Rocky Carson and Jose Diaz Shine In Tempe

By Leo R. Vasquez | Feb. 21, 2017, 1:44 a.m. (ET)


l-r: Jose Diaz/Rocky Carson and Jose Rojas/Markie Rojas
Rocky Carson and Jose Diaz Shine In Tempe
Diaz defends his title with a new partner and Carson wins his ninth men's doubles title.

Tempe, Arizona – Rocky Carson (Ladera Ranch, CA) and Jose Diaz (Stockton, CA) won the Men's Doubles U.S. Team title at the 2017 USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships presented by Head/Penn Racquetball and Tempe Tourism in Tempe, Arizona.

Diaz won this event last year (2016) with partner Jake Bredenbeck (Marine, MN), but partnered with Carson this year, whom he defeated in the finals last year. Diaz and Carson decided to partner together for this event after playing doubles together for the first time in South Dakota.

With their titles and ranking points, Carson and Diaz rode into Tempe as the number one seeded team in the draw. Carson previously won this division with Jose Rojas (2014), Ben Croft (2012) and then went on a run of titles with Jack Huczek, (2011, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005 and 2004).

Carson and Diaz defeated David Horn (Stockton, CA) and Robbie Collins (Kapolei, HI) 15-10, 15-10 in the semifinals before a packed gallery of fans and students at the Arizona State University Student Recreation Center. Carson and Diaz kept the scores close in both games up to 10-10 before running out the last few points to close it out and advance to the finals.

The bottom half of the draw saw the Rojas brothers storm their way through the draw as Jose Rojas (Stockton, CA) and his brother Markie Rojas (Stockton, CA) came in as the number two seeds. They began by knocking off, Jansen Allen (Rice, TX) and Charlie Pratt (Portland, OR) in a tie-breaker, 15-14, 5-15, 11-4 to advance to the finals.

Jose Rojas won this same title with two different partners, in 2015 (Jansen Allen) and in 2014 (Rocky Carson). This would be Markie’s first U.S. Team division finals appearance.

The Men’s Doubles U.S. Team division finals match was set as the Rojas brothers came out and jumped all over Carson and Diaz early by winning the first game 15-4 and looking very sharp. The second game was a little different as both teams kept it close until team Rojas jumped out front with a 9-5 lead. Then the momentum changed and Carson and Diaz started chipping away and finished up strong winning game two, 15-12 and forcing the tie-breaker for the championship title.

Both teams were fired up and ready for prime time as the score stayed tight point for point throughout the tie-breaker all the way to 10-10 before Carson ended the match with a forehand winner in the left corner to win 11-10 and the championship title.

“Credit to them, they played a tough match all the way through. After that first game, I looked at Jose and I said we're not playing that bad. And then down 7-5, I'm looking at him like, I think we still have another gear, and we were able to hit that other gear and we got some breaks and we executed,” said an elated and happy Rocky Carson.

Jose Diaz added, “Hats off to them, they played amazing the first game, Jose was just rolling balls, and Markie was not far behind, they played really tough and kind of killed us the first game and then we kind of got the momentum in the second game. The tie-breaker was who wants it more and it was a battle, hats off to them. They played well. Glad we got the job done.”

For all of the results and final finishers of the 2017 USA Racquetball National Doubles Championships, click the link below.

http://www.r2sports.com/tourney/viewResults.asp?TID=18724

Below is a copy of the record books list of the Men and Women's Doubles U.S. National Team Champions.
Past U.S. National Doubles Champions
Men Women
2017 Rocky Carson/Jose Diaz Aimee Ruiz/Janel Tisinger
2016 Jake Bredenbeck/Jose Diaz Aimee Ruiz/Janel Tisinger
2015 Jansen Allen/Jose Rojas Rhonda Rajsich/Kim Russell-Waselenchuk
2014 Rocky Carson/Jose Rojas Aimee Ruiz/Janel Tisinger
2013 Jansen Allen/Tony Carson Aimee Ruiz/Janel Tisinger
2012 Rocky Carson/Ben Croft Rhonda Rajsich/Kim Russell-Waselenchuk
2011 Rocky Carson/Jack Huczek Jacqueline Paraiso/Aimee Ruiz
2010 Ben Croft/Mitch Williams Jacqueline Paraiso/Aimee Ruiz
2009 Rocky Carson/Jack Huczek Jacqueline Paraiso/Aimee Ruiz
2008 Rocky Carson/Jack Huczek Jacqueline Paraiso/Aimee Ruiz
2007 Ben Croft/Mitch Williams Jacqueline Paraiso/Aimee Ruiz
2006 Rocky Carson/Jack Huczek Laura Fenton/Aimee Ruiz
2005 Rocky Carson/Jack Huczek Laura Fenton/Aimee Ruiz
2004 Rocky Carson/Jack Huczek Jacqueline Paraiso/Kim Russell-Waselenchuk
2003 John Ellis/Adam Karp Jacqueline Paraiso/Kim Russell-Waselenchuk
2002 Ruben Gonzalez/Mike Guidry Jacqueline Paraiso/Kim Russell-Waselenchuk
2001 Ruben Gonzalez/Mike Guidry Cheryl Gudinas/Kim Russell-Waselenchuk
2000 Adam Karp/Andy Roberts Laura Fenton/Jacqueline Paraiso
1999 Ruben Gonzalez/Mike Guidry Robin Levine/Kim Russell-Waselenchuk
1998 Doug Ganim/Dan Obremski Joy MacKenzie/Jacqueline Paraiso
1997 Adam Karp/Bill Sell Joy MacKenzie/Jacqueline Paraiso
1996 Todd O'Neil/Derek Robinson Michelle Gould/Cheryl Gudinas
1995 Adam Karp/Bill Sell Michelle Gould/Cheryl Gudinas
1994 Sudsy Monchik/Tim Sweeney Joy MacKenzie/Jacqueline Paraiso
1993 John Ellis/Eric Muller Laura Fenton/Michelle Gould
1992 Joel Bonnett/Bill Sell Mary Lyons/Susan Morgan Pfahler
1991 John Ellis/Eric Muller Michelle Gilman/Jacqueline Paraiso
1990 Jim Floyd/Tim Hansen Michelle Gilman/Jacqueline Paraiso
1989 Doug Ganim/Dan Obremski Michelle Gilman/Cindy Doyle
1988 Brian Hawkes/Bill Sell Malia Bailey/Toni Bevelock
1987 Doug Ganim/Dan Obremski Mona Mook/Trina Rasmussen
1986 Doug Ganim/Dan Obremski Mona Mook/Trina Rasmussen
1985 Toni Bevelock/Malia Kamahoahoa (Bailey)
1984 Dan Obremski/Kelvin Vantrease Diane Bullard/Julie Pinnell
1983 Steve Trent/Stan Wright Malia Bailey/Carol Franck
1982 Steve Trent/Stan Wright Tammy Hajjar/Beth Latini
1981 Ed Andrews/Mark Martino Carol Frenck/Andrea Katz
1980 Jeff Kwartler/Mark Malawitz Karen Borga/Mary Ann Cluess
1979 Jeff Kwartler/Mark Malawitz Nancy Hamrick/Diane Green
1978 Dave Peck/Jeff Kwartler Fran Davis/Elaine Lee
1977 Charlie Brumfield/Steve Trent Karin Walton/Shannon Wright
1976 Kathy Williams/Sue Carow
1975 Charlie Brumfield/Craig McCoy Jennifer Harding/Janell Marriott
1974 Dave Charlson/Steve Strandemo Ann Gorski/Peggy Steding
1973 Charlie Brumfield/Steve Serot Ann Gorski/Peggy Steding
1972 Mike Luciw/George Rudusz Kimberly Hill/Jan Pasternak
1971 Ken Porco/Mike Zeitman
1970 Don Wallace/Bob Yellin
1969 Allan Hyman/Mike Zeitman
1968 Simie Fein/Jim White