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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.