This past Sunday, Nov. 6, Point Loma hosted their first college pickleball tourney at the tennis courts which included San Diego State University, University of California San Diego, University of San Diego and, of course, the mighty Sea Lions of Point Loma Nazarene University.
Senior Finance major Noah Suemnick, the pickleball club president at PLNU, reached out to neighboring schools to plan this exciting event, along with a few community members who joined in on the fun.
The tournament included three different brackets: advanced, intermediate and beginner. The advanced and intermediate both had a $5 tournament fee, while the beginners bracket players could join for free. Check-in began at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.
“The tournament was massive and set the stage for so many good things to come,” said senior Psychology major Jessica Gardner. “Set up started an hour and a half early, and 12 pickleball courts were crafted from scratch. Then, from 1 to 5 p.m., 45 teams cycled through the Point Loma pickleball courts, with only three teams coming out on top.”
There were prizes for each bracket — beginner winners having a $20 cash prize, intermediate receiving $50 and advanced bracket winners coming home with a whopping $100.
The tournament had a double elimination bracket, and the games were played to 11 points, with win-by-two rules. The semifinals and finals were best of three games to 11 points and again, win-by-two rules.
Many people came out to watch and cheer on this tourney including friends, neighbors, parents and grandparents.
“My favorite part was interacting with the three other colleges and making friends that I will continue to play pickleball with,” said Gardner.
Senior Biochemistry major Adele Garjulio said, “The tournament was so much fun playing with other schools as well as new people for a change! Shoutout to Noah, Jess and Tyler for coordinating such an epic event!”
Suemnick shared that the pickleball club is planning on hosting a total of four tournaments this year. He, along with other club members, created a ranking system so that individuals can start developing a rank for their skill level based on tournament outcomes. Since this was the first tournament, beginner bracket members received a ranking of 2.5 – 3.0, intermediate 3.0 – 3.5, and advanced 3.5 – 4.0. Now, the ranks will all be solely developed on tournament outcome.
Suemnick said that it was “such a special time bringing together four colleges with over 40 teams playing in this tournament. New relationships were formed and everyone had an amazing time. This is just the beginning.”
If you would like to learn more about the tournament or future events, email Noah Suemnick at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put onto the pickleball club email list or go play on Sundays with the club.
Written By: Olivia Cox