Road to Boulder: Delaware Sideshow

by | May 23, 2012, 1:29pm 0

20 Days of Nationals and the 2012 College Tour are presented by Spin Ultimate

The third bid out of the Atlantic Coast has everyone saying, “Dela-WHERE?” Where did Delaware come from in the post-season?

Though Sideshow has flown under the radar for much of the 2012 season, this team is not new to the National Championships. The team has qualified three other times in 2003, 2006, and 2007, finishing 11th, 15th, and 11th, respectively. This strong history has fueled Sideshow’s rise again in 2012.

2012 brought together a solid senior class with four years of experience. Sideshow’s roster showcases several high impact players. Nikki Ross, a grad student who joined the ranks last season, and co-captain Sam “Pele” Peletier, have refined their handling skills to lead offensively. These players are able to distribute the disc to their cutters, like co-captain Hannah Volpert. Volpert has really added fire to Delaware’s team, making plays on both sides of the disc seem simple (see the photo in this article).

Sideshow's Nikki Ross skys the rest of the pack (Photo by Kevin Chiang)

Sideshow also added a coach to their ranks to help with in-game adjustments and strategy. This trend in adding coaching staff has been seen widely throughout college ultimate, and has helped Delaware to take their game to a new level.

This season, Delaware attended several tournaments in the Atlantic Coast and only two major tournaments, which may have helped them to stay under the radar. However, these tournaments allowed Delaware to play some tough teams and peak at the right time. Looking at Sideshow’s results, their season was impressive:

  • 6th: Winta Binta Vinta Fest (Hosted by Virginia in Charlottesville, VA)
  • 6th: Queen City Tune Up (Hosted by Without Limits in Charlotte, NC)—Seeded 18th, and broke seed by 12
  • 3rd: Hellfish Bonanza (Hosted by JMU in Harrisonburg, VA),
  • 1st: Pigglyfest (Delaware’s home tournament in Newark, DE)
  • Went undefeated at Keystone Classic, Winning the D2 title (Hosted by Without Limits in Manheim, PA)

If Keystone Classic was not rained out to make the bracket play as awkward as it had to be, Delaware may have been more able to capture attention of those following the action. Since there was not cross-over between power pools and the Division-2 teams in the championship bracket, we did not get to see Sideshow match up against Ohio State, Wisconsin, Ottawa, and the rest of the competition.

Delaware’s road to nationals in the post season began with a decisive Division-1 Colonial Conference Championship victory over Maryland. Sideshow outscored their opponents 65-26, for a 39 point spread on the weekend.

Moving into Regionals, Sideshow benefitted from having a pool with regional opponents they had seen throughout the season (i.e. Maryland and George Washington). Their cross-over game with Virginia was close, though Delaware lost 15-10. This loss set Sideshow up to avenge a loss to Towson in quarters and face North Carolina in semis.

After being knocked out to the 3rd place bracket, Delaware benefitted from having ample rest after their backdoor semi-final game, much like Minnesota-Duluth on the Open side. Sideshow was fresher and was able to connect more often than North Carolina-Wilmington, who battled a remarkably close game against JMU. By playing the game strategically and using smart matchups with UNCW, Delaware rattled off point after point. Sideshow pulled out a huge 15-4 victory for the final bid out of the Atlantic Coast.

Sideshow enters the playing field at the Division-1 College Championships as the overall 18 seed, and 5th seed in Pool B. This pool features some extremely strong teams that Delaware has not seen in years; however, Delaware is capable of putting together solid games, as demonstrated by games they played in Regionals.

Delaware proves that a team can fly under the radar and take down the favorites to earn their way to the Big Show.

Feature Photo of Co-Captain Hannah Volpert making difficult plays look easy (Photo by Courtney Ngai)

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