This recap and the 2012 College Tour are presented by Spin Ultimate
This Great Lakes tournament was the typical love-hate relationship between wind, rain, cold, and good Ultimate. The tournament was professionally run, including lined fields and Observers available by request for pool play on Saturday. Sunday’s finals and semifinals games would be guaranteed Observers.
Due to a team dropping out last minute, pool play on Saturday consisted of one pool of five and one pool of six. The first round kicked off at 9am at a cloudy 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In Pool A, original A3 seed Indiana came out of nowhere to generate two upsets, pulling out wins over Michigan Flywheel on universe point and against Northwestern. Indiana took the pool with a 4-0 record. It should be noted, however, that Michigan’s graduating players missed Saturday’s games in order to attend their graduation. Michigan’s underclassmen managed to go 3-1 for the day, despite their absent seniors. Vicki Chang, one of Flywheel’s missing seniors stated that Flywheel “had to adapt and various people stepped up into leading roles.” Their Saturday performance in the absence of their seniors bodes well for future Flywheel 2013. Illinois swept Pool B, handily ending the day with a 5-0 record. Notre Dame upset Michigan State, final score 11-8.
The mostly absent wind came back Sunday of Great Lakes Regionals in decent force. Bracket play featured Indiana-Notre Dame and Michigan-Illinois in the semis. Indiana’s bold hucks and scrappy grabs helped them defeat Notre Dame, 11-8. In the other semis game, Michigan welcomed back their missing seniors to complete their roster. They were able to throw various types of zone on Illinois, who had trouble adjusting quickly enough to play an effective offense. “They capitalized on every little mistake we made,” said Jody Kissane, Illinois Menace senior. Michigan went on to win 15-4 over Illinois.
The finals (aka game-to-go) pitted dark horse team Indiana against favorite Michigan. This rematch of Saturday’s pool play game told a completely different story. The addition of Michigan’s seniors to their squad clearly made a difference in their level of play. Michigan dominated the game with a decisive 15-5 victory over Indiana.
Michigan Flywheel – Looking forward to Nationals
Michigan proved that they deserve to represent the Great Lakes region at Nationals. On Saturday, even missing their seniors, they established that they were regional contenders. On Sunday, with their seniors, they showed they were undoubtedly the dominant team in the region. As much as the rest of us would like to play in Boulder, CO in a few weeks, it is clear that Michigan is the best team for the job. According to Vicki Chang, Flywheel is “looking forward to playing some high level ultimate at Natties and hopefully making a repeat appearance in the finals.” Expect Paula Seville to be a hot contender for the Callahan Award too. The rest of the region will certainly be cheering for their champion team to bring the Great Lakes a slice of national glory. Good luck Michigan Flywheel! Great lakes! Great times!
Other highlights from the weekend:
- Michigan-B makes it to quarters
- Michigan State gets sweet moose jerseys
- Notre Dame knocks Northwestern out of bracket play in quarters, 13-10
- Michigan’s incessant yet irresistibly catchy cowbell
- Loyola and Northwestern play a Dino Point (pick-your-poison of Trex-pterodactyl-velociraptor) during the last round of play on Sunday.