Utah Tech was the big winner at the inaugural APP U.S. Collegiate Championships.

Beck, Utah Tech victorious at inaugural APP Collegiate Championships

DALLAS, TX - Most college students use the winter break between the fall and spring semesters to reset and recharge. They may go home to visit family, or even take a trip with friends.

For over 100 of the nation’s best collegiate pickleball players, though, the break featured some high-level pickleball. A lot of pickleball, in a short amount of time.

Droves of competitors from colleges all around the country made their way to Westfield, IN to compete in the first installment of the APP U.S. Collegiate Championships at Grand Park Sports Complex.

The two-day event featured an MLP-style team format in addition to traditional individual draws for each event.

In the team competition, 24 teams were divided up into six pools of four, where the top teams from each pool made it to the playoffs.

Utah Tech brought two teams of four: a “red” team made up of Averee Beck, Logan Rosenbach, Kami Bliss, and Jared Brungard; and a “white” team made up of Dylan Ciampini, Benson Parry, Lauren Brown, and Liam Duffin.

Both teams made it through pool play undefeated, setting the stage for an extremely long day for the winningest female player in collegiate pickleball, Averee Beck.

Beck began the second day bright and early with the individual singles competition where she battled to a gold medal.

That start to the day put her in the right mindset to keep the wins coming in the team competition.

“Winning the individual singles title definitely gave me a lot of confidence going into the team format,” Beck said.

There were smiles aplenty at the APP Collegiate Championships in Indiana.
There were smiles aplenty at the APP Collegiate Championships in Indiana. APP

She led UTU’s “red” team to a showdown with the University of Florida in the finals of the team competition shortly after claiming her singles title.

The Trailblazers defeated the Gators 49-33 behind two wins from Beck: one in singles, and another in doubles alongside Kami Bliss.

The school’s “white’ team also took home some hardware, finishing with a bronze medal in the team competition.

Even with three medals on the day already, there were more to come for the Utah Tech program.

Beck and Dylan Ciampini competed together in the women’s doubles individual competition that evening, fighting intense fatigue from all the matches they had played over the last day.

“It felt like we were fighting to the death,” Beck recalled. “We were just trying to make it work.”

And make it work was what they did, earning another gold medal. Ciampini and Benson Parry had also won gold in the individual mixed doubles competition that took place on the first day, giving Utah Tech three individual titles to go along with their first and third place finishes in the team competition.

The Trailblazers certainly left their mark on Westfield.
Utah Tech athletes delivered the goods and claimed some coveted hardware.
Utah Tech athletes delivered the goods and claimed some coveted hardware. APP
Aside from school and personal pride, though, players were also competing for their share of the $50,000 in scholarship money that the APP gave out to the medal winners.

Beck sees this infusion of money into the sport as just the beginning of something special at the collegiate level.

“The competition is only going to get tougher, and I’m hoping that it’s going to be an NCAA sport one day,” she shared. “I think that’s definitely the direction that it’s headed.”