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Archive for "Pickleball"

Not Playing, Running Tournaments Instead

Posted on April 18, 2024 by under Community, Pickleball.    

I’ve been having all sorts of issues (pickleball elbow, yips, monovision issues, etc.) since the start of the year so I am kind of glad that I’m on a self-imposed break from tournaments. I can’t imagine how frustrated I would be if I were competing and had all the problems I’ve been having.

Anyway, I’m not playing as much because of (a) the issues I’ve been having with my arm and (b) I’m not really training for any upcoming tournaments (since I don’t have any this year) but I’m still around pickleball because I’m still organizing tournaments and facilitating events of iPickle Nation and the Pickle Club.

Here are a few pictures from the St. Patty’s Day team pickleball tournament we had at the Pickle Club last month…

Group Photo

We had six teams compete:

Wu-Tang Clan

Wu-Tang Clan: Julie Pauly, Michelle Belew, Micah Jacques, and Matt Dutton

Kitchen Killers

Kitchen Killers: Jonathan Thorne, David Thorne, Leila Loomis, and Isabela Bifano


Smarties: Amanda Ades, Jared Smart, Lyle Smart, and Kendra Wicks

The Young and the Ruthless

The Young and the Ruthless: Derek Pruett, Janelle Lindeman, Susie Ternes, and Devon Fuller

Clover Gs

Clover Gs: Brandon Tran, Bee Bandasack, Karen Fox, and Reiko Trigo

Better with Vetter

Better with Vetter: Steve Vetter, Jen Tiano, Monica McGehee, and Fin Tatum


The tournament was MLP-style with pool play consisting of matches against every other team followed by a single-elimination bracket. The winners ended up being:

1st Place: Wu-Tang Clan
2nd Place: Better with Vetter
3rd Place: The Young and the Ruthless

Fun Pic of Medalists

It was really fun to watch the matches. I’m grateful that even if I can’t play, I can still be around pickleball. Our community is the best!

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CNP Ambassadors Sip N Play

Posted on April 3, 2024 by under Community, Pickleball.    

Once a month, Chicken N Pickle reserves a couple of pickleball courts at local CNP locations all over the nation for CNP ambassadors to get together. Here are some pics from our “sip n play” event last month.


Donnie Lesperance and I wore our matching shirts that day!


Our next ambassador sip n play is on April 11. Feel free to swing by and say hello!


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Newbie Night at Chicken N Pickle

Posted on March 25, 2024 by under Pickleball, Things to Do.    

I’m on a mission to get all of my friends.. Scratch that. I’m on a mission to get every single person I meet into pickleball. Recently, I met a couple of friends (Jarrica Briedenthal, a friend from Zumba, and Teresa Winfield, an former coworker) at Chicken N Pickle for Newbie Night.

Me and Jarrica

Me and Jarrica

Me and Teresa

Me and Teresa

Newbie Night

Michael Harris, director of pickleball at our Chicken N Pickle in Wichita, did a wonderful job of leading the session.

Newbie Night

Newbie Nights are a great way to introduce friends to pickleball because of the fun casual environment. Besides that, they also provide all the equipment so you don’t even have to have your own paddle. Most people who are eager to get into the sport have already bought a starter set from Amazon and usually show up with their own paddles but it is not required.


I remember dragging mom and dad, and even some of my Leadership Wichita classmates, to a Newbie Night a couple of years ago when they were first getting into pickleball also. Anyway, if you would like to check it out, the next one is on Tuesday, April 16.

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Team League at West YMCA

Posted on March 15, 2024 by under Pickleball, Things to Do.    

I played in the first ever team league at West YMCA and it was such a traumatic experience. Just kidding. It was so much fun. The only thing that sucked about it was that I’ve had the yips since the beginning of the year and so all my servers were basically points for the other team. That wasn’t the league’s fault.

Handsome and Holesome

Here are some pics that we took throughout the league.

Susie and Ching

Susie Ternes and I wore our blue Halara dresses on one of the days. I absolutely love this dress but I just hate being so short because it’s sooo long on me! Anyways, if you shop at, remember to use discount code CHERRIE for 20% OFF! (Discount doesn’t work on SALE items but works on everything else.)

Austin and Matt

Here are a couple of pictures of Austin Winter and Matt Von Feldt. I love that these boys were into being matchy-matchy also.

Austin and Matt

I really struggled this league because of the rally scoring and my yips situation. Because I couldn’t serve, we were pretty much playing with a handicap. We didn’t perform well enough to be in the upper division so we ended up in the lower division on tournament night (final week of league) and we ended up winning that division. I think it was kind of a blessing because I’m not sure we could have won the other group. So at least we medaled. That’s the silver-lining, anyway.


This kind of reminds me of last year’s Picklemania tournament. My team missed the elite group by mere points (we were in the toughest pool with three teams with the potential to advance to elite and we ended up being third) and then ended up in advanced group. We obviously won it because we really should have been in elite but just got edged out. LOL.

Speaking of Picklemania, we are having it again this year. This year’s event will be at Crestview Country Club on May 25. Hope to see you there!

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iPN Wichita Winterfest

Posted on February 12, 2024 by under Pickleball.    

We hosted our very first iPickle Nation pickleball tournament in Wichita a couple of weeks ago at Genesis Rock Road where they now have 10 pickleball courts painted on their tennis courts in the bubble. Genesis is getting into pickleball – finally – and it was time to celebrate this. Here’s a short video I made of all the medalists:

It’s a pretty short video because we didn’t have as many teams participate as I would have liked. We drew 65 players. While we had enough teams to host the tournament, we were dozens of players shy of the 100+ that I wanted to see. Last year, Chicken N Pickle hosted a tournament and, even with talent like Jack Oxler participating in it, the event drew less than 50. I really don’t understand why (a) Wichita players aren’t playing the local tournaments, and (b) players from all over aren’t flocking here to play. What is it about Wichita? What are we doing wrong? Or is it something we are not doing?

Since I started playing in tournaments three years ago, I have traveled West as far as California and East as far as Florida and played in maybe a hundred tournaments. Some have been amazing and some I will probably never, ever want to play ever again. It costs a lot of money to travel somewhere and play in a tournament, even when you drive there and don’t factor in air fare. You still have the cost of lodging, food, etc. besides the already astronomical tournament registration fees that just seem to continue to increase year over year as the popularity of the sport increases.

I quickly realized that it’s not sustainable for me to travel and play in all of these tournaments and that there are many pickleball enthusiasts, amateur pickleball players like myself, in Wichita who would enjoy playing in these tournaments but don’t have the resources to travel all over. For the last year or so, I’ve made it a goal to try and bring events to Wichita so that players like me could enjoy the competition without all of the added travel expenses. But now I’m wondering if I am unique in my desire to want to be able to play in tournaments at home. Maybe people really want to spend thousands of dollars traveling all over the place to play in these tournaments so we don’t really need any big tournaments at home.

I’m actually starting to wonder. Maybe I don’t know our local pickleball population at all and I truly have no idea what our community needs? Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this.

Anyway, despite not drawing as many players and teams as we would have liked, the weekend was actually quite productive. I’d never used the Pickleball Brackets platform before and this tournament allowed me to see how to use it behind the scenes. I’ve only ever interacted with the platform as a tournament player so I’ve never really seen how the Tournament Directors use it. Duane Christian from iPickle Nation gave me access so I could see some of that and he explained to me how they organize their tournaments. I learned a ton.

I’m not sure how worthwhile it would be to host another one of these types of tournaments but at least I have some experience under my belt. I wish you all the best in your pickleball endeavors, no matter where it may take you. Until next time!

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