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FSU Participates in Elite NCPA Tournament in San Diego

FSU goes coast-to-coast competing at NCPA’s first tournament!

March 28 2024

Josh Phillips, Bella Kontil, Lauren Lennertz, Miles Kreutzer competed; photo taken after the team's quarter-final game. Way to keep fighting Noles. Never back down and never give up!

Florida State takes on San Diego and Places 7th In the Country!

Florida State Students placed 7th in the country at the NCPA tournament in hosted in March in San Diego, CA. The NCPA event was hosted at The Hub Pickleball which is San Diego’s newest premiere pickleball facility, featuring approximately 26 permanent outdoor courts - just the right amount to keep a consistent pace for the 38 colleges to participate in. Over 200 collegiate athletes competed for $30,000!

Four Florida State players flew in from their hometowns in South Florida, roughly 2,600 miles, to San Diego. These students were chosen based on their amazing athletic abilities in a two-day tryout that was held to determine the tournament's players. Only club members were eligible to try out, and tryouts consisted of various mix-and-match doubles games.

Even though there was the encouragement of $30,000 for the win, monetary reward wasn’t the only motivational factor. As Miles Kreutzer, a senior at Florida State University, who is majoring in music therapy summarized: “I wanted to build Florida State’s reputation to inspire incoming freshmen to join the club and show others our hard work and dedication”. This led the team to be eager and on their toes.” Kruetzere has been on the Florida State Pickleball team ever since it started, teaching students learn on-court skills. Last semester Kreutzer played in a collegiate tournament, as well as participated in three regional tournaments and a national tournament.

Pictured: Josh Phillips, Miles Kreutzer, Lauren Lennertz and Bella Kontil

FSU students who participated in the NCPA tournament worked non-stop prepping for the tournament. Bella Kontil, a freshman majoring in finance, was part of the team. Kontil started playing pickleball consistently in July of 2023 – her determination and drive clearly contributed to her competing in the NCPA tournament. Regarding the tournament, Bella Kohil said her favorite part of the experience was “finding a new level of focus,” adding: “In my women's doubles game against UCSD on the stadium center court, I found a new level of concentration that blocked out nerves and distractions”. Additionally, the tournament's style reframed her goals to improve for future collegiate tournaments. Women's doubles and singles weren't something she had played prior, and she had hoped to include these styles in her future games. This led the team with great drive and power to go into the additional games in this three-day tournament.

The three-day tournament consisted of numerous matches. Florida State students started on Friday with men's doubles. Josh Phillips and Miles Kreutzer went one and two in pool play and lost versus the University of Arizona and Kennesaw State. These were very close scores. They won the first playoff game versus Seattle in two games. Then the men versed Utah Valley and took a loss. The men’s single games created a very important day as it made them eligible for the elite 8. In the pool play, Miles won the first game versus California. In the second game, Josh won against Biola University. The third match was versus the Grand Canyon, it was a very close game 10-11, but Florida State took the loss. They eventually reached the playoffs and versed the Colorado School of Mines and won. There were several other games such as a game verse our biggest rival University of Florida.

With the great teamwork of Florida State University, the team ended up in the semi-finals. The team versus San Diego State which Miles stated was “a very good team. It was a long day after four hours of playing and over 12 games. But, it was a great day.” The team played a bronze-level match but also lost that match. Overall, in every category Florida State students won their first playoff game and lost their second playoff game. This led them to approximately 20 points throughout the four. In the men’s singles, they won rounds one and two, and the quarterfinals, which helped them with the big score to qualify for the elite 8. In the women's doubles and singles, they scored over 100 to make it into the elite 8. Miles said it was a “great team effort”. The four students who got to share this experience concluded they were very happy with the results and elated to continue growing the FSU pickleball club, collegiate team, and personal skills.



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