Monday, February 6, 2023

Morissette & Murray win at 2023 Canadian National Team Selection Event

Samuel Murray and Michèle Morissette won Men’s and Women’s Open, respectively, at the 2nd Racquetball Canada National Team Selection Event of the season in Grande Prairie, Alberta on the weekend. The Men’s final was a barn burner of a match that went the distance with three of the five games being decided by the minimum two points. Both Murray and Coby Iwaasa were throwing themselves all over the court with Murray narrowly winning, 10-12, 11-4, 12-14, 11-7, 11-9.

In the Women’s final, Morissette and Danielle Ramsay split the first two games, but Morissette won the next two to take the match in four games, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7.

Murray led for all of game one of the Men’s Final, although Iwaasa tied it at 7-7. Then when Murray was up 9-7, Iwaasa called a timeout. A Murray forehand made it 10-7, when play resumed, but three game points for Murray went by as Iwaasa again tied it, 10-10. He got to game point with a backhand pinch shot, and then won it, when Murray skipped a forehand shot that made it 12-10.

The match became a best of three after Murray won game two by a comfortable margin, 11-4.

They were back and forth early in game three with Murray leading 3-1 and then Iwaasa up 6-3. In a parallel to game one, they tied at 7-7, and when Murray pulled ahead to 9-7, Iwaasa called a timeout. Yet Murray scored the next point, making it 10-7. Déjà vu all over again.

Iwaasa fought off the first game point with a backhand pinch shot. Before his second game point, Murray called a timeout. Yet that didn’t stop Iwaasa from winning the next three points to get to game point himself at 11-10.

A Murray forehand denied Iwaasa that opportunity, and his got game point #3 as Iwaasa tried to hit a forehand pinch shot from shoulder high. Not a great choice. Murray didn’t convert that opportunity despite having a chance to hit a forehand pinch shot from the left wall, but he skipped that shot, tying the game at 12-12.

Iwaasa closed out game three with forehand winners on the next two rallies - one cross court, one down the line - to go up 2-1 on Murray.

Murray again responded to the loss with a strong game, winning the fourth game 11-7 to force a tie-breaker.

Iwaasa led early in the breaker at 4-1, 5-2 and 7-5. But an ace drive serve to the right side by Murray made it 7-7. They tied again at 8-8, but two winners by Murray put him on match point at 10-8. Iwaasa called a timeout.

On the ensuing rally, Iwaasa held up prior to a backhand shot in the middle of the court, and the referee called an avoidable hinder. It didn’t seem like an avoidable, and Murray appealed the call, but the line judges upheld the referee’s decision, which make the score 10-9 with Iwaasa serving to extend the match.

He drove serve to the left side, and Murray smashed the ball back up the line and it rolled out from the front wall. Game over. Match over. Murray wins.

The Alberta Racquetball Association streamed the final on its Facebook page, so you can view it there.

The results for this event will be combined with the results from last year’s Canadian National Championships, as well as the first National Team Selection Event last November, to select the players for the 2023 Pan American Championships in Guatemala in April. That’s an important event, because it will be the qualifying event for the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile in October. How many players countries can send will depend on the results in Guatemala.

The results of this season’s two selection events, as well as the 2023 Canadian National Championships in May, will determine who will compete for Team Canada at the Pan Am Games in Chile.

2023 Racquetball Canada National Team Selection Event February 3-4, 2023 - Grande Prairie, Alberta

Men's Open


1) Samuel Murray d. 2) Coby Iwaasa, 10-12, 11-4, 12-14, 11-7, 11-9

3rd Place

3) Trevor Webb d. 4) Lee Connell, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7


1) Samuel Murray d. 4) Lee Connell, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-1
2) Coby Iwaasa d. 3) Trevor Webb, 11-3, 8—11, 11-7, 11-4


1) Samuel Murray d. 9) Nathan Jauvin, 11-6, 11-7, 11-1
4) Lee Connell d. 5) Tanner Prentice, 6-11, 11-7, 11-9, 11-4

3) Trevor Webb d. 6) Kurtis Cullen, 6-11, 11-13, 11-6, 11-4, 11-7
2) Coby Iwaasa d. 7) Mitch Brayley, 11-7, 11-4, 12-10

Women's Open


2) Michèle Morissette d. 4) Danielle Ramsay, 11-6, 8-11, 11-7, 11-7

3rd place

3) Juliette Parent d. 1) Christine Kaey, 8-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-2


4) Danielle Ramsay d. 1) Christine Kaey, 11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6
2) Michèle Morissette d. 3) Juliette Parent, 11-3, 3-11, 11-2, 11-8


1) Christine Kaey - BYE
4) Danielle Ramsay d. 5) Marjolaine Parent, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6

3) Juliette Parent d. 6) Cassie Prentice, 11-9, 11-3, 11-7
2) Michèle Morissette d. 7) Ofelia Wilscam, 11-4, 11-5, 11-7

Follow the bouncing ball….

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