Players from around the country gathered at the Student Recreation Center on the campus of Arizona State University last weekend for their chance to become racquetball National Doubles Champions. 352 players competed in 75 different divisions, including two divisions whose winners would earn spots on the USA Racquetball (USAR) National Team that will compete in the 16th Pan American Games in October in Mexico.
Already holding the record for most international appearances for her country, Jackie Paraiso (HEAD Royal Flush) looked to earn yet another spot on the USAR National Team. The most decorated doubles player in racquetball history won her 18th USAR National Doubles Championship in the USAR National Team Qualifying Women’s Doubles draw (also her fifth consecutive) and then captured her 19th title with a victory in the Mixed Open draw. Paraiso teamed up with fellow Team HEAD Penn player Tony Carson (HEAD Royal Flush) to win the championship match 11-9 in the tiebreaker.
In the USAR National Team Qualifying Men’s Doubles division, Team HEAD’s power shined as Rocky Carson (Blackjack) and Jack Huczek (Royal Flush) teamed up to win their record sixth USAR National Doubles title. Rocky and Jack battled fellow Team HEAD player Shane Vanderson (Royal Flush) and his partner in a tight match that ended with a score of 11-10 in the tiebreaker. Carson, Huczek and Vanderson make up half of the top six players in the current International Racquetball Tour rankings.
In the Men’s 40+ Doubles division Doug Ganim (Blackjack) and Tim Sweeney (Meanstreak) took to the courts with a combined 19 National Championships to their names. Ganim and Sweeney successfully defended their Men’s 40+ Doubles crown with a tiebreaker victory. Five of Ganim’s career National Championships came in the top Men’s Doubles division, a record that was broken by his fellow Team HEAD players Carson and Huczek.