MLP Presents Pickleball Night in America: MLP Austin 2022 Alternate Night

Angelica Karlsson
January 8, 2024

Check out the 4 men and women who were selected as Team Alternates after this year's draft

LIVE STREAM

The Details:

Team Blue (22.695) vs Team Red (22.890)

Women's Doubles, Men's Doubles, then two Mixed Doubles

Games to 21 - win by 2, Modified Rally Scoring until one team reaches game point (20)

Each game is worth 1 point

If the points are tied 2-2 after all four games, a singles Dreambreaker will ensue

One team first discloses its 4-person singles rotation order, and then the opposing team with that knowledge counter-designates its singles rotation order. Each player then rotates in for 4 singles points, until the tiebreaker has a winner. Modified Rally scoring, in a game to 15, win by 2.

Prize Pool:

$1000 appearance fee per player

+$250 per player for each game won

+$500 per player for winning team

Here's how Modified Rally Scoring works.

This week, Pickleball Night in America is ONLY streaming on the MLP Youtube & Facebook channels--7pm Central.

The Players:

Team Blue (22.695):

Hayden Patriquin, USA, 6.193

Wyatt Stone, USA, 5.824

Christine McGrath, USA, 5.403

Rachael James, USA, 5.275*

Team Red (22.890)

Brandon Nsekpong, USA, 6.238

Brandon French, USA, 6.183

Martina Kochli, SLO, 5.322

Rachel Rettger, USA, 5.147

*Provisional DUPR

Who are you pulling for? Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Tune in at 7pm Central.




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April 10, 2024

The Power of Sibling Partnerships in Pickleball

On April 3rd, at the Major League Pickleball Premier Level Draft, the New York Hustlers selected Jackie Kawamoto with the 16th pick of the 2024 draft.

Shortly after, the Los Angeles Mad Dogs used the 26th pick to select Jackie’s twin sister, Jade Kawamoto.

The final rosters for the MLP Premier teams are comprised of the 48 most in-demand players in professional pickleball. Six of those coveted spots went to three pairs of siblings: the Kawamoto sisters, Ben and Collin Johns, and Jorja and JW Johnson.

Whether as practice partners, doubles teammates, or competitors, sibling teams have a unique chemistry that is difficult to replicate. Their shared history, communication skills, trust, competitive edge, and motivation all contribute to their success on the court.

For Jackie and Jade, the sibling advantage has helped them rise rapidly through the ranks of professional pickleball.

“Just having that person to always practice with was definitely an advantage for us,” says Jackie. “I'm a righty and Jade is a lefty, and we move together very well. I think that's our biggest strength. I know where I need to be when she gets pulled wide, and vice versa. I know all of her shots. We just know each other's game so well.”


“We've practiced with each other our whole lives, so it comes naturally,” adds Jade.

Like many professional pickleball players, the Kawamoto sisters have a background in competitive tennis, playing throughout their childhood and into college. 

Their journey with pickleball began in 2019.

“At first it was just fun, something to do with the family,” says Jade. 


“It didn't take long for all of us to get hooked and pretty much play nonstop,” adds Jackie.

They started competing in 2021, and in less than 3 years, they’ve become top rated pros. The Dink recently rated Jackie and Jade the number five women’s doubles team in the world for 2024, and their 5.9+ DUPR ratings demonstrate how far they’ve progressed in their short time since finding the sport.

“Chemistry is such an important part of this game because of the nature of the game and how quickly it goes,” Jackie explains.

Jade adds that the emotional support is just as important as the training.

“When you grow up with each other, and you're the same age and have gone through similar experiences… I know it's a cliche or whatever, but it does help you on the court to have someone that knows your emotions and knows how to bring you up when you're down,” she says.


This season, that bond faces a new challenge. Where the Kawamoto sisters played together for the ATX Pickleballers in 2023, this year they’ll meet as rivals.

It’s fitting, perhaps, that their new teams represent the sister-cities of New York and Los Angeles, two American metropolises that share similarities and a healthy rivalry.

For Jade and Jackie, meeting head-to-head is an opportunity to keep improving their game.

“We were pretty competitive with each other when we were younger,” Jackie recalls. “It always pushed us to be a little bit better.”

“We still like to be competitive with each other,” Jade says, “but mostly in a fun-spirited way, not like ‘I have to be better than you at this’. It helps us get better if we're trying to have that competitive mindset, but also keeps it fun.”

Community
MLP
April 8, 2024

University of Florida Wins the Georgia Super Regional with Help From Their Spectacular Spectator Section

There is no limit to the number of teams a school can submit to a Regional, and the University of Florida (UF) used that to their advantage this past weekend by bringing five teams to compete. Never before had a school brought more than three teams to a DUPR Collegiate Pickleball event! By the time the finals rolled around, all of the players from the eliminated UF teams could be heard cheering on their last remaining team in hopes of securing their first Regional championship. 

In the finals, UF faced Clemson, who was both the winner of last year’s Georgia Regional and the winner of the last Super Regional in Virginia. Clemson taking the first game in Women’s Doubles didn’t phase UF, as UF rattled off 3 straight wins in Men’s Doubles, 1st Mixed Doubles, and 2nd Mixed Doubles to secure the title. Prior to the Georgia Super Regional, UF and Clemson had already secured spots at Nationals, so the remaining four bids went to University of Georgia, University of North Florida, Florida College, and Southeastern University (SEU). All school maintained a great team spirit throughout the tournament which made it even more exciting to be a part of!

The Georgia Super Regional also welcomed Charleston Southern University, Davidson College, University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University, and The University of Texas at Tyler to their first DUPR Collegiate Pickleball event! University of Kentucky almost pulled off a #14 seed vs. #3 seed upset against SEU in the Round of 16 by taking them to a Dreambreaker. In fact, the playoffs for this tournament saw an incredibly high number of Dreambreakers, as 7 out of the 15 elimination playoff matches went to a Dreambreaker, including both semifinals and 3/4 of the quarterfinals. Here is the link to view the full schedule and standings from the weekend.

A special thanks goes to our DUPR Collegiate Pickleball partners: JOOLA, HEAD, GAMMA, Rally Republic, Total Pickleball, and OOFOS. Another thanks goes to Pickle & Social in Buford, GA for hosting the 2nd annual Georgia Super Regional! 

Collegiate
Events
March 26, 2024

Clemson Tops the Virginia Super Regional to Become the Second School to Win Multiple Regionals

In the largest collegiate regional to date, Clemson rose as a formidable contender to claim victory and secure the crown for themselves. They went through both the #1 UVA and #2 UNC in the playoffs - both of the past National Champions. This win makes them undefeated in both of their attended Regionals (won the 2023 Georgia Regional), and the second school with multiple Regional wins (Utah Tech is first with 4).

In total, there were 177 players from 20 different schools from Maine to Miami at the Virginia Super Regional. Penn State University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Maine, and Robert Morris University all made their DUPR Collegiate Pickleball debut at the event. The 30-team challenger bracket was also the largest ever for a Regional, with Colter Cox and Luke Moretz from NC State winning it. On Sunday, there were back-to-back Dreambreakers on the livestream, with #1 UVA escaping #8 Miami in the Quarterfinals, and then #3 Clemson closing the door on #2 UNC in the Semifinals. 

Clemson, UVA, and UF obtained 3 out of the 4 bids to the 2024 Collegiate National Championship by advancing to the semifinals. UNC, who also made the semifinals, already secured a bid at the Townebank College Cup in February.

Photo By: Joseph Hutzler

There was a Battle for the Bid between Miami and JMU to decide the owner of the last bid, as they were the only two eligible Quarterfinalists. JMU claimed the bid with a 3-0 performance, and have locked in their spot for Nationals in November. 

A special thanks to Performance Pickleball in Richmond, VA for hosting the first ever Virginia Super Regional! Another thanks goes to our DUPR Collegiate Pickleball partners: JOOLA, HEAD, GAMMA, Rally Republic, Total Pickleball, and OOFOS.

Collegiate
Events