Day Three - Semifinals
BLQK 3-0 vs Clean Cause
Team Clean met a fired-up team BLQK in the semifinal this morning. It was kind of like The Mighty Ducks running into Gunner Stahl and team Iceland in D2. BLQK is well-rehearsed and in control in these matches. The BLQK women rolled in the first game and the men raced up to 20 with Clean sitting at 15 points.
Dekel Bar and Fed Staksrud put a stake in the ground and used the frozen score to mount a comeback. They fought all the way back to even things up at 20-20. The game tightened up here and the teams traded serves about 10 times before BLQK finally broke the time. Clean forced one more side out before BLQK finished the job.
They cleaned up again in the first mixed match to punch their ticket to the Championship match tonight. They will await their opponent from the second semifinal starting shortly.
Hard Eights 3-1 vs The Ranchers
The Hard Eights have taken down the champs and will play for $100k. The newly assembled team built around their first round pick, Jorja Johnson, pulled out the win against the Ranchers.
They got a big win from their two new team members Kyle Yates and Cierra Gaytan-Leach in the first mixed doubles game. Yates was flying around the court giving everything he had to advance. Gaytan-Leach showed the skill and hand speed that will up her draft stock for next year.
They beat Anna Bright and DJ Young despite a 27% win percentage from DUPR. INthe final mixed game, the Hard Eights stronger mixed duo had control throughout the match. They had a 7-0 lead to start and never looked back.
The Hard Eights will play BLQK for $100k at 7:30pm on CBS Sports.
Day Two - Quarterfinals
Clean Cause 3-2 vs Mad Drop PC
Dekel Bar is one of the best known players representing MLP and a resident pro at Dreamland. It has been a surprising to never see him play for an MLP Championship or even to advance into the playoffs. MLP Columbus has been a different story for the big man.
His team Clean Cause went 2-1 in group play to advance to the playoffs. In their first round matchup Bar was lights out in mixed doubles and in the subsequent Dreambreaker.
Clean Cause matched the big energy of Mad Drops PC. Staksrud and Arnold had a screaming competition after nearly ever point. But it was the Big man Bar that made the biggest difference for Clean. They win and will for BLQK tomorrow in the semi finals.
Hard Eights 3-2 vs Florida Smash
The Hard Eight battle all the way back to take it in a Dreambreaker. Down 20-15 on the brink of elimination, Jorja Johnson and Andrei Daescu mounted a comeback to win the second mixed game 24-22.
Just what the night needed, another Dreambreaker. Kyle Yayes the hero for the Eights in the Dreambreaker. He won the matchup against the Rattlesnake Rettenmaier to give the Eights the edge.
They elected to sacrifice Gaytan Laeach to matchup against JW Johnson and the strategy paid off big time. They get the W and will play the Ranchers tomorrow at 1230pm.
Day Two - Group Play
BLQK 3-1 vs Florida Smash
BLQK got the win in 3 against FL Smash. After controlling the men's and women's games BLQK dropped the first mixed doubles match to JW Johnson and Lacy Schneemann.
The second mixed doubles game was one of the most intense you will see this weekend. Travis Rettenmaier and Michelle Esquivel of FL Smash had the lead at the side change. Parris Todd and Zane Navratil used the break to change their formation.
They moved into a stacked formation to ditact who would receive the Navratil spin serve. The change set up Zane to serve against Esquivel for the remainder of the match and it paid off for BLQk they fought back to get the win a close the match.
Mad Drops 3-2 vs The Ranchers
Just when you thought you've seen the most exciting match of the day the next one goes and tops it. The energy in this one was electric. Anna Bright and Julian Arnold on opposite teams, you know that is going to get loud.
This one went the distance as the teams went 2-2 to force a Dreambreaker. Big points late for Arnold and Brascia were the difference as they got the win.
The Bus 3-2 vs Chimeras
The Bus ended the playoff hopes for the Chimeras in another match that had to be settled with a Dreambreaker.
Hard Eights 3-2 The 5's
The 5's and Hard Eights played head to head for the second spot in group C. The undefeated Team Clean had already clinched their spot going 2-0 on day. Of course with playoff contention on the line there was no way this one was not going to a Dreambreaker.
The 5's held a two point lead for most of the singles showdown but a late push from the Romainian Tower and former pro tennis player Andrei Daescu, flipped the script. He handed the ball to Jorja Johnson with a 20-19 lead. Johnson did what the Johnsons do and finished off the match giving the Hard Eights the. last spot in the playoffs.
Here is a look at the playoff draw for MLP Columbus:
BLQK and the Ranchers will earn the bye and skip the quarterfinals. Based on the standings it looks FL Smash will face off again in the quarterfinals with the Hard Eights pitting Johnson just like in Austin. The Mad Drops PC will take on Clean Cause.
Day One - Group Play
Major League Pickleball is off and running in the third and final stop for 2022. Coming off the enormous Tom Brady and Lebron James the energy could not be higher for this event.
The action started 8:30am ET with perennial favorite BLQK taking on the new look JackRabbits.
The women for BLQK got the job done early and took game one. In the men's match, Adam Stone and Hunter Johnson had an amazing comeback from being down to win 21-19.
This is considered a bit of an upset with Stone and Johnson playing in their first event of the year. Moving on to mixed to decide the match.
BLQK closed out the Jackrabbits with a 3-1 Match win.
In the first matchup on the Grandstand court, Florida Smash took down the Lions with an convincing 4-0 win. For live score updates check out MLP's site.
Ranchers 4-0 vs Chimeras
The Ranchers did not lose a beat in the MLP offseason. They swept the Chimeras in the opening matchup in Columbus. Pencil them in as the winner of group B. It would take a lot for them not to win the group.
Mad Drops 3-2 vs The Bus
One of the best matches of the day. This one went to a Dreambreaker in order to find a winner. The singles prowess of Koller, Arnold and Brascia was just too much for the Bus to contend with, you throw Dreambreaker legend Lee Whitwell on top of that and they never really stood a chance. MDPC wins 21-17 in the tie-break.
BLQK 3-1 vs The Lions
Florida Smash 3-2 vs Jackrabbits
Florida Smash completely flip the script in their second match. They split 2-2 and dropped both mixed doubles matches. The Dreambreaker was the best of the day and went into extra pickle. Smash squeezed it out 24-22. They will play BLQK tomorrow to decide the group.
Ranchers 3-2 vs The Bus
The Ranchers came back to earth against the bus. They went down 0-2 and needed both mixed matches to force a Dreambreaker. In gamefour they barely got win with a 22-20 win for Kawamoto/Ignatowich.
The Ranchers took care of business in the Dreambreaker securing the win. The Bus unfortunately move to 0-2 with both loses coming in a Dreambreaker.
Chimeras 3-1 vs Mad Drops PC
The Chimeras got a notch in the win column over MDPC. They end the day 1-1 and will be in contention for a playoff sport tomorrow when they take on The Bus.
Clean Cause 3-2 vs Hard Eights
Clean Cause took care of business in their first match of the day. They pushed the Hard Eights to Dreambreaker and absolutely caught fire. They ended the match 21-14 on the shoulders of Federico Staksrud and Maggie Remynse.