This preview and the 2014 College Tour are presented by Spin Ultimate.
It was another beautiful day in Southern California as teams battled to become early favorites heading into the D-III season. There will be a more extensive video recap and a rankings set after the tournament, but the following stood out as the most interesting story lines on Saturday:
- Without the cutting of injured Pat Kunkel, St. John’s suffered a minor collapse in pool play. They lost close games to Lewis & Clark and Brandeis, and were never really in the game against Claremont. They still have very good athletes and a few great throwers, but when their dump sets broke down, they were too happy to put up contested deep shots. We’ll see if they can clean up their game by tomorrow, or at least by the time they have to compete in the most competitive region in the division in April.
- Lewis & Clark, on the other hand, looked excellent. The recent club experience of several players and the coaching of Sean Parker is definitely showing. Bacchus’ offense was looking more like a club offense than a college one at times. They have excellent break throwers in Will Shaw and lefty Kyle Barton. This allows them to use break throws as bailouts even when their vert stack becomes stagnant. As such, they rarely turn the disc over.
- The story of Claremont’s day was an excellent defensive showing from their young players. Freshmen Jordon Lim and Bruce Service, and sophomores Stephan Kim and Jimmy Bright-Dumm were throwing their bodies around and getting huge Ds all day. With the departure of some key defensive players from last year, this is exactly what Claremont needs to make another run at championships. The matchup tomorrow morning between Claremont’s defense and Lewis & Clark’s offense will be fun to watch.
- St. Olaf broke seed in a big way. Their offense is one of the fastest paced offenses I have seen in D-III and was a pleasure to watch. They almost always hit the open man within the first two seconds of the stall count. This allowed quick players like Vinh Bui to get off deep shots with little or no mark. The only reason this team was turning the disc over was when they were moving so fast that players were making unforced errors. If this team continues to develop the chemistry and flow they displayed today, they are not only contenders for gold at D-III Warm Up, but in Columbus this May.
With an exciting day of action behind us, the best is still to come. Stay tuned.