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From survival to sensational – Dizon and Wright make women’s final

Author: Andrew Gilman | February 26, 2024

Friday, Meghan Dizon and Etta Wright survived. 

That’s about the only way to put it. When you face down a match point, then another and another, and dismiss seven of them in all, that’s an expert level of tenacity.

The result was an escape. A 12-10 thriller of a victory against the Brascia sisters in game three of the quarterfinals that would leave most players and teams emotionally on “empty.”

So, what happened?

Dizon and Wright found some fuel and played even better on Saturday in the semis. They didn’t need to hold off any match points against Anna Bright and Vivenne David, but they did need six-game points to wrap up an 11-9 game-one win before needing another pair of match points to earn the 11-9 game-two win.

And that result means another Championship Sunday for the pair, a second-consecutive Championship Sunday for the pair, and a second-consecutive chance to end the most-prolific streak in women’s pickleball when Wright and Dizon take on Anna Leigh Waters and Catherine Parenteau Sunday for gold at the Arizona Cup in Mesa.

“I think just focusing one point at a time,” Dizon said of what it will take to a 60-match winning streak from Waters and Parenteau. “Play the ball, and not worrying about who’s on the other side of the court. Sticking to a gameplan, and that will make it happen.”

Well, the gameplan has been good for Wright and Dizon so far. They came out aggressive against Bright and David, hit a lull in the second game, but finished up after calling a timeout at 8-8 with the ball in hand.

“We made the point that any shot that was returned, we were going to look for a ball to kill,” Wright said of the discussion during the timeout.

They’ll need that aggressive mentality today against Waters and Parenteau. The two have won the past eight tournaments they have played together. Meanwhile, it’s been nearly a year – April of 2023 when Callie Smith and Lucy Kovalova won in Newport Beach – that there hasn’t been a Parenteau or a Waters in the final.

The domination continued Saturday when Waters and Parenteau had no problem with 12th-seeded Jorja Johnson and Mari Humberg, winning 11-3, 11-9.

OK, so we know who the top team in pickleball is, after all, Waters and Parenteau topped Dizon and Wright the last time out at the Desert Ridge Classic in January, but Wright and Dizon can clearly make the case they are the second-best team in the game.

They have a gold medal – winning together in Red Rock in April of 2023 – and have a silver and a bronze in the two previous PPA tournaments this year, They also lost to Parenteau and Waters in June last year for the gold at the Selkirk Texas Open.

And hey, after survival on Friday, a big win against the second-seeded Bright and David Saturday, Wright and Dizon stopping a streak doesn’t seem unreasonable. 

”We stayed ultra-aggressive and we worked well as a team,” Dizon said. “We came up clutch at the right time.”

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