Terminus 2011 Preview

by | July 21, 2011, 2:52pm 0

Chain's Dylan Tunnell reaches for a disc.

Making a triumphant return to the Open and Women’s scene, Club Terminus 2011 will field a strong group of contenders from the Southeast. Having taken a hiatus as an All Mixed tournament last season, the Atlanta-based tournament will look for the hometown team – Atlanta’s Chain Lightning – to continue their string of victories at their home tournament. Commonly a stomping ground for North Carolina’s Ring of Fire and Chain to test themselves against one another, Ring will not be making an appearance, with the new Cash Crop squad representing Carolina and looking to show what they can do. Coming off berths from Nationals, Tennessee’s Tanasi and Ohio’s Madcow will both be looking to make statements and solidify their rotations in the Georgia heat.

Open Division

In the Open Division, Chain will remain the favorite. Chain has some very notable losses in Josh Ziperstein, freak athlete Rob White, and veteran leader AJ Tiarsmith, but will attempt to show off re-additions Grant Lindsley (CUT, Sub Zero, former Chain), Joel Wooten (Southpaw, former Chain), and Sam Gainer (Bucket). The Atlanta boys will also be trying out some new offensive strategies: “Dump, swing,” stated Captain Mark Poole. While obviously their focus on diversifying will be a big part of this weekend, Poole also explained how the team will be sure to enjoy themselves. “We like to have fun,” he said, “It’s going to be light-hearted and we are looking to have a good time. I bet we will find out who the nerdiest player on the team is (it’s been a long standing conversation amongst some veterans).” It always seems like this is a team that plays even better when having a blast, so that could be bad news for those looking to score a hometown upset.

Ben Dieter, Co-Captain of Cash Crop

Cash Crop has emerged from the changing, but always talent rich, North Carolina and will look to establish themselves as a true elite team from the get go. “I don’t think I have been more excited for a tournament,” admitted Captain Raju Prasad, “It will be great to finally take the field as one unit.” Prasad has high hopes, citing the team’s chemistry and some of the team’s grinding Carolina playmakers, like Co-Captain Ben Dieter (“One of the most underrated players in Club Ultimate,” according to Prasad) and defensive dynamo Joey Cretella out of East Carolina. In addition, they’ll be aided by some of University of Florida’s studs, Cole Sullivan and Alton Gaines, and some imports in the speedy Hensley Sejour (formerly of Machine, and Chain) and Joe Cuneo (former Truck Stop captain). While the roster may have a few standouts, Prasad is proud of the team’s chemistry and how it translates onto the field, stating, “Definitely look for a very unselfish group of guys that will try to win the point.” The Atlanta heat will challenge team’s depth, and if Cash Crop can utilize a variety of players working together, it could play to their advantage.

Two other teams from last year’s Championship field will be in attendance: Tanasi and Madcow. The talented Tennessee team will face some roster changes, such as losing Colorado College and NexGen stud Nicky Spiva to Chain Lightning, but can rely on some other collegiate talents such as Tennessee’s Phil Brock, as well as the leadership of Tyler Conger, who seems to quickly be accruing high level Club experience. Usually a speedy and aggressive team, it gives Tanasi the chance to come away with most any game. Meanwhile, Madcow is a surprising six seed and will look to gain the respect they feel they deserve. Unlike many teams, Madcow is still in the tryout phase and will be to continuing to learn about what pieces the team has, but don’t expect them to play like a “tryout team”. The athletic group from Ohio will look to explosive cutters like Scott “OB” O’brien and Ohio University’s Mitch Cihon to make big plays downfield. The two teams will do battle Saturday in Pool C to likely decide their pool winner and both will be trying to make up for some early season stumbles.

Terminus’ field is rounded out by a host of Florida, Atlanta, and other southeastern squads. Alabama’s Iron Men and Orlando’s Omen will collide in their 4-5 seed pool play game, but their performance in bracket play will be where these teams can prove they can compete with the big boys. Being the “-men” on top at the end of pool play will go a long way in the blistering sun. Another team to watch may be Atlanta’s Six Pack, who beat Tanasi 12-10 in the quarterfinals of First Shots. Their roster is built on some of the top college players from Clemson, University of South Carolina, Georgia, and Georgia State, meaning lots of young athletes with something to prove and nothing to lose – and Clemson’s James Cox and Georgia’s Matt Bailey can be game changers.

Women’s Division

Callahan winner Leila Tunnell with a forehand at the 2011 College Championships - Photo by Scott Roeder (scottroeder.com)

Shifting focus to the smaller Women’s Division, two Nationals squads in Atlanta’s Ozone and North Carolina’s Phoenix will be looking to get a shot at one another. North Carolina will be looking to leadership in Lindsay Hack and Callahan winner Leila Tunnell to continue to mold their talented group into a disciplined bunch, and keep them as one of the country’s top teams. Ozone stands to come back from a bit of a rebuilding year, adding Riot superstar Liz Duffy to the roster, along with some of the region’s top college talent, managed by the veteran handler core of Katherine Wooten and Angela Lin. Nashville’s DeSoto will be aiming to play spoiler.

Terminus is one of the year’s first tournaments where teams with finalized rosters are looking to find out what they’ve got and what they need to work on. Offensive lines will begin to form chemistry and defensive lines will begin to test themselves. As teams work in new players and new strategies, they also must survive the stifling conditions that will certainly challenge the stamina and roster depth of the competitors. However, with a good amount of Ultimate talent flocking to the Georgia Soccer Park fields just outside of the city, there will be plenty of action on tap. Teams will learn about themselves, but we will also learn about them as the picture for this Club Season has its first strokes drawn.

Featured image is of Liz Duffy in her Seattle Riot days.

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