US SQUASH

U.S. Women Guarantee Best World Team Finish Since 1983

L-R: Olivia Blatchford,  Natalie Grainger,  Sabrina Sobhy,  Amanda Sobhy. (image: Steve Line/squashpics.com)

L-R: Olivia Blatchford, Natalie Grainger, Sabrina Sobhy, Amanda Sobhy. (image: Steve Line/squashpics.com)

Team USA defeated Ireland in the 5/8 playoff Friday morning, guaranteeing its best Women’s World Team Championship finish since 1983—sixth place—and an opportunity to achieve its best finish—fifth place—in Saturday’s 5/6 playoff.

The United States will vie for fifth place against the winner of the France/Australia 5/8 Playoff match, which will be decided Friday at 6pm ET. The 5/6 final will be streamed live from Court 6 at 11am ET Saturday morning.

Amanda Sobhy (L) against Madeline Perry. (image: Steve Line/squashpics.com)

Amanda Sobhy (L) against Madeline Perry. (image: Steve Line/squashpics.com)

Court 6 Live Stream: http://www.sportscanada.tv/squashcanada/index.php/watch-live/court-6

5/8 Playoff: [6] United States bt [8] Ireland 3-0:
Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt Madeline Perry (IRL) 11-1, 11-3, 11-3 (20m)
Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Aisling Blake (IRL) 11-3, 11-9, 12-10 (31m)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Laura Mylotte (IRL) 11-4, 11-7 (19m)

The U.S. made one lineup change from their quarterfinal loss against Hong Kong Thursday, with current U.S. National and Junior Champion Sabrina Sobhy slotting into the side in place of player-coach Natalie Grainger.

The change proved to be inconsequential, however, as Amanda Sobhy and Olivia Blatchford both won the first two matches in three games to seal a U.S. victory before the No. 3’s went on court.

Amanda Sobhy, world No. 11, was on court first against world No. 14 Madeline Perry in their second career encounter. The thirty-seven-year-old Perry appeared to sustain an injury late in Ireland’s quarterfinal against England Thursday night, which seemed to slightly hamper her movement against Sobhy. Sobhy piled on the pressure to win the first game 11-1, and continued her dominance to win the match in three games 11-3, 11-3.

Olivia Blatchford (L) against Aisling Blake. (image: Steve Line/squashpics.com)

Olivia Blatchford (L) against Aisling Blake. (image: Steve Line/squashpics.com)

Blatchford, world No. 40, also started strong in her match against world No. 37 Aisling Blake, taking the first game 11-3. Blake came out stronger in the second game, but Blatchford edged it out 11-9. Blake squandered two game balls in the third game, and Blatchford capitalized to close the match 12-10.

With the match already decided, Sabrina Sobhy did play a best of three match in the dead rubber against veteran Laura Mylotte, which she won 11-4, 11-7.

Player-coach Natalie Grainger accredits the growing U.S. junior circuit to producing young talent such as her teammates.

“Our junior programme has been getting stronger and stronger since 2011 when our girls came second in the world juniors, ” Grainger said. “This group has been together for a long time now – with Amanda and Olivia leading the way.”

“My job is to shore things up at the bottom end – I will stay on as long as I can and the job will be complete when other girls take over! We’re going to be a force to be reckoned with for a long time now”

All live streams: http://www.sportscanada.tv/squashcanada/

For full tournament coverage, visit wsfwomensteams.com.

Team USA Women’s World Team Tournament Page

 

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