Olivia Blatchford is the sole American to advance the 2014 Pan American Olympic Festival semifinals Monday night in Toluca, Mexico.
The twenty-one-year-old [3/4] seed defeated Mexican [5/8] seed Nayelly Hernandez in straight games setting up a semifinal clash against top-seeded Samantha Cornett. At the top of the draw, Cornett dispatched U.S. National and Junior Champion Sabrina Sobhy 11-5, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4.
After upsetting world No. 71 Nikole Todd in the round of sixteen Monday afternoon, unseeded Princeton sophomore Maria Elena Ubina challenged second-seeded Samantha Teran early on winning the first game of their quarterfinal match 11-9. Teran, world No. 39, recovered on home soil to win the final three games and match, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4.
Twin brothers Arturo and Cesar Salazar ended Chris Gordon and Todd Harrity’s semifinal hopes respectively in opposing halves of the draw. In one of the opening quarterfinal matches of the evening, Cesar narrowly managed to hold off Harrity in four games 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9.
Gordon’s ensuing match saw Arturo upset his higher-world-ranked opponent 11-8, 6-11, 12-10, 11-5, ensuring at least one medal for the Salazar name.
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]
Men’s Individual Quarterfinals, September 8:
[3/4] Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt. [9/16] Todd Harrity (USA) 8-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-9
[9/16] Arturo Salazar (MEX) bt [5/8] Chris Gordon 11-8, 6-11, 12-10, 11-5
Women’s Individual Quarterfinals, September 8:
 Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt. [5/8] Sabrina Sobhy (USA) 11-5, 7-11, 11-4, 11-4
[3/4] Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt [5/8] Nayelly Hernandez (MEX) 11-5, 11-6, 11-3
 Samantha Teran (MEX) bt Maria Elena Ubina (USA) 9-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-4
Semifinals, September 9:
8:30pm ET:  Samantha Cornett (CAN) vs. [3/4] Olivia Blatchford (USA)