Olivia Blatchford (L) against Chile's Giselle Delgado in Team USA's opening pool match. (image: Paige Stewart)
Olivia Blatchford (L) against Chile’s Giselle Delgado in Team USA’s opening pool match. (image: Paige Stewart)

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This morning the top-seeded United States women met Chile in the first team matches for Group A in the seventeenth Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada.

American world No. 10 Amanda Sobhy, who just won a gold medal in the squash individuals (the first Team USA gold finish since teammate Natalie Grainger in 2007), was first on court.

In their debut match-up, Sobhy bested the Chilean world No. 154 Giselle Delgado in three games 11-2, 11-5, 11-7 in twenty-one minutes. Sobhy returns to the softball doubles court tonight when she and partner Grainger compete in the women’s doubles finals against Canadian duo Samantha Cornett & Nikole Todd—guaranteeing at least a silver medal finish for Team USA.

“Tonight will be very exciting versus Canada, in Canada, the place is going to be rocking, ” said Paul Assaiante, Ganek Family US Squash Head National Coach. “Such a seasoned team as ours should be able to handle that environment well though.”

Silver individual medalist Olivia Blatchford, American world No. 38,  had a rematch of her quarterfinal individual match with Chilean Anita Pinto. Over the weekend, Blatchford quickly dispatched with Pinto in three games 11-3, 11-4, 11-7, lasting just twenty minutes. This second encounter was much closer, but Blatchford was able to secure a 3-0 win 11-7, 12-10, 11-8 in thirty-four minutes.

With little pressure, former world No. 1 Natalie Grainger, hopped on court with opponent Fran Molsalve for the final match of the tie. Like her teammates, Grainger also secured a 3-0 win, 11-5, 11-6, 11-3.

The U.S. women’s team will be back on court tomorrow morning at 10am to face Guatemala, and then later in the afternoon at 3:30pm against Mexico.

Follow updates @TeamUSASquash on Twitter and the Team USA Pan American Games page.

For all results and the full schedule, visit the official 2015 Pan American Games Squash page.

Rich Wade, Team Manager and Director of National Teams and Certifications, reports on day four of match play from Toronto:

As the coaches gathered last night for the drawing of the pool stages of the team event, countries were plotting their way to the knockout rounds. With only three players, all of which need to play every match, the week becomes as much about performance and winning as it does staying appropriately conditioned.

Thankfully for our men we avoided the group of death (Group A), however the teams are aware that anything could happen once you progress through the pool stages. The Men have a rest day today and begin against Guatemala at 12.15pm on Wednesday. The women, who are seeded to win the event, will began this morning against Chile.

Tonight sees Amanda Sobhy and Natalie Grainger go for Gold against Canada in the Women’s Double’s finals. Coach Assaiante commented, ‘Tonight will be very exciting versus Canada, in Canada, the place is going to be rocking. Such a seasoned team as ours should be able to handle that environment well though.’ Having heard the U.S. National Anthem last night, there would be nothing more exciting and proud to hear it again tonight and would be the perfect motivating factor needed as we go in search of medals in the team event.