A hot, hazy and windy day in Blaine started with over a dozen teams vying for a shot at a YCC mixed division championship and ended with our four semifinalists poised to duke it out on championship Monday at the U.S. Open Club Championships.
The story of yesterday was the emergence of several clear contenders, including Minnesota Superior, Seattle Bankroll and San Diego Powerline, who each rode strong depth and discipline to make early statements on a blustery and wet Saturday. These same strengths in large part fueled each teams’ road to the semifinals.
Minnesota Superior finished off pool play 3-0 after taking down the defending champs, Bay Area Happy Cows, on Sunday morning in an entertaining live-streamed match up full of fantastic spacing and speed by Superior’s female cutters and an emphatic layout Callahan. Locking in a bye to the quarterfinals, Superior knocked out a gassed D.C. Swing Vote, who was coming off a double-game point win against Oregon Flood, 15-5 to secure their spot in semis.
Seattle Bankroll headed into Sunday morning confident, with a 2-0 record and a higher point differential than their final Pool B match up, the 2-0 Bay Area Powerline. Powerline took half 8-6 and was using their height to their advantage in the wind, coming down with one deep jump ball after another. Bankroll’s stingy defense gave them plenty of opportunities, including one to tie it up at 11s, but a Powerline hold made it a game to 14. Down 11-13, Bankroll’s O line turn over the disc and Powerline converted to win Pool B 3-0. Given the setup of the bracket, and the 2-0 showings from the day before, both teams still earned byes into the quarterfinals. Both teams put away upstart challengers from the non-power pools who had each bested a power pool team in the round before in the pre-quarters. Maine Rising Tide put away the New Yorks Skyscrapers 15-7 before losing to Seattle Bankroll 15-5, while Vermont Equinox bested the Bay Area Happy Cows 15-9 before losing to Powerline 15-6.
The fourth semifinalist, Philadelphia Forge outworked the Happy Cows in one of the closest games in the division during round one on Saturday, upsetting the Cows 10-7, and sealing their bye into the quarterfinals against the New York Skyscrapers on Sunday morning with a 15-9 win. They went on to take down the Madison MUFAbots 15-8, after Madison came off a decisive 15-2 win over non-power pool Kalamazoo United Chill in the pre-quarters.
The stage is set for two exciting Monday match ups in the semifinals, with the hometown Minnesota Superior running with the biggest point differential in the division against an energetic Seattle Bankroll that is eager to prove their loss to Powerline was just a fluke, and an east coast-west coast match up between Philadelphia Forge and San Diego Powerline. They are two tall, athletic teams who have been building momentum all weekend.