News

IRT Sioux Falls Lewis Drug Pro-Am 2024

by Karen Grisz and Todd Boss

The IRT was back on the stage at the 44th Annual Lewis Drug IRT Pro/Am. This is the longest running tournament in the United States and an amazing tradition in South Dakota, held at the Sioux Falls Family YMCA. 

As always, we want to thank those who make it happen: Mark Gibbs, Mark Griffin, the IRT commissioner Pablo Fajre and his technical team, and all of the IRT and tournament sponsors.

This was the first IRT tournament of 2024.  And, after the holiday break, most of the top pros were healthy and ready to get back in the action.

Singles

Round of 32s

Daniel De la Rosa was pushed to the limit by #32 Coby Iwaasa, winning in three 15-10, 14-15, 11-8. Of course, Iwaasa is not your typical 30-something pro seed; he is the clear-cut #2 player in Canada and a past winner on the WRT who just doesn’t tour regularly.

#17 Kane Waselenchuk took out #16 Sam Bredenbeck 15-10, 15-10 in a streaky match that looked like it was going a different way in each game. Both players ran off long streaks of points at times, but neither player stayed consistent long enough to put the game away fast. 

#11 Thomas Carter held on against Junior national team member Cole Sendrey 15-12, 15-9. Sendrey had an impressive win in the Kelley tournament earlier this month, but playing a top 15 IRT pro is a little different. A great showing for the young player.

#15 Erick Trujillo got a very solid win over Mexican veteran #18 Javier Mar 15-12, 15-13, who is still working through injury in the early part of the year.

Round of 16s

Waselenchuk took out #1 De La Rosa (DLR) 15-8, 15-9 in a match that probably was not as close as the score line indicated. De La Rosa could not get his drive serve working. Kane played lights out. He executed his typical game plan, wasn’t making errors, kept the pressure on, and generally got the rallies he wanted here. See Todd’s blog at www.proracquetballstats.com for a great analysis of the serving effectiveness in this match.

DLR remains winless for his career against Waselenchuk, and takes a round of 16 loss, which will likely impact his chances to get the year-end #1 title.

#6 and #11 Adam Manilla and Thomas Carter had an all-lefty battle, which went to Adam in a 11-9 tiebreaker.

#7 Samuel Murray took out #10 Eduardo Portillo in a tiebreaker in a match that was not an upset by seed, but probably and upset by talent. Lalo’s time away from the court in pilot training continues to take its toll, so it will be interesting to see how his season progresses.

Lastly, the other big news of the round: #15 Erick Trujillo , who already got one career win in this event, got the best result of his career with an 11-10 win over #2 Jake Bredenbeck . The end of this game featured multiple turns by each player at 10-10, a questionable/argued hinder call, and a no-doubt buried winner for Trujillo to take it. As with DLR, this round of 16 loss is a dagger for Jake’s chances to take the year end title.

The other top 8 seeds each advanced without really breaking a sweat; Acuna over Natera, Parrilla over Collins, Montoya over Martell, Moscoso over Carrasco. Each in two games, each game of the single digit variety.

So, both #1 and #2 are out in the 16s. How often does that happen? Not very often. Since seeds started being fully tracked in 2009, Todd can’t find a single instance where both #1 and #2 lost in the 16s.

In the Quarters, more interesting machinations.

After beating DLR, Waselenchuk seemed to be ready to cruise through the next round against #8 Acuna, but that’s not what happened. Acuna (unlike DLR) made a high percentage of his drive first serves and ground out a game one win 15-13. Kane rebounded and was more or less controlling game 2 when he took an awkward step to his right to retrieve a serve and crumpled to the ground. He rebounded to take the game and the tiebreaker, but was obviously hobbling around to advance to the semis.

#4 Montoya renewed his frequent rivalry with #5 Parrilla, winning this round in an 11-9 tiebreaker.

#3 Moscoso easily beat #6 Manilla 15-1, 15-5 and seems to be the favorite with the #1 and #2 seeds out.

 #7 Murray came from a game down to top the upset-minded Trujillo in three. Erick’s career tournament was cut short when he seemed to run out of gas in the tiebreaker.

The Semis and Finals

– Kane’s injury proved too much for him to test, so he gave #4 Montoya a walk-over into the final. Kane did hang around to do commentary on the other semi, which was fortuitous because it turned out to be an amazing match.

#7 Murray improved to 6-4 lifetime against Moscoso, stunning the Bolivian in a match that will be remembered for a while. After Conrrado ground out a game one victory 15-13, he raced to a massive lead in game two and had match point on his racquet at 14-3. Murray saved that match point against, then ran off 12 unanswered points to stun the Bolivian 15-14 in game two. In the tiebreaker, Conrrado scored a couple of quick points … but then Big Canada ran off 11 straight unanswered points to win 11-2. Just an amazing match from Murray.

Montoya vs. Murray.  Montoya had extra rest and the head-to-head advantage.  But Murray stuck to his game plan, played smart, patient shots, waiting out Montoya’s go-for-broke game style, and took game one. Montoya bounced back in game two, but Murray bided his time and took a massive lead in the tiebreaker. Sitting at 10-6 with match point, Montoya saved multiple match points-against with fantastic diving gets and great shots. Multiple rallies at the end featured hinders, arguments for avoidables that went for naught, arguments about down balls, etc … so it was only fitting that a chaotic rally ended with an avoidable hinder against Rodrigo to give Murray the match 11-10.

With four straight tiebreaker wins over Portillo, Trujillo, Moscoso, and Montoya, congratulations to Sam Murray for his second career tier 1 title (the first being in Atlanta in 2021).

IRT Sioux Falls Lewis Drug Pro-Am 2024
Photo by: International Racquetball Tour

Doubles

The presence of the Canadian National team (Murray & Iwaasa), who won 2022 PARC and made the final of 2023 Pan Am Games seemed to be a potential upset-make, but instead they got beat in the 16s by Robby Collins and Erick Trujillo. This cleared the way for the presumptive #1 doubles team in the world Montoya & Mar to cruise into the final. 

The bottom half of the draw saw a controversial match between Manilla and Beltran vs DLR and Landa. After some on court disagreements and technical awarded to both teams, Manilla and Beltran came from behind to win in a tiebreaker 11-9.

Despite their solid win, Beltran & Manilla couldn’t get past the strong partnership of Lalo Portillo and Andree Parrilla, so we got an all-Mexican final. Montoya took the court for the doubles final about 10 minutes after his singles loss, and that looked like it affected him.  But he still led his team to a game one win and a match point in game two. Lalo and Andree saved it, took the second game, then took the tiebreaker for the doubles win.

IRT Sioux Falls Lewis Drug Pro-Am 2024
Photo by: International Racquetball Tour

As always, visit www.proracquetballstats.com for more in-depth analysis and match statistics.

About Us

  • About
  • Become a Member
  • History
  • Media
USA Racquetball Logo
  • Accessibility
  • Contact Us
  • Financials
  • Support Us
  • Site Map
  • Terms of Use , opens in a new tab
  • Privacy Policy , opens in a new tab
  • TeamUSA.org , opens in a new tab

© 2024 USA Racquetball - All Rights Reserved.