Strange Blue Tournament Report
University Women's Indoor Nationals
Eight women once again accompanied by Chris Daniels went off last weekend to play indoor nationals in Nottingham. The team comprised of a Hippo, Ostrich, Mouse, Jack Russell Terrier, Pike, Velociraptor, Horse, Peacock, and (Sid the) Sloth - see if you can work that out!
1st group stage 1:
SB 5 - 4 Chichester
Being the first team to arrive at the sports centre, SB showed they meant business by winning a hard fought first game. With a remarkably similar start to the first game at Regionals, we took a little while to get in to the flow of things, the first point coming almost half way through the match. We went 4-2 down before waking up and showing Chichester how we can play with the first a lay from Susanna successfully retrieving a stray disc, the second from Alex, who got a long D and point block. Securing the last 3 points just in time, we were satisfied to have a win and hammer score under our belt.
1st group stage 2:
SB 8 - 4 Squaws
We were determined not to cut this one quite so fine and our play came together beautifully. We had great flow on O with sharp cutting from Natalie, and Laura getting 5 scores with fantastically accurate throws from Alex and Kelly. We played the match as we wanted it played and showed solid defence, with run through and high Ds from Snodge, stopping some of Squaws' long play into the endzone. Cat's bit of poachy D worked well too.
1st group stage 3:
SB 10 - 2 Random Fling
Again, another epic first point, which we eventually one, with a particular highlight being Jassy's oh-so-close-Callahan yet successful D in their endzone. There are so many great things about this match... There were some tough calls, but all were resolved in good spirit and some big bids came from Susanna and Cat. Jassy caught Kelly's blade right on the line before dispatching a knife to Snodge, and Nat's chilly iso and crazy grab all added to the excitement. Another highlight was Alex running(!) and almost (being the key word) scoring (several times I think) and Snodge's brilliant juggle of the disc in the corner of the endzone, eventually clutching it to her body and finishing on a beautiful demi-pointe. I applauded. A strong contender for most nonchalant point of tournament has to be Alex's strolling over to the disc, no more than 3 metres from the endzone, and Nat's feigned lack of concentration before a sprint to the open corner and Alex's casual put for a score.
So SB finished top of their pool and having munched on some free crisps and bananas entered into the 2nd group stage...
2nd group stage 1:
SB 6 - 6 Far Flung
We struggled a little with this game, with our O not clicking as it had previously. But our iso was still pretty smooth and moderately successful and our D was awesome against their hammers into the endzone. We all made some errors, making it difficult for ourselves, but we battled hard and Alex's cheeky knife dump to Jassy was good to see. Perhaps we should have won, but at least it fired us up for the next match...
2nd group stage 2:
SB 6 - 10 Ro Sham Bo
Our first loss of the tournament was nothing to be ashamed of. We did ourselves proud against the munber 1 seed (and tournament winners), trading up until 4-4. We knew their O was very strong so went all out on hard D, getting two stall outs and stopping much of their slick handler give and go up the line plays. It took one of their handlers 5 attempts to get an upline put. Sharp cutting from Susanna and Nat and relentless running from Cat and Laura meant they couldn't handle man D so zoned us, allowing us to score one very sweet point worked right from the back with chilly decisions from Alex and Kelly. Another point saw a strange reversal of roles with Laura throwing a knife to Jassy against their wall. Despite our awesome play and huge efforts, Ro Sham Bo strted to stretch ahead. They were physical, yet fair, and were determined to win. Fighting till the end, it took at least 5 throws between their handlers to beat our wall.
At the end of the 2nd group stage there was a 3 way tie for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place in our "superpool", but we kept our seed on points difference (Ro Sham trounced Flung) and headed to showers, take away, and X-factor.
After an eventful start to the day, Chris locked his keys and half the teams kit! in the car. Alex ran shuttles to the pitch and Jassy went begging for trainers. The heroic RAC man managed to break into Chris's car and retrieve the keys and he made it to the sports hall minutes before the first game so we could play the day's matches in our own gear.
SB 10 - 4 Random Fling
Having had lots of rest, SB came out and hit Fling hard, taking a 7-0 lead within the first half. Kelly made some awesome sky-Ds and Alex's pitch-length forehand hucks got us 2 points, caught by Cat and Nat (and accompanying smug look). A massively chilly swing point ended in a Nat-to-Snodge score and more chilliness followed. Oh and Susanna "definitely" face planted after an assist to Kelly. The call is worth a mention here. We played the categories game (for 2nd time), and some of us got severely squirted with water. Some of us more so than others (I think Snodge learnt her lesson that a pear is not an animal).
SB 8 - 11 Positive Mojo
Accurate throws, strong catches, passion and speed. It was evident that both teams wanted to be in the final. O points were traded to 4-4 before SB lost 2, won 2, lost 3 then traded again. Kelly and Alex were chilly as ever and there were few turn overs throughout the match, with massive bids from both teams. Cat laid out magnificently and Laura made a huge bid in the endzone before realising a foul had been called on Kelly. The teams were well matched, but luck was not in SB's favour with mac Ds being caught and several close calls. We lost the match, but held our seed.
3 v 4:
SB 6 - 11 Bears: Lost 11-6
We had not met Bears at regionals, but had watched them play and knew we could take the match. The had 2 nippy handlers who we had a plan to deal with. Unfortunately the team couldn't quite click and despite our best efforts we couldn't find our A game. They played out of their skin and afterwards their captain said she had never seen them play so well. Small consolation.
So the SB girls, once again surpassing the efforts of the boys finished 4th at indoor nationals. We played hard, played fair, played fun, and a fantastic weekend was had by all. Thanks to Chris for chauffering again, and ensuring the tournament was not drama free! Also worth a mention we were a very close second in the spirit ranks.
Bet you boys can't wait to play mixed with us all now!
Laura - Unofficial tournament MVP