September 25, 2013 by Keith Raynor in News with 0 comments
Regionals weekend for Washington DC Scandal will see them face an incredibly challenging opponent that is one of the country’s best: themselves.
Scandal won’t see any team that will be able to top them, making their trek to Poolesville, Maryland, a battle against their own faults and successes. The DC women will be fighting to execute at their highest level in preparation for their probable trip to the Club Championships. That means continuing to integrate Anne Mercier, perhaps testing new rotations in light of the Club Championships’ new format, and trying to reign in a post-turn offense that sometimes goes off the rails.
Scandal is the region’s reigning champion. In fact, they gave up just 13 points in their five games at last year’s tournament, and that was including another nationals qualifier, with whom they tangled with twice, in the field. They’ve spent the entire season in the top three positions of the Ultiworld Power Rankings and are expected to compete for a National title this season. Can they outperform last year’s regional domination, displaying a cleaner game and demonstrating improvement?
The odd thing about looking at Scandal as a near-lock is that they have two strong teams lurking nearby. Philadelphia Green Means Go is #19 in our Power Rankings, with a win over Nightlock and close losses to good teams. Perhaps more importantly, they are 4-0 against rival Pittsburgh Hot Metal. Philly lost both matchups at Regionals last year, including the penultimate game to go. Unfortunately, they are 0-2 against Scandal, scoring just four and six points in those games.
For their part, Hot Metal has been on the cusp at points this season. They gave Green Means Go a hard run in the Sectional final, falling 16-15 on double game point. Of Pittburgh’s four losses in their rivalry, three of them were by two points or less. Hot Metal also played well in games against Nightlock and Heist.
VA Rebellion headlines the rest of the field, having played well since the Chesapeake Open, but it looks unlikely they’ll upset any of the top 3 seeds.
Scandal will have little trouble advancing to the Club Championships and will treat this more as a final tune-up than a time to peak.