Friday, May 22, 2015

Change & consistency at Canadian Racquetball Championships

Friday's semi-final results in Men's Open at the 2015 Canadian National Racquetball Championships in Burnaby, B.C. could be the signal of a changing of the guard in Canada, as the veterans Mike Green and Vincent Gagnon were defeated by players more than 10 years their junior.

Green, 41 and the top seed, lost to 18 year old Coby Iwaasa, 15-11, 15-12, while Gagnon, 33, lost to 21 year old Samuel Murray, 15-10, 15-10. It's the first time Iwaasa's defeated Green, but the third time Murray's beaten Gagnon in the last seven months.

Both Green and Gagnon had significant leads during their matches. Green was ahead 7-2 in game one, and 11-7 in games two, and Gagnon was up 8-1 in game one, but neither could not capitalize on those advantages.

Thus, Murray and Iwaasa will face off in the first Canadian Men's Open final without either Green or Gagnon since 2005, when Corey Osborne defeated Kris Odegard.

As much as the men's side is about change, the women's side is about consistency, as Jennifer Saunders and Frédérique Lambert - the top two seeds - will face off for the second consecutive year, and fifth time in the last seven years. In fact, Saunders has been in the final every year since 2000, when the tournament was also in Burnaby and Christie Van Hees defeated Lori-Jane Powell in the final.

Saunders has won eight of the fifteen finals she has been in, including the last six consecutive finals, five of which have been against Lambert. Lambert has yet to win a Canadian singles championship, although she did win doubles with Brandi Jacobson Prentice in 2010.

On Friday, Lambert defeated Michèle Morissette, 15-2, 15-12, in one semi-final, and Saunders beat Valerie Fallu, 15-6, 15-12, in the other.

The singles finals are Saturday. This is the last opportunity for players to earn points that will qualify them to be on the Canadian National Team that will compete at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto in July.

You can watch the action live via Sports on Saturday. The women's final is at noon PDT and the men's final is at 1 PM PDT.

Racquetball Canada National Championships
Rev's, Burnaby, British Colombia

Men's Open Singles (seedings)

Semi-finals - Friday

4) Coby Iwaasa d. 1) Mike Green, 15-11, 15-12
2) Samuel Murray d. 3) Vincent Gagnon, 15-10, 15-10

Final - Saturday

2) Samuel Murray v. 4) Coby Iwaasa - 1 PM PDT

Women's Open Singles

Semi-finals - Friday

1) Frédérique Lambert v. 4) Michele Morissette, 15-2, 15-12
2) Jennifer Saunders v. 6) Valerie Fallu, 15-6, 15-12

Final - Saturday

1) Frédérique Lambert v. 2) Jennifer Saunders - Noon PDT

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