February 15-17 was an exciting time at the Edmonton Squash Club with with the top 3 women from 6 of the provinces and the Canadian Armed Forces in town for the Canadian Women’s Team Championships.
With touring PSA players Danielle Letourneau, Samantha Cornett, Hollie Naughton and Nicole Bunyan on hand, the action was sure to be of the highest caliber.
In the preliminary rounds #1 ranked Ontario and #2 ranked Alberta went undefeated setting up a big Sunday showdown for the title, with BC and Manitoba battling for bronze.
The order of play was 2-1-3 for the title, with Jackie Moss from the Alberta in tough first against World #36 Hollie Naughton. Jackie played well and hung in for some lengthy rallies, but Hollie was a bit too strong taking the first match 3-0 (11-2, 11-5, 11-4)
The second match could have been the final of many a PSA tour event with Canada’s top ranked player Samantha Cornett (World #33) playing for Ontario against current national champion and World #37 Danielle Letourneau. Game 1 was was a back and forth affair with Danielle just getting the edge 13-11 in extra points. Games 2 had all the bounces going Danielle’s way winning 11-4, and then Sam returned the favour coming out on top 11-5 in game 3. Game 4 featured the longest and most brutal rallies and chances for each player to win, but Sam just barely grazed the left sidewall on a straight drive down 13-12 giving Alberta a 1-1 tie in matches setting up a decisive battle of the #3s.
Seanna Keating, a 2002 Ontario provincial champion and still one of the world’s best doubles players was slotted to play Cornell Squash alumni Jamie Laird for the title who was nursing a sore ankle from a scary on-court collision the day before. Seanna came out strong winning the first two games but Jamie dug deep and found another gear taking games 3 and 4. With a partisan crowd cheering Jamie on in the winner-take-all game 5, she did not disappoint, winning 11-6 and handing team Alberta the 2019 championship medals.
In the showdown for the bronze, BC started from a disadvantage with their #1 player Nicole Bunyan nursing an injury from the previous day, but through impressive and composed play from BC #2 Grace Thomas against Manitoba’s Annika Alexander and BC’s #3 Rachel Au vs Manitoba’s #3 Jordan Lambert, BC was able to come through with a well deserved third place finish.
In the 5-6 consolation Saskatchewan prevailed against Quebec, with the Canadian Armed Forces rounding out the field in 7th.
Thank you so much to all of our sponsors, without which we would not have been able to hold this event
In addition to financial support of the tournament, our sponsors have helped us to have a long-lasting impact on the club including a new streaming camera, and an upgraded club WiFi system installed by
The tournament also never would have happened without countless hours offered by our many volunteers. Thank you to Tournament Chair/Director Jeff Williams for putting together a well run and memorable championship and Heather Sanregret for mapping out all the logistics and coordinating the volunteers. Thank you to our Tournament Referee, Caroline de Vries, who arranged and managed our qualified referees, electronic scoring (new to ESC), and excellent player relations. Our club manager Anne Seath was instrumental in getting our club ready to host this national event and
Thank you also to Marc Moreau for running the live streaming video production wizardry, Joe Mann for spending the whole weekend taking and editing the fantastic front facing photos from his high tech camera box rig, and Fred Melnyk for taking the photos behind the glass.
Thank you to the following ESC members who contributed their time and truly represented ESC as strong ambassadors. From shuttling players back-and-forth, providing onsite assistance to players and spectators, prepping and serving the food, cleaning the courts and all the other things that go into running a national level tournament, we were truly blessed to have such a dedicated group to support us