Rafa Hewett playing pickleball.
Rafa Hewett competing for the California Black Bears at MLP D.C. Major League Pickleball

Black Bears down Smash in DreamBreaker to advance

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - The California Black Bears are into the quarterfinals of the MLP Mid-Season Tournament after a DreamBreaker victory over the Florida Smash. ‘

Florida won by a 3-1 score line when the two teams squared off in D.C. last month, but some roster changes and substitutions made the difference for the Black Bears on Wednesday.

They picked up Brandon French during the open waiver period and brought in Michelle Esquivel to fill in for Susannah Barr for this event.

Esquivel was especially impressive in her opening match with the squad, picking up wins alongside Amanda Hendry in women’s doubles and Rafa Hewett in mixed doubles thanks to some stellar left side play on her part.

Hewett played a crucial role in the DreamBreaker, outscoring Travis Rettenmaier 7-3 and earning the final point to secure California’s 21-17 triumph and give his team its second consecutive win after starting the season 0-6.


The Black Bears will next face No. 2 seed Bay Area Breakers in the quarterfinals, while the Smash will move to the consolation bracket to play the loser of the match between the Atlanta Bouncers and Frisco Pandas.