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APP SoCal Summer Classic 6/18/21 – Live Blog

by JB Jones
APP SoCal Classic

APP SoCal Summer Classic Day 1

2:40 PDT – JB

Men’s and Women’s Doubles well under way at the APP SoCal Summer Classic. Coming from the beautiful Bobby Riggs Racket & Paddle Club in Encinitas, CA. It’s Just a short hop over I-5 to the Pacific Ocean if you want to get some sand in your Pickleball shoes. At Bobby Riggs, the crashing waves of the Pacific have been drowned out by the smashing of pickleballs as the pros kick off their tournament today.

The Unicorn Rides Again! Shellton Jean Baptiste is back into the Men’s draw today, playing with partner Austin Gridley. They started as a #5 seed today but have advanced through Round 5 and the only thing standing between them and the Gold Medal Match is the #2 seed team Adam Stone and Rob Cassidy. There are 4 strong team remaining in the back draw so whoever loses that match will not have an easy time in the Bronze Medal Round. Still lurking in the mix is APP #1 ranked played Jay Devilliers, partnering up with DJ Young for this event. Watch the action live here.

The Women’s bracket is a two horse race again this week. Lauren Stratman and Michelle Esquivel have won the winner’s bracket and are awaiting their opponent from the Bronze Medal Match. Likely to meet them in the finale is the unusual combination of Lea Jansen and Corrine Carr. They snagged a bagel for lunch winning the first game 11-0. Check in to see the Gold Medal Match later today as a great intermission from the extensive card still to come in the Men’s bracket.

Check back in for the APP SoCal Summer Classic Day 1 recap and subscribe to the newsletter to fight the midweek Pickleball droughts.

APP SoCal Summer Classic Day 1 Recap

Twenty seven candles on a birthday cake and one Gold Medal wrapped in a bow. Lauren Stratman celebrated her birthday today with her partner Michelle Esquivel and a first place finish. They won four matches on the day, two of them against the Silver Medalists Lea Jansen and Corrine Carr. The difference in playing style between Jansen and Carr was apparent on the day. Jansen has found success with an aggressive style while Carr tends to play more of a defense game. An example of this was Jansen’s Bert in the Bronze Medal Round. Stepping in front of her partner to finish the point with a backhand volley while striding over the kitchen. These differences however, made them less effective against the consistency and all around play of Stratman and Esquivel. Consequently, Stratman and Esquivel won the final match 11-4, 6-11, 11-3.

Moving back into the Men’s draw. The winner’s bracket final was a tale of two halves. Jean Baptiste and Gridley had a commanding lead in the first game at 10-6. The game was flipped completely with a 34 shot onslaught that can be seen on our YouTube or Instagram. After that point, Stone and Cassidy could not be stopped. They went on to win that game 12-10 and the next game 11-2. Advancing them to the to the Gold Medal Match.

Down but not out. Personally, I think recovering from an early tournament loss and going to win the Gold is one of the toughest things to do in Pickleball. If playing more matches and adjusting against different teams in games to fifteen was not enough. You also have to beat your final opponent twice to get the win. Jay Devilliers has made of habit of this pulled off the feat again this week. This time with DJ Young. They took the first two games 11-7, 11-8. Whereas the final game was a white-knuckler. Both teams saw championship point opportunities, but Devilliers and Young were able capitalize on theirs, taking the final 16-14.

A hot start to the APP SoCal Summer Classic continues tomorrow with twenty teams slugging it out for the Pro Mixed Doubles title.

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