Sophomore Michela Meister has played every point since the first game of Regionals – 8 games there and 2 games at Nationals. Today Superfly’s man offense was stagnant and struggled to generate consistent flow – their success was either against the zone or from hucks opening up the field. We should see more handler motion from Stanford tomorrow as they attempt to take down Florida and Michigan.
They weren’t tested much today, as their great break throws and speed led to a lot of run-through D’s turned into quick breaks. They did struggle against Florida’s loose 1-3-3 zone when they tried to be too aggressive with blades, hammers, and speculative throws. But their defense was always able to get the turn back, despite the number of turnovers they threw themselves. Catherine Hui is the real deal, and they are definitely a deep team. They run a 3-3-1 transition zone that takes advantage of their speed and cause a lot of turns on the man transition. They are also very good at dump defense, really forcing teams to their third option.
Cal is a deeper team than they get credit for. Pretty much anyone can blow up for a game, and they’ll keep feeding the hot hand, whether it’s Prader, Desmond, Weihs, Menendez, VanMuijen, or anyone else. They took a while to get breaks against Ottawa and Virginia, but then their D line found what worked and ran off several consecutive breaks. They run a 4-man cup that pressures the trap side and is vulnerable to over the top throws. It looks like they lost Maya Chapman for the rest of the weekend with a shoulder injury, which is devastating because she just came off an ACL tear.
Virginia stepped up the defense on Desmond and Prader in their game against Cal, with Mary Kelly and Theresa Hackett both doing a great job. Kelly in particular had a beautiful layout D on Desmond. Unfortunately the disc skills on Virginia do not extend far beyond Ericksen, John, and Johnston, and unforced errors contributed a lot to their weak second half against Tufts and their loss to Cal.
This is not the same Iowa State team that won Centex and Midwest Throwdown. Their coaches need to light a fire under them and get them to play a higher percentage game, especially with no wind on Friday. Their defense was not able to force turnovers at the same rate their offense generated them, which cost them the game against Tufts. Tufts was more disciplined but less athletic, and Iowa State paid for it.
This Ottawa team is extremely fun to watch. Katie Pohran is an explosive athlete on O and D, and the rest of the team plays gritty man defense with some fire, especially Vivianne Fortin. Their offense puts a little too much pressure on their handlers when Pohran isn’t on the field or getting open regularly (a rare occurrence). No wins on Friday, but I expect more fire on Saturday.