Riley Newman celebrates a point in pickleball.
Riley Newman celebrates a point competing for the Columbus Sliders at MLP Atlanta. Major League Pickleball

Sliders snag first win in final bout against D.C.

PEACHTREE CORNERS, GA - After three losses to open the season, the Columbus Sliders had just one more opportunity to earn standings points in Atlanta going into their final match of the weekend against the D.C. Pickleball Team.

They certainly made it count.

The squad made up of Riley Newman, Meghan Dizon, Connor Garnett, and Brooke Buckner came away with a 3-1 victory to end their weekend on a high note.

Dizon and Buckner got Columbus on the board after overcoming a 13-20 deficit against Rachel Rohrabacher and Allyce Jones in women's doubles.

In men’s doubles, Newman and Garnett found themselves facing that same deficit. They nearly brought it back, but D.C.’s James Ignatowich and Dekel Bar closed it out 25-22 to tie the match going into mixed doubles.

That’s where the Sliders shined, as the pairings of Newman and Buckner and Garnett and Dizon won the next two matches by nine and six points, respectively, to secure their first win of 2024.

The No. 4 overall pick in April’s MLP draft Newman says the closing win was an important one.

“It would have been a real rough weekend leaving Atlanta not getting a win, so this one was definitely needed,” he said. “We’re obviously not where we need to be with a 1-3 record, but I think this gives us a lot of momentum and a lot of confidence going forward."

The Sliders have no more matches in Atlanta, but the D.C. Pickleball Team’s action is just starting.

They have three more matches, with their next one taking place Saturday evening against the AZ Drive.