Strange Blue Tournament Report

Womens Tour 3

18.Aug.2007 - Cardiff

Hello all--

Being inspired by Dave's mammoth tour report I've finally gotton around to writing one for the women :) And its even more mammoth so be prepared!!

First, let it just be stated categorically that the SB Women are HOT. HOT HOT HOT.

We went to Cardiff with a pretty short team and some new faces: Susanna, Hayley, Hilary, Hannah, Geli, Natalie, Kelly, Cynthia, Jen (Aye-Aye/GB Juniors), Alice (Aye-Aye/GB Juniors), and Lara (Galahs)...and had a great time! Of course we ended up in the bigger pool of 6, so had to play four matches on Sat rather than the more friendly 3.

Ok, the result doesn't look great but in terrible conditions (strong winds and horizontal rain!) we began the day well, getting to know eachother on & off the pitch. We traded the first couple and even seemed to prefer scoring upwind points after working well together up the pitch!! But some drops by us and accurate passing by LLL (#1 seeds) saw them take the game. A really fun game to start, suitably impressing LLL by scoring the most points against them in pool play. Nice one girls.

Nice Bristols 13 - SB 6/7/8?? Hmm
I don't remember this game very well, but I do remember having a really enjoyable time. I think we traded for the first 3ish and seemed to really be coming together as we got to know eachother. We had some unforced errors, possibly due to the howling conditions, and Bristol just looked a bit sharper. There was even one point where we actually scored but thought we needed another pass to get in to the endzone and the disc went down!! Apparently in the new rules that is a score anyways...but we agreed to replay the point. With a fewer errors we really could have given this team a run for their money....:D

SB 10 - Ltd Release 5
This game was played with the ever-blowing wind and rain conditions and there was a lot of great defence from the SB girls going after discs taken away with the wind. Ltd were looking to use their breakforce throws to open up the pitch but the wind was making this hard and some good defence meant we ended up on the right side of a lot of turnovers. We then used our runners to cut aggresively and work the disc in. Our first win and a good game for us using the whole team.

SB 8 - Sheffield Steal 3
Well, as the day progressed the pitches deteriorated and by this point we were playing in a pretty big muddy puddle! Steal used a combination of ISO and stack play on their offence but by this point our defence was really strong and used the bad weather to our advantage. Points were a bit harder to score but SB stayed in control the whole game :)

So we ended Saturday on our initial seeding of 6th and looking forward to the hot showers and some better conditions on Sunday!

SUNDAY SB 10 - Discuits 7
Bright and early (game start at 8.30...yawn!) we hit the pitch in the last of our pool matches. We were seeded above them but they play a similar game to us and we wanted to come out we did! We took the first 3 points easily with some great defence and quick scores. They took a timeout to regroup and they took the next 2ish in a row : ( But we rallied and just turned our offence and defence up a notch, they were forcing us middle but that just left us the entire centre of the pitch to cut in to. A couple of longer throws to Susanna's safe hands also kept them marking honestly and at time they weren't within two points so we played to 10. A really good game by some of our newbies, Natalie must have scored about 5 of our points with great one-handed grabs fading away in the end zone. Similarly Lara was scoring well and, along with Alice and Jen, she really stepped up to help out as mids moving the disc around.

Mu 15 - SB 11
Wow, what a game. In the first of our games for seeding we moved from one mudbath of a pitch to another! Mu have a strong side of players and some slick offence using stack and 3-4 more successfully than we'd seen it before now. But our stack play was really coming together at this point and we had no trouble getting free. It was a tough game, trading all the way. We had some long throws, they had some long throws, we'd score up the line, they'd score up the line, we'd hit the floor, they'd hit the floor, we'd D, they'd D!! We even scored some really sweet points against their zone using all of our players and swinging the disc around the whole pitch!! To add to the drama, one of their players injured an ankle pretty badly (we hope she's ok!) towards the end of the match on the rather cut up pitch. In the end they simply had more legs than us and they just eeked away with it but it was a great match up :) Susanna had a stormer and was everywhere taking discs high and low and Natalie had about 7 second chance grabs to save SB's bacon!! Also, Jen had some great high catches really using all of her tall frame to help us out!

Ltd Release 10 - SB 9
Ahhh...grudge match! We had a good match against these girls on Saturday in the wind and the rain, and this time the conditions were completely different. Their breakforce throws opened up the pitch for them and even though we dug deep and marked up hard they seemed to come down with a lot of their last-ditch-without-a-prayer-throws to stay in the game :( But we had some great looks as well with some longer options working out (good work Susanna!) and a great rolling take by Hilary in the back of the upwind endzone off a loopy outside-in sidearm. In fact it was so good she did it twice in a row as the first was brought back on a call!!! In the end it came down to sudden death and they just managed to take it even though we turned them twice in the last point!

Well, we technically *forgot* this but I think everyone would agree on a team MVP because it really was a team effort and as the weekend progressed we so the team improved in leaps and bounds. Special mentions go to everyone for something: to Hannah for handling SO solidly all weekend long; Hils for always putting that swing pass; Jen, Alice and Lara for being excellent cutters and always smiling (definitely come back again!); Cynthia for being there at high stall counts and also taking a disc to the lip for SB(!); Hayley for making some of those catches that just looked impossible; Geli for being very free when there were no other options; Natalie for an awesome first tournament really using your spatial awareness; and Susanna for being our long/short/every whichway option, catching all sorts of crazy discs and showing how much you've improved this season.

So, we finished Tour 3 in 8th where we have ended up at each tour event...check that for consistency! Over the three events we took 7th place (fewer teams at T3) in the first year of SB women's ultimate at Tour...great job everyone who played!
On another note the SB girls also tied for Spirit at T3, that is Spirit at 2 out of 3 tour events for the girls :) And let me say that our girls deserved it because they showed excellent spirit the whole weekend and always had smiles on their faces despite the weather!!

Proud as ever to be an SB-er & bring on next year,

kelly :)