The inaugural APP U.S. Collegiate Championships wrapped up at the Grand Park Sports Campus in Westfield, Indiana, on Thursday.
A Pioneering Event
This pioneering event allocated $50,000 in scholarship funds to the medal winners, culminating in an exhilarating championship final that saw Utah Tech emerge as champions in the team competition.
The championship showdown comprised five distinct categories: women’s and men’s singles, women’s and men’s doubles, along with mixed doubles.
Utah Tech commenced the action with an 11-5 victory in women’s singles by Averee Beck against University of Florida’s Adele Dorian. Florida’s Jack Foster, a mainstay in the APP Tour, retaliated with an 11-9 win in men’s singles over Utah Tech’s Jared Brungard.
A Commanding Triumph
Continuing the momentum, Beck and Kami Bliss of Utah Tech dominated with a commanding 15-2 triumph in women’s doubles over Florida’s Dorian and Olivia Ryback.
Subsequently, Florida’s Django Chassang and Foster clinched a nerve-wracking 15-12 victory in men’s doubles against Utah Tech’s Logan Rosenbach and Brungard.
With a 14-point lead heading into the mixed doubles, Utah Tech needed merely two points to secure the championship, and Beck and Rosenbach accomplished precisely that.
“I was super excited to win,” said Bliss. “I love competing and so do the rest of my teammates. We all had the same energy going into the finals. We were stoked to play on the championship court in front of a big crowd and put on a show for them, and we were able to win, which made it even better.”
“Such A Fun Atmosphere”
Bliss’ team triumphed over Utah Valley University in the semifinals and represented one of the two Utah Tech squads in the tournament. The second Utah Tech team was defeated by Florida in the semifinals.
“It was such a fun atmosphere, different than any other tournament I’ve played in,” said Rosenbach. “I loved having the crowd out there cheering us on. It made it more fun, especially with people from Utah there. It means a lot to get the win going into my last semester of college.”
The APP U.S. Collegiate Championships also featured individual competitions where pickleball players from Utah Tech and Florida featured heavily on the leaderboard.
“It was so awesome to play in a college tournament. They take such good care of us here at the APP, and I love the team format,” said Beck, the Utah Tech player who won gold in the team competition and the individual competition in women’s singles and doubles. “My team was amazing, and it was such a great atmosphere.”
Roll Of Honor
|Averee Beck, Utah Tech University
|Anna Lenhart, Ohio State University
|Mehvish Safdar, Indiana University
|Jack Foster, University of Florida
|Django Chassang, University of Florida
|Drew Holder, Southeastern University
|Dylan Ciampini and Averee Beck, Utah Tech University
|Lesa Ritchie and Rachel Sherrill, UC-San Diego
|Mehvish Safdar, Indiana University and Heather Kim, UCONN
|Thatcher Schwendiman and Tyler Miller, Utah Valley University
|Garrison Eaby and Gregory Boyce Jr., University of Delaware
|David Bieger and Eli Mautner, University of Virginia
|Dylan Ciampini and Benson Parry, Utah Tech University
|Adele Dorion and Jack Foster, University of Florida
|Caraline Cox and Jake Wilson, Samford University
CBS Sports Network
A 90-minute highlight show will air on Friday, January 12 on CBS Sports Network from 10 to 11.30 a.m. Eastern Time.
Full tournament results can be found on utrsports.net. The action continues for the APP later this month in Southwest Florida, as the first APP Tour event of 2024 will be held in Punta Gorda on January 17-21.
Read more about the Utah Tech pickleball scholarship program here.
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