Toronto United Pickleball Club vs Montreal Lions

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Details

Date Time League Season Home Away Court
May 25, 2024 10:00 am Canadian National Pickleball League 2024 United Lions 1

Venue

One Health Clubs
2021, Cliff Road, Mississauga, Ontario, L5G 3Z1, Canada

Recap

New Look Montreal Lions Dispatch Defending Champion Toronto United 3-1

United Women Stifle Lions’ Rally To Take First Game

With a line-up relatively unchanged from their 2023 championship season, United was looking for a quick start to the 2024 Eastern Split. Veterans Carolina Hack and Joanna Phang delivered, remaining composed against talented Lions’ newbies Anne-Sophie Courteau and Jade Cassandra Laporte to come out on top 21-17.

Hack, 42, and Phang, 46, came out of the gate fast, smashing some good forehand winners and benefiting from jitters displayed by Courteau, 26, and Laporte, 25. It was 8-1 when the Lions called a timeout, after several sideout shots. Courteau and Laporte did find a groove after that, displaying their Division I tennis skills enough to trim United’s lead to 13-8.

Hack and Phang didn’t let down, quickly extending the lead to 18-9, only to see the Lions rally and force many United errors to trail by just three at 19-16. The vets, though, stole the show late, with Hack contributing yet another great lob winner and Phang blasting a forehand for game point.

Lions Men Square Match with Dominating Win over Lions

Another game, another chance for Lions newcomers to strut their stuff. After the Lions women acquitted themselves well in a tough loss, the men’s pair of Ernesto Fajardo and Louis-Charles Amyot got the better of a tough United team of Mark Gottfried and Matt Kawamoto, triumphing 21-11.

This entertaining tilt started out with Toronto taking an early 2-0 lead, only to see it dissipate with clever play by Fajardo and Amyot, who rallied and alternated winning forehand and overhand winners to force Toronto into a timeout down 10-5. The break was to the Lions advantage, with Amyot and Fajardo dominating the no-go zone and forcing several uncharacteristic errors by Gottfried and Kawamoto. Before long, Toronto had to call another timeout after Amyot scorched a forehand to put Montreal up 17-9.

Toronto did come out swinging after the rest, narrowing the lead to 18-11 after Amyot sent a serve wide. Amyot redeemed himself on the next point, smoking an overhand that eluded Kawamoto, followed by a superb rally by both squads that ended with Montreal getting to freeze at 20-11. Unfortunately for United, Gottfried was forced into yet another unforced error to hand Montreal the victory.

Lions Mixed Duo Squashed Late United Rally to Grab Match Lead

As much as Lions Player of the Match Ernesto Fajardo and Anne-Sophie Courteau played well together in a convincing 21-15 win, the United team of Matt Kawamoto and Joanna Phang were a bit out of sync. Montreal jetted out to a healthy 7-1 lead early in the proceedings, with Toronto making too many unforced errors, settling for a timeout.

Courteau and Fajardo didn’t take the proverbial foot off the gas after, both making brilliant return shots for points, interrupted only by a sweet ATP from Phang for a 10-3 Montreal advantage. Fajardo then went to work, blasting three huge winners and a fantastic lob to put the Lions ahead 15-6 and force another Toronto timeout. Re-energized, Kawamoto and Phang rallied well together to gain a few points, only to let the Lions off the hook en route to a 20-9 freeze in favor of Montreal.

Unfazed from being down 11, Kawamoto and Phang kept the line moving, with Kawamoto getting a comeback going on a smooth backhand cross. Two points later, Kawamoto smashed an overhand Ernie that hit Courteau. Fajardo and Courteau then gave Toronto three more points on long shot returns, before Fajardo ended the game with another scorching backhand.

Lions Cap Big Match Victory with Solid 21-15 Decision over United

When you’re the top team in the nation coming into the 2024 slate of events, everyone is gunning for you. The Toronto United mixed doubles duo of Carolina Hack and Mark Gottfried found that out all too well, losing the fourth and match-deciding game 21-15 to Montreal’s Louis-Charles Amyot and Jade Cassandra Laporte.

Of all the games in this Eastern Split opener for the two squads, this one was the closest. The teams traded points until an Amyot unforced error made the score 5-5. The Lions edged ahead on an Amyot cross court winner and a Laporte set-up, before Gottfried smoked a forehand cross to trim the lead to 8-7 Montreal.

That was as close as the defending champs would get, however. Amyot and Laporte forced United into a few errors, leading to a timeout and the score 12-7. The rest didn’t help Toronto much, as Amyot took over, sending outstanding shots Toronto’s way to maintain the lead, with Laporte adding a huge forehand late to seal the match clincher.

Results

TeamGame1Game2Game3Game4TOutcome
United211115151Loss
Lions172121213Win

United

Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Carolina Hack01211701521Mark Gottfried
Joanna Phang01211701521Matthew Kawamoto
Mark Gottfried10112101521Carolina Hack
Matt Kawamoto00112101521Joanna Phang

Lions

Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Anne-Sophie Courteau00172112115Ernesto Fajardo
Ernesto Fajardo11211112115Anne-Sophie Courteau
Jade Cassandra Laporte00172112115Louis-Charles Amyot
Louis-Charles Amyot01211112115Jade Cassandra Laporte

Past Meetings

3 - 1
Edmonton Expo Centre

United vs Lions

Home: United
Away: Lions
Court: 2
3 - 1
The Sleeman Centre

Lions vs United

Home: Lions
Away: United
Court: 1