Monday, February 8, 2016

Landeryou & Saunders win Racquetball Canada National Team Selection Event

Tim Landeryou was a surprise winner Sunday at the second Racquetball Canada National Team Selection Event of the season in Grande Prairie, Alberta, as he upset Canadian #1 Mike Green, 12-15, 15-10, 11-5. In the semi-finals, Landeryou defeated Canadian #2 Samuel Murray, so he will move ahead of Murray in the rankings.

Green's now lost to both Landeryou and Murray, who won the first selection event in November by defeating Green in the final. If either player defeats Green at the Canadian National Championships, they would take the #1 ranking from Green, who has held it since 2011.

Saunders defeated Michèle Morissette, 15-7, 15-9, to win the Women's title. They were close early in both games, and Morissette held the lead early in game two. But after being tied at 5-5 in each game, Saunders took over, scoring five unanswered points to lead 10-5.

In game one after 10-5, Morissette never got closer than five points, although they were stuck on 12-7 for nine rallies before Saunders broke the deadlock and made it 13-7 by forcing Morissette into a forehand skip shot.

In game two, Morissette got within three at 11-8, and within four at 13-9, but not closer. Saunders got her first match point by rolling out a backhand, and then won it when Morissette skipped her backhand serve return pinch shot.

In the men's final, Green started well, leading 4-0 and 9-4 in game one. But Landeryou kept working, and tied the game at 10-10. Green re-took the lead at 13-10, and held on to win 15-12.

Landeryou had beaten Green previously - back in 2013, but it's never good to let the favourite get a lead, because coming back will be that much more difficult. Early in game two, it didn't seem like Landeryou would comeback, as Green took a 6-1 advantage.

But Landeryou took a timeout, and when play resumed he got the serve back with a backhand return and proceeded to score eight unanswered points to lead 9-6. Green came back to tie it at 9-9, but after four backhand winners by Landeryou the score was 13-10. The game ended with Green making two unforced errors on his backhand, forcing a tie-breaker.

In game three, they were close early, and Green led at 4-2. From there Landeryou scored eight points, six on pinch shots, to lead 10-4. Landeryou skipped a backhand pinch shot on his first match point, but he won it with a forehand pinch shot on his second match point.

With their wins, Landeryou and Saunders solidified the likelihood that they will be selected for Team Canada to compete at the 2016 Pan American Championships in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, March 18-26.

Racquetball Canada National Team Selection Event
February 5-7, 2016 - Grande Prairie, Albert

Men's Final

Tim Landeryou d. Mike Green, 12-15, 15-10, 11-5

3rd Place

Samuel Murray d. Pedro Castro, 15-6, 15-1

5th Place

Tommy Murray d. Nathaniel Husulak, 5-15, 15-5, 11-7

7th Place

Lee Connell d. Trevor Webb, 15-4, 15-1

9th Place

Nicolas Bousquet d. Mitch Brayley, 15-11, 15-11

Women's Final

Jennifer Saunders d. Michèle Morissette, 15-7, 15-9

3rd place

Valerie Fallu d. Christine Richardson, 15-5, 15-7

5th place

Alexis Iwaasa d. Danielle Drury, 13-15, 15-9, 11-9

Follow the bouncing ball….

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