May 26, 2013 by Keith Raynor and Michael Aguilar in Recap with 0 comments
Here is Ultiworld’s coverage of the final round of Pool Play at the 2013 USA Ultimate D-I College Championships.
After the lull of Saturday’s third round, one would expect, since the fourth mirrors the third just with two different pools, to see an equally uneventful round. But that would prove to be totally wrong as several teams did their best to make things even more interesting than they already have been at the College Championships.
In Pool A, Georgia and Washington finished their time in pool play with a tightly contested game. Georgia eventually would get a win over Washington by a count of 15-12. That gave Jojah its first and only win this year at the College Championships and sent Washington home without a win under its belt.
In Pool B, Carleton continued to assert its dominance with a commanding 15-8 victory over Harvard Redline.
Florida State, by beating Illinois, kept its own dreams alive of making prequarters. DUF would need a big victory over Wisconsin in order to win the point differential between itself, Wisconsin, and Harvard.
That was a possibility that did not look out of reach as FSU took a 6-4 lead early and looked a lot less like the scared rookie team and a lot more like the Florida State that all have become accustomed to seeing this season.
By the end of the round though, it became clear that Florida State just didn’t have the team to run all the way to the finish with Wisconsin. The Hodags prevailed 15-13 after again riding hard defense on the marks and on the resets to victory. Just like in their first game today, the Hodags made some huge halftime adjustments to put themselves in a position to win.
“We threw man at them the whole first half and just switched up our forces and when we could clamp down on the resets,” said Wisconsin coach Hector Valdivia. “They played a fantastic game and were being real successful. So we decided to slow them down a little bit by flashing our junk at them at the beginning of roughly half of our D points in the second half. That kept them guessing a little more and allowed us to pick our matchups on the switch and that helped out.”
In Pool C, North Carolina had to do everything it could to sneak by the surprise team of the tournament, UC-Davis, 15-12. Davis was the only team to break seed into prequarterfinals and has challenged every team it has faced this weekend.
Central Florida had already won its pool by the time this round began and it took the laid back approach to its last game against Ohio. UCF coach Andrew Roca sat his top 13 players in favor of some of their younger counterparts and that led to an Ohio victory of 15-9.
Pool B had a pair of games in the final pool play round. UBC had no trouble dispatching of a tired Georgia team, a 15-6 victory that sent British Columbia to prequarters as the second seed in the pool. Carleton and UC-Santa Barbara engaged in a rather intense game that would not affect the pool’s standings. It was a little odd to see Carleton running out full lines in that situation, but they didn’t want to let a fired up Burning Skirts squad hand Syzygy their first defeat. The upset bid fell just short, with Carleton winning 15-13.
Pool C was still undecided until after this round. For Ohio State and Virginia, they were both bracket bound, but the winner would do so as the pool winner. Fever was able to assert themselves and take control of the game, but Virginia never really and truly backed off. Ohio State would add to their considerable margin of victory total at the tournament, winning 15-6.
The drama in Pool C came in an unexpectedly exciting matchup between Iowa State and Central Florida. Few expecting ISU’s season to hang in the balance coming into this one, but it was an effective elimination game after Central Florida stumbled in the morning against Whitman and Woman Scorned fell to Virginia.
Iowa State’s over the top attack and fluid fast breaks allowed them to command the first half, going up 8-5. In the second half, Central Florida went to man defense, a rare decision for them. Iowa State went to their zone sets to slow down UCF’s huck game. While that worked, the Sirens showed great patience, working the disc the width of the field repeatedly. It was a wash as the teams traded, with the game nearing a close. After a bizarre and confusing miscommunication following a timeout left the Sirens frustrated, they picked it up and snagged a critical break to close it to 13-14, followed by another to tie it.
A switch back to their signature zone defense brought with it renewed intensity and Iowa State mistakes. Woman Scorned struggled getting good matchups in transition, allowing UCF’s Sunny Harris and Mariel Hammond to find each other repeatedly. Shortly thereafter, we were treated to a 15-15 game to 16, with each team’s season the line. Strange mistakes plagued the late points, but eventually, a cautious but skilled ISU offense navigated the treacherous Central Florida zone behind the popping of Becca Miller, as Iowa State notched the final score to cap off an incredible game, 17-16. [VIDEO]
Minnesota and Northeastern would also battle in an effective elimination game for Pool A. The teams traded early, but some strong play from Brenna Kruse helped Minnesota tally midgame three point lead. Never able to put away the deep Valkyrie ladies, they soon found themselves watching Northeastern claw back into the game. At 5-9, Northeastern made a 5-2 run to make 10-11, inconsistency creeping into the Minnesota attack and the Valkyrie’s handler Rebecca Ginsburg pouncing on them. The pool #5 seed would find a way to tie it at 14-14 in a game to 15. The Ninja deep game, usually featuring hucks from Natalie Depalma to Sarah Meckstroth, would be featured in their final point, Meckstroth hauling in a deep shot and finishing it to qualify for the bracket. They moved on to face Washington in a prequarters contest on the showcase field.
See more photos from the College Championships on UltiPhotos.