Monday, February 5, 2018

Murray & Saunders win at Racquetball Canada National Team Selection Event in Kitchener, Ontario

Samuel Murray and Jen Saunders won the Men's and Women's divisions, respectively, at the second Racquetball Canada National Team Selection Event of the season on the weekend in Kitchener, Ontario. Murray is the highest ranked Canadian on the International Racquetball Tour, and Saunders was the top seed on the women’s side, so their wins were not unexpected. However, there were surprises along the way.

The biggest surprise on the men’s side came when Pedro Castro defeated Mike Green, the Canadian #1 ranked player and reigning Canadian Champion, 15-10, 15-12. Sadly for Castro, he wasn’t able to follow up that win, as he fell ill, and wasn’t able to play either his semi-final match with Tim Landeryou or the 3rd place match with Coby Iwaasa.

Murray got to the final with a win over Iwaasa in the other semi, 15-2, 15-5, which was a much closer match than the scores indicated, as Murray and Iwaasa went toe to toe smashing the ball back and forth and making great gets to keep the ball in play.

In the final, Landeryou took the lead in game one, and looked like he was going to win game one, when he led 13-8. But Murray dug in, and came back to take it 15-13. Murray then won game two comfortably, as Landeryou got increasing frustrated, with the final score line of 15-13, 15-3.

The men’s final was a repeat of the first selection event of the season back in November, which Murray also won. He also beat Iwaasa in the semi-finals, so will pass Iwaasa in the Canadian rankings, moving up to #2 behind Green.

On the women’s side, Alexis Iwaasa was the surprise finalist, as she was seeded 6th, and lost her first game of the tournament 15-0. But Iwaasa recovered, winning both her quarterfinal match against Danielle Drury, 0-15, 15-7, 11-8, and semi-final against Christine Richardson, 8-15, 15-10, 11-8. Thus, when Iwaasa dropped the first game against the veteran Saunders, 15-7, it seemed like she had the vet exactly where she wanted.

Iwaasa did pull out the second game, 15-13, to force a tie-breaker. But Saunders was able to eke out the win, taking the match, 15-7, 13-15, 11-7. Iwaasa did have a slight lead in the middle of the breaker, but wasn’t able to carry the day.

These results will be used to select Team Canada for the 2018 Pan American Championships in Temuco, Chile, as well as the 2018 International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Championships in China in August. The final qualification event for Worlds will be the 2018 Canadian National Championships in Winnipeg, May 20-26 2018.

2018 Racquetball Canada Selection Event
February 2-4, Kitchener, Ontario

Men's Open


3) Samuel Murray d. 4) Tim Landeryou, 15-13, 15-3

3rd Place

2) Coby Iwaasa d. 8) Pedro Castro, forfeit


4) Tim Landeryou d. 8) Pedro Castro, forfeit
3) Samuel Murray d. 2) Coby Iwaasa, 15-2, 15-5


8) Pedro Castro d. 1) Mike Green, 15-10, 15-12
4) Tim Landeryou d. 5) James Landeryou, 15-9, 15–10

3) Samuel Murray d. 6) Nicolas Bousquet, 15-5, 15-6
2) Coby Iwaasa d. 7) Lee Connell, 15-4, 15-8

Women's Open


1) Jen Saunders d. 6) Alexis Iwaasa, 15-7, 13-15, 11-7

3rd place

3) Christine Richardson d. 4) Michèle Morissette, 15-6, 16-14


1) Jen Saunders d. 4) Michèle Morissette, 15-12, 15-0
6) Alexis Iwaasa d. 3) Christine Richardson, 8-15, 15-10, 11–8


1) Jen Saunders d. 9) Juliette Parent, 15-7, 15-5
4) Michèle Morissette d. 5) Valerie Fallu, 15-11, 15-11

6) Alexis Iwaasa d. 3) Danielle Drury, 0-15, 15-7, 11-8
2) Christine Richardson d. 7) Erin Geeraert, 15-9, 15-4

Follow the bouncing ball….

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