Good morning from Dreamland. Today's action will start with the final round of pool play to see who will advance to the knockout round. It is an important day for the 1-1 teams on the bubble hoping be one of the ones still in contention for the $100K team prize.
The first matchup of the day is between two undefeated teams, ATX Pickleballers and BLQK. Championship court will house most of the critical matchups of the day. The second match on Championship court is between Florida Smash (2-0) and Mad Drops Pickleball Club (1-1) to help decide who will advance out of Pool B.
For a quick reminder of where we stand, check out former PicklePod guest Camryn Irwin's breakdown.
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ATX Takes Pool A
The ATX Pickleballers win 3 straight games against BLQK to take the match 3-1. In the battle of the undefeated teams ATX won women's doubles, men's doubles and the first mixed doubles game to seal the match. They are a team that no one wants to go against in the knockout round.
Back to Back Dreams Broken
Dreamland was buzzing during the second round of today's matches. Florida Smash and Mad Drops Pickleball went to a Dreambreaker with the Mad Drops hopes of advancing on the line. Lee Whitwell had another MVLee performance in singles but it was not enough to overcome the Mad Drops singles prowess. They win the the tie breaker and the match.
While this was happening on Championship Court, the other Pool B match tied up 2-2 and headed to a simultaneous Dreambreaker. The ultimate MLP result happening on both courts. Needless to say the place was buzzing.
When the first match ended, a stampede of fans headed to the Grandstand court to see the end of the Bus vs the Chimeras. In another nail biter, Milan Rane was able to finish off the Chimeras taking the last two points.
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Hard Eights Punch Their Own Ticket
Coming into the day 1-1 , the Hard would need a victory over the Lions to ensure their spot in the playoff. They won the first two games of the match but Chuck Taylor and Corrine Carr turned the match around in mixed doubles setting the table for a deciding game 4.
The combo of Andrei Daescu and Jorja Johnson left room to the Lions to land a ball safely. And despite long competitive points, the Hard Eights reached 20 leaving the Lions behind with 14 points. It took a couple chances to finish the job but the Hard Eights won and punched their ticket.
The 5's finish with the first overall seed and receive a bye. The undefeated ATX Pickleballers finished in the second spot and will also receive a bye.
BLQK vs Mad Drops Pickleball Club
The first quarterfinals matchup will feature team BLQK and the Mad Drops Pickleball Club. The match begins at 5pm on championship court.
Florida Smash vs Hard Eights
The second quarterfinal match will face brother against sister with JW and Jorga Johnson on. opposites side of the court. As a pair, they just won the APP NYC Open but this time around they will both be fighting to push their team into the semifinal. This match is set for 7pmCT on Championship Court.
Team BLQK edged out the Mad Drops Pickleball Club winning 3 out 4 games. Game three was the highlight of this match. The mixed doubles game was close the whole way through. Vivienne David and Julian Arnold were finally able to win by two but it went all the to 24-22. Game 4 was not nearly as close. Zane Navratil and Parris Todd closed things out for BLQK giving them the 3-1 match victory.
The other quarterfinal was a perfect example of what MLP is all about. We had siblings facing off on opposite teams, a huge comeback to keep the match alive and the match went down to an epic Dreambreaker.
In game 2, Travis Rettenmaier and JW Johnson were down big against John Cincola and Andrei Daescu, 11-19. Florida Smash completely turned things around in the nick of time. They inched their way back to force 20-20 tie. From there the momentum was all on their side, Rettenmaier ended the match with an erne that sent both first in the air celebrating an emotional win.
The teams split the mixed doubles games sending the match to a Dreambreaker to end the day. The whole house was rocking and the Dreambreaker delivered for the crowd. The teams traded blows going back and forth never finding more than a 5 point margin. JW Johnson had 4 huge points in a row to tie the game 18-18. The game moved to 20-20 when Maggie Remynse set the crowd on fire winning the final two points of the night.
The atmosphere was unlike anything in pickleball. The MLP semifinals start tomorrow morning at 11am and promise to be just as exciting. The final two teams will compete in the DUPR Bowl at 7pm on CBS Sports Network.