By: Nathan Mannes
Sunday was a fine day to play ultimate. There were a couple of weather delays in the afternoon, but they did not seem to affect the games significantly.
In Pool C, Little PoNY’s offensive line was looking like a finely tuned machine while run by Nathan Shapiro, Connor Chin and Ben Zhang. They were patient, but ultimately gave up breaks when Avalanche’s zone forced them to throw a lot of passes. On turns, Avalanche would capitalize with accurate hucks to their athletic cutters like Patrick Beckett.
The other game in Pool C was a solid comeback by Texas Two-Step. Colorado Cutthroat came out with more intensity than Two Step because their backs were against the wall. For them, it was an elimination game. Cutthroat went up 3-0 to start, but then Two-Step threw a containment zone, forcing Cutthroat to have to make a lot of completions in order to score. Connor Olson and Simon Vickers were both big for Two Step. For handlers like Jason Otsuki, this was no big deal, but the strategy inevitably worked. Their O line could score just fine, but their D line couldn’t get the breaks back. Jay Burnett was a very strong defender all game, though.
In Pool A, North Carolina’s Triforce played Minnesota Superior. Minnesota managed an early break, and the teams traded for a bit before Triforce’s D line took control of the half 8-4. Superior played better offense the rest of the game, but their D line could not close the gap.
During that time, the Atlanta ATLiens faced off against Boston BUDA in an incredibly close game. It was the closest game in the entire pool. There was only one break the entire game, and it was by BUDA on the last point. Drew DiFrancesco did everything for the ATLiens, and Jay Burnett played like a defensive machine. BUDA was good at isolating cutters deep and abusing mismatches. Kai DeLorenzo played good defense for BUDA. Chris Padilla, coming off a national championship in the college division, seemed to be open all the time.
The Washington, D.C. Foggy Bottom Boys played a great game and upset Chicago Elite in pre-quarters. The teams traded at first, but Elite managed an early break. Foggy broke back, and then some, and eventually went on to break to win. Ben Preiss, Jonny Malks and Anders Juengst did very good work to make it happen.
The Atlanta ATLiens played an intense pre-quarter match up against Oregon Avalanche, mostly on serve. Both teams were bidding all over the field, but the ATLiens scored two breaks to take half and proceeded to trade for the rest of the game.
Boston BUDA played Cincinnati Flying Pig and won 15-8. They traded to begin the game. Flying Pig opted to play the short game and work under cuts while BUDA opted to put it deep instead. Flying Pig was very worn down. BUDA went on a 4-1 run for half off of some poor-decision turnovers. BUDA scored some more breaks in the second half, with Ryan Dinger playing particularly well throughout the game. Flying Pig did have some sick plays of their own, though. Axel Agami (5’8”) got up huge over a 6’4” BUDA player. Caleb Montgomery also played well.
The Foggy Bottom Boys had a lot of momentum going into their quarterfinal game against Triforce. They had just upset a team. D.C. Rogue, their U-20 girls counterparts, had just beaten Seattle’s U-20 girls team, Narwhal. It was the first time a U-20 girls team from Seattle had ever lost a game at YCC. They were pumped and wanted to make the same kind of upset. They traded with Triforce for most of the game, with some sick grabs by Ben Preiss to keep them in it. Triforce broke after half, and the Foggy Bottom Boys couldn’t get them back. The Foggy Bottom Boys made what looked to be the start of a comeback in the second half, but on the next point, Jordan Perry got a clean block on an up-line throw, and then Triforce took over for the rest of the game.
New Jersey DEVYL played the ATLiens in a close game for a spot in semifinals. The teams traded until it was 10-10, but then DEVYL got some key breaks and held that lead for the rest of the game. Cole Feltman and James Kennelly played very well for DEVYL. Luke and Sam Smith played very well and gave DEVYL a hard time with their over-the-top throws.
The most exciting quarterfinal match up was between Texas Two Step and Seattle Splash. The final score was 12-11. The teams traded until it was 10-10, when Two Step got the only break of the game. Two Step tried to throw a zone, but it didn’t really work, so they stuck with intense man defense. The teams played very good defense, and did get some blocks, but could not convert. From Two Step, it was a big game for Simon Vickers, Connor Olson, Alex Fernandez and Jonathan Costello. Those four are all heading to Oklahoma State University in the fall.
The semifinal match up are Triforce v. DEVYL, and BUDA v. Two Step.