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June 19, 2023

Welcome to the MLP Challenger Finals Feed – your go-to destination for the most current info on matches and gameplay happening during Monday’s ML. Be sure to bookmark this page and come back for the latest updates all day! 

Season One Challenger Level Super Final – Bay Area Breakers v the Chicago Slice

UPDATE 3:08 PM PST. Game 1. Women’s Doubles in underway. Chicago Slice (Emily Ackerman/Susannah Barr) v Bay Area Breakers (Vivian Glozman/Ewa Radzikowska)

UPDATE 3:19 PM PST. Breakers are up 11-10 at the end change in game 1.

UPDATE 3:32 PM PST. Breakers win Game 1 of women’s doubles 21-19.

Intense Opening Game of Women’s Doubles in the Challenger League Super Final.

While Radzikowska and Glozman of the Breakers seem to always be on the offensive, the Chicago Slice attempt to capitalize on Glozman’s relative freshness to the sport, given her limited playing experience of just a few months. On the other hand, Barr brings a wealth of experience as a seasoned veteran of pickleball, having played for several years.

The game kicks off with a close score of 7-5 in favor of the Breakers. Unfortunately for Barr, she hits a forehand roll into the net, allowing the Breakers to extend their lead. Glozman, too, faces a momentary lapse as her forehand attack sails long.

Defense proves to be a key factor at 9-6 in favor of the Breakers, as their defensive skills prevail when Barr’s backhand attack goes awry. This pattern repeats itself, occurring again at 9-10. The Breakers maintain an 11-9 lead as the players switch ends.

Throughout numerous rallies, it becomes evident that the Breakers’ strategy revolves around singling out Barr, who finds herself receiving most of the powerful shots from her opponents. The pressure mounts, and at 20-16, when Glozman’s drive slams into the net, providing a momentary relief for the Slice.

A miscommunication of a middle ball by the Breakers at 18-20 brings the score to a nail-biting 19-20. With tension mounting, the Breakers manage to regain their composure. At 20-19, Glozman’s backhand attack proves too difficult for Barr to defend, ultimately sealing the victory for the Bay Area Breakers with a final score of 21-19.

The opening game sets the stage for an exciting contest between these talented teams in the Challenger League Super Final. Both sides exhibit their strengths and strategies, promising more thrilling action to come in this highly anticipated matchup.

UPDATE 3:42 PM PST. Game 2. Men’s Doubles. Bay Area Breakers are up 11-7 at the end change.

UPDATE 3:56 PM PST. Game 2. Chicago Slice win 21-19.

The showdown between the Chicago Slice and the Bay Area Breakers in men’s doubles proves to be an exhilarating clash. The Bay Area Breakers’ Tellez opens with a backhand flick that clips the net, failing to clear it at 1-1. However, the Chicago Slice’s Connor Garnett showcases why he is a formidable force with his backhand attacks an drives, unleashing his aggressive play to secure a point for his team at 2-1. The Slice’s return goes long at 4-5, leveling the score to 5-5.

As the game progresses, Tellez and Alshon of the Breakers display their passion, getting loud and energized at 6-5. Tellez further ignites the atmosphere with a beautiful Erne shot at 8-6, eliciting a yell of excitement. At 10-6, Christian Alshon demonstrates his athleticism, defying his positioning to spin around and execute a remarkable attack reset against the Slice, followed by another impressive defensive dig. The Breakers lead 11-7 as they change ends.

The intensity continues to rise as the score reaches 11-11, and a line call challenge is made by the Bay Area Breakers when the Slice called a shot out. After confirmation that the ball was indeed out, the incredible defense by the Chicago Slice seems to prevail at 12-13. However, Alshon’s cross-court Erne attack proves pivotal, earning the Breakers a point and tying the score at 13-13.

At 15-13 in favor of the Breakers, Tellez puts up a valiant defense against Garnett’s backhand ATP, but unfortunately, his forehand reset finds the net. A spirited Erne attempt by Alshon and a missed return by Tellez bring the score to a tense 19-19. The crowd erupts as Garnett delivers a powerful Bert shot, bringing the Chicago Slice to game point.

With a combined offensive onslaught by Garnett and Deheart, Tellez and Alshon struggle to defend, ultimately leading to the Chicago Slice securing the victory in game 2. The intense back-and-forth action keeps spectators on the edge of their seats, eagerly anticipating the next thrilling installment of this Challenger League Super Final Match.

UPDATE 4:07 PM PST. Game 3. Mixed Doubles. Bay Area(Alshon/Glozman) v Slice’s(Barr/Garnett). Chicago Slice are up 11-6 at the end change.

UPDATE 4:20 PM PST. Game 3. Chicago Slice win 21-19. Chicago Slice up 2-1 in the match.

Intense Battle: Susannah Barr and Connor Garnett (Chicago Slice) vs. Alshon and Vivian Glozman (Bay Area Breakers)

The Chicago Slice enters this game with a determined mindset, and the hometown advantage has Connor Garnett fired up, with the crowd rallying behind him. His aggressive play dominates the early stages of the game, as his forehand and backhand attacks prove to be lethal. The Breakers find themselves constantly on the defensive, struggling to handle Garnett’s powerful shots, particularly evident at 8-4.

The Chicago Slice maintains their momentum, establishing an 11-6 lead at the end change. Coming out strong after the break, they extend their advantage to 14-7. Susannah Barr unleashes an impressive inside-out attack on Christian Alshon, bodybagging him at 14-8. Barr’s incredible defensive skills and expert resets at 16-11 help solidify the Slice’s lead, bringing the score to 17-11. Glozman faces difficulties defending against the relentless attacks of Barr and Garnett.

However, at 14-18, Barr’s attempted lob falls short, giving the Breakers a glimmer of hope. Christian Alshon receives a verbal warning from the referee at 19-14 after kicking the ball off the court in frustration. Garnett’s forehand cutaway meets the net at 20-15, momentarily halting the Slice’s progress. The Breakers seize the opportunity to single out Barr, narrowing the gap to 19-20.

With both teams struggling to surpass the 19-20 mark, numerous failed resets add to the suspense. Finally, at 20-19, Garnett’s backhand attack clips the net, causing the ball to bounce off Glozman and secure the game for the Chicago Slice, with a final score of 21-19. It’s an exhilarating display of skill and determination from both sides, keeping fans at the edge of their seats throughout the match.

UPDATE 4:31 PM PST. Game 4. Mixed Doubles. Chicago Slice up 11-9 at the end change.

UPDATE 4:41 PM PST. Bay Area Breakers win 21-18. Match headed to a Game 5 Dreambreaker.

Intense Showdown: Emily Ackerman and Ryler DeHeart (Chicago Slice) vs. Ewa Radzikowska and Pablo Tellez (Bay Area Breakers)

In this mixed doubles matchup, both Pablo Tellez and Ryler DeHeart take the right side, utilizing their left-handed advantage and providing forehand middle dominance for their respective teams. The Bay Area Breakers are desperate for a victory in this game, as they aim to force a Game 5 Dreambreaker and keep their hopes of winning the super finals alive.

The score stands at 7-5 when Pablo’s forehand counter finds the net, giving the Breakers a slight setback. At 9-5, lob attempt from DeHeart is followed by an overhead smash from Ewa and DeHeart fails to reset the ball, allowing the Breakers to capitalize on the opportunity.

Emily Ackerman of the Chicago Slice demonstrates constant communication with her partner, loudly shouting “Go” and “You” throughout the game, displaying their strong teamwork. At the end change, the Chicago Slice holds a narrow lead of 11-9.

A failed shake and bake attempt by the Breakers at 10-11 results in the ball hitting the net, granting the Chicago Slice another point. As the score reaches 13-14, Pablo provides strategy advice to Ewa, prompting both players to aim more towards the middle in an attempt to create confusion between their opponents. This strategic adjustment pays off, leading to two consecutive points and bringing the score to 15-14 in favor of the Breakers.

Pablo’s loud cheer follows a wide defensive reset at 16-15, displaying his enthusiasm and determination. Sensing the Breakers’ momentum, the Chicago Slice calls a timeout at 15-17, hoping to disrupt their flow. However, the Bay Area Breakers focus their attacks on Emily Ackerman, successfully singling her out and pushing the score to 19-16.

At 19-18, Tellez’s forehand clips the net, catching the Chicago Slice off guard and preventing them from making a successful reset, resulting in a score of 20-18. The Breakers’ dominance continues as Tellez delivers an overhead slam that DeHeart is unable to salvage, securing the game for the Bay Area Breakers with a score of 21-18. This victory sets the stage for a thrilling Game 5 Dreambreaker which will determine the ultimate winner of the match.

Update 4:48 PM PST. Game 5 Dreambreaker underway.

Christian Alshon v Connor Garnett 

Pablo Tellez v Ryler DeHeart 

Ewa Radzikowska v Emily Ackerman

Susannah Barr v Vivian Glozman 

Update 4:52 PM PST. Game 5 Dreambreaker. Bay Area Breakers up 11-8 at the end change.

Update 5:01 PM PST. Chicago Slice beat the Bay Area Breakers 21-17 in Game 5 Dreambreaker. Chicago Slice are the Major League Pickleball Season One Challenger Level Champions.

Update 5:03 PM PST. Up Next: Season Premier Level Super Final – Seattle Pioneers vs Los Angeles Mad Drops.