It was a sobering day at the National Championships for Team SK. With 6 athletes in the quarter finals there were high hopes for some to make it to the semis, perhaps even the final. Alas all these hopes were dashed once the day closed…
Team veteran Linda Ellerington pulled out all the stops and used her years of experience to her advantage as best she could, but ultimately couldn’t compete with the shot making of Michelle Morissette, falling in 2 games. Third seed Christine Richardson had an even tougher time with sixth seeded Valerie Fallu, who came out firing in the first and took advantage of loose play from Richardson in the second to take the match in straightforward fashion.
After disappointment on the Women’s side, all hopes shifted to the Men for SK representation in a semi-final and a chance at a medal but they didn’t fare any better. Tim Landeryou could not create any momentum against young gun Coby Iwaasa, whose powerful drive serves and superb court coverage put a lot of pressure on Landeryou and forced uncharacteristic errors in the first. It didn’t get any better in the second either, as Iwaasa turned up the heat, making great gets and shots, while Landeryou struggled, and took the second handily.
In the second quarter final of the evening, Lee Connell opened up a lead against defending Canadian Champion Mike Green, but the veteran proved his mettle, chipping away at the lead with tactical and technical expertise that Connell didn’t have an answer for. The strategy followed through to the second where Connell threatened but ultimately couldn’t close the gap as Green took the match in two close games.
James Landeryou also showed promise early in the match against #3 seed Vincent Gagnon, but the Quebec veteran slowly closed the point gap and despite Landeryou serving for the game at 15-14, was able to persevere and take the first. Landeryou seemed exhausted and demoralized after dropping the crucial first game and went away in the second, which Gagnon ran away with.
Perhaps the greatest chance for a male in the semifinals for Team SK was Nathaniel Husulak, who was coming off some solid play and training leading up to the nationals and whose opponent, Samuel Murray, had definitely taken some wear during the doubles portion of the event earlier in the week. This was confirmed when Nate came out firing in the first, racking up points quickly on the back of powerful drive serves to both sides and nimble court coverage. After taking the first easily, it appeared this might be a quick match, but Murray was not to be denied and came out with much more energy in the second. He covered the court much better, putting more pressure on Husulak to make shots and surprisingly it worked. Uncharacteristically Nate began playing more tentative, seemingly afraid to make errors and opting instead for passes most shots instead of going for the lower winners that had given him the first so easily. To his credit the game remained close until the end, when Murray his some great drive serves of his own to ran away with it and force a tiebreaker. The third game was much like the second, a seesaw battle with many changes of serve, point bunches, and momentum shifts. Things tightened up when Nate scored 3 straight points to level the game at 9. After a few changes of serve he was able to score first and serve for the match at 10-9. Unfortunately he couldn’t finish off the comeback, as Murray got the serve back and was able to finish and take the match.
Other SK athletes in action today included Lorne Renouf (Men’s A/40+), Darrell Davis (Men’s B), Darcy Shaw (Men’s 45+), Graham Tamaki (Men’s 50/55+), and Bruce Robinson (Men’s 60+). Semi final action takes place tomorrow with playdowns for the 5-8 and 9-12 places occurring as well.
Singles Day 2 Results:
Women’s Open Quarter Finals:
Michelle Morissette (QC) d. Linda Ellerington (SK) 15-9, 15-9
Valerie Fallu (QC) d. Christine Richardson (SK) 15-9, 15-6
Men’s Open Quarter Finals:
Mike Green (ON) d. Lee Connell (SK) 15-10, 15-10
Coby Iwaasa (AB) d. Tim Landeryou (SK) 15-8, 15-0
Vincent Gagnon (QC) d. James Landeryou (SK) 17-15, 15-5
Samuel Murray (QC) d. Nathaniel Husulak (SK) 5-15, 15-9, 12-10
Men’s A: Lorne Renouf (SK) d. Kirby Shwaykosky 15-8, 7-15, 11-9
Men’s B (red): Darrell Davis (SK) d. Gordon Porter 20-18, 15-13
Men’s 40+: Christian Boudreau d. Lorne Renouf (SK) 15-5, 15-0
Men’s 45+ (cons): Darcy Shaw (SK) d. Stephane Parent 15-12, 15-10
Men’s 50/55+: Graham Tamaki (SK) d. Carl Lalande 10-15, 15-12, 11-5
Men’s 60+: Terry Mosdell (BC) d. Bruce Robinson (SK) 15-9, 15-7