MLP SAN CLEMENTE LIVE EVENT ANALYSIS & UPDATES – SUNDAY PLAYOFFS FEED!
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UPDATE 10:35 AM PST. Championship Court. Premier League Semi-Finals. ATX Pickleballers vs Seattle Pioneers. UPDATE 12:31 PM. SEATTLE PIONEERS WIN 3-1.
Amidst the picturesque backdrop of San Clemente, California, Major League Pickleball’s fourth day kicks off on a splendid Father’s Day Sunday. The thrilling action begins with an enticing semi-final match up between the Seattle Pioneers and the ATX Pickleballers. The stage is set for an exhilarating showdown as these two teams battle it out for a spot in the finals.
UPDATE 10:35 AM PST. Game 1. Women’s Doubles Seattle Pioneers beat the ATX Pickleballers 21-13.
It was a hot start for Seattle’s Etta Wright and Meghan Dizon as they took a quick 6-2 lead with smart decision-making and few unforced errors. Seattle kept their fire start into the end-change up 11-7. At this point, the ATX’s Kawamoto’s have made a few too many uncharacteristic mistakes that they looked to improve on after the brief time out. Easier said than done though against this Seattle team, as Seattle upped their lead to 14-9. The play of the game thus far happened at 15-10 when both teams went back and forth with many lobs and returns by both teams until finally Seattle came out on top. After an unsuccessful challenge by ATX on an out ball, Seattle seems to be carrying all momentum to the latter part of this game. The Kawamoto’s are doing all they can to catch up, but Seattle just isn’t slowing down and continues their dominance making it 19-13. Seattle finish the game 21-13.
UPDATE. 11:34 AM PST. Game 2. Men’s Doubles. Seattle Pioneers win 23-21.
Seattle’s Ben Johns and Tyler Loong proved to be an unstoppable force, propelling their team to a commanding 2-0 match advantage with a thrilling victory in the men’s doubles point, ending in a nail-biting 23-21 scoreline.
The game showcased an intense battle between the two teams, with each side trading blows and even holding game points. However, it was Loong’s back-to-back triumphs in the fiery firefights at the end that ultimately sealed the triumph for the Pioneers.
Right from the start, the game ignited with a mesmerizing rally culminating in JW Johnson’s impressive backhand flick. Loong swiftly responded with an Erne shot, leveling the score at 4 apiece. The momentum shifted when JW Johnson unleashed a powerful forehand body bag, granting ATX a 6-4 advantage.
One of the match’s standout moments unfolded during an exhilarating rally, where Loong displayed exceptional skills with a remarkable reset on JW Johnson’s overhead slam. The Pioneers capitalized on the opportunity, with Ben delivering a decisive body bag to narrow Seattle’s deficit to 7-5 against ATX.
Seattle continued to rally, propelled by Loong’s remarkable Erne, knotting the score at 10. Ben Johns then unleashed a fierce backhand attack volley, propelling Seattle into a slim 16-15 lead. In the ensuing rally, a fortuitous net cord landed on the line, and JW Johnson unleashed a spectacular angle dink save, leveling the score at 16 with his exceptional shot.
Loong once again demonstrated his impressive skillset with a powerful forehand Erne, equalizing the score at 19. A momentous turn came when Ben Johns executed a backhand attack volley at Tardio, granting Seattle a 20-19 advantage. JW’s subsequent forehand attack volley tied the score at 20, setting the stage for an intense back-and-forth exchange between the teams.
In the thrilling climax, Loong emerged triumphant in the final two firefights, showcasing his unmatched skills and contributing to Seattle’s well-deserved victory of this game. Their impressive performance solidified Seattle’s position of strength in the match thus far.
UPDATE. 12:07 PM PST. Game 3. Mixed Doubles. Seattle Pioneers (Dizon/Loong) v ATX Pickleballers (Jade Kowamoto/Tardio). ATX Pickleballers win 21-17.
In the crucial first mixed game of the match between Seattle’s Tyler Loong and Meghan Dizon and ATX’s Gabe Tardio and Jade Kowamoto, ATX knew they had to secure a victory to keep their team in the match and came out strong, building an early 8-6 lead.
Seattle’s Loong made valiant efforts to keep his team in the matchup, delivering a powerful overhead shot that shattered the ground with impact, showcasing his exceptional strength and determination.
At the end-change, ATX maintained a slim 11-10 lead, with Gabe Tardio displaying his dominant presence on the court. The momentum continued in ATX’s favor as both Jade Kawamoto and Gabe Tardio continued to exhibit smart and precise gameplay with limited errors. Tardio’s impressive body bag on Tyler Loong extended ATX’s lead to 16-11, prompting Seattle to call a timeout in an attempt to regroup.
ATX continued to dominate, maintaining a solid 18-12 advantage. Seattle struggled to find an answer to Tardio’s lightning-fast hand speed, creating a challenging situation for the opposing team.
Seattle fought desperately to mount a comeback, narrowing the gap to 20-15 while ATX still held the lead. Sensing the increasing pressure, ATX called a timeout as Seattle continued their surge, closing the gap further to 20-17. Seattle pushed to make it a close game before reaching the freeze score at 18.
In the end, the first mixed game concluded with Gabe Tardio’s overhead shot. The clutch win served as a crucial lifeline for ATX, keeping their hopes alive in the match.
UPDATE 12:21 PM PST. Game 4. Mixed Doubles. Seattle’s Ben Johns and Etta Wright v ATX’s Jackie Kowamoto and JW Johnson. Seattle Wins 21-12.
In Game 4, Ben Johns and Etta Wright are determined to close out the match for Seattle and move on to the finals. The game starts with a remarkable Bert from Ben, setting a strong tone for Seattle’s performance. Jackie Kowamoto of ATX delivers an incredible lob over Ben Johns, winning the rally and reducing Seattle’s lead to 5-3. In response, Etta Wright followed up with a skillful backhand Erne in the next rally. Still, Seattle maintains a 6-3 lead.
Shortly after, Ben Johns unleashes an attack forehand volley body bag on JW Johnson, extending Seattle’s lead to 8-4. Wright and Ben are focused on closing the match at the end change, heading in with an 11-6 advantage.
JW is called for a foot fault, leading to an ATX challenge. The foot fault is confirmed, resulting in a score of 12-6 in favor of Seattle. JW, fueled by the foot fault call, responds with an emphatic overhead hammer putaway in the next rally.
Ben Johns and Wright maintain control of the game, with Seattle leading comfortably at 15-7.
ATX calls a timeout as the Pioneers hold a commanding 17-9 lead, firmly in control of the match. Ben Johns continues to dominate, extending Seattle’s lead to 18-9. In a display of sportsmanship, Ben acknowledges a double-hit shot and agrees to reverse the point, awarding ATX their 11th point. However, they still trail 18-11.
Wright and Ben Johns prove to be a formidable duo, as Seattle secures a 21-12 victory. Etta’s steady performance on the right side is exceptional, with impeccable drop shots and phenomenal resets. Ben Johns showcases why he’s the proclaimed “GOAT”, leading his team to match victory.
UPDATE 12:45 PM PST. Championship Court. Premier League Semi-Finals. New Jersey 5’s v Milwaukee Mashers.
Update 12:57 PM. Game 1. Women’s Doubles. New Jersey 5’s win 21-6.
And the action begins! The 5’s kick off the game with a quick putaway by Lea Jansen from the left, taking a 1-0 lead. Anna Leigh is in a zone, displaying her exceptional skills. The 5’s make a blazing start, surging ahead 6-1. Milwaukee calls a timeout, hoping to disrupt the 5’s momentum. However, the 5’s show no signs of slowing down, maintaining a commanding 9-2 lead. Waters and Jansen are a formidable duo, showcasing their skills today.
The 5’s continue to dominate, carrying an impressive 11-2 lead into the end-change. Lea Jansen’s exceptional play dictates every point. An incredible rally extends the 5’s lead to 15-5, featuring delicate returns by Waters and Jansen in response to multiple overheads from the Mashers. The point concludes with Milwaukee’s Lucy Kovolova hitting the ball into the net. Lea Jansen from the 5’s responds with a finger wag, as they widen the gap to 19-6.The game is effectively over as the 5’s emerge victorious with a final score of 21-6. One of the largest point differential losses of the weekend so far. The 5’s deliver a near-perfect performance, showcasing unparalleled power and minimizing unforced errors.
Update 1:22 PM. Game 2. Men’s Doubles. Milwaukee Mashers win 21-19.
The game starts with Milwaukee’s Matt Wright taking the right side for the Mashers. The 5’s James Ignatowich gets a fortunate net cord on his shot, giving the 5s a 2-1 lead. Andrei returns the favor with a net cord shot of his own, helping the Mashers tie the score at 3. James delivers a powerful overhead shot, successfully countering Wright’s lob-volley attempt. The 5s take a 5-4 lead. The Mashers challenge an out call on Andrei’s third-shot drive, but the call is confirmed, giving the 5s an 8-5 advantage.
James gets yet another net cord, this time his backhand flick clips the net and lands on the line, earning a point for the 5s. The 5s maintain a 9-6 lead. Jersey’s Hayden Patriquin, “Big H”, show his defensive skills with a well-executed reset of Andrei’s Erne attempt. Then James finishes the rally with a forehand attack volley, extending the 5s’ lead to 11-8 as they head into end-change. Big H continues to impress with a remarkable backhand flick, splitting the Masher defense and securing a 12-9 lead for the 5s. Andrei responds with a speedy body bag of Big H, making the score 13-11. Wright delivers a powerful forehand speed-up shot to tie the score at 15. With James unable to reset the speed-up, Wright confidently calls it out, prompting a timeout from the 5s. Wright pumps up the crowd as he walks off the court, creating a lively atmosphere.
As the score remains tied at 17, Wright and Big H engage in a heated conversation on the court. Hayden and James proceed to win a fiery exchange, leveling the score at 19. Andrei emerges victorious in another intense exchange, securing the win for the Milwaukee Mashers in the men’s doubles game. Wright celebrates with a spirited paddle tap, igniting the crowd’s enthusiasm as the teams are now tied 1-1.
Update 1:44 PM. Game 3. Mixed Doubles Milwaukee Mashers(Lucy Kovolova/Matt Wright) v New Jersey 5s (Anna Leigh Waters/Hayden Patriquin). Update 1:49 PM. The 5s win 21-15.
The Mashers face a rough start as Lucy misses a serve and slow momentum, allowing the New Jersey 5s to take a quick 5-1 lead. Waters hits a powerful backhand volley down the middle, further extending the 5s’ lead to 8-3. The 5s Hayden Patriquin, “Big H”, delivers an emphatic slam, putting the 5s ahead 9-3. Waters continues to trouble Matt Wright with another well-placed backhand shot through the middle, resulting in a 10-4 lead for the 5s. As the teams switch ends, the 5s maintain an 11-5 advantage. Lucy responds with a beautiful lob volley, narrowing the gap to 6-11.
Big H unleashes a speed-up forehand down the middle, forcing the Mashers to call a timeout as they trail 14-6. Lucy’s exceptional defensive skills help the Mashers close the gap, now trailing by only five points at 16-11. The 5s are forced to call a timeout to regroup. Kovalova blows Big H a kiss after he misses a backhand volley, adding a touch of playfulness to the game.
The 5s receive a blue card for profanity, highlighting the intensity of the match and the rivalrly between Big H and Wright. Kovalova concludes a point with a beautiful backhand volley, bringing the score to 18-13 in favor of the 5s. With a score of 20-14, the 5s are on the brink of victory. However, Matt Wright executes an impressive erne shot to secure the point for the Mashers, reducing the deficit to 20-15. Anna Leigh delivers a forehand attack volley to seal the win for the 5s, as they triumph with a score of 21-15.
UPDATE 2:21 PM PST. Game 4. Mixed Doubles. The 5s (James Ignatowich/Lea Jansen) v Milwaukee Mashers (Andrei Daescu/Callie Smith). Milwaukee Mashers win 21-18.
James Ignatowich opens the game with a powerful overhead shot, but follows it with a missed serve. Andrei Daescu retaliates for the Mashers, giving them a 3-1 lead. Lea Jansen claims to have called the ball out, but none of the referees hear her. The 5s win the next point, leading to Jansen’s frustrated outcry of “ball don’t lie.”
The 5s start narrowing the lead, and the Mashers find themselves tied at 7-7 after Callie Smith returns the ball out. At 9-7, Smith unleashes a speed up at James to put the Mashers ahead. Smith’s exceptional performance continues as her backhand volley splits the middle, extending the Mashers’ lead to 11-7 at the switch. Another winner by Daescu pushes the Mashers further ahead, now leading 15-10. The 5s are forced to call a timeout as the crowd passionately rallies for a Dreambreaker moment.
Following the timeout, Ignatowich fires a backhand volley that goes wide, bringing the 5s’ deficit to 15-11. The 5s challenge an out call on Lea Jansen’s forehand volley and successfully overturn it, narrowing the Mashers’ lead to 17-14.
Daescu responds with an explosive forehand attack volley, granting the Mashers an 18-14 advantage. Callie Smith intensifies the Mashers’ lead further, firing a forehand shot at James to make it 19-14. James retaliates with a body bag shot on Andrei, bringing the 5s closer at 19-16.
The 5s save a game point, trailing 20-17. Ignatowich puts away another backhand volley, making it 20-18.
Both teams experience a moment of tension as the game hangs in the balance. The Mashers regain possession, only for James to swiftly reclaim the ball for the 5s. Daescu unleashes three consecutive overhead shots, with the last one proving too much for the 5s to handle. A remarkable point ensues, with incredible defense from the Mashers ultimately winning them the point, forcing a thrilling Game 5 Dreambreaker.
UPDATE 2:50 PM PST. The New Jersey 5s beat the Milwaukee Mashers in Game 5 Dreambreaker 21-16. The 5s advance to the finals.
Daescu faces Ignatowich in the highly anticipated showdown, and it’s Daescu who prevails, taking the set 3-1, setting the initial tone for the Dreambreaker.
In the Anna Leigh Waters Waters versus Callie Smith matchup, Waters unleashes a barrage of powerful shots, securing a 3-1 victory for the 5s. With both teams tied at 4-4, the tension continues to rise.
Hayden takes on Kovalova, showcasing exceptional skill and precision with impressive groundstrokes. Kovalova fights back with a fierce attack volley. In the end, Hayden’s backhand winner seals the series 3-1 in his favor.
It’s now time for Matt versus Lea. The 5s challenge an out call on the opening point, and upon review, the call is overturned, giving them an 8-5 advantage. Lea dominates the series with a display of forehand drives and winners, looking virtually unstoppable. Although she misses wide on one occasion, Lea secures the series 3-1, further extending the 5s’ lead to 10-6.
In the next Daescu versus Ignatowich face-off, the 5s continue to maintain their momentum, leading 11-6 at the switch. However, James redeems himself and turns the tide in his favor, winning the series 3-1. The 5s now hold a commanding 13-7 lead.
Waters and Smith take the court once again, but Waters remains in control throughout the series. With precise shots and relentless pressure, Waters secures a 3-1 victory, making Smith chase after every ball. The 5s extend their lead to 16-8.
Hayden faces Kovalova once more, and after a powerful forehand volley winner, the Mashers call a timeout, trailing 17-8. During the series, Lucy drives the ball straight at Hayden, leaving him unable to react in time, resulting in a tied series at 2-2. However, the 5s maintain a comfortable 18-10 lead.
Matt faces off against Lea again, and this time he finds his rhythm, unleashing impressive passing shots. The 5s call a timeout as Matt takes a 3-0 lead in the series, but they still hold an 18-13 advantage.Matt finishes strong, claiming the series 3-1, despite missing a forehand shot.
Daescu follows suit, keeping the Mashers’ hopes alive by winning the set 3-1. The 5s remain in the lead at 20-16.
The match’s fate rests on the Waters versus Smith matchup. As the tension builds, Callie hits the ball long, sealing the victory for the 5s in an exhilarating Dreambreaker. The final score stands at 21-16 in favor of the 5s, securing their spot in the finals later today.
Update 4:30 PM PST. Premier League Finals. The Seattle Pioneers v The New Jersey 5s
4:55 PM PST. Seattle Pioneers win 21-19. Game 1. Men’s Doubles. Seattle Pioneers’ Ben Johns/Tyler Loong v the New Jersey 5s’ James Ignatowich/Hayden Patriquin.
The Premier League Final is underway, and the first point sets the tone for an intense battle, ending in a firefight and an impressive bodybag into Ben Johns by Ignatowich.
Seattle’s Loong and Johns win a serious firefight, leveling the game at 3-3. Johns takes charge with a backhand overhead, securing a 4-3 lead for Seattle.
Big H starts making his moves, taking the lead with smart plays, guiding his duo to a 9-5 advantage. However, Ben Johns answers back with a remarkable backhand flick, tying the game at 9-9 and initiating a 4-point run for Seattle. Johns continues his dominance with a well-executed speedup shot, propelling them to a 10-9 lead.
In an entertaining rally, New Jersey seizes the lead at 11-10, with Johns showcasing his defensive skills by executing a soft ATP reset, but Ignatowich ultimately seals the point with a crosscourt backhand attack volley.
A highlight-worthy moment occurs as Loong executes a tweener reset, only for Ignatowich to respond with a powerful deep forehand attack volley, bringing the score to 13-12.
A fantastic rally ensues, with both teams showcasing their skills and multiple kill attempts being reset by Johns and Loong. The score is tied at 13-13, intensifying the competition.
The Pioneers, showing their resilience, win another back-and-forth rally, reaching 18-15 and forcing New Jersey to call a timeout. The intensity of the match is evident, as even Ben Johns displays a slight smile.
Ignatowich manages to halt Seattle’s 4-point run with a well-executed forehand speedup down the line, bringing the score to 16-19. However, Patriquin’s missed forehand attack volley down the line grants the Pioneers their first game point at 20-16.
Tyler Loong comes through with a beautiful forehand counter on Ignatowich’s speedup, resulting in a double freeze at 18-20. Ultimately, the Pioneers clinch the game on their fourth game point attempt, after Patriquin hits a forehand dink that narrowly fails to clear the net.
Stay tuned for more exhilarating action in this gripping Championship Court final.
5:13 PM PST. Game 2. Women’s Doubles. Seattle Pioneers’ Meaghan Dizon/Etta Wright v the New Jersey 5s’ Lea Jansen/Anna Leigh Waters. New Jersey 5-s win 21-17.
Jansen and Anna Lee Waters (ALW) display an aggressive style of play, taking an early 2-1 lead. Dizon and Wright find themselves on defense, dealing with the pressure. ALW’s poach backhand contributes to the 5s’ 5-4 lead. Wright delivers a net-cord overhead winner, equalizing the game at 5-5.
Soonafter, Dizon’s powerful backhand attack volley proves too much for Jansen to handle, allowing the Seattle Pioneers to claim a 9-8 lead. Both teams engage in a hands battle as the game reaches its midpoint. Neither side can establish a significant advantage. Seattle maintains a slight 11-10 lead.
A thrilling rally sets the stage for the court changeover. Wright showcases exceptional skills with a fantastic reset, ultimately winning the point with a backhand flick.
ALW steps up in the last three rallies, leading to a 13-12 advantage for New Jersey. A dipping drive by Jansen further extends their lead to 16-14.
ALW’s backhand attack-volley poach increases the 5s’ lead to 17-14, prompting Seattle to call a timeout.
Wright’s backhand roll puts an end to New Jersey’s run, narrowing Seattle’s deficit to 18-15.
Unfortunately, Dizon misses her return, concluding the game. The New Jersey 5s secure the women’s doubles game with a 21-17 victory. The match is now tied at 1-1 as we transition to the mixed doubles segment.
UPDATE: 5:46 PM PST. Mixed Doubles. The 5s (Anna Lee Waters/Hayden Patriquin) v Pioneers (Megan Dizon/Tyler Loong). The 5s win 21-19.
The New Jersey 5s start with a shake and bake move, claiming the opening point. The teams trade consecutive sideouts, bringing the score to 2-2.
A low backhand drive by Waters is blocked by Dizon but miraculously crawls over the net, giving the Pioneers a 4-3 lead. Waters attempts a crosscourt roll dink on a remarkable shot by Loong, thrilling the crowd with a clean winner to tie the game at 6-6.
Hayden unleashes a forehand drive that perfectly paints the line, leveling the score at 9-9. The match intensifies as Dizon’s lob forces Big H to reset, leading to a firefight that goes in the Pioneers’ favor, granting them an 11-9 advantage.
Unfortunately, Hayden is called for a foot fault, granting the Pioneers a point and bringing the score to 12-10. In an intense rally filled with crazy resets, Big H delivers a decisive down-the-line winner at 14-14, allowing the 5s to reclaim a slim lead.
The intensity continues to escalate, with Seattle winning two consecutive points to secure a 19-17 lead. A long and thrilling rally, encompassing a bit of everything, goes the way of the 5s, narrowing the gap to 18-19, with the Pioneers still in the lead.
In a turn of events, the New Jersey 5s seize a three-point swing to reach the 21 milestone first, securing the victory in this mixed doubles game.
UPDATE: 5:54 PM PST. Game 4. Mixed Doubles. The 5s (Lea Jansen/James Ignatowich) v Pioneers (Etta Wright/Ben Johns).
UPDATE 6:10 PM PST. Seattle Pioneers win 21-15.
Mixed Doubles: A Must-Win Showdown for Seattle
In this crucial mixed doubles match, Seattle is fighting to stay in the match and force a decisive dreambreaker.
It’s Ben Johns who strikes first, painting the line with precision to secure the opening point for Seattle. Etta counters James’ speed up, extending Seattle’s lead to 3-1. However, Jansen responds with a powerful down-the-middle forehand speed up winner, bringing the New Jersey 5s closer. Seattle still holds the edge with a 6-4 lead.
In a fierce firefight, James delivers a backhand punch to finish the point, narrowing the gap to just one point as the 5s trail 7-6. Etta Wright showcases her exceptional resetting skills, but James manages to find the winning shot, making the score 8-7. Seattle maintains its lead. Etta’s speedy backhand counter adds to Seattle’s advantage, giving them a 10-8 lead. James commits a foot fault, further extending Seattle’s lead to 11-8 at the midpoint.
Ben Johns unleashes a nasty angle overhead shot, increasing Seattle’s lead to 12-9. The match reaches an incredible rally, with James attempting an Erne shot that Etta resets, followed by an outstanding reset from Ben. However, James finds a backhand winner that clips the baseline, bringing the 5s within two points at 12-10. Undeterred, Etta is ready for Jansen’s speed up and helps Seattle move the score to 15-10. The 5s call a timeout to regroup.
James attempts a backhand Erne and a Bert, but Seattle’s defense is prepared as Etta and Ben win the rally. The score now stands at 16-10. James delivers a powerful forehand attack volley, bodybagging Etta and closing the gap to 20-14. However, Jansen returns Etta’s serve into the net, granting Seattle the victory with a final score of 21-15. It’s time for the dreambreaker to determine the ultimate winner.
UPDATE: 6:32 PM PST. Game 5. Dreambreaker. Seattle Pioneers win 21-14. Seattle Pioneers win the final.
Ben Johns Dominates Against James Ignatowich: Seattle Takes Commanding Lead
Ben Johns proves his dominance by winning three out of four points against James Ignatowich, securing a comfortable 3-1 lead for Seattle.
Tyler Loong faces off against Anna Leigh Waters, and Seattle gains a significant advantage as Anna misses two consecutive backhand returns. The score stands at 7-1 in favor of Seattle.
The match between Hayden and Dizon is evenly matched, with the points split 2-2.
Etta Wright unleashes a powerful crosscourt forehand roll, extending Seattle’s lead to 10-3.
As the teams reach the end change, the Seattle Pioneers hold a commanding 11-3 lead.
Etta and Lea split the next two points, with Seattle still in control at 12-4.
Ben and James have a 2-2 split. Seattle maintains a significant lead of 14-6.
In the matchup between Waters and Loong, Waters manages to secure three points, but Loong maintains Seattle’s advantage with a score of 15-9.
At 16-10, an interesting turn of events occurs when Dizon’s drive clips the net and rolls over. Hayden initially calls it out, but Dizon decides to challenge the call through video replay. The call is overturned, and Seattle now leads 17-10.
Ben and James reenter the game at 19-13, and they split the first two points. With the score at 20-14, it’s match point for the Pioneers. Ben seizes the opportunity and finishes the game on the first try, securing a 21-14 victory for Seattle. Seattle Pioneers win the final match.
UPDATE: 6:44 PM PST. Ben Johns named as MVP of the tournament.