended suddenly in game number four of his opening round match with Felipe Camacho when he withdrew due to injury in a round of 16 loss at the Ghost of Georgetown Kansas City IRT Pro-Am.
Camacho, who started his IRT season with an impressive 11-0 victory over the number-six ranked player in the world, played aggressive in what was at times an intense match between the two competitors.
Leading two games to one, Camacho stormed out to a 7-0 lead in the fourth when a frustrated Croft signaled for a timeout. He never returned to the court, giving Camacho the win and the right to play in the quarterfinals.
Jansen Allen vs. Matthew Majxner
Friday’s opening match of the Kansas City IRT Pro-Am was quick and painless for Jansen Allen and frustrating at best for Matthew Majxner, who fell in three straight to the young Texan. Allen controlled the action and cruised to victory by scores of 11-1, 11-2, 11-4.
Allen’s accurate drive serve made it difficult for Majxner to generate any offense on his serve return, allowing Allen to control a vast majority of the offensive exchanges throughout the match. Majxner took out some of his frustrations in game number two with timely rekills to get on the board early, but Allen eventually pulled away using his serve to elicit weak returns from his Montana opponent.
Majxner jumped out to an early lead in the third game, but struggled to maintain rhythm against the steady aggressive play of Allen, who moves on to face Rocky Carson in the quarterfinals Friday afternoon.
Kane Waselenchuk vs. Brad Schopieray
Brad Schopieray’s date with Kane Waselenchuk at the Kansas City IRT Pro-Am started with an 11-0 drubbing at the hands of racquetball’s number one player in the world. The young lefty from Swartz Creek, Michigan did his best to put up a fight before falling in three to the undisputed champion of racquetball.
Waselenchuk took his first match of the 2015-16 season by scores of 11-0, 11-4, 11-5. He moves on to face Jose Diaz in the quarterfinals.
After game one went by in a blink, game number two turned into a friendly affair with both players exchanging pleasantries early on. Schopieray got within 4-5 using a combination of dink shots into the front corner to answer Waselenchuk’s lob-nic. The youngster also took plenty of time between serves when he was in the box. The momentum was short-lived, however, and game two seemed to end almost as quickly as game one after Waselenchuk put his foot down.
The third game started out with Schopieray serving for an early 3-0 lead, and the two battled at times throughout. Waslenchuk wrapped things up matter-of-factly 11-5, but the young Schopieray almost certainly left the court with a few positive memories as he was able to muster up some offense against the racquetball legend.
Daniel De La Rosa vs. Scott McClellan
Daniel De La Rosa didn’t break much of a sweat in his opening round match against Scott McClellan, gliding around the court and executing relaxed shots in a 11-3, 11-1, 11-0 victory.
The number four-ranked player in the world look physically bigger and stronger in his first appearance of the 2015-2016 season, but the quick handiwork he made of his Austin, Texas opponent made it hard to evaluate other areas of his game.
De La Rosa is sure to be tested for the first time this season when he takes on Jose Rojas in a Friday evening match.