by Justin Johnson
We're coming down the home stretch of the 2015-2016 International Racquetball Tour season. And there are more than a couple story lines for racquetball fans to follow. Here are a few that are sitting at the forefront of my mind.
Jake Bredenbeck is in a unique position. He will be taking on Kane Waselenchuk tomorrow in the quarterfinals, who is fresh off an emergency surgery that forced him out of the last major IRT event. Could this be the weekend Bredenbeck makes a permanent mark on professional racquetball by pulling off one of the biggest upsets of all-time? If there was ever a time for Waslenchuk to lose, this could be it. And if there is an up-and-comer hungry enough to make it happen, it's Bredenbeck. The young Minnesotan has already knocked off Rocky Carson this season.
Will Cliff Swain continue to inspire and impress the racquetball world with his legendary story? At 50 years old, the game's unmistakable emblem of dominance and endurance still has the chops to fight for a Tier 1 title. His match against No. 4-ranked Daniel De La Rosa on Friday will be one to watch.
Can Markie Rojas break through? It seems as if he is on the verge of rocking the boat on the IRT. He's taken Rocky Carson to five games before, and there is no doubt he has his eye on a potential rematch with Carson this weekend.
Will Alvaro Beltran make a push down the finish line to make this one of the best seasons of his career? With one major victory under his belt already, another one would make this a season to remember for the aging pro. With the field set up the way it is right now, he still has a chance to make magic happen every weekend.
What will become of the rivalry between Jose Rojas and Daniel De La Rosa? This season Rojas has a 3-2 edge over the Mexican star. The two players are poised to enter the prime of their careers, and it will be interesting to see who takes the reigns to take charge in the race to future number one of the IRT.
These are just a few of the things racquetball fans can ponder this weekend and beyond. And there are sure to be more to come.