Smash vs Wolverines



Date Time League Season Home Away Court
July 30, 2023 3:15 pm Canadian National Pickleball League 2023 Smash Wolverines 2


The Sleeman Centre
Sleeman Centre, 50, Woolwich Street, Downtown Guelph, Guelph, Southwestern Ontario, Ontario, N1H 3T9, Canada


West Coast Wolverines Coast to Four Game Victory over East Toronto Smash

Wolverines Outlast Smash in Women’s Doubles

You must give the East Toronto Smash women’s team of Leigh Bradwell and Jordann Vigna credit. Even though they eventually lost to the West Coast Wolverines duo Vicky Strandlund and Angie Walker 15-10, they never said die.

The Wolverines came out sizzling, erasing an early 2-1 deficit with some great combined defense and a Walker overhand that neither Bradwell nor Vigna had a chance at. Then tied, the Wolverines took over, not allowing Vigna or Bradwell a chance to get into the game. Walker, the first overall pick in the CNPL, provided many of the thrills leading up to side change, utilizing her unparalleled forehand shot to score three in a row. Strandlund, who is 54, used well-timed backhand flicks to score two points of her own to take the Wolverines into side change up 8-2.

Strandlund started things up after the rest, firing another backhand winner, and two points later and a serious miscommunication by the Smash, the Wolverines were well in command leading 11-2. Or so they thought.

After a timeout, Vigna and Bradwell came to life, even though the score didn’t reflect it. The dinked and played pretty good defense, but eventually the Wolverines rallied to get to freeze at 14-5. However, it took a full 11 plays to finally stifle what was an inspiring comeback attempt by the Smash. Both clubs gave the spectators their money’s worth with defense and determined rallies.

Wolverines Men Strike Early to Beat Smash

Right out the gate, you could sense that this likely wasn’t going to go in the Smash’s favor. The Wolverines men’s doubles team of Haddow Thul and Joel Pelletier were more in sync and a little more energetic than their counterparts from the Smash, Dalbir Bhandal and Chris Alain. The Wolverines poured it on from the get-go and never trailed en route to a 15-10 triumph.

Pelletier set the tone for the rest of the game when he ripped a forehand that hit the Smash’s Alain squarely in the upper torso, giving the Wolverines a 3-1 lead. Thul added a nice crossing shot shortly thereafter, extending the lead to 7-3, before both teams went into side change at 8-4 Wolverines.

Pelletier kept up his offensive display after the break, pounding an overhand to extend the margin to 10-4, but Alain countered with a sweet set-up that the Wolverines found Selkirk net on return. The two squads exchanged a few points, before the giant Bhandal made his presence known. Down 12-6, he used his wingspan to drive a forehand through the Wolverines for a point, and after Thul played an amazing lob and set-up shot to counter, Bhandal again sent a forehand torpedo the Wolverines way for a point and a 13-8 Wolverines lead.

Now, the Smash did make the Wolverines work a bit with a 14-9 lead at freeze, with Alain smacking a nice backhand to get the score to 14-10, but it ended on a whimper when the Smash were called for a foot fault.

Wolverines Clinch Match in First Mixed Doubles Game

If she wasn’t player of the match in this one, the Wolverines’ Vicky Strandlund certainly should have been. The 54-year-old 32nd overall pick was a tiny whirlwind on the Pickleroll floor, combining with Haddow Thul to beat the Smash mixed pair of Chris Alain and Leigh Bradwell by a 15-8 count.

Right out of the gate, Strandlund smacked a brilliant crossing shot to put the Wolverines up 1-0, but that seemed to energize the Smash, who needed a win to keep their team alive in the match. The Smash’s Alain asserted himself early, logging an overhand winner, a nice set-up shot and a sneaky drop to put the Smash up 5-4. It should be noted, though, that Strandlund played incredible defense on that play – and in response she tied it up with a wicked forehand.

After that, it was all Wolverines, who lead 8-5 at side change. Thul got his game going well in the second stanza, combining well with Strandlund to stifle the Smash’s offensive charges. Strandlund again made her significant presence known, with a forehand to push the lead to 10-6 and then rallying with Thul and sending a seeing-eye lob the Smash’s way.

With the score 13-8 and the Wolverines in command, Thul and Strandlund displayed dogged defense, setting up Alain to hit one long. Thul then ended this lopsided affair with a forehand missile.

Smash Prevail in Final Mixed Doubles Game

It was a nothing contest – what with the Wolverines winning the first three games – but no one told Jordann Vigna.

The tiny half of the Smash’s mixed doubles team that included giant Dalbir Bhandal, was a dinking and shooting dynamo as the Smash salvaged some pride with a comeback 15-13 victory over the Wolverines team of Joel Pelletier and Angie Walker.

Drafted 7th overall and standing just 5’2” (compared to Bhandal’s 6’5” frame), Vigna put on a dinking clinic and made several key shots for points, including one scorcher early that put the Smash up 3-2. The Wolverines, though, would turn the tide before side change, with Pelletier and Walker slamming back-to-back winners to give their team an 8-5 lead.

Bhandal and Vigna used the rest to come out hard in the second half, uniting for great defensive play and both sending hard flicks back at the Wolverines, eventually knotting the score at 9-9. The teams then exchanged points, with one coming off a bit of a Smash miscommunication, tying the score at 11-11.

Vigna would again torch the Wolverines, delivering a massive shot to put the Smash up 15-11 and with the freeze at 14-13 in favor of the Smash, Bhandal sent a superb set-up shot that Pelletier sent into the Selkirk net for the win.




Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Dalbir Bhandal00101511513Jordann Vigna
Leigh Bradwell0010150815Chris Alain
Chris Alain0010150815Leigh Bradwell
Jordann Vigna00101511513Dalbir Bhandal


Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Haddow Thul1115101158Vicky Strandlund
Joel Pelletier01151001315Angie Walker
Vicky Strandlund0115101158Haddow Thul
Angie Walker01151001513Joel Pelletier

General Manager: Steve Deakin