Strange Blue Tournament Report

University Women's Indoor Regionals

24-25.Nov.2007 - Sheffield

The Team

The News in brief:

Last weekend (24-25th November) the SB women's student team went to Sheffield where after 10 hard fought games of ultimate, we obtained 6th place and more importantly qualified to go the national's tournament in February.

The squad was made up of:
Kelly Hogan
Alex Carnegie-Brown
Emma Rouse
Sonja Abhyankar
Jassy Drakulic
Natalie Lewis
Lindsay Todman
Brittany Wellner
Sasha Krol
Susanna Bidgood

Special mention must go to Kelly who was awarded the MVP of the match for our final 6v7 game of weekend.

For those of you who want a blow by blow account:

We started the weekend seeded 4th and top of our pool. Our pool turned out to be quite weak, so we spent our first 4 matches getting used to playing together and mainly making use of Kelly and Alex putting long discs and overheads into the end zone. We also used these games to practice some set plays in preparation for later games.

Pool Match 1:

SB 7 v 1 Halcyon

After a slightly sleepy started that meant we conceded a point, SB came out in force. We made use of our long and over head throws and speedy cutting to work it around them.

Pool Match 2:

SB 7 - 1 WUBU

We were slightly nervous at the start of this game. Although WUBU were the bottom seed in our pool we knew they should not be! They had a couple of really good players and so we were ready for a hard game. Fortunately for us it was their first game of the day and were still a little sleepy, so we took a win but only after conceding the first point again!

Pool Match 3:

SB 8 - 1 Birds Aye

Happy to be playing our friends again, this was a fun match. We just played Lady D and organic stack and it seemed to work ok.

Pool Match 4:

SB 5 - 2 Jedi 2

This was the first of our more challenging matches of the Weekend. Despite Nick's warning having seen them play, I think we were lulled slightly into a false sense of security because they were a second team. However Jedi 2 were fast and hungry for every disc they could get. They also threw the first zone on us that we had hit that weekend. However the SB girls rose to the occasion, with everyone working hard. Brittany had a few spectacular dives for discs.

4v5 Crossover:

SB 4 - 6 Haze

This was the last match of Saturday and our most important. Having not met any of the top teams until this point we were not playing at a high enough level. They threw a new O line formation on us that we had not played against before. It forced us to mark space rather than Lady, which everyone did pretty well. However we weren't that comfortable with it so after a battle of a match, they took our 4th seed and we took a move down to 5th.


5 v 12 Quarter Final:

SB 4 - 5 Jedi 1

First game of the day on Sunday, we got there early and made use of the pitch time. Nick had seen Jedi 1 playing a new kind of zone the day before so we did a quick practice on how we were going to play against it. They had also come out of a very tough pool so were a good team who should not really have been that low down the seeding. They arrived a little late but still came out hard. Our plan on attacking their zone worked brilliantly with Jassy and Sonja particularly doing a great job as mids, receiving lots over the head discs. This game could have gone either way and it was a tough blow to drop all the way to 12th because of one point. But they said we were the team to cope best with their zone all weekend so we gave ourselves a little pat on the back and focused on the next games. From now on we had to win every match for qualify for nationals and we had four more to go!

12 v 9 Semi Final:

SB 12 - 1 Pies 2

Having learnt that some 2nd teams are really rather good, we had watched these girls play previously and knew they were a threat. We had identified that we needed to really step up our D. So out there we went and everyone did just that. The SB ladies completely made closed down Pies' options by always beating them to the open side. The game ended with a rather dramatic hammer into the endzone as the buzzer went, which pushed our points up to 12.

9 v 7 Elimination Semis:

SB 7 - 5 WUBU

WUBU again and this time we knew they were not sleepy! Their team had gelled during the course of the weekend and we needed to be ready for it. We put a couple of specific match up marks on some of their players but everyone played solid D. Emma ran really hard marking her girl out the game. She also tactically stood still in the end zone to score an easy point or two when she was being poached off. Jassy and Natalie got some brilliant Ds! It was a tight match but we made full use of all our subs and finally came out on top. It was a really well spirited game.

7 v 8 Second Elimination Play off:

SB 10 - 1 York

York play zone and have a handler who loves to put things long, so we had had a think about how to play against them. We decided to play "boring" Frisbee, basically lots of dumping and swinging and not forcing any throws. We would take our time. They were tired but we also completely worked it around them. Our handlers just swung the disc and swung the disc, gradually gaining ground (and exhausting the opposition!) until finally the disc could just be popped into the end zone. Kelly, Alex, Lindsay and Sasha all handled so well in this game. And Kelly did a great job marking out their dump. It was fun to watch from the sideline. Everyone was patient and it worked.

7 v 6 The Game to Go:

SB 8 - 4 Haze

So here we were the final game of the weekend, the game to gain a place at nationals and we were back playing Haze! We had taken some time to analyze how to play against their O formation in the light of our first game against them. We had also really stepped up our D since then. Our main aim was to play our own game, not to be hassled by them and also to have fun. Both teams gave it their all, but our strategy for playing against their O caused them problems and we repeatedly made them turn over. We then focused on playing our own paced game and disc after disc found its way into the hands of a SB girl in the end zone. It was a fast, high spirited game but we more than gained back the game we had lost the evening before and convincingly secured a spot at National's. Kelly, having been a source of much frisbee wisdom and an indispensable handler all weekend, had a brilliant game and very much deserved the MVP award for the match.

Well played to everyone! There was a dramatic improvement in our game throughout the weekend. Every player was an essential member and after a ten games we got where we wanted to be!

Finally many thanks to Nick for great coaching, car driving and photo taking! If you want to know what an SB army looks like check out Sonja's facebook profile! [Please note the shields :) ]

Also, well played to Tamara Hornik and Megan Davies-Wykes who played with a mixed university All Stars team on the Saturday.

Well that's all folks, well done getting to the end!