The Houston Volts to Make their Debut at the first PPL All-Star Game November 18th
HOUSTON, Nov. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Pro Padel League (PPL), North America's first professional padel league, is announcing the acquisition of the Houston franchise by Sergio Ortiz and partners. Ortiz is the former United States Padel Association President (USPA) and current President, and CEO, of Sports Facilities Investment Group headquartered in Woodlands, Texas.
The tenth PPL franchise purchased since 2022, the Houston Volts have appointed Juani Mieres as Sports Advisor to the team with Diego Pezzoni named their Head Coach. Miernes is the former No. 1 ranked player on the World Padel Tour (WPT), former No. 2 WPT player for six years, four-time World Champion, winner of 22 WPT titles, and eight-time Spanish Champion. Pezzoni has been the USA Junior Padel Team Head Coach since 2019.
"We are honored to have former USPA President, Sergio Ortiz, be the owner of the new Houston franchise," said Marcos del Pilar, PPL Commissioner. "Along with his great partners, Ortiz is contributing to growing Padel in Houston by opening a world-class facility next year that will be home to the Houston Volts. We are excited for his team to compete in our 2024 season."
Sponsored by major Spanish apparel brand JOMA for their training and travel apparel, the Houston Volts carefully selected their team's name to mirror the spirit of a city that is alive with energy and rich in diversity. The fourth largest city in the U.S., Houston is a popular international destination and is to home to the NASA Johnson Space Center and some of the best professional sports teams in the country. These include the Houston Astros, Houston Dynamo, and Houston Rockets who all have names related to energy and space like the Houston Volts.
Coinciding with their acquisition, the Houston Volts are announcing their recently signed players to the team. Providing them with an opportunity to launch their careers by being a part of the PPL, the Houston Volts are aiming to develop the next generation of champions with their young talent and build a winning team for the future.
Players signed to the Houston Volts include:
- Claudia Jensen: 18-years-old with a No. 11 WPT ranking reaching her first WPT Final in 2023 along three semifinals. Prior to the WPT, Jensen was a Junior World Champion on the Spanish team and was the first female player at the age of 15 to reach a ranking of No. 63.
- Lorena Rufo: 20-years-old who reached the quarterfinals in the Paris Major Premier Padel and WPT Human French Padel Open. Prior to this, Rufo won three junior championships playing for Spain and two Junior World Championships.
- Pablo García: 20-years-old who placed 3rd in the 2019 Junior World Championships in U16. Following this, Garcia was the 2021 Champion in three divisions, National Champion in U18 in Spain, National Team Champion U18, and by team "autonómicas." In 2022, Garcia was the absolute Champion in Madrid and most recently a finalist in the 2023 European Olympic Games.
- Ivan Rodriguez: 22-years-old who is a two-time Junior World Champion in U16 and in 2020 was nominated as a revelation player for his outstanding padel career to date.
- Alex Chozas: 20-years-old who was the 2023 Champion at the V Panamerican Absolute Championship in Venezuela with team Argentina. Along with this, Chozas was the Champion at the A1 Padel CMB Mónaco Master in 2023.
"Joining the PPL as Houston's franchise owner made a lot of sense to my partners and I since we are developing PELOTA Padel Club, a new, prestigious padel venue in Houston," commented Sergio Ortiz, Owner of the Houston Volts. "Selecting young, talented players for our team was the easy part. I firmly believe the future of the sport belongs to the youth in the world, and it is from the youth that padel will enlighten our everyday lives!"
Prior to his role as President of the USPA, Ortiz was invited by the residing USPA President in 2019 to form part of the Board of Directors and a non-profit for the U.S. National Jr. Padel Team. Serving as President of the USPA from 2020-2021, Ortiz is now building the largest, modern, padel-only-indoor facility in the U.S. called PELOTA Padel Club. Located in Houston, PELOTA Padel Club will boast 40,000 square feet, nine indoor courts and 3 outdoor padel courts including a stadium court. Set to break ground by the end of 2023, PELOTA Padel Club will serve as the home of the Houston Volts in 2024.
The Houston Volts will make their debut at the PPL's inaugural All-Star Game in San Diego on November 18th at Taktika Padel located at the award-winning Barnes Tennis Center in San Diego. Starting at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday in an exhibition match, Houston Volts player Pablo Garcia will team up with Houston's Sport Advisor, and former World No. 1, Juani Mieres, and take on former 14-time World No. 1, and New York Atlantic's player, Juan Martin Diaz, teaming-up with former World No. 2, and San Diego Stingrays player, Miguel Lamperti. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at PPLtickets.com.
The mission of the PPL is to create the most compelling version of padel for sports in North America with the new league providing the biggest stage for aspiring padel players across the continent. The PPL is the first of its kind, and the only professional padel tour in the world, to feature team-based competition in a unique and engaging, city-based, franchise format.
The next big thing in North America, padel is a high-octane sport and is a mix of tennis and squash that has become one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Since 2021, there has been a 400% expansion globally in active players, and a 60% growth in padel court construction with 98 new courts opened every week. In the U.S., the United States Padel Association (USPA) is committed to growing the number of players to over 10 million and the number of courts to over 30,000 courts by 2029. In conjunction with the USPA, the PPL will play a large role in growing the sport in North America with their 2024 season soon to be announced.
For more information on the PPL, visit: https://propadelleague.com/.
The PPL launched in 2022 and held their historical, inaugural season in 2023 with the Las Vegas Smash winning the PPL Cup. The next big thing in North American sports, padel is a high-octane sport and is a mix of tennis and squash that has become the fastest-growing sports in the world. The mission of the PPL is to create the most compelling version of padel for sports fans in North America with the new league providing the biggest stage for aspiring padel players across the continent. The PPL is the first of its kind, and the only professional padel tour in the world, to feature team-based competition in a unique and engaging, city-based, franchise format. For more information on the PPL, visit: https://propadelleague.com/.
SOURCE Pro Padel League