The Season Two MLP Premier Level Draft has concluded, and we are so pumped to take a look at which teams will stand out this season. From the first overall pick of Ben Johns going to the Chicago Slice to the final selection of Erik Lange, also going to the Slice, this draft has completely reshaped the Premier Level.
Rather than analyzing every single pick, we thought it’d be more interesting to look at each team as a whole based on both team DUPR ratings and individual performances from Season One. One thing that we learned from Season One is that chemistry and mindset play a huge role in a team’s success, regardless of who’s got the best overall DUPR score.
Team Rankings Based On Draft Picks
- Utah Black Diamonds – Anna Leigh Waters, Irina Tereschenko, Thomas Wilson, AJ Koller (Team DUPR: 25.44)
- D.C. Pickleball Team – Riley Newman, Jackie Kawamoto, Jade Kawamoto, Christian Alshon (Team DUPR: 25.48)
- Dallas Pickleball Club – James Ignatowich, Callie Jo Smith, Allyce Jones, Jay Devilliers (Team DUPR: 25.43)
- Chicago Slice – Ben Johns, Jessie Irvine, Lacy Schneemann, Erik Lange (Team DUPR: 24.87)
- Orlando Squeeze – Anna Bright, Andrei Daescu, Zane Navratil, Rachel Rohrabacher (Team DUPR: 25.22)
- Brooklyn Aces – Catherine Parenteau, Andrea Koop, Hayden Patriquin, Tyler Loong (Team DUPR: 24.91)
- Miami Pickleball Club – Federico Staksrud, Tyson McGuffin, Hurricane Tyra Black, Mary Brascia (Team DUPR: 24.56)
- Columbus Pickleball Club – JW Johnson, Meghan Dizon, Maggie Brascia, Collin Johns (Team DUPR: 24.84)
- Bay Area Breakers – Lea Jansen, Etta Wright, Rafa Hewett, Connor Garnett (Team DUPR: 24.86)
- Texas Ranchers – Dylan Frazier, Jorja Johnson, Lauren Stratman, Travis Rettenmaier (Team DUPR: 24.95)
- Atlanta Bouncers – Parris Todd, Simone Jardim, Pablo Tellez, Hunter Johnson (Team DUPR: 24.90)
- AZ Drive – Julian Arnold, Vivienne David, Dekel Barr, Vivian Glozman (Team DUPR: 24.73)
Breaking Down Our Top 3 Teams
Utah Black Diamonds – Anna Leigh Waters, Irina Tereschenko, Thomas Wilson, AJ Koller
The Black Diamonds look absolutely stacked going into Season Two. They seem pretty balanced from all approaches in doubles, and they’ve got the singles power to clear through Dreambreakers.
For women’s doubles, Anna Leigh Waters has been dominant across the board this year, and Irina Tereschenko helped lead the LA Mad Drops to a championship win in the Season One Super Finals.
Thomas Wilson was also a part of that Mad Drops team; expect to see him and Irina pair up in mixed doubles yet again for Season Two. AJ Koller was instrumental to the Hard Eights’ success in men’s doubles alongside Riley Newman, and it’ll be fun to see him pair back up with his cousin Thomas yet again for men’s doubles.
D.C. Pickleball Team – Riley Newman, Jackie Kawamoto, Jade Kawamoto, Christian Alshon (Team DUPR: 25.48)
You’ve got the Kawamoto twins in women’s doubles and Riley Newman pairing up with Christian Alshon in men’s – what’s not to love? D.C. Pickleball Team will, without a doubt, be one of the most exciting teams to watch in Season Two.
Jade and Jackie proved their strength together playing as a family unit in Season One, leading ATX Pickleballers to a semifinal finish at MLP San Clemente. Alshon helped lead the Bay Area Breakers to the Season One Super Finals and will be on a mission for redemption after their loss to the Slice.
Newman is a top-tier player in both men’s and mixed doubles and was a team leader on the Hard Eights. It will be entertaining to watch him pair up with Alshon, as the two are known for their big personalities on the court.
Dallas Pickleball Club – James Ignatowich, Callie Jo Smith, Allyce Jones, Jay Devilliers (Team DUPR: 25.43)
Dallas simply feels strong all around. We expect Jay Devilliers to team back up with Allyce Jones in mixed, as the two saw plenty of success playing together on the St. Louis Shock in Season One, but he’s also previously played alongside Callie Jo Smith in the PPA.
James Ignatowich was a driving force of the New Jersey 5s, and will 100% be bringing that energy to DPC. Jay and James have faced off against one another in the PPA; now, it’ll be exciting to see them match each other’s energy playing together in men’s doubles.
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