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Vulcan Tournament of Champions Preview

by Guest Author on

The Vulcan Tournament of Champions is Tuesday, August 15th, through Saturday, August 18th in Brigham City, Utah.

Pro play is set to begin Wednesday with singles, followed by mixed doubles on Thursday, gender doubles on Friday, and Championship SATURDAY instead of Sunday (It’s Utah, what else can I say?).

Here is some info to get you ready for the show:

Notable Missing Players:

  • Ben Johns
  • Collin Johns
  • JW Johnson
  • Matt Wright
  • Callan Dawson
  • Anna Leigh Waters
  • Jorja Johnson
  • Etta Wright
  • Lucy Kovalova

Men’s Doubles

Here are some quick notes about men’s doubles teams that I find intriguing:

Jay Devilliers & Patrick Smith - Wow, feels like it might be 2021 all over again!

Quang Duong & Naveen Beasley - The singles specialists who have made a name for themselves recently teaming up in doubles. Should be a good experience for them.

Dylan Frazier & Andrei Daescu - With JW sitting this one out, Dylan got Andrei from the APP Tour. This team could make a deep run.

Rafa Hewitt & Zane Navratil - We will see if Hewitt can bring his energy and throw up a few lassos for the crowd. Zane is looking to be the next person to finish well with his new paddle.

Riley Newman & AJ Koller - Finished as quarter finalists in the last tournament they played together, with Riley making back to back quarters. Can they make a deeper push this week?

Big H & Tyler Loong - Hayden is definitely cementing himself as a pro and can really play both sides. He looks a little more comfortable on the left; Loong will be super steady on the right and Erne any chance he gets.

Predictions:

  • Obviously, seeding has a lot to do with outcome, and since I don’t know seeds, these predictions are kind of a shot in the dark.
  • Teams to make it to the semis: Fed & Pablo, Riley & AJ, Julian & Thomas, Dylan & Andrei
  • Champs: Dylan & Andrei - I just think Dylan is playing lights out right now. If Andrei can be steady and step in when needed, they have a great chance of winning.

Women’s Doubles

Here are some quick notes about some women’s doubles teams that I find intriguing. With no ALW, this field is wide open!

Anna Bright & Tyra Hurricane Black - Coming off golds last PPA tournament in different brackets, their confidence has to be very high. I would say they are the favorite here.

Catherine Parenteau & Parris Todd - Todd is coming off a first round loss in women’s doubles from the APP Sunmed St. Louis Open last week. Hopefully she can bounce back with CP.

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Yana Newell & Lauren Stratman - Both playing great in the last month or so.

Rachel Rohrabacher & Rianna Valdez - Two up and comers - this will be the first time we get to see Rohrabacher on the national stage. I hope the PPA streams at least one of her matches.

Predictions:

  • Obviously, seeding has a lot to do with outcome, and since I don’t know seeds, these predictions are kind of a shot in the dark
  • Teams to make it to the semis: Anna Bright & Tyra, CP & Parris Todd, the Kawamotos, Pisnik & Koop
  • Champs: Anna Bright & Tyra - Anna Bright is playing some of the best pickleball in the women’s game right now. If Tyra can be steady when she needs to, and then bring some energy and athleticism, I don’t see another team beating them.

Mixed Doubles

Here are some quick notes about mixed’s doubles teams that I find intriguing. No Ben or ALW!

Tyson McGuffin & Catherine Parenteau - We haven’t seen Catherine in a month or so. Will this team come out swinging or will they have to fight off some rust?

Lacy Schneeman & Travis Rettenmaier - This is a new partnership, but Schneeman is bringing a new level. Travis mentioned he is a little banged up so I am hoping he is 100% ready to go for this one.

Lea Jansen & Federico Staksrud - Fed has been playing out of his mind lately and really solidified himself as easily a top 10 guy, but probably in the top 5 category. Lea is playing well right now and because she isn’t focused on singles, may have a little more in the tank.

Predictions

  • Obviously, seeding has a lot to do with outcome, and since I don’t know seeds, these predictions are kind of a shot in the dark.
  • Teams to make it to the semis: Tyson & CP, Bright & Iggy, Fed & Lea, Thomas & Viv.
  • Champs: Bright & Iggy - Two medals for Bright this weekend. They weren’t super close in the last finals vs. Ben and ALW, but they got some good wins along the way.

Erik Tice is a contributor who specifically focuses on articles related to Major League Pickleball. He started playing pickle in early 2022 and is passionate about helping the sport grow. Erik lives in Phoenix with his wife Megan and their two dogs, Mojo and Taz.


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