Squash on Fire

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Qualifying Round One
Reporting by Aisling Blake

The top two seeds received byes in their first rounds today in qualifying for the Squash on Fire WSA event held at the Sports Club on 22nd Street NW in Washington D.C.  

Nicolette Fernandes, the no. 1 seed in qualifying, will now meet Yvonne Diaz of Mexico who ousted the Dartmouth based local player Corey Schaffer in 4 closely contested games. After losing the 1st game in a tie-break, the Mexican came back strong in the second and won a pivotal 3rd game, again in the tie-breaker (16-14) which gave her confidence and an unassailable lead in the 4th game.

Celia Allamargot, the no.2 seed on the opposite side of the draw awaited the outcome of the match between Alex Clark (Scotland) and Cecelia Cortes (USA). A pretty even match-up on paper, the experience of Clark won out in the end with Cortes, a former Harvard team member, conceding “it’s a different ball game when you come from playing college squash to playing with these girls”.

Elsewhere in the draw Lily Lorentzen and Sabrina Sobhy guaranteed at least one qualifier will be from the U.S.A. with wins over their respective opponents in their first round match up. Lorentzen, having perhaps one of the shortest commutes to the event, arriving on the train from New York today, battled it out with the young Jacqueline Barnes of Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The up and coming junior is back from a training stint in Australia and was fresh from winning a Junior Silver Men’s event last weekend. However, solid play from Lorentzen saw the Greenwich native close out the match in 4 games. Sobhy had a slightly easier run of it beating Mayar Aly Ezzo of Egypt in 3 straight games.

Another all-Egypt match up with take place tomorrow courtesy of straight set wins by Salma Hatem Youssef and Salma Hany over their respective opponents. Hany showed some Egyptian flair in her 3-0 victory over Karina Heredia Gonzalez of Mexico while Youssef displayed her own talents in dispatching Katja Amir of Germany.

Ivonne Diaz (MEX) bt Corey Schafer (USA) 10-12, 11-8, 16-14 11-6
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) bt Mayar Aly Ezzo (EGY) 11-7, 12-10, 11-5
Lily Lorentzen (USA) bt Jacqueline Barnes (AUS) 11-8, 11-6, 7-11,11-7
Salma Hatem Youssef (EGY) bt Katja Amir (GER) 11-4,11-6,11-8
Salma Hany (EGY) bt Karina Heredia Gonzalez (MEX) 11-4, 11-3,11-2
Alex Clark (SCO) bt Cecelia Cortes (USA) 6-11,11-5, 11-7, 11-7

Qualifying Final Line Up:
Nicolette Fernandes (GUY) v Ivonne Diaz (MEX)
Sabrina Sobhy (USA) v  Lily Lorentzen (USA)
Salma Hatem Youssef (EGY) v Salma Hany (EGY)
Alex Clark (SCO) v Celia Allamargot (FRA)


Nicol David, Founder
Squash Stars is a social media effort designed to support women squash with the ultimate aim of promoting the sport for the Olympics.Nicol David, Founder

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