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PPA Orange County Cup Day 2 – Live Blog

by The Dink Media Team
Orange County Cup Venue

PPA Orange County Cup Day 2 - Mixed Doubles

The red carpet has been rolled out today for all the stars of the PPA. Simone Jardim,  Lucy Kovolova, Matt Wright, Jesse Irvine and Team Newman are all among the pros returning to action today. The field is 30 teams deep and the stream goes live at 9:00am PDT today. A single loss drops teams out of gold contention so look for the pros to be leaving it all on the court in every round.

Gamma vs Paddletek

10:30 PDT - JB

The Newmans have been in the news lately with their huge switch in sponsorship from Selkirk to Gamma. The brother/sister duo are showing off their new gear for the first time on the national stage at this event. They moved through the first round of their day, with ease and a match score of 11-1, 11-1. In round two they met a Paddletek duo of Kyle Yates and Anna Leigh Waters. Waters was coming off huge wins in singles action yesterday. She is guaranteed to take home a medal on Championship Sunday.

Yates and Waters came out firing in the match and dominated game one 11-4. The Newmans must have called home for some encouragement or took down a DQ Blizzard in between games, because they came out a different team in game two. Their drops were tighter and more controlled which prevented Waters and Yates from having as many easy put-aways. The Newmans had their new paddles dialed in and finished off the match with 11-4 wins in game two and game three. They are on to round three where they await the winner of Carr/Devilliers and Smith/McGuffin.

Too Much Jay Devilliers

11:15 PDT - JB

Devilliers was the X-Factor in round two matchup between him and Corrine Carr vs. Calle Smith and Tyson McGuffin. The Vulcan sponsored team of Devilliers and Carr took game one 11-3 and jumped out to an early lead in game two. Smith and McGuffin were able to keep the ball away from Devilliers, for the second half of the game. Impressive drives at Carr gave Smith and McGuffin the couple points needed to catch-up and eventually take game two 12-10. Game three was back to the Jay Devilliers show. He was playing most of the court. Taking every ball he could get a hold of and playing Championship Pickleball. Again in this match we saw some line call disagreements from McGuffin and Devilliers but the Frenchman came out on top of this matchup and Team Vulcan will go on to face the new Team Gamma in the next round.

Fan Favorites

1:38 PDT - Matt

In the upper part of the bracket, the socal fan favorites Jessie Irvine and Jeff Warnick fell to Leigh Waters and Dekel Bar in a back and forth three game match.  Lucy Kovalova and Matt Wright handled Collin Johns and Yana Grechkina 11-6, 11-4 to set up a semi-final with Bar and Waters to go to the gold.


2:50 PDT - JB
The last quarter final match of the day had the Newman’s facing off against team Carr/Devilliers. Team Newman has utilized a strategy all day that has led to some great Ernes from Lindsay Newman and forehand put aways from Riley Newman. They are using the rarely seen strategy of having the female player play from the left side (ad side) of the court. 
They do this for a number of reasons. Riley’s two handed back hand is strong enough in the middle to block, reset or out away the shots needed. This also gives Lindsay the freedom to jump the corner of her kitchen and use a forehand for the Erne. Opponents are forced to have perfectly placed shots into the ad side of the court that cannot be reached by Riley or Erne’d by Lindsay. When opponents do play the ball back to the deuce side, they are met with Riley’s forehand and incredible ability to cover the court.
This strategy was extremely effective in the semifinal and Lindsay had a handful of Ernes in the match. Lindsay is also one of the best at calling out balls for her partner. Even more points were won by her calling “Out!” allowing Riley to step aside and see shots land just inches past the baseline. The Newman’s gave Carr and Devilliers fits with their trademark defense and moved through the match in two games 11-5, 11-9. 
The final four is now set. The Newmans will take on Ben Johns and Simone Jardim in one semifinal and Matt Wright and Lucy Kovalova will take on Dekel Bar and Leigh Waters in the opposing semifinal. Don’t miss it. 

Semi-Final 1 Kovalova/Wright vs Waters/Bar

3:40 PDT - Matt and Thomas

In the first semi-final, Wright and Kovalova won game one 11-1. The first part of the match was competitive with Matt and Lucy ahead 6-1. From that point on it looked like Leigh Waters and Dekel Bar were trying to force shots that weren’t there, leading to easy put aways for Wright and Kovalova.  In game two, Bar did everything he could, but it wasn’t enough in the end.  Wright and Kovalova won 11-7 in the second. They continued their game plan of betting Lucy will out-dink Leigh and hit behind Dekel to keep him from poaching.  The plan was well executed and Wright and Kovalova will have a chance for gold on Championship Sunday. 

It was an absolute battle between the four players. There was tons of jawing throughout but ultimately it came down to game two that birthed a finals spot for Matt and Lucy. Anytime you go toe to toe with Matt and Lucy, you better be ready for firefights. While Dekel can hang at the net, that’s not Leigh’s speciality, and eventually the hands battles proved to be too much. There was plenty of smack talk toward the end between Matt and Dekel. Dekel rarely finds himself in the verbal back and forths, but Matt’s comments got the better of him. At the end of the match, Matt and Dekel could be seen arguing for an extra couple minutes, and a referee eventually had to separate the two. Knowing Dekel, this will be water under the bridge come tomorrow, but the tension made for a compelling match.

Semi-Final 2 Jardim/Johns vs. Newman/Newman

4:35 PDT - Matt

Newman/Newman vs. Jardim/Johns is always one of the best matches all day and this one did not disappoint either.  Game one was an epic 12-10 finish in favor of Jardim/Johns.  The first game was full of firefights, sibling fights and the best point of the tournament. Riley seemed upset at his sister Lindsey a few times for hitting out balls, but the siblings put it behind them and fought until the end, coming up just short. The second game seemed like it was going to be a blowout, but the Newmans slowly started coming back and just like that they were up 9-8. Lindsey found herself winning a few cross-court dink battles against Simone and Riley made sure to poach as many times as he could.  Jardim and Johns called a timeout and then somehow rattled off three points to win the match 11-9.  I guess that’s why they’re number one in the world.  Wright/Kovalova vs. Johns/Jardim in the championship on Sunday.

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