Olivia Blatchford earned Team USA’s first medal of the 2014 Pan American Olympic Festival Squash Competition Tuesday night after falling to top-seeded Samantha Cornett in the Women’s Individual semifinals in Toluca, Mexico.
Canada’s Cornett, world No. 32, defeated the twenty-one-year-old from Wilton, CT, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 to reach Wednesday’s final where she will meet second-seeded Mexican Samantha Teran. With no 3/4 match, both Blatchford and fellow semifinalist Danielle Letoureau were awarded Bronze medals.
Elsewhere at the INCUFIDE courts, the first rounds of the Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Doubles played out with the semifinals and finals set for Wednesday. Pan American doubles uses international softball doubles courts with best of three game scoring.
Team USA’s greatest doubles success came in the Mixed draw where second-seeded Chris Hanson & Maria Elena Ubina held off Guatemalans Winifer Bonilla & Mauricio Sedano 11-9 in the third game. Hanson & Ubina’s semifinal opponents will be [3/4]-seeded Mexicans Diana Garcia & Alfredo Avila.
Philadelphian pair Gilly Lane & Todd Harrity, seeded [9/16] in the seventeen-team Men’s draw, upset Canadian [5/8] seeds Graeme Schnell & Shahier Razik 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, in the opening round to reach the quarterfinals where Lane & Harrity’s run ended against second-seeded Mexicans Arturo Salazar & Eric Galvez in two games.
In the women’s draw, top-seeded Cece Cortes & Sabrina Sobhy crashed out in their first match against Colombian [5/8] seeds Karol Gonzalez & Laura Tovar 11-3, 10-11, 11-10.
The Pan American Olympic Festival involves twenty-three sports that are contested from July 11-September 30. The squash competition takes place September 7-13 with the Individuals contested September 7-10, Doubles September 9-10, and Teams September 11-13. For more information, visit the official 2014 Pan American Olympic Festival home page.
Visit the Team USA Pan American Olympic Festival page for draws, player bios, blog posts, and follow the Team USA Squash Twitter account and Team USA Blog for updates throughout the rest of the tournament.[jbutton color=”blue” size=”large” link=”https://www.ussquash.com/teamusa/2014-pan-ams/” ]Team USA Pan American Olympic Festival Page[/jbutton]
Women’s Individual Semifinals, September 9:
 Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt [3/4] Olivia Blatchford (USA) 11-9, 11-5, 11-9
Mixed Doubles Quarterfinals, September 9:
 Maria Elena Ubina & Chris Hanson (USA) bt [5/8] Winifer Bonilla (ARG) & Mauricio Sedano (GUA) 11-5, 8-11, 11-9
Semifinals, September 10:
1:00pm ET:  Maria Elena Ubina & Chris Hanson (USA) vs. [3/4] Diana Garcia & Alfredo Avila (MEX)
Men’s Doubles Round of Sixteen, September 9:
[9/16] Gilly Lane & Todd Harrity (USA) bt [5/8] Graeme Schnell & Shahier Razik (CAN) 11-6, 8-11, 11-6
 Arturo Salazar & Eric Galvez (MEX) bt [9/16] Gilly Lane & Todd Harrity (USA) 11-8, 11-7
Women’s Doubles Quarterfinals, September 9:
[5/8] Karol Gonzalez & Laura Tovar (COL) bt  Cece Cortes & Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 11-3, 10-11, 11-10