Friday, June 12, 2009

The WUFO Blog, Pt. 3

3 weeks later, a summary of WUFO at Nationals. We arrived seeded 19 of 20 teams in the tournament, undaunted by our low seed and the online jabs that we were in the "happy to be there" category.

Pool Play

Day 1:

Game 1: Williams vs. Texas
Texas plays in one of the weakest regions in the country, but dominated that region and played a very tough schedule in the regular season, with mixed success. We're going into this game blind. Texas plays an astonishingly fast and creative offense built around break-throws. Our exhaustion after a rushed finals period leads to a couple of breaks, and though Texas has its share of turns, we can't quite take back the game. Texas 15, Williams 12.

Game 2: Williams vs. Wisconsin

We're up against the national champs from the previous two seasons, but this Wisconsin squad lacks the dominant speed of previous incarnations, and we go in believing that the game is within our grasp. Indeed, we force several turns in the first few points and seem poised to take an early lead. However, Wisconsin uses the self-refereeing to their advantage, regular calling fouls on our D-blocks, and travels on our scores. After a few points of questionable calls, our concentration breaks, never to be regained. We toss the disc away, and Wisconsin is successful in the air. A extremely frustrating loss. Wisconsin 15, Williams 7.

Day 2:

Game 3: Williams vs. Pittsburgh

We come into day 2 well-rested and eager to avenge the previous losses, but Pitt's defenders have a fire in their bellies we haven't seen before, and actually force a few turns. Their air game is solid and soon the game gets out of hand. Pittsburgh 15, Williams 8.

Game 4: Williams vs. California

Our last chance to do what Williams has failed to do since 1996 - earn a victory in pool play at nationals. Cal is the 6 seed in tournament, but made a poor showing the previous day, choking with a lead against Wisconsin, and being beaten badly by Pitt. We quickly exploit our superior athleticism, force a few early turns and play our smartest offense of the weekend, coasting to a win. Williams 15, California 13.

Day 3:

Game 5: Williams vs. Kansas
Finishing fourth of five teams in our pool, we do not qualify for the championship bracket and are now playing for ninth place. Kansas looks like a tough team - a bunch of tall, thin clean-cut guys. They run fast, they jump high and they regularly botch throws between handlers. Williams 15, Kansas 10.

Game 6: Williams vs. UC-Santa Barbara
We've lost to UC-Santa Barbara by two earlier in the season and the two teams have similar offensive styles. Finally playing up to our potential, we do not commit a turnover for the first ten points of the game and continue to play polished, conservative offense in the second half. Williams 15, UC-Santa Barbara 12.

Game 7: Williams vs. Luther
The tournament bracket directs us to play Tufts in this game, but given that we play in the same region, the director decides to mix things up and we play Luther. Luther makes a show of throwing the disc out of bounds and calls into question the number of bids allotted to the Central Region. A leisurely end to my college ultimate career. Williams 15, Luther 8.

1 comment:

  1. It was a sweet run at the end, with overflowing good feelings for WUFO and its groupies. You went out like Ted Williams hitting a homer on his last career at bat.