Sarnia woman wins title at Canadian Squash Championships

Holly Delavigne didn’t enter the Canadian Squash Championships in Edmonton thinking she’d win her division.

After all, she was competing against players who had been playing more while she studied and played collegiate squash at Western University.

But, in the end, the 23-year-old won four matches, including two against highly seeded players, to capture the national crown in the Women’s “A” Division.

It’s the second highest division in the championship. Only the professional division is higher.

Delavigne, ranked 28th nationally by Squash Canada, came from behind to capture her quarter-final and semi-final matches against opponents from Calgary in five sets. In the title match she downed fourth-seeded Lisa Coates of Kingston in four sets.

“I definitely didn’t go in thinking that I was going to win,” said Delavigne, who first considered the possibility after upsetting the second seed in the quarter-finals.

“I thought when I won that game, hey, maybe this is a possibility,” she added.  “And by the time I got to the finals I knew how far I could dig down, so I thought I might as well leave it all out on the court.”

The St. Patrick’s High School graduate, who plays out of the London Squash Club, also won the Ontario Provincial Championships and the Women’s Team Challenge this past year.

After a lull in popularity following the success of Sarnia’s Gary Waite some years ago, Delavigne feels the sport is making a comeback, especially with squash being considered for the Olympic roster in 2020.

“It’s definitely making a bit of a resurgence,” she said.

Delavigne is uncertain about her squash schedule because she’s about to begin her Master’s degree at Western this fall.

In the meantime, she is doing off-season training and playing a couple of times per week at the Sarnia Riding Club, and will compete at the internationally renowned Nash Cup in September.

– Barry Wright