Womens Squash Week Final

Final : Letourneau claims her biggest win

Meghan Glenday reports

What an epic final to wrap up Calgary Women’s Squash Week!

The top seed Julianne Courtice showed up as the stronger player in the first two games winning 11-7 and 11-6. Julianne’s pace on the ball seemed to challenge her 4th seed opponent Danielle Letourneau and she struggle to gain control of the rallies. Danielle was either going to have to adjust her game in a big way or hand over the win.

Just after coming on court to start the 3rd game, Danielle got a nose bleed, which stalled the match by several minutes. She seemed to use it as a reset and finally started giving Julianne the run around. Danielle upped her intensity and took more control by playing hard and low cross courts, whipping the ball to the back and killing it in the front. Danielle’s more offensive style play had Julianne guessing more, switching directions often, resulting in minimal opportunity to prepare her next shot. Danielle dominated the T in the 3rd and 4th, winning 11-4 and 11-5.

That said, both ladies walked into the 5th stronger and fiercer, ready to steal the title. It made for some long and impressive rallies. In the end, it was Danielle’s higher intensity and sheer drive to win that tipped the last game in her favour 11-9, taking this year’s title. Congratulations Danielle on a great comeback and a well-earned victory [her fourth and biggest PSA title]. You put on a great show for your home crowd!

A huge thanks to the tournament hosts, all of the sponsors, billets, volunteers and refs. You all make this week a huge success. Thanks to all of the professional and amateur players who came out to participate in this year’s event, and everyone who came out to show their support. We hope you all join us again in 2021!



Semis : Letourneau keeps home hopes alive

Meghan Glenday reports 

It was a full house tonight for Saturday’s semi final round.

Julianne Courtice and Olivia Fiechter’s match was much awaited all week. Olivia demonstrated so much confidence and control against her two other opponents, everyone’s been curious to see how she’d match up against the top seed.

Julianne and Olivia played long rallies, both players focusing mainly on tight length, good depth and putting away any loose shots. They made nice use of the court, with clean shots, and kept errors to a minimum.

Nevertheless, Julianne’s winning length prevailed once again. She even caught Olivia on the last two rallies with impeccable forehand drives, taking the match 3-1.

Danielle Letourneau came out strong this round against Milou Van Der Heijden. She was quick and ready to cut everything off and pick up every shot. Even winning shots were no match for Danielle on Saturday. Further to her retrieval speed and technical game, her overall drive and determination gained her significant control over this match, earning her the win 3-1.

Danielle and Julianne will meet in the finals on Sunday. This will be Danielle’s second final in this event. She lost to fellow Canadian Sam Cornett back in 2017. This year, Danielle has a chance at redemption and she definitely looks ready for it.

The show courts will be packed again on Sunday afternoon. It will certainly be an exciting match to watch!

Quarters : top four seeds set to contest semis

Meghan Glenday reports 

Lee Ka Yi was a worthy opponent for top seed Julianne Courtice. She really put the pressure on in the second and third.

Lee’s short game was on point, she had to aim low to the tin to keep Julianne on her toes. And, more often than not, her drops were tight winners.

However, Julianne played smart, and rarely hit a shot back to her opponent. Her drives were powerful, and her textbook length had Lee failing to retrieve in the back on many occasions. With a strong controlled game in the 4th, Julianne finished off the match 3-1.

Olivia Fiechter breezed through her second match against Emilia Soini.

Nothing has thrown her off her game so far in this event, and we’re looking forward to seeing what Olivia can pull off against Julianne in their semi final round.

Moreover, it looks like we might just have another full house on Saturday, with friends and family coming out to support our local Calgarian Danielle Letourneau. She had a tough yet exciting match against Menna Hamed, just barely squeezing by in the fifth game. Luckily, Danielle seemed to have thrived under pressure this match, keeping her focus and determination high, making it a well-deserved win overall.

Milou Van Der Heijden showed off her strengths in the last match of the evening against Vanesssa Chu, wrapping up the night with a 3-0 win. Milou also had a special visitor watching her quarterfinal match. Bas Thijsse, a fellow member at the Meersquash sport centre, happened to be finishing up a snowboarding trip nearby at Kicking Horse Resort. Such a small world! Bas will have another chance to cheer on Milou in Saturday’s semis before he flies out of Calgary on Sunday.

Best of luck to all four players making it through to the semi final round!

Round Two : Seeds safely through to Quarters

Meghan Glenday reports

It was another full day of professional squash, and all top seeds are advancing through to the quarterfinals.

Olivia Fiechter, Julianne Courtice and Danielle Letourneau all owned their matches 3-0 against their opponents Anna Kimberley, Sarah Cardwell and Nikki Todd. They all seemed well prepared and ready to come out strong.

Especially Olivia, who was on the ball early and so prepared to make each shot that Sarah was forced into taking risks that she was not quite ready for. This pressure might have thrown her off her game a bit more than anticipated.

Emilia Soini’s strong drop and lob game, along with a really deceptive cross court shot up front, ultimately won her her match against Jessica Turnbull. However, Jessica did not make it easy.

She kept her head in the game, playing calm and focused throughout, and made good choices in shots overall. Her retrieval was also strong enough to get her all the way to 5 games. And the 5th really could have gone either way.

6th seed Menna Hamed also had a challenging match against Catalina Pelaez. Catalina played confidently and wasn’t afraid to go for absolutely everything. Her creative shots and dives across the court really impressed the crowd this week. Menna still managed to hold her own, pushing through a slight ankle issue in the 3rd and 4th game, and then stealing the 5th 11-1.

We look forward to watching all of the top seeds further showcase their strengths in Friday’s quarters. The invitational and amateur events also kicked off tonight, so lots of action down at the courts!

Round ONE : WSW 2020 under way in Calgary

Meghan Glenday reports

Yet another great start to our annual Women’s Squash Week!

We had a solid crowd cheering on the pros for Round One of the tournament, and several notable matches,  four of of which went to five games. We’re looking forward to even stronger competition moving into Round Two on Thursday.

There were a couple of injury upsets however, including the first match. Marie Stephan was unable to deliver competitive games against Anna Kimberley, gifting the match 3-0. Anna will now face top seed Julianne Courtice tomorrow at noon.

Grace Gear also seemed to strain herself towards the end of her match with Jessica Turnbull. She put up a very good fight throughout, only losing 3-2, but she was forced to give away the last few points in the fifth game. Jessica will meet Emilia Soini in Round two on Thursday afternoon.

We wish both Marie and Grace a quick recovery for their upcoming events.

The performance of the night was Cristina Gomez and Alicia Mead. What a battle and an incredibly close match! Both played amazing squash and the rallies were intense right from the start.

They definitely deserved their standing ovation from the crowd as they each fought tremendously hard to steal match point in the fifth. Cristina finally won it 17-15, but just barely. She will play Vanessa Chu Thursday evening.

To top off the evening, the Sponsor-Player meet and greet was a hit! Delicious food and great company. A huge thanks to Janice and Andrew for welcoming us into their home, and all of those who helped put such a wonderful evening together.

Preview : WSW back in Calgary

The ever-popular Women’s Squash Week Pro-Am returns to Calgary Winter Club for 2020 as a PSA Challenger 20 event.

Top seeds are England’s Julianne Courtice and Dutch number one Milou van der Heijden, with home interest carried by Danielle Letourneau and Nikki Todd plus wildcards Molly Chadwick and Jen Godziuk.

This year’s event will feature Live Scoring and Streaming, and we’ll have daily reports from Calgary.

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