Queen City Tune Up: Sunday Quarterfinals (Men) by Grant
February 24, 2009, 5:52 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups | Tags: , , ,

Championship Sunday

The breeze and the sun remain this morning. Very brisk weather to watch, but great conditions to play in. Teams have been whittled down in pre-quarters and the cream is rising to the top, or so we are led to believe.


UGA Jojah v. UNC Darkside

Georgia starts out sharp with a D and a score to get the game going with a break. Zone D is the preferential formation with this persistent wind. Darkside responds though, toeing the line of a huck for the equalizer.

Going back and forth now, Tom Morris puts up a match perfect huck to Matt Bailey. Darkside says anything you can do, I can do better and ties it again. UGA receiving and they work it all the way to the goal line only to get handblocked. Luck is on their side as a Darkside drops a disc and a quick turnaround gives a UGA another goal, 3-2 Dawgs.

UGA is threatening off a dead disc but puts it beyond reach. UNC can’t get going at all and UGA gets another opportunity, this time getting the break. Darkside gets one before the game starts to tilt heavily towards Jojah. Receiving, the Dawgs maintain possession all the way downfield and on the ensuing pull, get the sideline approved D. 4 throws later and it’s a Georgia score, 6-3 UGA.

Tar Heels receiving and they make a crucial mistake, dropping an easy pass on a tapped disc. UGA won’t be denied on this point and they take half. UGA is starting to hit their stride at this point, running hard on both sides of the disc, especially offense.

An out of bounds pull gives Darkside a lucky break but a hammer to the endzone is too far. Back to UGA, who sends a lofty hospital pass, but a Jojah receiver emerges from the pile with the disc, retaining possession but not for much longer. UNC can’t hang on as well and on the ensuing turn, Peter Dempsey sneaks past the entire Darkside line and is undefended as he runs towards the endzone. He takes his sweet time to wait for the huck as Darkside furiously tries to catch up. Jojah players are also running to assist Dempsey as he will need help momentarily. One throw later and UGA gets another goal 10-4.

North Carolina needs some big plays to make this a contested game again and start by getting the fortunate read on a hospital pass. The next point they have possession and rip one the length of the field. The only person who has a chance is wearing a black jersey and easily catches the score, 10-6 UGA.

UNC has Georgia pinned down in their own endzone when they try to huck it to get out. Darkside punches it to the ground and sends it offensively towards the scoring zone. Two chances later and Darkside still can’t meet the disc with a player in the goalbox, putting it too far and then completing the catch out of bounds. Eventually, Georgia hammers it to Tom Morris for the poster moment sealing the win for Georgia, 13-7.

Ohio State Leadbelly v. Michigan Magnum

This game, getting underway just a couple of minutes after the UGA/UNC game and from what ESPN has told me, these two schools have a bitter rivalry. Let’s see if it translates on the field. Ohio State attempts to dent the disc on a huck with the final destination being the parking lot. They get it back and hold on for the score to break into the scoring, 1-1.

Leadbelly has brought a little slice of home with them here to the fields this weekend. An inconspicuous street sign labeled, “Double Girth Ct.” No joke, this is a real street sign and the inspiration behind Ohio State today. LEADouble Girth Belly gets a break they are pumped over their lifetime rivals, 2-1.

OSU is feeling it now, playing tight and staying vocal. A layout D leads to a Leadbelly score. Magnum finally gets to the endzone but didn’t bring their entire pep section, settling for handclaps instead of trying to reach 110 decibels. OSU has the disc now and hucks it downtown for a 50-50 shot. They win the 1 on 1 matchup and its time for Double Girth D.

Ollie Honderd has the disc and likes his odds. He believes the height his teammates will prove valuable and sends a huck towards the endzone. Will Neff makes the grab but the offense sputters and can’t capitalize. On the turn, Neff comes roaring back and makes a steroid questioning layout D grab. On the momentum swing Michigan gets it in this time, 5-3 Ohio State.

Wind has ceased to exist and teams have reverted back to man D. UM won’t let Ohio State take half so easily and preserves their possession, but gets really fired up with a break to shorten the Leadbelly lead to 6-5.

Receiving again to take half, OSU is cheering once again as a Leadbelly receiver takes a quite a few bobbles to finally secure a disc in the endzone. “Way to make it exciting!” is the exact phrase uttered by his teammate. 7-5, THE Ohio State University.

Both teams are getting a lot of air under their throws, making it too tough for the receivers to run down. OSU calls a timeout in striking range as the point drags. Regrouped, refocused, batteries recharged, both teams are ready to play again and the action picks up. Leadbelly gets all the way to the goal line before Magnum gets the turn and, the energy rushes through them on offense all the way down for the score, 7-6 State.

Teams continue to trade points until its 9-8 with Ohio State still in the lead. Just before the pull, the horn sounds, and Leadbelly would love to make it a game to 12. But as the OSU cutters establish position, one of their receivers makes an in cut and drops the disc! Despite calls of wanting to remain chilly, UM taps it in and wants a fast break point. OSU is never able to fully set up their defense and Michigan ties the game, 9 all.

Michigan pulling and Will Neff gets all of it for the tractor racers call a “full pull.” The disc ends in the far back corner of the endzone. After working it across the endzone, OSU sends it long but it sails wide and the blue and maize take over. Michigan puts it along the sideline and the receiver is able to snag the disc and remain in bounds to give Michigan their first lead since it was 1-0! 10-9, Michigan, game to 11.

Leadbelly is cutting hard, taking the underneath that Michigan is giving them, but the allure of the huck is too much. OSU sends it, but overshoots both receiver and defender. Michigan has a chance to win it now and give people something to talk about after a sub par football season. Leadbelly won’t let the game slip away so easy and a defender sacrifices his body to get the D, but ends of fouling the Magnum player in the process as well as leaving the field for a short term injury.

Neither team gets in sync for a few throws and swap possessions. UM gets it all the way to within ten yards of victory, and look to work it amongst their handlers but the last swing past is too far to grab. OSU feels lucky this time with the huck and sends it the distance of the field to streaking David “Timberlake” Vuckovich. Timberlake won’t be denied, outstretching his entire body to get the disc and tie the game at 10’s.

After some confusion concerning what to play to, it is confirmed that since the second cap horn never sounded the game is still win by two. Game to 12 now. The second horn goes off during the point, which means the teams won’t be playing past 12.

The Michigan O line is up first and gets the job done swiftly in this game to two. Now OSU steps to the line as Michigan lets go of a short but sky high pull. UM covers the disc and forces a turnover ON THE FIRST THROW. An upline strike moves the disc forward and it’s huck city for the win, but the disc trails just a little too far for the receiver. Foul is called but eventually all parties agree the disc was uncatchable.

Both defenses are playing tough and as such the disc isn’t moving far in either direction until OSU puts it. The catch isn’t completed but the D gets a stop on the UM goal line! A quick breakside throw and we’re all square, setting up a tremendous finish.

It’s Double Girth D verses Magnum O for a berth in the semifinals. The pull is up and Michigan picks up the disc. The thrower looks for his man and releases… into an out of nowhere layout D by Craig Poeppelman! OSU gets the D on the first throw to have great field position! The handlers work it constantly, looking for the open man and finally opportunity presents itself where Poeppelman actually layouts out in front of his own man to get the bookends and win the game 12-11! Cool stuff. I had to get a few words from the guy.

Grant: What was going through your mind at the moment you went and got the layout D?

Craig “Beemer” Poeppelman: I just went and got it. Just animal instincts.

G: Ok, how about the moment you hit the ground?

C “B” P: I was happy. The adrenaline was going. I was (also) worried about setting up our game offensively.

G: It’s Valentine’s Day. Is there anybody you’d want to say hi to?

C “B” P: My girlfriend is 7 hours away. I’d probably say hi to her.

Beemer, making smart moves on and off the field.

Queen City Tune Up: Saturday Round 5 by Grant
February 24, 2009, 5:48 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups | Tags: ,

Round 5 UGA Jojah v. UNC-Wilmington Seamen (Men)

After taking a quick heart shaped cookie break (after all it is Valentine’s Day), I head over to the main field to catch the UGA v. UNC-Wilmington game. The score is 2-1 Jojah. A few ticky tack calls are vocal in the game but Wilmington prevails to take the first point of my arrival and get even with the dawgs. UGA answers back with a five throw sequence to a streaking Matt Bailey in the endzone. After a couple of shaky points at the start, both teams have found an offensive rhythm.

Just as I’m commenting about the Seamen getting into a rhythm, Caleb on UGA gets a big D and doesn’t want to stop running, but the Jojah handlers slow things down to avoid mistakes. A couple of throws later it’s a Jojah score to get the break 5-3. I talked to some of the Jojah players to try and get Caleb’s full name, by he in fact does not have a last name, or at if he does, it has passed with time.

Wilmington wants to test Caleb’s defensive prowess again and puts it deep. Todd Doroski and Caleb are neck and neck with each other and slow up to get underneath the disc. As they both attempt a play at the disc, Caleb is in front and Todd is in back. Inevitable contact sends both players to the ground with neither player gaining possession. Todd calls foul. The entire University of Georgia disagrees. After some useless banter, the disc gets sent back, but I have a feeling Caleb will still be getting Valentines kisses regardless. UGA eventually takes possession long enough to get a second break. With Jojah leading 6-3, the Seamen call a timeout.

The Seamen are out to play mistake free ultimate and Todd recognizes he’s got a mismatch. Just as the disc is about to be tapped in, he heads straight for the endzone. His thrower sees the situation and executes a textbook huck for the goal. 1 shot, 1 kill. 6-4.

After a few changes in possession, Rusty Ingold-Smith makes a big layout D as the Seamen had UGA pinned back in their own endzone. He brings it on the cone and finds the upline striker for the score and a break back. Next point; Georgia has an opportunity to take half; they call a time out to get a breather and hopefully freshen up for a single throw that will do the trick. Play resumes and all the immediate options are neutralized and Jojah looks to swing. Peter Dempsey makes a great grab to save the disc and after a few more resets, UGA gets the goal. 7-5 and half to the Silver Britches.

Wilmington is showing visible signs of frustration and Jojah is capitalizing, riding high with two points to start the second half. Travis Smith, looking to make up for an out of bounds pull, pulls a footblock out of his bag of tricks. His team sticks with it and Georgia is now firmly in front 10-5.

Everything is going right for the dawgs, but after a few hiccups in possession, Wilmington stops the bleeding with a score on the soft cap point. The seamen then get a break and look like the Seamen of old against a few of the UGA second line guys, playing mistake free ultimate for the first time this half by translating a turn into a quick two throw offense. 10-7 UGA.

As the time limit comes to an end, UGA is receiving to end the game and gets the goal without turning the disc, taking the pool and an early round bye, 11-7.

Mardi Gras! by Grant
February 20, 2009, 5:03 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups

Spin Ultimate will be at Mardi Gras this weekend!  I will be the one walking around with a Spin hat, carrying a notepad and pen.  Come say, “Hey dude, whats up.”

Queen City Tune Up: Saturday Rounds 3 & 4 by Grant
February 19, 2009, 6:53 pm
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Round 3 Maryland Helpful Corn v. UNC-Wilmington Seaweed (Women)

All of the signature 1 v. 2 matchups on the women’s side are taking place this round so it’s time to see who emerges as the pool winners. Maryland is 2-0 going into the game, shunning the team name Mystic Spiral in favor of Helpful Corn. Applause to the semi obscure Daria reference.  Wilmington is also 2-0 and neither team would enjoy a loss at this point, favoring sleep over pretty much anything else.

I show up on the sidelines with Maryland leading 1-0, but Seaweed finds their deep game and equalizes it at 1’s. Maryland looks solid on offense but suffer the fate of the dropsies in their short game. Wilmington is controlling the first half of the game but Kelly “Wasty Face” O’Neil on Maryland is very speedy. She gets to the disc before a Wilmington receiver can but can’t slow down on offense enough to find her reciever’s hands, sending the disc through the endzone. The Seaweed legs finally catch up with the the throws and its 4-1 Wilmington.

Seaweed do-it-all player, Kelly “Titty” Tidwell is one of the reasons UNC-W is starting to pull away as she runs down multiple hucks, getting scores in the process, 5-1 Seaweed. Maryland finally gets some luck in their favor, converting on a macked disc to double their score, but Wilmington gets the requisite points to take half, 7-2.

Maryland starts the second half right with a hand block but Wilmington gets it back and maintains their first half momentum, 8-2 Seaweed. On Maryland’s next possession Maryland has several near endzone turnovers but finally strikes gold the third try working it up the line for the score to bring it to 8-3.

Time is running out for the Corn and Wilmington continues to lay the pressure on, but the red and black won’t quit and get another goal in soft cap, 11-4 Wilmington. Maryland ends on a high note getting one more in on hard cap as UNC-Wilmington takes the pool and gets to enjoy a first round by on Sunday. Final score, 11-5 in favor of Wilmington.

Round 4 NC State Wolfpack vs. East Carolina Irates (Men)

Earlier in the day I was warned about the Pack v. Irates game. Specifically it could a call fest. It could be heated. The word boring was not mentioned and that’s good enough for me. As I arrive NCSU starts the game with a score but you’d think it was a universe point win as the entire pack gets vocal. 1-0 ‘Pack.

The teams trade points and play settles down. ECU is working it carefully against State, avoiding some close calls and gets a score to tie the game at 2’s. When ECU gets possesion, the Irates take a big shot but it’s just beyond the reach of the receiver. The Pack has a long way to go upwind and ECU takes advantage with a defensive scheme that works. The Irates start their solid offensive set again and the put up a throw to the corner that at first looks doomed for turnover land but ends of meeting the ECU receiver perfectly in the corner. Former Jojah player Greg Swanson had this to say on the sideline as the point unfolded, (using the tense of the first person as if he were on the field):

“I mean, we work it up to midfield then punt it to our shortest guy. I mean, it worked here, but why (do that)?” Score is tied once again.

“KP” Porter on NC State is an ever present threat on the field and the ECU offense has to watch out. Both teams are playing great ultimate and impressive defense which contributes to fewer points on the scoreboard. The score remains at 4’s through a time out and multiple changes of possession. ECU finally gets in the endzone to get back on serve 5-4. State is trying to use brute speed to get a goal but can’t find the finesse to punch it on in the red zone and eventually turn it over. On the change, NCSU throws a relentless zone on ECU as the Irates take 9 throws just to make it out of their own endzone. The Pack D stifles the Irates and when they get the disc back, they get what they wanted and tie the game again.

State turns the tables on ECU and gets a break and goes back on zone D. The NCSU sideline is getting vocal on the pull and one player yells “Let’s go Wolf Pack!” but it sounds interestingly similar to, “Let’s go Whoop Ass!” I personally like the latter. Facing a potential stall violation, ECU plays it cool and works the disc amongst the handlers and punctures the cup, getting the disc to a popper who plays hot potato with a wing to gain yardage. The Irates hang on and the score is tied again!

A virtual universe point for halftime has State receiving. Even though the sun is out and about, the wind has picked up in round 4, complicating smooth flow. ECU takes possession on a State turnover and they elect to take a time out. Patience is the name of the game so far, but not the result and the disc is turned. State gets the disc over to the right sideline and then hucks it, intending to throw far, but gets too much loft and the disc goes sky high. Players drift towards the sideline but it’s clear the disc will not be caught in bounds. The Ohio coach sees it coming and attempts to get out of the way, but the disc manages to hit him anyways. The Ohio players are no where to be seen and can’t laugh at the folly of their coach because they are either warming up for the next game or posting pictures of themselves drinking on Facebook. NC State finally takes half 7-6.

Chatting it up on the sidelines, a few of the Clemson women have made the trip to cheer on their men’s squad and are notably undefeated at this tournament (They told me to say that.)

Back to the action now and State has the disc. A disc goes up in which an ECU player gets freakish height to slap the disc away from the intended receiver but KP grabs the disc before it gets out and throws it back in play. GREATEST! The sidelines can’t get enough of it! Unfortunately Bryan Conklin has a brain fart and throws a chest high huck that ECU easily defends.

Checking with the time keepers as well as the players and the ECU score on the last point means the current point is a real universe point. It’s a battle of defense as both teams are getting air. On a second layout D by ECU, the Irates get all the way to the 1 foot line, only to get handblocked by a Pack defender. Craziness engulfs the State sideline. State has the disc and a contested play stops the action. State taps it in on their own goalline and the cutters are working hard. ECU’s defenders are working just as hard and are right with the Pack. At this point the only separation between the teams is the fact that State holds the advantage controlling the disc. Joey Saba changes that coming up Huge with a capital H, getting the layout D, but he’s not stopping there. Saba sprints down the field, not taking a rest and the disc goes up in his direction. He’s got a chance to end it and makes the full layout grab to win the game! 8-7 ECU.

I had a chance to get some words from Joey after the game and this is what he had to say:

Grant: In one word, what are you thinking right now?
Joey: God, uh… Irates.

G: What kind of food do think this win deserves?
J: Steak

G: This was a big win at the end of the day. What are you going to do tonight?
J: Have a couple of beers with my friends.

Simple and conclusive words from a tested champion.

Queen City Tune Up: Saturday Rounds 1 & 2 by Grant
February 18, 2009, 7:00 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups | Tags: , , ,

Saturday morning in Charlotte feels very mild. The maximum amount of mild to be exact. Today could shape up to be excellent from a weather standpoint. Teams are starting to jog and warm-up and there’s only a minimal line for the port-o-johns but people are still waiting for seconds to the ire of their teammates. “That last one was only the tip of the iceberg,” is the exact excuse.

Still 30 minutes to game and I want a golf cart to get around… Maybe next time. I did get a chance to meet Mitch, one of the observers for the event this weekend and he gave me a quick rundown of how the observers would operate this weekend. There are 5 total observers for the men’s division and all but UNC and NC State will get an observed game in pool play, but those two teams have already been through this gauntlet at the ACC championships. I’m excited to see how this will play out especially during the bracket games on Sunday.

After glancing at the schedule the most intriguing 1st round match up is on the women’s side.

Round 1 Michigan Flywheel v. Florida FUEL (Women)

Both teams have had significant nationals experience over the past 3 years and consistently play quality ultimate across the country. Time to see what they are made of.

Before all of the games get under way and I’m setting up my perch to cover the action, the feeling of anticipation is swirling in the air, where everybody is getting energized to play, and all teams are starting on the same page. At this point, every team has a shot to win and is looking forward to a fun weekend of ultimate.

Kicking things off, FUEL is pulling to Flywheel and the rain arrives at the fields. Nothing heavy but definitely requisite of an umbrella so my notebook doesn’t get soaked. Michigan takes a deep shot early but is easily gobbled up by the UF defense and FUEL waists no time hucking deep themselves as two UF receivers have beaten their defenders giving themselves double the chances of completion. They do so with ease and then buddy up to finish the score and start on the right foot, 1-0 Florida.

The rain is picking up but the players are unphased, only checking on their belongings to make sure important things don’t get drenched. Kristen Lamm, the veteran, gets a big handblock on the next point but UF can’t convert and Flywheel takes over at midfield. UM doesn’t relinquish control and they are on the board. 1-1.

The players don’t seem to mind the rain itself but the weather is making the disc very slick. Michigan seems to be more suited to the cold wet weather than Florida and get a couple of breaks in a row to take a 3-1 lead forcing Florida to call timeout. FUEL works out a strategy and it involves wearing more layers. The last thing anybody wants is for players to come down with illnesses. Right now we’re about a 20 mph wind short of Vegas conditions. I thought what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Back to the game and Florida is working it downfield and tries for another long throw, but Kelsey Delave saves the point by getting a hand on the disc and knocking it out of bounds. An unfortunate drop by UM and the disc is back to Florida who gets it right and stops the Flywheel mini-run, 3-2 UM.

At this point I’d like to note that Michigan’s team is sponsored by Domino’s Pizza and in my next series of notes, I diverge from the game to make several comments about the players being lucky enough to enjoy free pizza and/or winning games in 30 minutes or less, but that’s the gist of it.

Flywheel is working a solid game, methodically moving the disc upfield and capitalizing on Florida mistakes and strings together another succession of points to extend the lead to 5-2. FUEL wants the deep game to work and tries again with the UF receiver a step ahead of the UM defender. The disc is approaching and… oh no! The UM defender misreads the disc stopping short giving the easy grab to Florida. Two throws later and it’s a Florida score, 5-3 UM.

Lamm continues to work hard on offense, providing sure fire handling. Kate Cobelens is looking to Lamm on the dump, but Lamm decides to commit upline and Cobelens squares to put the disc into space. She releases and the disc is actually sailing towards space instead of into space but Lamm won’t let it get away as the disc has peaked and is dropping back towards the ground. Lamm gets completely horizontal and saves the disc putting skid marks in the grass as she slides forward. She gets up and throws for the score, closing the lead to 5-4 as the Florida sideline cheers in approval. “I fucking love Ultimate!” comes from one of the FUEL players. Don’t we all?

All of sudden UM makes it an upside down point. Multiple hammers go up in the air only to fall to the ground each time. The rain isn’t slowing down these girls but grip issues are making them run that much more. And to think, I was going to bring sunscreen. Flywheel finally converts and stops Florida’s mini-run. 6-4 Michigan.

Michigan gets another on the board and take half. I turn around for a little bit to watch the UM men playing on the next field over. Noting a few comparisons between Flywheel and Magnum, whereas the UM women have sure footing and consistently are able to work the disc upfield, the UM men are falling down all over the place before they score. Plus, they look silly not being sponsored by Domino’s. Better luck next time.

On the first point of the second half, all the of the Michigan girls take the field in short sleeve shirts, and all of the Florida girls take the field with long sleeve shirts underneath their jerseys. Coincidence? I think not. Michigan rattles off 2 points before Florida answers back including a point where UM threatens to score on the goal line and the play set has a Flywheel player isolated cutting in the endzone and everyone else clears out of the way until the UM player gets it. 9-5 Flywheel.

Florida has started to click in their zone defense getting several D’s in the next point but can’t sustain any offensive production long enough to score. The cup keeps expanding as Michigan takes control again and outlives its usefulness as UM puts it deep around the cup for the score. Florida tacks on 1 more as the horn sounds and Michigan takes the game, 10-6.

Round 2 UNC Darkside v. Davidson DUFF (Men)

The number one overall seed is riding high after a first round victory over Lehigh and a basketball win over Duke, facing off against Guillermo and his other compania from Davidson. Notable is the absence of Craig Stewart, who, I am informed, is being a good student and taking an economics exam. I’m calling shenanigans on a teacher who schedules an exam for Saturdays. The word is he is supposed to arrive for the second half, but that might be too late.

Davidson strikes first with a quick look to Will Deloache off a dead disc. North Carolina answers back after a series of pinball like bounces in which disc avoids as well as touches multiple people before it lands in the hands of the Darkside receiver. It’s like momentum coming from a blooper reel and Darkside ties it at 1’s.

UNC gets another on the board and looks to make it three in a row when they force the turn on the redshirts. It’s only a matter of time before UNC looks deep as their handlers constantly have their eyes peeled downfield. The huck doesn’t pan out as Davidson gets the D and goes on to score and tie the game again.

Lucas Darden has excellent jumping skills as noted at CCC and one on one matchups will be in his favor a lot of the time. He effortlessly snags a deep disc but Davidson stays with it and clamps down to stop the Darkside threat. A few more turns and Davidson begins to ramp up their offense with a horizontal stack of their own that sees a constant flow of cutting underneath. Number 21 on Davidson beats his man downfield and DUFF gets the lead back, 3-2.

Both teams are taking turns rattling of a couple of points and then letting the other do so. A few misreads by Davidson and a layout grab by Darkside contribute to UNC reclaiming the lead 4-3.

Darkside comes out with a zone D on the pull but Davidson is finding the holes. UNC gets frustrated and switches to man. DUFF takes a second to assess the situation and decides that a missed floaty pass to Deloache picked up by Gray Hoffman will work best. All tied up. Davidson tries some zone D of their own and suffer the same fate as UNC goes up 5-4.

Uh oh.

At this point some soccer players have arrived at the fields and it appears they have claimed that they hold the rights to the fields. Could this be a repeat of the Warm Up showcase game? Rob Sayre-McCord steps in and lays down the law in favor of ultimate players, to the dismay of the soccer players who shuffle away in search of open field space not belonging to the tournament. At this point it doesn’t matter which team wins the tournament because the final score will be Queen City Tune Up 1, Warm Up: A Florida Affair 0.

A break in the action as UNC calls a timeout following a Davidson score and it’s time to examine some of the jerseys out on the fields today. Delaware is sporting some slick powder blue jerseys, but I can’t quite get close enough to examine the design. Darkside has some professional looking black warm-ups courtesy of Patagonia with Carolina Ultimate emblazoned on the back. Very ideal for the cool wet weather were having. They really know their home turf.

Coming out of the time out, North Carolina becomes the beneficiaries of an ill thrown pull giving them a short field. Darkside wins the 25 yard game ultimate in three throws. With momentum rolling in Carolina blue (or Darkside black, whichever way you look at it) the Chapel Hillers get a turn and another short field to work with. Break and half go to UNC, 7-5.

Will Deloache exerts himself on a deep huck by a Davidson handler, muscling up against two Darkside defenders to get a firm grip on plastic and come down in the endzone. On the ensuing pull Deloache tries to amputate a UNC player’s leg with a furious roller. Davidson settles for the D and subsequent score and we are tied yet again. 7-7.

The sun has joined the players for the second half of the game as the rain disappeared at the start of the round. Davidson gets yet another D but Darkside comes up with a big handblock, and an even BIGGER huck! Too big in fact. The disc goes out the back of the endzone as the UNC player futily tries to run it down. Nevertheless a Darkside player mutters, “C’mon, be less injured.” Davidson calls timeout to ponder life for a second as Craig Stewart has arrived and continues to warm-up on the sidelines. DUFF picks up the disc and begins to throw through every available gap in body space to get the disc to their receivers before Darkside comes up with the D. They decide to send it deep and it’s off to the races between the UNC receiver and his Davidson defender. Davidson wins this round but fail to hang onto the disc in their half of the field. UNC finally gets the conclusion to the point and I have to stand still to avoid the onslaught of Carolina players rushing the field after regaining the lead 8-7.

Time is running short and an arrant horn doesn’t help the matter as players are confused that the cap is on. No cap yet, but the real horn can’t be far away. The teams trade points as the game is dangerously close to becoming ticky tack with several players on both sides making more frequent calls.

Davidson is receiving and Deloache is eyeing the endzone. He musters up the justification and sends up a hospital pass to any number of players. Out of the pile, Craig Stewart grabs the disc and more or less shoves the disc to his teammate over the goal line to tie the game at 9’s.

Both teams aren’t giving up an inch as the horn sounds for real this time. Both sidelines are getting louder, especially the large contingent from Carolina. Davidson is pulling and sets up a zone. UNC postures with the disc, moving it amongst the handlers until they puncture the cup and get it to a popper who turns around and sends it deep to a streaking receiver. He’s got the deep man beat by a few steps and now just has to keep pace and wait for the disc to descend enough. Gray Hoffman is desperately trying to catch up and at the last possible second leaps for the disc and makes the play! The sideline loves it! Later in the point both teams get a possession and the disc is back in Deloache’s hands. He’s looking for none other than Craig and puts it deep, but Craig is surrounded by multiple Darkside defenders. They all jump for the disc… and all miss! Mark Trawick of Davidson shows up out of nowhere to catch up and pick up the garbage to give Davidson the lead 10-9, game to 11.

UNC isn’t giving up yet and they throw on their automatic O line who ceases to yield possession, moving the disc into the endzone at will, setting up universe point at 10’s. Teams have arrived to watch the action unfold with Davidson receiving. Lucas Darden’s pull can’t be contained by the boundaries of the field and it goes out of the endzone. Davidson walks the disc back in play and doesn’t waste a second. Looking to ice the game right here, DUFF puts it deep but it’s easily defended. NC is now poised to win, and launch a huck of their own to Darden. Unfortunately Darden can’t run it down. Basically a wash, Davidson is back to where they were to start the game. They decide to work the disc up the field this time with shorter timed passes, getting the disc into their primary playmakers hands and setting up the following sequence. Deloache to Hoffman to Stewart who grabs the disc on the right sideline. Craig motions for several different throws. Then, almost without warning, busts out a crossfield HAMMER to a potentially open receiver. A Darkside player bids for the disc but it’s useless and it’s up to the Davidson player to hang on. The disc comes down at a rapid rate and clutching the plastic with all of his arms, and kneeling down to ensure a grab, the receiver has the disc and Davidson gets the close victory 11-10.