It’s day 3 and it is the last chance for most teams to make a run at the DUPR Bowl. The 1st and 2nd place teams square off for the top spot. Let’s fie up another day of Major League Pickleball!
Lions vs Chimeras
This morning started with some pretty lopsided pickleball. The first four matches were won in dominant fashion and were split between the Lions and Chimeras 2-2. This forced another singles tie-breaker, where the fireworks started. There is something about this format that makes each point of the tie-breaker tense and meaningful.
In the tie-break, the Chimeras were able to set their lineup against the Lions. They chose to put the Dragon Slayer Lee Whitwell against the monstrous Jay Devilliers. This strategy worked like a charm. She split the eight points against Devilliers 4-4 and the crowd went crazy with each point she won.
Her wins were the difference in the game allowing her teammates to reach 15 in favorable matchups. There is a lot of strategy that goes into setting a lineup, but it is a great luxury to have Whitwell who can go out there and steal a couple of points off some of the best men’s players in the game.
ATX Pickleballers vs Team Rally
Team Rally almost rallied back to tie this match at 2-2. Susannah Barr and Dylan Frazier came back from 9-3 to force a tie at 13 following a team inflicted injury on the ‘Ballers.’ A Pat Smith volley swing on a middle ball caught his partner Yana Grechkina on the chin and forced an injury timeout. She was able to recover from the blow and help the Ballers close out the final game and propel the Ballers to 2-3 in front of team co-owner Brené Brown.
BLQK vs Pickle Ranchers
Team BLQK has found their stride. They were on fire last night against the Discovery Warriors and they are rolling into Sunday with that same energy. The Newmans pairing has not been as productive as first predicted dropping another game after only putting up 4 points.
Discovery Warriors vs Team Clean
One of the best matches MLP has seen. Down 2-1 going into game 4, Corinne Carr and Adam Stone needed a big win over Lea Jansen and Tyson McGuffin to keep Team Clean alive. They got the win in a 15-14 barnburner to force the tie-breaker.
Things got even more exciting in the tiebreaker with Navratil taking on Bar, Smith against McGuffin, Stone vs Jansen and Carr vs David. An early lead from the Warriors was erased by Carr and Stone playing the heroes again, this time in singles. The game was tied at 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 between these two teams. At 13-13, it was Adam Stone that found a way to win 3 straight points against Lea Jansen to take the win for Team Clean!
BLQK vs Team Rally
BLQK is currently 2nd in the standings and are looking to hold that position all the way to the DUPR. They made up some games in the game differential column with a 4-0 sweep of Team Rally. They will have to win one more match tomorrow as we will have the Johns vs Johns matchup we have been waiting for.
Team Clean vs Pickle Ranchers
We got another singles tie-breaker in this one. Clean took the gender doubles and the Ranchers took the mixed doubles. The tie-breaker was thrilling as usual. It was a 15-14 finish that had two former tennis pros that stand at 6’4′ towering over the small court. Andrei Daescu won match point against Dekel Bar with a low drive Bar put into the net. But this was another great showing for the MLP format.
Lions vs ATX Pickleballers
Jay Devilliers got the best of his doubles partner, Pat Smith, twice in this match and the Lions took the victory 3-1. Our own Thomas Shields was on the call for this one and helped break the news that Rob Cassidy would be called into action for the final match of the day.
Chimeras vs Discovery Warriors
This match was the best one in MLP that did not go to a singles tie-breaker. Rob Cassidy was flying and falling all over the court and making his presence known. These games were all down to the wire and 3 of them were decided by a ball hitting the net and deciding which side of the net to fall on. In game 1, it fell on the Chimeras court, in game 2, it fell on the Warriors and in game 4, the ball hit net and landed on the side of the Chimeras giving the Warriors the 3-1 victory. This keeps their playoff hopes alive. They will need a loss from either BLQK or the Chimeras to get into the DUPR Bowl. We will also have the Waters vs waters matchup tomorrow to see if the Chimeras can hold onto their DUPR Bowl spot.
- Singles tie-breakers are still awesome. The game winning points from Adam Stone and Andrei Daescu were electric today.
- Lee Whitwell ‘caught lightning in a bottle again today taking 4/8 points from the Flying Fenchman.
- We need to ease up of the refs. Bringing in more cameras for the challenge system will take pressure off of the refs. Until then, they should hand out some warnings or penalties because there is a little too much disrespect on the courts right now. Refs are a scapegoat in every sport, but their job is a little too big and some replay ability could dramatically help out.
- Tomorrow we have three teams in the running for the DUPR Bowl. No matter which teams make it, it looks like it will be an entertaing and even match. It’s possible we see a three way tie at 5-2 after the morning session tomorrow.