B.C. teen defeats adult players to take national raquetball championship

Riley Sommerville said she was more nervous and intimidated than usual, but she got over it

Riley Sommerville is the new national AB racquetball champion.

At 14, Sommerville could have competed at the junior level championships, but they were in Valleyfield, Quebec this year and that would be too costly a trip from her Langley, B.C. home.

“It’s really expensive,” Sommerville said.

So she stayed home in Langley, where the Newlands Gold and Country Club was hosting the week-long Canadian National Racquetball Championships, competed in the AB division against top-ranked, older players, and won every game she played to take the championship.

The AB division differs from the open division (won by Murielle Boivin) in that players aren’t competing for a spot on international teams.

READ MORE: Ready to make a ‘racquet’ for Canada

Sommerville said she was more nervous and intimidated than usual going up against the older, more experienced, players, but once a game was underway, she was fine.

“As I get more in the zone, I get focused on the game,” she observed.

Her toughest win, she said, was in the quarter finals against Carly Bosomworth from Saskatoon ( 7-15, 15-7, 11-8).

“She [Bosomworth]was like, diving [to make shots] and it was a little intimidating,” Sommerville told the Langley Advance Times.

Taking the final game to win the championship was an emotional moment, she said.

“I thought I was going to start crying, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to embarrass myself.”

She made a point of thanking her coach, Eric Urteaga, the people at the Newlands Golf and Country Club and her family.

Sommerville didn’t do as well in mixed doubles at the nationals, finishing fourth of five.

But she had considerably more fun, thanks to her playing partner, 68-year-old Larry Oakley.

Oakley is her grandfather, and the person who introduced her to the sport when she was 10.

“It was great because I got to do it with family,” she said.

READ ALSO: Quite the racquet: no nerves for young Langley players on big stage

She recalls viewing racquetball as just a fun thing to do until she went to the junior nationals in Kelowna and won the U12 category.

Sommerville also teamed up with Kelowna’s Malaya Galigan to take silver in the 14 and under doubles division.

She’s going to give the world junior racquetball championships a pass this year, because they are being held in Costa Rica, which would be an expensive trip.

Next year, however, she expects the junior Canadian championships will be closer to Langley, and she intends to compete.

Her long-range plans are not set, but whatever they are, they will include racquetball.

“I don’t know if I want to make a career of it,” she said, “[but] I want to compete all my life.”

She is hopeful racquetball will one day be recognized as an Olympic sport, and would “definitely” like to play for Canada.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fruitvale product new ambassador for Blue Jays Care Foundation

Fruitvale native Ella Matteucci led off Jays Care Foundation with a few Twitter tips on staying fit

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Fact: B.C. bats don’t carry or spread COVID

BC Annual Bat Count goes this summer, citizens encouraged to take part

Mountain Pineapple defers application for new cannabis store in Rossland

The application was originally going to be reviewed by city council on May 19

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read