Zoey Wang hits a forehand.
Zoey Wang competing at the Select Medical Orange County Cup presented by FitVine Wine. PPA Tour

Buckner, Wang earn impressive victory over Kovalova, Smith

SAN CLEMENTE, CA - Brooke Buckner and Zoey Wang began Thursday playing against each other in the women’s singles Round of 16, but they finished the day working together to beat one of the top women’s doubles teams in pickleball.

Buckner and Wang took down No. 3 seeds Lucy Kovalova and Callie Smith 11-5, 11-7 to secure their spot in Friday’s women’s doubles quarterfinals.

Wang played a key role in the victory with her presence on the left side and was able to overcome the defensive prowess of the always-steady Kovalova and Wright.

“Zoey’s still new to the tour, so I don’t think people know her patterns or how she plays, so we definitely use that to our advantage,” Buckner said of her partner’s performance. “She has every tool on the left, so I just let her do her thing and tried to be a solid right side-side player. We knew they were going to get a lot of balls back and fight because they’re a real veteran team, but I’m glad that we were able to close it out.”

This is the second big win in as many tournaments for Wang and Buckner, as they also took down the pairing of Lea Jansen and Vivian Glozman earlier this month in Sacramento.

With Thursday’s effort, the tandem is into the quarterfinals, where a clash against No. 8 seeds Allyce Jones and Irina Tereschenko awaits.