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March 26, 2023

That’s a wrap on MLP Daytona Beach 2023!

UPDATE 4:43PM – The Seattle Pioneers are your MLP Daytona Beach 2023 Premier Level Champions! They beat the California BLQK Bears 3-1 in the Finals. Congrats!!!

UPDATE 5:00PM – SEATTLE PIONEERS WIN!!! In Game 4, the Seattle Pioneers’ Ben Johns and Etta Wright challenged BLQK’s Andrea Koop and Federico Staksrud in a thrilling last game of the day. BLQK needed to win this game to bring the match to a Dreambreaker. At 7-7, Ben Johns showed why he deserves the title of world ranked #1 with his lightning hands speed. At 8-9, The Pioneers video challenged a line call, stating the ball was out, while the Pioneers argued the ball was in. The call stood, and the score was brought to 9-9. At side out, the Pioneers were up 11-9. A series of unforced errors by BLQK brought the score to 17-12, prompting a timeout by BLQK. Incredible defense by Etta Wright and a missed backhand volley by Koop brought the game to 20-14 for the Pioneers. A backhand clean winner by Ben Johns sealed the match victory for the Seattle Pioneers 21-14.

UPDATE 4:16PM – BLQK comes back to win game 3 vs. Seattle and stays in the match .

In game 3 of the MLP Premier Level Final, California BLQK’s Maggie Brascia and Dylan Frazier faced off against Seattle Pioneers’ Meghan Dizon and Tyler Loong.  BLQK fought to bring the match to a game 4 and the Pioneers wanted to use their momentum to finish the match in 3 games. A missed backhand counter by Brascia at 10-8, put the score at 11-8 at side out with the Pioneers in the lead. A series of unforced errors by the Pioneers brought the score to 16-14 for BLQK, giving them the lead. A timeout was called by the Pioneers and the team gathered around to come up with a game plan. BLQK didn’t let the timeout phase them, as they went on another point run, bringing the score to 20-14. Dizon appeared flustered, as she missed a routine dink at 16-20. A missed forehand dink by Tyler Loong at 20-16 brought the game to 21-16 for BLQK and triggered a game 4.

UPDATE 3:55PM – Seattle beats California 22-20 in MD.

MD: In game 2, an aggressive forehand middle putaway by Seattle Pioneers’ Ben Johns set the tone against BLQK Bears’ Dylan Frazier and Federico Staksrud. At 4-5, an erne by Pioneers’ Tyler Loong followed by a putaway by Johns, was a notable point as to why anticipation is key in these professional pickleball matches. A short return by Loong at 8-9, gave Staksrud what he needed to hit a forehand passing shot behind Loong, igniting a fiery “yeah!” from Staksrud. At side out, the Pioneers had the lead of 11-10. For the second half of the game, both teams remained relatively calm in comparison to previous games we’ve seen today. A timeout was called by BLQK at 14-16. At time in, a brief hands battle broke out in between teams, bringing the score to 14-17 and the Pioneers’ one point closer to a game victory. An inside-out shot by Loong at 19-16 brought the score to game point with a  20-16 lead. BLQK trailed closely behind shortly after with missed dinks from Loong and Johns, bringing the score to 20-18. BLQK continued to bring the aggression, and we’re able to bring the game to a tie at 20-20. One of the most notable points of the match was at game point at 21-20 for the Pioneers. Ben Johns defended against an acute angle putaway a from Staksrud and after a brief hands battle at the kitchen, Loong fired the ball at Staksrud who hit the ball into the net. Pioneers won 22-20.

UPDATE 3:24 – The Seattle women Etta Wright and Meghan Dizon beat California ladies Andrea Koop and Maggie Brascia 21-15. The Pioneers take the match lead 1-0 vs. The Bears.

WD: In Sunday’s Premier League Final, the California’s BLQK Bears and the Seattle Pioneers met each other in a thrilling match up. Game 1 started off with Seattle Pioneers’ Meghan Dizon attacking BLQK’s Andrea Koop head on for for the first point of the game. The game started off in what felt like lackluster energy from BLQK, allowing the Pioneers to have a 9-4 lead. At that point, incredible defense from Seattle’s Etta Wright against cross court attacks from Koop brought applause from the crowd, showing a promising energy shift in the game. At side out, the Pioneers lead the game 11-6. A hands battle between all players on the court erupted at 9-12, with the point being finished off with Etta Wright hitting an Erne putaway, bringing the score to 13-9 for the Pioneers. Down 11-17, BLQK called a timeout. That timeout wasn’t enough to rival the Pioneers’ Wright and Dizon, who played jaw-dropping defense during the time in point, bringing the score to 18-11. A missed reset by Dizon put the score at 18-12 and BLQK’s Brascia and Koop went on a short run, bringing the score to 18-15 causing the Pioneers to signal for a time out. The time out was a great time for strategy adjustments, with the Pioneers going on a point run. A counter attack by Koop that went soaring past base line closed out the game for the Seattle Pioneers with a 21-15 win.

UPDATE 2:05PM: MLP President & Commissioner Brooks Wiley and NY Hustlers’ Anna Bright take down Jonah Wuerffel and Heisman Trophy winning Gator QB Danny Wuerffel 21-19 in our Pro-Am match leading into the Finals!

UPDATE 1:35PM: Our Celebrity Pro-Am has begun! Who do you think will win? Let’s ask Las Vegas Night Owls Owner and Hype Woman Kaitlyn Kerr 🙂 

UPDATE 1:07PM: The California BLQK Bears took down the New Jersey 5’s 3-1 and are headed to the Premier Level Finals vs. the Seattle Pioneers at 3pm! Up next is our Celebrity Pro-Am match!

In game 4, the calm and collected BLQK’s Andrea Koop and Federico Staksrud played against the energetic and animated James Ignatowich and Lea Jansen. BLQK hoped to bring their team to the finals in this game and avoid a game 5 Dreambreaker. At 6-9, the fives played an incredible point, with Jansen being off balance most of the point, and finishing it off with a down the line drive, bringing the score to 7-9 for the 5’s. Federico showed he could be animated as well, pointing at his lower right hip after jamming Ignatowich cross court. At 15-13, Staksrud took over the court, finding an open middle and hitting an aggressive forehand roll for a clean winner. A counter by the 5’s went soaring out past baseline, giving BLQK the opportunity of match point at 20-15. A backhand counter into the net by Ignatowich solidified the win for BLQK at 21-16 and secured them a spot into the final.

UPDATE 12:46PM: The California BLQK Bears win game 3 vs. the New Jersey 5’s to take the lead in our second Semi-Final match 2-1.

The 5’s Anna Leigh Waters and Hayden Patriquin played BLQK’s Maggie Brascia and Dylan Frazier.  Waters and Patriquin came out firing strong, with the first point win of the game. Patriquin was one of the last male picks of the MLP Premier Level draft, but in this game he was showing why he should have been a higher pick. At side out, the 5’s were up 11-9 after fiery attacks from both Patriquin and Waters. Up until side out, the match remained close with both teams staying in close proximity point wise. That trend trailed into the second half of the game as well, with no lead becoming too large. Anna-Leigh was consistent blocking Frazier’s ATP shots, mostly notably at 12-14, with her cunning reflexes setting Patriquin up for the putaway. At 16-17, Patriquin missed a shot at his left hip, with him catching the ball in his hand and shrugging before passing the ball back to BLQK. At 20-18, Brascia missed a routine third shot drop, giving the 5’s chance to catch up. Brascia seemed to tense up after that, missing a backhand counter and not covering middle. Frazier stepped in and was able to control game point, bringing the game to a close at 21-19.

UPDATE 12:22PM: The 5’s James Ignatowich and Hayden Patriquin faced off against Dylan Frazier and Federico Staksrud in game 2 after one of the most mind-blowing games in Pickleball history. In the initial first half of the game, the 5’s came out strong, with BLQK closely trailing behind. At side out, the 5’s were up 11-9 and BLQK needed to respond to the 5’s aggression. At 14-12, a questionable call was made by the referee and challenged. After video review, the point was awarded to the 5’s, bringing the score to 15-12. At 19-19, Staksrud played incredible defense and Ignatowich hit an attack out of bounds, bringing the score to 20-19. At 20-19, Frazier hit his serve into the net, which is uncommon. A counter attack soaring past the baseline by Staksrud brought the score to 22-20, securing the win by the 5’s in game 2.

UPDATE 11:43AM: Talk bout high-level pickleball! The ladies of BLQK and The 5’s were absolutely phenomenal during this first game of Semi-Final 1. In the end, Koop & Brascia put the game to bed at 25-23.

In one of the most incredible games seen during MLP this weekend, BLQK’s Andrea Koop and Maggie Brascia competed against the 5’s Anna Leigh Waters and Lea Jansen. The first point of game was a battle showing the defensive skills by the 5s and the offensive power of BLQK, setting the ominous tone what would be a jaw-dropping game. Between points, all the players would bounce on their toes, staying engaged and focused. At side out BLQK was up 11-7. Anna Leigh Waters and Jansen consulted with Leigh Waters on the sideline about needed adjustments. At 13-9, Andrea Koop of BLQK showed she was in control of the point, hitting overhead after overhead, with Jansen ultimately missing a drop, causing the crowd to roar “Koooooooop!” and prompting a timeout by the 5s.

At 12-15, an incredible offensive point by both sides won by the 5s had another side of the crowd clapping back with “Let’s go 5s!” – closing the gap to 13-15 for the 5s. A forehand putaway by Anna Leigh Waters at 16-17, had Anna Leigh screaming “Yeah!”. At 17-17, BLQK challenged a close out call made by the 5s, the call stood, the BLQK bears lost a video challenge, and the score was brought to 18-17. In one of the most incredible points seen Sunday morning at 18-18, Maggie Brascia showed her underrated defensive skillset. That combined with Andrea Koop’s cunning anticipation, won them the point, bringing the crowd to a thunderous applause. At 18-20, yet another mind-blowing point was played out by both sides, with a fiery hands battles involving all four players on the court, with a backhand putaway hit at Jansen’s left foot winning BLQK the point. It didn’t stop after that, with every point thereafter being some of the best points seen in Pickleball history. BLQK came out victorious with a 25-23 win after a 44 minute jaw-clenching game, but all players on the court showed why this is the highest level and quality of pickleball being played before our very eyes.

UPDATE 10:45AM – Semi-Final two is about to begin! The 5’s and BLQK are warming up!!

UPDATE 10:08AM – The Seattle Pioneers beat defending champs the Los Angeles Mad Drops 3-0 in our first Semi-Final of the day. Seattle heads to the finals at 3pm EST vs. the winner of the next Semi-Final (BLQK or the 5’s) happening next on Championship Court.

WD: For the first game on Sunday morning, LA Mad Drops Irina Tereschenko and Catherine Parenteau played against the Seattle Pioneers’ Megan Dizon and Etta Wright. The Pioneers were able to gain momentum quickly, switching sides at 11-7. After a point deficit a vast majority of the match, Tereschenko and Parenteau were able to bring the score to 16-16, and with the Seattle Pioneers having a lead of 18-16, LA called timeout. Etta Wright and Megan Dizon stayed aggressive, and in what felt like split seconds, the score was 21-16 and the Seattle Pioneers won the game.

MD: In game 2, Pioneers world #1 Ben Johns and lefty Tyler Loong faced off against the Mad Drops’ Julian Arnold and Hunter Johnson. At side out, LA was up 11-8. The sound of Loong’s and Johns’ paddles clashing in the middle was a common theme in the first half of the match. At 15-16, during a drawn out point with consistent dinking, Johns nailed the first attackable ball. Loong’s forehand proved to be just as lethal, with a floating overhead being smashed by Loong at 19-15. The Seattle Pioneers closed out the game soon after, winning 21-15.

MX1: In game 3, Seattle’s Dizon and Loong played LA’s Tereschenko and Johnson. Tereschenko hit an incredible backhand attack at 9-3. Loong needed to switch his role as a defensive right side player to playing the aggressive left side. At side out, the LA Mad Drops were up 11-6, and the Pioneers needed to make some strategic adjustments to close the gap in point differentials. Dizon was targeting Johnson cross-court with her two-handed back hand, a risky play, but proving to be rewarding at times. At 19-19, a poach from Dizon targeted at Tereschenko soared out. At 20-19, a missed baseline drop by Johnson put the score at 21-19, not only giving the Seattle Pioneers the game win, but also securing them the match and advancing them to the finals.

Here’s our updated bracket –

Welcome to your Sunday feed!! Nothing like waking up to the fresh smell of the Mad Drops taking on the Seattle Pioneers to start your Sunday! First up at 9 AM is the Los Angeles Mad Drops up against the Seattle Pioneers and then the California BLQK Bears square off with the New Jersey 5’s with only two teams standing for a spot in the finals!