Sunday, November 7, 2010

Racquetball Canada National Team Selection Event- Edmonton

The first Racquetball Canada (RC) National Team Selection Event hasn't been good to Canadian champions, as they have all lost early in the competition. Sunday's men's final is Vincent Gagnon, who's the #1 seed but hasn't been a singles champion though he has been Canadian doubles champion twice, and Francis Guillemette, who's made a final for the first time in his long career.

In their early days, Gagnon and Guillemette were doubles partners and represented Canada together in 2001 at the Pan American Championships, but they haven't played together for a few years now.

Gagnon defeated 4th seed Tim Landeryou on Saturday, 8-15, 15-13, 11-3, in one semi-final, while 6th seed Guillemette defeated 10th seed Conrad Cole in the other semi, 15-5, 15-11, in a semi-final that no one would have predicted.

That semi was set up by Guillemette defeating current Canadian champion Mike Green, 15-9, 11-15, 11-9, earlier on Saturday in the quarter finals. Green was the 3rd seed.

The big upset of the weekend though came on Friday, when 2nd seed and two time Canadian champion Kris Odegard falling to Barret Husulak in the first round in two straight games, 15-12, 16-14. Husulak then lost to Cole in the quarter finals, 11-15, 15-5, 11-7.

On the women's side, Jennifer Saunders, current Canadian champion, lost to the current Canadian Junior Champion, Frédérique Lambert, 15-9, 15-9, in a match where Lambert didn't miss many shots.

Saunders will have a chance for redemption, however, as the women's tournament format has two round robin pools followed by a playoff. In the playoff, Saunders defeated Brandi Jacobson Prentice, 15-7, 15-11, as Jacobson Prentice, who's coming off a shoulder injury, was not sharp.

Lambert defeated Brigitte Richard, 15-8, 15-6, to set up a rematch with Saunders on Sunday.

Results from this event will be combined with results from the National Team Selection Event in February 2011 in Brossard, Que. and the Canadian National Championships next May in Nova Scotia to select the players who will represent Canada at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Follow the bouncing ball....

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