Collin Johns hits a serve.
Collin Johns and Andrea Koop competing for the Carolina Pickleball Club at MLP D.C. Major League Pickleball

Carolina captures first victory over Texas to cap Saturday’s action

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Carolina Pickleball Club picked up its first victory of the season by way of a DreamBreaker over the Texas Ranchers early Saturday evening.

The team featuring Ben Johns, Andrea Koop, Jessie Irvine, and Collin Johns went the distance against Texas’ Quang Duong (replacing an injured Christian Alshon this week), Etta Wright, Tina Pisnik, and Pablo Tellez.

The newly relocated squad picked up two victories from Ben Johns’ men’s doubles and mixed doubles matches before attention turned to the DreamBreaker.

The final contest, however, started poorly for Carolina. Duong—who has beaten Johns twice so far in 2024—scored a 4-0 rotation against the World No. 2 to create an early deficit.

To make matters worse, Johns is the only player on his team who regularly competes in singles.

That didn’t seem to deter Carolina’s crew of veterans, though, and they tied the match at 10-10 before teams switched sides.

The DreamBreaker stayed close from there, but it was Koop who proved to be the X-factor when all was said and done. She outscored Wright 8-4 through three rotations and set Irvine up with a match point against Pisnik, which she converted to secure the 23-21 triumph.


“It was definitely a team victory,” Koop said of the effort. “Quang is an amazing singles player, and he worked Ben a little bit, so the rest of us had to step up and show that we can play four points of singles when we need to.”

This is the first win of the season for Carolina, who fell to the New York Hustlers and Dallas Flash on Friday.

“We were very close yesterday, but it definitely feels food to get one in the win column,” noted Collin Johns, who also celebrated his birthday on Saturday. “We hope to follow it up with a couple more tomorrow.”

Carolina will take on the D.C. Pickleball Team and St. Louis Shock on the final day of play in the nation’s capital, while Texas will close things out against the Hustlers and the Flash.