The wind made for some exciting ultimate today, and several lower seeds took advantage. Only one pool went to seed, while Showdown made the biggest move of the day, going from the #12 seed overall to win Pool D. Below is pool by pool analysis, followed by my Day 2 predictions. Read the live round updates for more specific game updates.
Fury rolled in Pool A, although they took a big hit for the rest of the weekend when they lost Emily Damon to a torn right ACL at the beginning of their 15-4 win over Heist. Matty Tsung, Fury’s coach, called Damon their “most complete player,” and her absence means Anna Nazarov will likely get a lot more playing time. They still rolled Hot Metal 15-1 and beat Brute Squad comfortably, 15-8.
Heist made their Club Championships debut and struggled in their first game. Without Georgia Bosscher, Heist just seemed “happy to be there,” dropping the first game quickly for their first loss of the season. With Georgia back, Heist took on Brute Squad in the showcase game. In a game that seemed to drag on forever, Brute Squad was able to grind out the victory on double game point and win 11-10 to secure their place in the power pools.
In Pool B, Riot never seemed to get out of second gear as they relied on their athleticism and throws to defeat Molly Brown, Underground, and Ozone. The big game of the day was Molly Brown vs Ozone, where the Colorado squad upset Ozone to sneak into the the power pools. Both teams struggled to get open downfield in the wind, with defenders playing tight man defense and fronting, forcing handlers to make difficult throws. Kath Ratcliff did a good job handling for Molly Brown, while Angela Lin did a lot of damage for Ozone but her playing time was limited.
This pool came down to one point in the first game of the day, as Scandal beat Nemesis 16-15 on an upwind break. Kelly Johnson was one of the best players all day, and she and Lizzy Shiel consistently got open for swings and upline passes. There were only 5 breaks total in the game, with Scandal getting their 3rd on universe point to win the game. Both teams struggled to score upwind, with both teams alternating man and zone defense.
Nemesis proved they belonged in the power pools with a start to finish victory over Capitals. Every time Capitals would pull closer to Nemesis or tie up the game, Nemesis would break back and maintain their slim lead. They ended up winning 16-14, and Capitals couldn’t come back and compete with Scandal in their third game of pool play. Scandal was broken early on, but their aggressive zone and great upwind throws from Charlie Mercer, Jenny Fey, and Opi Payne shot them to an 8-3 halftime lead. The second half went to Scandal as well as – they closed it out 15-7.
The big story here was Showdown! The Texas squad started making noise in the first round, going up huge on Traffic 11-6 before trading out to 15-10. Bex Forth and Sheila Ogden had great throws in the wind, and Cara Crouch had a truly visionary backhand IO huck for a downwind goal. In their second game against Phoenix, they traded upwind offensive holds, but Showdown was able to put together a three point run at 12-12 to win 15-12.
In the three-way tie at the bottom of the pool, each game featured an incredible run at the end of the game. Nightlock was down 14-7 to Phoenix and ran off six in a row, but lost 15-13. Nightlock was up on Traffic 14-8 and won 16-14, and then Phoenix was up on Traffic 12-7, when Traffic ran off eight in a row to win 15-12. At 14-12 Traffic, Nightlock only needed Traffic to score one more point to go into the lower points with a win over Traffic, and it would have sent Phoenix up to the power pools.
All day, Traffic struggled to work the disc downwind against zone defenses, throwing 10 and 20 yard turnovers instead of 50+ yard punts. Phoenix persisted with a zone defense that struggled to generate turns. Nightlock’s success against Phoenix and Traffic was predicated on their zone defense and upwind breaks that continued into deep hucks to Briana Cahn and Michela Meister. Phoenix tried to gain yards going upwind by running a three-woman handler dominator with Lindsey Hack, Leila Tunnell, and Claire Chastain, but Traffic stifled it with either zone transition or great matchups with their most athletic defenders.
Day 2 Predictions
In the first Power Pool, I like Nemesis to beat Brute Squad and Fury to beat Scandal in a close game. This is a potential finals preview. In the second Power Pool, Traffic, Molly Brown, and Showdown have the potential for a three-way tie, but if it’s as windy again tomorrow, I like Showdown to take second and Traffic to beat Molly Brown.
In the lower pools, the Heist-Capitals matchup to get into the prequarters will be a good one, as will Phoenix-Ozone, which is a regionals rematch. I like Heist and Phoenix to win those matchups, with Heist over Molly Brown and Phoenix rising up to beat Brute Squad.