By: Jacob Cohen
The second day of the YCC division at the U.S. Open Club Championships played host to the final round of pool play, followed by pre-quarters and quarterfinal match ups. The top four teams finally got a chance to play each other in the morning round, as Seattle Oblivion took on DEVYL in Pool A and Atlanta ATLas battled Bay Area Aftershock for Pool B.
Oblivion and DEVYL both brought their best, trading holds for most of the early game. In the game’s sixth point, DEVYL stopped a deep look and converted the ensuing possession to earn the first break, putting them up 4-2. The contenders traded holds again until Seattle earned back their break to tie the game at 7s. In the next point, DEVYL took half 8-7 on serve. The game continued similarly until DEVYL broke again to take an 11-9 lead that the Seattle team could not overcome. DEVYL closed out the game to win 15-13 over the number one seed.
The game was characterized by both teams’ dependence on the deep game. There were few points without at least one deep shot, and in the end, DEVYL completed more hucks than Oblivion did. The deep match up between Gray Davidson (Seattle) and Matt LaBar (DEVYL) was exciting all game long as each recorded multiple goals and blocks. Many other members of both teams had great games as well. Both teams advanced to the quarterfinals with strong résumés.
Pool B’s first round saw ATLas take on Aftershock. The Atlanta-based team quickly went up 3-0 and looked to keep rising throughout the game. Bay Area’s head coach said that the team was initially intimidated by the pressure and intensity presented by ATLas, but once they started earning blocks, their confidence returned. Aftershock’s defense stepped up and started causing problems for ATLas. They fought back to take half 8-7. Aftershock continued to rise in the second half, and by the time the score reached 11-8, it seemed ATLas had fallen apart. Now it was ATLas’s turn to fight back, tying the game at 12s. Aftershock had the last word and pulled out the win on double-game point. Aftershock’s stifling defense was the difference they needed in the game. While the Bay Area team played eight points with no turns, ATLas only managed three turn-less points. Again, both teams advanced to the quarterfinals looking quite strong.
The pre-quarters took place later in the day and finished without too much drama. Indiana INtensity took a close game over Colorado Cutthroat, while Minnesota Superior and NC Hammer took care of Boston BUDA and Maine Neap Tide, respectively. The only upset came when Capitol Heights, the nine seed, easily defeated Chicago Windy City, the eight seed, by a score of 15-9.
The quarterfinal match ups resulted in no close games, but that does not mean they went as expected. DEVYL handled INtensity easlily, and ATLas defeated Superior. Superior stayed with the Atlanta team until early in the second half, when ATLas went on a five-point run to take a 14-7 lead. Similarly, NC Hammer played close with Seattle Oblivion until the second half. Out of half, the Triangle team broke to stay within reach at 7-8. They would only score twice more in the game, as Seattle won 14-9.
The surprising result came in the fourth game, where Capitol Heights upset Aftershock 15-10. Aftershock fell apart after winning Pool B, and Capitol Heights remained undefeated through five games. Their Cinderella story continues on Monday when they take on the top seed Seattle Oblivion. The game should provide plenty of excitement and action. On the other side, DEVYL will defend their undefeated record against the rising ATLas.