This past weekend, the UCSD Psychos hosted the Presidents’ Day Invitational, and saw the best college women’s Ultimate teams in the country converge to determine who would be top dog early in the college season. With the top four finishers from the 2010 College Championships present (Oregon, UC Santa Barbra, Colorado and Wisconsin), Presidents’ Day would not disappoint, seeing Oregon Fugue best the California Pie Queens in the finals.
Day 1 – Saturday:
Though San Diego is home to some of the most consistent weather, Presidents Day has never been a beacon of sun for the Psychos. Weather forced the women’s team to head two hours north to the back up fields in San Bernadino. While the weather started out playable, the winds picked up, and rain/hail fell later in the day. Despite poor conditions, Oregon, North Carolina, Wisconsin and California finished atop their pools with 4-0 records.
Surprisingly, Colorado Kali finished 1-3 on Saturday, knocking them out of the Championship bracket. “The weather really made it hard to keep the spirits up on Saturday,” explained Kali captain Shannon Waugh. “It just got to the point that it was not even real Ultimate.” Despite these rough conditions, Shannon believes Kali will turn it around. “In early season tournaments, Kali focuses on developing our new players. While we may sacrifice winning now, we hope that it pays off during the series as we march to Nationals. At Regionals, we are usually extremely deep.”
Wisconsin had big wins over the host Psychos and also Michigan and UCLA. Despite the poor weather, Bella Donna was just excited to be playing outside. “Saturday at Pres Day went great for Bella”, says captain Emelie McKain. “Today was our first time playing outside since the fall, so we really just wanted to be smart about our throws and have confidence playing in the wind.”
The reigning champs continued to show domination, as no one scored more than 7 points on Oregon during Saturday. “Our first day was classic shitshowyness of Fugue just because of our lack of sleep, missing our head coach and getting really lost on the way to the fields while we were already substantially late”, says captain Christina Wickman. “We came out slow, but as the day progressed we feel into a good rhythm. Our game plan today was just learning how to function together on the field at our first big tournament.”
Day 2 – Sunday:
Sunday the ladies were able to return to the UCSD campus, where some placement games were played. North Carolina, Oregon, California and Wisconsin all secured quarterfinals appearances for Monday.
A loss to North Carolina, lit the fire under Bella Donna. “We play UCLA again in the morning in quarterfinals”, captain Emelie McKain said on Sunday. “Bella is really looking forward to the match up in some better weather to showcase our strengths and not by hampered by harsh weather conditions. We are psyched to start the morning in quarters, and are taking the day one game at a time.”
Day 3 – Monday:
Oregon continued their winning ways, beating Sonoma State 13-6 and UCLA 12-11 on their way to the finals. Despite losing to Wisconsin on Saturday, UCLA Blu had resurged and beat Wisconsin on universe point to make it to the semifinals. UCLA would go on to beat North Carolina 13-8 for 3rd place, where Bella Donna would fall in the 5th place final against Santa Barbara.
On the other side of the bracket, the Pie Queens knocked off the favorited Burning Skirts in the quarterfinals 13-8, while North Carolina bested Ottawa 13-4. The Pie Queens were then able to beat North Carolina 13-8 to make the finals.
The finals featured the Northwest powerhouse, and current champion Oregon Fugue and the Southwest’s California Pie Queens. Fortune smiled upon the girls from Eugene, as they pulled out a 13-6 victory, walking away with the Presidents’ Day Championship for the second year in a row. While this tournament provided a ton of surprises seeing Cal and UCLA come out big while Wisconsin and UCSB fell short, Oregon remains the team to beat.
8. Sonoma State
13. Western Washington
16. Humboldt State
18. Colorado State
20. UC Davis