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YMCA Mid-East Regional Gold Medalists Receive Special Invite to the US Open

News Pickle4 Team 07-11-2024

The Minto US Open Pickleball Championships is the most prestigious tournament in pickleball. It offers the perfect blend of camaraderie and competition with some of the best pickleball athletes in the world. And now, thanks to the YMCA Mid-East Regional Pickleball Tournament, 62 athletes have earned a coveted spot to compete in the 2025 US Open. 

The first of its kind, The YMCA Mid-East Regional offered gold medal winners a special invitation to compete in the US Open. Hundreds of pickleball players traveled to the Upper Main Line YMCA in Berwyn, PA to compete for their chance to play in The Biggest Pickleball Party in the World™.

The event was a success and ran smoothly even with some weather delays due to rain on Sunday. Denise Day, YUSA National Pickleball Committee representative and former CEO of YMCA of Greater Brandywine expressed her excitement saying, “The tournament was a true success thanks to the wonderful partnership with our title sponsor Pickle4 and the use of Pickleball Den software to manage the tournament.”

The event showcased the power of community, reflecting the shared values of the YMCA and the US Open. Pickleball players participating in the tournament ranged in age from nine to 81 and traveled from states along the east coast, Maine to Florida, and as far west as California and Arizona. Husband and wife Matt and Stephanie Lund noted, “We met so many people from all over the US – the east coast, the mid west – all there for something in common.” 

For Matt and Stephanie, pickleball is a family affair. They and their four children Christian, Adalynn, Payton, and McKaelynn, traveled all the way from Wisconsin to participate in the tournament. When Matt and Stephanie heard about the tournament they knew they had to make the trip saying, “We love the YMCA so when they came out with this tournament we knew we had to support the Y movement in pickleball and it’s a huge draw to have the chance to be guaranteed to play in a huge tournament as well.” 

The Lund family made their way to the medal stand several times at the YMCA Mid-East Regional. Father and son Matt and Christian earned gold in men’s doubles 4.5 age 13-35, mother and daughter Stephanie and Adalynn earned gold in women’s doubles 4.5 all ages, siblings Christian and Adalynn earned gold in mixed doubles 4.5-5.0 all ages, and Matt and Stephanie claimed the bronze in mixed doubles 4.5 all ages. 

The youngest members of the Lund Family, Payton age 10 and McKaelynn age 9, didn’t miss out on the pickleball fun. Payton and McKaelynn were the two youngest pickleball players participating in the tournament, playing together in mixed doubles 3.0 age 8-49.

“Knowing how much work they put into it and how well they played there’s not only pride as a Dad but pride seeing these kids doing something so positive,” Matt expressed.

Matt is a member of the YUSA National Pickleball Committee, helping to grow pickleball at YMCAs across the country. “We love our partnership with Pickleball Den and the Minto US Open because it creates opportunities for people in other communities that might not have the opportunity to do it and the Y is creating those opportunities.”

With their gold medals, Matt, Stephanie, Christian, and Adalynn will participate in the 2025 US Open. Stephanie and Adalynn won bronze at the 2024 US Open, noting “We had a blast! There were so many people, so many courts. It was such a neat experience to be a part of so much pickleball.” The Lunds are surely hoping to replicate the success they experienced at the YMCA Mid-East Regional when they travel to Naples in 2025.

The camaraderie, sportsmanship, and sheer enthusiasm displayed by all participants and volunteers truly made the YMCA Mid-East Regional Pickleball Tournament a resounding success. It not only showcased the competitive spirit of the players but also exemplified the unifying power of pickleball in bringing together individuals from diverse backgrounds for a weekend of exhilarating competition and heartfelt camaraderie. Congratulations to the medal winners and those players who are on their way to the 2025 US Open! 

The 2025 Minto US Open Pickleball Championships is scheduled to take place April 26-May 3, 2025 in Naples, Florida. For more information visit usopenpickleball.com. To learn more about Pickleball Den, visit pickleballden.com.

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