Over the July 1-2 weekend the National Pickleball League held its second round of matches at the Chicken and Pickle facility in Overland Park, Kansas. The Austin Ignite team came prepared for another battle against the top Senior professional pickleball players 50+ and over. We brought the same spirit that helped us to victory in Dallas in round 1, winning all four matches played. Our competition in Overland Park, consisting of teams from Indianapolis, Denver, Naples, Boca Raton, and Kansas City, came out strong and determined to cut into our first place position.
Saturday’s first match was against the Boca Picklers. The Ignite started strong and built an early and insurmountable lead. Ahead 5-1 in match play, they maintained composure heading into the mixed doubles matches, and went on to win overall 8-4.
The second team match was against Naples, and this provided the excitement and memories that the NPL is all about! The match score was close throughout men’s, women’s, and mixed match play, with the final score tied at 6-6. The NPL’s tiebreaker system proved to be worth its weight, as Naples jumped out to an early lead, 4-1, only to have Austin respond with 5 points to take a 6-4 advantage. Then it went back and forth, as the tension continued to rise! The fans were going wild after each point, and players and supporters alike were high fiving, fist pumping, and cheering their teams on! At the end, it was Glenn Jordan and Greg Bennett of the Ignite who clinched the match point for an 11-9 triumph for the Ignite!
With Saturday’s matches completed, the Team now stood with a first place record of 6-0, with the hard charging teams from Kansas City and Indianapolis up next on Sunday.
The Punishers from Kansas City came out strong in the early going of Sundays’ match, and the Ignite could not catch up. The final score was 8-4, in favor of KC, for the teams’ first season loss. The afternoon match versus the Drivers from Indianapolis proved just as difficult, with the Ignite losing again 8-4.
Overall, the Austin Ignite remains tied for first place with Kansas City at 6-2, although KC holds the slight advantage in total games won, and Indianapolis is close behind with 5 team wins.
Kudos must go out again to the Chicken and Pickle staff and facility, who continue to provide service above and beyond expectations! Also, the NPL staff is constantly trying to improve the players’ experience, with league dinner parties, trivia games, and even providing Board certified athletic trainers/chiropractors, and physical therapists to handle all players’ achey joints and muscles!
We look forward to reclaiming solo first place at the next competition in Grand Prairie, Dallas, July 29-30.
GO AUSTIN IGNITE!!