Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Murray & Saunders win at Racquetball Canada National Team Selection Event

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 Grande Prairie, Alberta. In their respective finals, Murray defeated Coby Iwaasa, 15-10, 15-10, and Saunders beat Christine Richardson in a tie-breaker, 15-3, 12-15, 11-8. Their victories will help Murray and Saunders qualify for the 2019 Pan American Games racquetball team that will compete in Lima, Peru in August, as well as the 2019 Pan American Championships in April.

Murray, the #1 ranked men’s player, was in control throughout the final with 2nd seed Iwaasa. After an early tie at 2-2, Murray never trailed, going out to a 9-2 lead. Iwaasa did make it close at 11-8, but never got closer, as Murray won 15-10.

In game two, they were close throughout. Iwaasa actually led 6-3, and 10-8. But Murray tied it at 10-10, and got the final five points to take the game, 15-10, and the match in two straight games. Although it was close in game two, it never really felt like the match was going to go to a tie-breaker.

In the women’s final, Saunders took a big lead on Richardson in game one, going up 13-0 before winning 15-3. Richardson dug in and managed to win game two, 15-12, to force a third game tie-breaker. Richardson was up in the breaker, 7-5, but Saunders, the current Canadian champion, responded by coming back to win it, 11-8.

In the women’s 3rd place match, 4th seed Michèle Morissette was an upset winner over 3rd seed Danielle Drury, 17-15, 15-10.

But the big upset of the event happened in the men’s quarterfinals, when 6th seed Trevor Webb beat 3rd seed Tim Landeryou, 15-11, 15-8. Webb had a 14-5 lead in game one, but Landeryou fought off 10 game points before Webb finally won it on the 11th try.

In the men’s semi-finals, Webb was two points away from another upset, as he went tie-breaker with Iwaasa, and was up 9-7 in the breaker before Iwaasa was able to pull it out, winning 15-3, 14-16, 11-9. Iwaasa had two chances to end the match in two games, but Webb fought off those match points by forcing Iwaasa into skipping shots. Murray’s semi against Pedro Castro was more straight forward, as he won in two games, 15-6, 15-9. Castro defeated Webb in the 3rd place match, 15-6, 15-11.

These results will be used to select Team Canada for the 2019 Pan American Championships in Barranquilla, Colombia, April 12-20, as well as the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru in August. The final qualification event for the Pan Am Games will be the 2019 Canadian National Championships in Langley, British Columbia, May 19-25 2019.

2019 Racquetball Canada Selection Event
February 1-2, Grande Prairie, Alberta

Men's Open


1) Samuel Murray d. 2) Coby Iwaasa, 15-10, 15-10

3rd Place

4) Pedro Castro d. 6) Trevor Webb, 15-6, 15-11


1) Samuel Murray d. 4) Pedro Castro, 15-6, 15-9
2) Coby Iwaasa d. 6) Trevor Webb, 15-4, 14-16, 11-9


1) Samuel Murray d. 8) Tanner Prentice, 15-7, 15-2
4) Pedro Castro d. 5) Nicolas Bousquet, 15-13, 15-2

6) Trevor Webb d. 3) Tim Landeryou, 15-11, 15-8
2) Coby Iwaasa d. 7) Lee Connell, 15-4, 15-0

Women's Open


1) Jen Saunders d. 2) Christine Richardson, 15-3, 12-15, 11-8

3rd place

4) Michèle Morissette d. 3) Danielle Drury, 17-15, 15-10

5th place

5) Erin Geeraert d. 6) Cassie Prentice, 15-9, 8-15, 11-5

Follow the bouncing ball….

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