Rush vs United



Date Time League Season Home Away Court
September 2, 2023 12:20 pm Canadian National Pickleball League 2023 Rush United 1


Edmonton Expo Centre
Edmonton Expo Centre, 7515, 118 Avenue NW, Edmonton Northlands, Greater Highlands, Edmonton, Alberta, T5B 0J2, Canada


Toronto United Turn Tables on Rocky Mountain Rush to Win First Match

United Mixed Doubles Hold Back Rush Comeback

The Eastern Split was not kind to United and they used that to fuel a quick start to this first game against the Rush in the Western Split. The duo of Matt Kawamoto and Hannah Blatt held off a late charge by the Rush’s Brett Forsythe and Alex Walker to secure a 15-13 victory.

Kawamoto and Blatt set the tone for this tight contest, both striking elusive returns to jump out to a 2-0 lead. Forsythe, though, evened things up with a well-timed attack and then an Erne that plunked Blatt. With Toronto up 4-3, Kawamoto lit things up with an ATP after Walker had made a beautiful drop shot. Unforced errors were the Rush’s enemy for a few plays, with a net return forcing them to take a timeout down 6-3 and ten two straight returns by Forsythe into the Selkirk net resulting in an 8-4 United lead.

Walker trimmed that deficit to 8-6 with a wicked cross, but United restored the four-point cushion with a tremendous backhand by Kawamoto, followed up by another ATP, this one off the paddle of Blatt. The Rush tried a few things to swing momentum but found themselves down 14-9 after yet another unforced error.

Quickly, the Rush chipped away at the freeze, forcing United unforced errors, with Forsythe blasting a cross to put the pressure on United at 14-13. The Rush couldn’t capitalize with serve with an unforced error, followed by a quick side out to hand United the first game of this match.

United Replacements Put Lock on Match with Inspired Win Over Rush

Mark Gottfried and Carolina Hack didn’t see any action in an Eastern Split that saw United go a dismal 2-5. No matter, as the pair laid a solid 15-10 drubbing on Rush duo Nathan Choi – who was also a replacement – and Casey Rodgers.

United started out like a house on fire, combining to play well choreographed defense and getting three amazing shots for points from Gottfried, a 13th overall pick in the CNPL draft, to take a commanding 5-1 lead. To their credit, the Rush used a timeout to catch a breather and then got into the game with some solid shots of their own, two from Rodgers who swatted an overhand winner to get the score to 8-5 United.

Gottfried and Hack, an undrafted 42-year-old, kept the Rush on their heels, dinking their way to a point to take a 10-7 lead. Choi, who went 21st overall in the draft, made his presence felt with an excellent forehand flick to make it 10-8 but followed it up with one of a few unforced errors to make the count 11-8.

Hack took advantage of that on serve, sending a scorching Erne that hit Rodgers and one play later the Rush had to take another timeout to ease the bleeding. Unfortunately, it didn’t help as a loose return off Choi’s paddle put the game at freeze with United ahead 14-9. Hack put the finishing touches on an impressive United victory by hitting a remarkable running forehand.

Rush Women Keep Team’s Hopes Alive with Convincing Triumph

With their team’s back against the wall and down 2-0 in the match, the Rush women’s doubles pair of Alex Walker and Casey Rodgers delivered, big time. They took advantage of quite a few United unforced errors, building an early advantage they would never give up en route to a 15-8 shellacking of Hannah Blatt and Carolina Hack.

The closest United would get was when they were behind 2-1 early and Hack returned one that struck the Selkirk net cord to tie it up. Rodgers played an excellent drop a point later to give the Rush a 4-2 lead, prior to Hack alternating a great set-up for a United point, then hitting a return into the net. Blatt blasted one after that to get United as close as they would for the rest of the match, a 5-4 Rush advantage.

United would then make four unforced errors in a row to see the Rush go ahead 9-4. After United rallied well to score a point, Rodgers and Walker went to work, with Walker smacking a brilliant forehand in one sequence, followed a bit later by an amazing lob from Walker that United sent back side out, giving the Rush a 12-6 lead.

Hack and Blatt battled gamely, each gaining points on scintillating drives, only to see the Rush stage a furious rally at 14-8 freeze, forcing a side out from United to win it and keep the Rush’s match hopes alive.

United Men Take Down Rush to Secure Match Victory

The last time Toronto United faced the Rocky Mountain Rush in the Eastern Split, the Rush emerged victorious, 3-1. Consider this some entertaining payback. Matt Kawamoto and Mark Gottfried narrowly escaped with a 15-14 win over the Rush’s Brett Forsythe and Nathan Choi to flip the script at the Western Split.

As games go, this one went right down to the wire, with leads changing hands frequently. United did take advantage of some Rush early jitters, going ahead 3-1 on a Choi net serve and two other unforced errors. The Rush subsequently tied it and made a habit of it the rest of this exciting game, never backing down when faced with the cohesive play of Kawamoto and Gottfried. As usual, Kawamoto put his significant paddle skills on display, delivering three hot shots and rallying with Gottfried to go up 8-7.

Not fazed, the Rush transitioned from offense to defense seamlessly, tying the game at 8-8, capped by a Choi flick. However, United would regain a two-point cushion with excellent defense, forcing the Rush to a timeout down 10-8. The break helped, as unforced errors by United tied it up, yet Kawamoto put United back up two with a sneaky set-up and brilliant crossing shot.

After Choi made an unforced error to give United a 13-11 lead, he brought his “A” game, smoking an overhand winner, followed by a forehand to tie it. The Rush actually took a 14-13 lead after Kawamoto sent a return into the net but couldn’t capitalize on freeze. Forsythe made an unforced error hitting a return side out, followed by a Kawamoto blast that finished off the game, and match.




Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Alex Walker0115801315Brett Forsythe
Brett Forsythe00141501315Alex Walker
Casey Rodgers0115801015Nathan Choi
Nathan Choi00141501015Casey Rodgers

General Manager: Brett Forsythe


Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Hannah Blatt0081511513Matt Kawamoto
Mark Gottfried11151411510Carolina Hack
Matt Kawamoto01151411513Hannah Blatt
Carolina Hack0081511510Mark Gottfried

General Manager: Ricky Liorti

Past Meetings

1 - 3
The Sleeman Centre

United vs Rush

Home: United
Away: Rush
Court: 2