Jack Munro, Mehvish Safdar Star at the DUPR Collegiate Individual National Championships

The DUPR Collegiate Individual National Championships (CINC) were held this weekend at The Pickle Lodge in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering both bragging rights and scholarship money to the winners.

In a stunning display of skill and determination, Jack Munro from the University of Texas and Mehvish Safdar from the University of Indiana emerged as the champions, each securing two gold medals and a whopping $2,000 in scholarships.

The two-day tournament kicked off with mixed doubles on Saturday, followed by men’s and women’s singles. The focus then shifted to doubles play on Sunday morning, with both men’s and women’s matches. The afternoon brought the drama to a climax with all the semifinal and final rounds. Over 30 different schools were represented at this second annual CINC, making it a truly national competition.

Women’s Singles

Mehvish Safdar’s exceptional skills and dominance in the women’s singles field were on full display at the DUPR Collegiate Individual National Championships. The University of Indiana PhD student and Pakistani-American athlete showcased her impressive prowess, sweeping through the competition without dropping a single game in group play or the playoffs. Her stellar performance culminated in a convincing 21-12, 21-9 victory over Fiorella Bozzetto from Clemson in the finals.

🏆 Women’s Singles: Mehvish Safdar

Safdar’s impressive pickleball skills are no surprise, given her impressive tennis background at the University of Minnesota. Her exceptional passing shots, in particular, have caught attention, with many predicting a seamless transition to the professional pickleball circuit after her collegiate career. With her talent and dedication, Mehvish Safdar is undoubtedly a name to watch in the world of pickleball.

Men’s Singles

The highly anticipated showdown between Jack Foster (University of Florida) and Jack Munro (University of Texas) finally took place in the singles event. Despite being APP Tour Next Gen National teammates and accomplished singles players, Munro faced a challenging journey to the finals. He struggled in group play, barely securing the No. 7 seed in the playoffs.

However, Munro’s determination and skill prevailed. Fresh from his success in the men’s doubles event on the APP Tour, he defeated Foster and advanced to the finals, winning four of his six playoff games by a narrow margin of just two points.

Meanwhile, David Bieger (University of Virginia) enjoyed a smoother journey, dominating his opponents with an average winning margin of 13.2 points.

🏆 Men’s Singles: Jack Munro

In a heart-stopping finale, Munro edged out Bieger with a score of 21-19, 21-18, claiming the singles championship title.

Mixed Doubles

The mixed doubles event at the DUPR Collegiate Individual National Championships saved the best for last, with an electrifying finale that had spectators on the edge of their seats.

Mehvish Safdar and Michael Asplund from the University of Indiana, who barely scraped into the playoffs as the No. 7 seed after losses to Utah Tech and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in group play, faced off against Lauralei Singsank and David Bieger from the University of Virginia in the championship match.

The UVA duo dominated the first game, winning 21-12, and seemed poised for a comfortable victory, leading 20-12 in the second game with match point on the line. But Safdar and Asplund had other plans.

In a stunning turn of events, the Indiana pair staged an incredible comeback, scoring eight consecutive points in the rally scoring format, eventually taking the game 28-26. Carrying their momentum into the third and final game, Safdar and Asplund sealed the win, 11-8, completing an unforgettable comeback that will go down in history as one of the most thrilling moments of the tournament.

Women’s Doubles

The highly anticipated women’s doubles final between Utah Tech University and University of Virginia did not disappoint, as the two teams continued their thrilling rivalry. Averee Beck and Kamryn Bliss from Utah Tech faced off against Alexandra McDonald and Laurelei Singsank from UVA, with the two teams trading blows in a tense battle.

🏆 Women’s Doubles: Beck/Bliss

Utah Tech dominated the first game, but UVA fought back in the second, taking a 15-19 lead. However, Beck and Bliss refused to back down, mounting a stunning comeback with a 7-1 run, ultimately winning the game 22-20. This intense match highlighted the exceptional skill and determination of both teams, solidifying their rivalry as one of the most exciting in collegiate pickleball.

Men’s Doubles

The men’s doubles championship match between the University of Texas and the University of Florida was a clash of pickleball titans, featuring the highest combined DUPR ratings of any final. Jack Munro and Timmy Manzano from Texas, with an average DUPR rating of 5.671, faced off against Jack Foster and Django Chassang from Florida, with a rating of 5.391.

🏆 Men’s Doubles: Manzano/Munro

Munro and Manzano narrowly emerged victorious, taking the match to three games. After losing the first game 18-21, they fought back to win the second 27-25, with Foster and Chassang agonizingly close to victory, having held match point at 21-20. However, Foster’s missed serve proved crucial, and Texas capitalized on the reprieve. The third game was equally intense, with Munro and Manzano ultimately prevailing 12-10, securing the championship title in the closest match of the finals.