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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Missing Chilliwack woman has not been in contact with family for several months

The RCMP are asking for the public’s help in locating 35-year-old Chantelle Chenier of Chilliwack

Rescuers halt Coquihalla River search due to darkness, after reports of person in river

No information to indicate a child is involved, RCMP state, after this information surfaced on social media

PHOTOS: Superintendent retires from SD78 with car parade, Indigenous honour ceremony

Karen Nelson has been superintendent in Fraser Cascade for 11 years, 29 years total at the district

BREAKING: Fraser River is rising, possible flooding outside dike system coming

District warns of potential flooding outside its dike system

Two Chilliwack women make weekly Crime Stoppers most wanted list

Ashley Felix and Raina McDonald wanted on unrelated issues

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight on Vancouver Island

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

Most Read