Terminus: Saturday by Grant
March 15, 2009, 11:27 am
Filed under: tournament write-ups

0 hour. 9 am (10:30 Ultimate time) It’s cold.

Without going too much in depth about the nasty conditions of this Saturday morning, here is a snippet of a conversation I had with Michael Arenson of Minnesota:

Grant: Well I figure this is at least better than being in Minnesota right now.

Michael: Nah. Minnesota’s nicer.

This first report is being written underneath the large merchandise and tournament central tent and it may be the only dry report of the weekend. Off to brave the elements…

UGA Jojah v. George Washington Hippos

As if I haven’t seen enough of Jojah this year already, they are embroiled in a slugfest with G-dub. The Hippos are holding serve at 5-4 and throw on a relentless zone D. UGA works it up field that’s quickly becoming sloppy and goes upline. A G-dub defender gets full extension to get a hand on the disc but can’t slow it down enough to stop rotation and the disc reaches it’s final destination. 5 all.

On the opposite field, Mizzou and Indiana are trying to one up each other. No. 2 for the Mutants runs down a swing pass but it bounces off his hands as it moves closer to the sideline. He reaches up and grabs the self mac in the air, only to throw it back in play for the completed greatest and the padded stats. The Mutants hang on and get another on the board against the Hoosiermamas.

The rain is dousing everybody and barehanded catches look painful. Hippos get another goal and then get a short field to work with on a UGA drop. They reenact The Longest Yard, constantly moving the disc back and forth but no forward motion, until they finally bust out the hammer but not even multiple teammates can get a grip. Jojah disc for the score, 6 a piece. As the Dawgs try to stay warm, they display the fact that they are wearing all of their Spin jerseys for warmth. It must be working because they get the break and take half 7-6.

No. 8 on Indiana is wearing short sleeves without an undershirt and I shutter to think what that might feel like right now.

Georgia is holding stride out of the half and a great matchup is developing between Garret McInnes on GW and Taylor Nilan on UGA. Garret starts off with a layout D on Taylor. Taylor answers right back getting the D out of the skies on Garret. Hippos end up getting this one, 8-7 Jojah. G-dub gets the break back to tie the game and Georgia gets another goal after multiple stoppages of play, 9-8 Georgia now.

As a disc sails long in the Jojah/Hippo game, my vision is attracted towards a disc in the Mutants/Mamas game that is heading for the endzone. Paul Adkisson is trying to chase it down and he has a Hoosier defender on his left hip. It’s the classic situation of the proverbial car trying to outrun the speeding train. The disc is barely staying within capture range and as the moment of truth arrives he extends outward for all the glory keeping Mizzou up 8-5.

One of the former Hippos and current Chain Lightning member, Ben Spears is trolling the sidelines, cheering on his former team, and also appears to be playing the Alum card to pick up chicks. Best of luck Ben. No time to break though as the two teams get a goal and break, and the other follows suit. With Georgia now up 10-8, GW’s handler puts up a long windy huck in perfect position for the Hippo receiver, hungry for a goal. As if on cue, Georgia makes an easy drop and GW gets their break to tie the game at 10’s.

With each goal, GW is getting more and more fired up, so they erupt when they get another break to go up in the game with time winding down. During Georgia’s O point, the hard cap horn sounds and it’s a universe point at 11’s.

GW is working against the UGA zone and gets it close but can’t be completely mistake free, especially not in this weather. A dump pass goes wide and Jojah starts up on offense. In the striking zone, a swing pass goes around to Peter Dempsey who tosses up a light, high backhand that meets Matt Bailey’s hands in the endzone. Game to Georgia 12-11. It’s tent and heater time.

The Terminus crew hit a home run by providing a portable heater under the tent that was powered by propane and generated a lot of heat. When teams had a bye, they headed right for the heater, and I was no exception.

Cornell Buds v. Wesleyan Nietzsch Factor

Tennessee v. Minnesota-Duluth Northern Lights

They would probably get mad if I referred to them as Humboldt East, but never the less the Buds are rocking against Wesleyan right now, 5-1. Meanwhile on the other field Tennessee and Minnesota-Duluth are locked in a heated battle. A disc goes up for a gaggle of UT and UMD players as they, set, fade, jump, miss, and the disc ends up in a Northern Lights player’s hands without needing to leave the ground. A call is made and a lot of jawing back and forth takes place before the disc gets sent back.

Wesleyan gets a goal and a break back on a breakaway huck. Cornell gets a breakaway huck of their own and it’s 6-3, Buds. Buds get a break of their own and take half 7-3. Wesleyan players take this opportunity to get a hot meal from The Pickle, the mobile food truck at the fields. Yum.

While the Buds and Nietzsch Factor are discussing the second half, I’m pondering about all these northern teams who’ve come down south, only to find worse weather than what they’ve been accustomed to back at home. One of the teams, Minnesota-Duluth has just completed a marathon point to go up 5-2 on UT. With the Vols threatening, a swing pass goes towards the sideline and Matt Mullinix makes a sliding grab to save possession and then gets up to throw the score, 5-3. UMD drops their next disc and it only takes one breakmark backhand for UT to get a break back and within 1. UT gets a whiff of a tie game but get D’ed close to the goal and Duluth finally picks up the point when they get a possession where they look sharp and acclimated to the cold weather, 6-4 Northern Lights.

Back to the Cornell/Wesleyan game. Wesleyan has the disc and a receiver going long. Jean Pierre Valette comes up with a big grab, braving the elements of the sky to haul in the disc and bring the score to 9-6 in favor of the Buds. Cornell answers right back with a sky of their own, 10-6.

Too many of Wesleyan’s throws are too close to the ground and hit dirt fairly frequently so when Cornell picks up the disc they throw high above the ground to their taller players. An over the top breakside throw to the front of the stack gives the Buds an even bigger lead, 12-6. Last hoorah for Wesleyan as their handler throws one to the endzone with lots of receivers and defenders waiting and the disc somehow manages to find a Nietzsch receiver. Honestly it was like throwing a golf ball in an organ pipe, 12-7.

On the opposite field, Duluth has taken half 7-5 and it’s time for both teams to discover a heat source. Cornell is setting up to finish the game and fail to relinquish the disc as they take the game 13-7. Back to the tent for me.

Standing around the heater, I pick up some chatter about some other happenings at the site. Apparently Jim Foster drenched himself by deciding to chase after a disc he really didn’t have a chance at and laying out into a pool of standing water. Gross.

UCF Dogs of War v. Minnesota Grey Duck

With the score all tied at 1’s, UCF looks to break the cup and challenges the MGD deep. The catch is short of the goal and the Dogs turn it. Grey Duck’s got it and hold serve 2-1. Somewhere Nitro is doing lunges in order rally his former team and not let them get down on themselves.

Minnesota comes zone as UCF takes it from the brick but UCF still sets up in a horizontal stack. John Beilan is a speedster, and he burns his defender deep and waits for the disc to drop, 2-2.

Minnesota is running a 4 man cup and it can’t stop a helixing hammer to the corner. No goal yet and Grey Duck keeps it that way getting the D. Lots of jabbering back and forth between the teams to settle a dispute, and I’m not quite sure why because it’s not getting any warmer. MGD finally gets the score on a breakmark backhand, 3-2 Gophers.

Neither team can seem to get a break even though both sides are turning the disc over. The game goes 4-3, then 5-4. Andrew Roca is keeping the Dogs from giving up a break with some solid handling, setting up in the center of the three handler set and bailing his teammates out on high stall counts.

I come to find out that Truman State has shown up as the big dog of this pool knocking both of these teams into the loss column. In their game against Emory, no. 32 throws up one of the highest hammers I’ve seen. The disc doesn’t quite turn over but its catchable for the TSU score. Something must be working for them.

UCF puts a smooth pass down the line to an open armed Dog of War, and there’s not a defender out there who has a chance on it. No fancy plays as UCF ties it up again 5-5. Minnesota’s turn to score and UCF is running zone d as well. On a travel call, Roca takes the stoppage to call out man D. Grey Duck taps the disc in and there is confusion about who has who. Michael Arenson sneaks away and catches the upline goal. 6-5

Lots of good sideline chatter, especially from the UCF coach:

“Bango bracket Bango fucking bracket right here!”

Alliteration is alive and well in Orlando. When UCF gets the disc back, Beilan is the target again and bobbles the disc a little to the delight of his teammates but ends with the score, 6 all.

Minnesota continues to stay on pace and gets the halftime goal. Coming out of the huddle, I don’t see any tanned skin on the Grey Duck side. UCF is receiving to start the half. 70 yards later Michael Hickson finds out the only way you can, that catching the disc while its cold can hurt. Ah freshmen. The goal ties it up yet again and the horn sounds as the point is finished. Game to 10, regardless of who scores. Minnesota claims the first goal, a quick one to Calvin Tam, their own version of Mookie Blaylock.

Joe Segal really wants to put it everytime. There’s lots of contact on a UCF huck and foul is called. Beilan is ready to state his preamble to his argumentative constitution but that sounds like it will take a while. The sidelines want play, not talk and the disc is sent back. On another shot to Beilan, foul is called again. Words like “Grade A foul” are exclaimed but it’s fruitless and the disc goes back again. Dogs finally score, but the point has taken so long that the hardcap horn has sounded. Universe point with 8 a piece.

Dogs are pulling to Grey Duck and come down in a familiar zone. Neither team has gotten a break so far in the game so UCF would like nothing more than to get one for the win. Minnesota has set up on the brick but the UCF zone has pushed them back to their own goal line and Callahan chants have started on the sideline. Minnesota is not quitting and continue to work back and forth downfield. UCF switches to man at midfield as Grey Duck has not turned it over on the strength of solid handling. Grey Duck inches closer and closer and sees an opening to Justin Gilbert who catches the disc in mid-flight, crossing the goal line at the same time for the win. Minnesota wins the second matchup of these two teams 9-8, splitting results with UCF for the season.

For the last round, a day of rain and cold has quarantined me to the tent where I can enjoy beer, pretzels, and a heater while watching Dayton take on Florida State from a safe distance. I wish I could comment on some sweet DUF plays but they don’t have legible jerseys yet and none of the current players have made any TV tables at the World Series of Poker to my knowledge.

Lots of wet, soggy, and muddy play that marks the end of winter hopefully for the last time. For the teams traveling to Centex next weekend, a warm glass of sunshine will be much welcomed. As it turns out the constant rain has cancelled games for the remainder of the weekend, so teams looking to stay warm will get to do so from the comfort of their hotel rooms. Next stop, the UPA series!



Queen City Tune Up: Semifinals and Finals by Grant
March 10, 2009, 10:43 pm
Filed under: tournament write-ups | Tags: , , , ,

Semifinals

Notre Dame Papal Rage v. UNC-Wilmington Seamen

The Rage knocked off the ECU Irates in the quarters and Thomas Rivas had this to say about the universe point victory. “They were exactly like us. It was a great game.” Looks like ECU could make some noise this season, whether on the field or by Mike Gerics on RSD. A favorable regional site of Charlotte, NC could also be in their favor.

Onto the game now and Wilmington starts with a break on a hammer from Rusty to Todd, 1-0 Seamen. A few miscues on early on for the Rage as cutters are slipping on the field, letting the disc go to Wilmington. The Irish get it back and level things at 1 a piece.

Wilmington has the disc and sends it long, too far to reach, but gets the disc back on a footblock. Possession changes sides again as Notre Dame controls the skies for the rest of the point and bring the game back on serve. Notre Dame is starting to get into a rhythm. On a long disc, the Rage receiver calls time out to let his players catch up, and utilizes the multiple receiver opportunity. Notre Dame goes up a break, 3-1 now.

Wilmington gets another goal at 4-1 and the look to make it two in a row on a shot to the back of the end zone, but the disc is D’ed and there is no foul according to the observer. The Rage go the length of the field the opposite way and extend the lead to 5-2. The points are just rattling off for Notre Dame. 6-2, then 7-2, 8-2 to take half, and even gets to 9-2 after another playset off a time out.

Notre Dame is completing their passes almost at will and Wilmington is struggling mightily to not only connect with receivers but figure out this Rage offense as well. The faceless army of Notre Dame is not to be denied and each player is doing their part for a total offensive domination. With the score at 10-3 in favor of Rage, it’s hard to imagine any team could look this fresh on Sunday after a universe point win in the quarterfinals.

A slight wind picks up and teams revert back to zone defense. This could be the chink in Notre Dame’s armor as the Seamen start to gel and get a break back to bring the score to 10-5. With only a few Seamen highlights in the game, I’m informed by the Wilmington coach that Rusty is in fact the only active college player invited to team USA tryouts. Congrats Rusty and best of luck.

UNC-W overshoots their receiver again and it’s up to Notre Dame to work it, starting at their own goal line. The Irish huck is unsuccessful and Wilmington will try again. Matt Roberts is a very tall guy and gives the Seamen excellent field position when he reaches above the heavens for a disc. An upline strike by Rusty and it’s 11-6 ND.

The teams trade points the rest of the way out which included a few star studded moments including a big crossfield hammer from Rusty to Todd, but in the end it was too much Rage. Notre Dame 13, UNC-Wilmington 7.

UGA Jojah v. Ohio State Leadbelly

Georgia strikes fast and often as get they have done throughout the tournament. They get a goal on the first possession and follow it up with a break. When Georgia gets another break, OSU is forced to call a timeout to settle down.

Jojah has the disc but OSU denies them another goal, when a Leadbelly defender lays out on a breakside throw, getting the D. The Buckeye hucking game hasn’t been perfected yet and the disc goes too far. Jojah tries once more and captures gold and even bigger 4-0 lead.

Riding high, UGA coasts for a little bit, trading points with OSU, dropping the occasional easy score, and maintaining a comfortable lead. At 6-3, Georgia punches it in to take half. The Dawgs then come out in the second half with a burst of energy, getting a quick couple of points. Both teams aren’t playing exactly mistake free but Leadbelly looks worse for wear after a hard fought battle in the quarterfinals.

The Buckeyes are able to get a goal line D on Jojah and try to get their offense going but another turnover gives UGA the disc in prime position for the subsequent score, 11-6 UGA.

The game looks to be getting out of hand but Leadbelly is mounting one last comeback. An OSU receiver blasts past the back row in a horizontal stack undefended and gains significant yardage on the huck. The other thirteen players catch up and Leadbelly continues work up line and then finds an open man at the front of the stack for a break, 11-8 UGA. Time is running short for the Buckeyes as they trade points with UGA and have to serve to Jojah for the win. The Dawgs never relinquish possession and finish off OSU, 13-9.

Finals

University of Michigan Flywheel v. University of Pittsburgh Danger (women)

As soon as the men’s semis wrap up, I run across 4 fields to the women’s final which was not adjacent to the men’s final as advertised. I find out the score is 4-2 in favor of Michigan and Pitt has the disc. Danger is working it upline and takes a midfield shot to the endzone but it’s no good. Flywheel uses their short huck game all the way down field and gets another on the board, 5-2 UM.

Pitt’s handlers get stymied by the Flywheel cup and send a dump pass too far wide. UM picks it up and looks to fast break getting the goal before Pitt can establish any sort of defensive set. I finally see a Danger goal on the next point and the ladies celebrate by practicing some violent stunts. I hope to see these same stunts become spirited spikes in the near future. 6-3 Michigan.

Flywheel continues to roll and takes half 8-3. Out of the gates in the second half and Michigan is receiving. Their initial possession results in a turn but they get it back thanks to some great defensive work by Katka Bodova. A quick over the top backhand and it’s a UM score. They are firing on O and D at this point and carrying momentum from point to point. Pittsburgh has a chance with huck that will be a goal if it’s caught but a Flywheel defender gets there first and gets the D and follows that up with a break. 11-3 Michigan.

Christie Lawry gets a spectacular layout D for Pitt in hopes of rallying her teammates and trying to reverse the blue and maize momentum but can’t get far enough downfield for a goal. UM picks up where they left off and make it 12-3. Pitt is still full of spirit and won’t let the game get them down. They get their first point of the second half, and send in a D line. Michigan is waiting for the pull and decides to do a little popping and locking which is actually a native Great Lakian dance to appease the hucking gods. Katka responds with a layout grab and Flywheel is riding high.

Pitt is receiving and Lawry puts it deep again but as the sideline notes, “It’s a little too far for late Sunday.” Danger D gets the turn and turn that turn into a score. 14-5 Michigan.

Flywheel seals the deal on the next point looking just as solid as they did on Saturday, winning the Queen City Tune Up in convincing fashion, 15-5. Great Lakes! Great Times! Indeed.

Notre Dame Papal Rage v. UGA Jojah

Meanwhile on a field kind of far away, the Rage and the Dawgs are in a grudge match to decide the champion of the world, err, tournament. I show up just in time to see a Notre Dame player get a Callahan to make it 9-7 UGA. I trouble some sideliners for a quick recap and come find out this transpired:

Notre Dame goes up 4-0. Then UGA goes up 6-4. What the crap.

Brought up to speed with ND pulling to Jojah, the Dawgs blaze downfield with a score to Matt Bailey. Both teams are still running hard and the game is fast paced. UGA takes over a ND turn and makes it another fast point, capitalizing with an upline score to make the game 11-7 now. Notre Dame with the disc now and fall into their standard horizontal rhythm. Danny “Daniel James Collom” Collom busts deep and hits 5th gear as he runs down a huck for the score, 11-8

UGA gets another on the board and now have 4 game points to secure a victory and undefeated tournament. Notre Dame is unphased and no what they must do to have a shot at this. First they place a disc where Georgia isn’t in the endzone and make it 12-9. Next a Rage player gets to the disc before Jojah does but they can’t convert the score. Not to worry, ND gets a hand block and hucks the disc for another score 12-10.

Cool and calm is the way of the bulldog but anticipation is thick for Georgia as they have another chance to score the game winner and have it on the 3 yard line. Coming off a dead disc, one swing pass leads to another and its all over as Georgia takes it 13-10 and they are champions of Queen City.

I personally had a great time this weekend. I got to watch some high level ultimate and if there was one overall MVP player this weekend it would by Rusty Ingold-Smith. If nothing else, he displayed incredible collectiveness around the disc and had some of the best field sense I’ve ever seen. At one point on Saturday he layed out for a disc full well knowing it was going to be OB but merely was looking to get a hand on it so the disc would be a turn over at the opposing endzone line rather than just past half way. Incredible. For more post tournament thoughts I got another spectator’s opinion from Linda Herrig, mother of Jojah players, Charlie and Robert Herrig. Here’s what she had to say:

“Great Job of cleaning up the fields. The hosts were wonderful. The weather was perfect [on Sunday]. It was a great tournament.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Check back soon for more ultimate action courtesy of Spin.