Bottom up vs. Top down
The results from the two open pre-quarters and one of the women’s pre-quarters went to the team playing up from the lower pools. All three games featured Regional upsets. It certainly is interesting to watch the body language of the teams coming up vs. those dropping down, and contributed to these upsets. Also, it makes me wonder what ultimate would be like if we had 3/5/7 game series.
The format is forgiving for an early upset, but at Nationals, what it really comes down to is the team to team matchup in the quarters.
Revolver has a 5th gear that comes from their D squad late in games that has yet to be matched. They shouldn’t have a problem dispatching an upstart Southpaw squad that has already exceeded expectations.
Doublewide, despite the late game collapse to Ironside, is still looking like a team bent on winning the championship. GOAT, interestingly enough is a very interesting matching for Austin. Hassell and Ouchterlony have a majority of the touches and are a similar combo to Brodie and Kurt which could make for some interesting late game matchups. DW should pull out an tight win and make for a re-match of the best game of last year’s Nationals in a semi-final rematch with Revolver
Josh McCarthy has Ironside extremely disciplined and solid with the disc. I thought the loss of Jeff Graham would have hurt them more than it has, because their offense relied so heavily on him for the past few years, however, they shouldn’t have a problem earning their spot in the semifinals vs. Madison Club.
The Ring-Chain quarterfinal will match the two oldest club programs for another epic match. Chain has looked more sloppy than usual so far considering their play early in the season—but its’ eerily similar to their performance at last year’s nationals. Ring has been looking more consistent on offense (on both D and O), however, a shoulder injury for Ken Porter sustained in the Furious game kept him out of both power pool play games. He intends to suit up this morning for what looks to be the quarters match to watch. I predict Ring pulling out a DGP victory in this game that should be filled with highlight reel hucks.
Riot, Fury, and Traffic all have gone pretty untested when facing any team aside from each other. The Riot-Fury score was not as close as one might’ve thought, however, Matty Tsang always has his team playing its best in the elimination round. Look for them to be playing on Sunday.
The game to watch on the women’s side will be Phoenix-Scandal. After some miscues all weekend, Phoenix finally figured out its formula for success on transition offense vs. Brute Squad. This game should be filled with several athletic plays from both sides. Jenny Fey had an injury in the Showdown game yesterday, but I’d expect her to play. In the end, Phoenix should join the NW three in the semi-finals with a close game victory.