The United States women’s team are bringing home Gold medals after defeating Canada in Saturday’s Pan American Olympic Festival women’s team final in Toluca, Mexico, while the Men take home bronze following a narrow semifinal defeat against Mexico.
The final day of the Pan American Olympic Festival squash competitions began with the Men’s Team semifinals in which the [3/4]-seeded U.S. side were up against second-seeded Mexico.
Chris Gordon, world No. 57, lost the first match of the tie against his higher-ranked opponent, world No. 51 Cesar Salazar, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 to give Mexico a 1-0 advantage and setting up Mexico’s Eric Galvez with chance to clinch the overall match.
Chris Hanson forced the tie into a third match, however, with a heroic performance against Galvez 5-11, 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5. Galvez, ranked 164 places higher than Hanson at seventy-eight, is the highest-ranked scalp of Hanson’s young career.
With the overall score level at 1-1, Todd Harrity appeared to be on the brink of clinching a place in the gold medal match for Team USA with a 2-0 lead against Arturo Salazar. Salazar, twin brother of Cesar, reversed match momentum to win the final three games and match 6-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6, consigning Team USA to bronze medals. Mexico would go on to claim gold against Canada in the final.
The ensuing women’s team final between the United States and Canada saw two rematches from the individual competition with opposite outcomes.
U.S. National and Junior champion Sabrina Sobhy produced one of the biggest upsets of her career in the first match against Canada’s world No. 32 Samantha Cornett, who previously defeated Sobhy in the individual quarterfinals. The seventeen-year-old American held off Cornett in twenty-three minutes 11-6, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7 to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. The victory marked Sobhy’s first against Cornett having lost all three previous encounters, as well as her highest-ranked upset.
Princeton Sophomore Maria Elena Ubina set out to repeat her upset against Canadian world No. 71 Nikki Todd in the individual competition in the second match of the tie. Todd made amends to her individual defeat against Ubina, however, winning 11-3, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5 forcing a decisive third match.
The decider came down to Team USA’s Olivia Blatchford, world no. 61, and fellow twenty-one-year-old Danielle Letourneau. In the longest match of the tie lasting thirty-seven minutes, Blatchford recovered from losing the first game 11-5 to clinch the match and gold medal in four games 12-10, 11-9, 11-6.
The Men’s and Women’s Team Championships conclude the 2014 Pan American Olympic Festival squash competitions.[jbutton color=”blue” size=”large” link=”https://www.ussquash.com/teamusa/2014-pan-ams/” ]Team USA Pan American Olympic Festival Page[/jbutton]
Men’s Team Semifinals, September 13:
 Mexico bt [3/4] United States 2-1
Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Chris Gordon (USA) 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9
Chris Hanson (USA) bt Eric Galvez (MEX) 5-11, 11-9, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5
Arturo Salazar (MEX) bt Todd Harrity (USA) 6-11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-6
Women’s Team Final, September 13:
 United States bt [3/4] Canada 2-1
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Samantha Cornett (CAN) 11-6, 11-7, 11-13, 11-7
Nikki Todd (CAN) bt Maria Elena Ubina (USA) 11-3, 9-11, 11-9, 11-5
Olivia Blatchford (USA) bt Danielle Letournaeu (CAN) 5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 11-6