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

_________________________________

Just Posted

Snowmobile club gets funding for approaching season

Money will go toward summer trail maintenance and website upgrades

Another week of adventure

Forty-two youth from Clearwater, along with youth visiting from out of town, enjoy week of events

Affordable housing project sees completion

“We’re pleased we’re going to be starting off with pretty much full occupancy.”

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Speculation tax forces sale of Greater Victoria’s iconic ‘Tulip House’

Bob and Jan Fleming selling their retirement home famous for its thousands of tulips

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Man at centre of dropped HIV-disclosure case sues province and 10 cops

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford says Mission RCMP defamed him and were ‘negligent’ in their investigation

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

Most Read