Semifinals Recap: 2012 Club Championships

As most teams prepare to party in Siesta Key tonight, six teams will be getting to sleep early as they prepare to face off in the finals tomorrow. Here’s how they got there:

One more win and San Francisco’s Revolver will have their three-peat. In dominant fashion, Revolver marched past North Carolina’s Ring of Fire — the tournament’s 10th overall seed who made a surprise appearance in the semifinals — and into Sunday’s championship game with a 15-9 win. With the wind as strong as it has been all weekend, Revolver was clearly more comfortable moving the disc and made the most of their opportunities.

When asked after the game what made the difference against Ring, captain Martin Cochran said it “came down to crazy hustle.” He went on to explain that Revolver has come to expect gusting winds in Sarasota each year and prepare to play through the sloppy, up-and-down games that come as a result, even going so far as to “structure [the team’s] offense around the windy conditions.” Revolver’s ability to steadily advance the disc upwind proved to make all the difference in this one, too, and it will surely factor into their rematch against Austin’s Doublewide in the finals. Revolver lost to Doublewide at Labor Day.

Our full recap of Doublewide’s win against Ironside is here.

San Francisco’s Blackbird — the defending Club champion — came in seeded 6th, but has proven that to be a big understatement. Drag ‘n Thrust had looked excellent most of the tournament and looked poised to head into finals. But two early breaks for Blackbird put them up 5-3 and they took half 8-6.

When asked about their strategy for dealing with the hard winds, captain Brian Garcia said, “We aren’t doing anything particularly different. We are running our offense and we don’t need to get away from our gameplan.” That strategy paid off as they never looked back after half. Drag ‘n Thrust fought hard on defense to keep the game within reach, but they were never able to conquer the wind well enough to make up the deficit. Blackbird took over towards the end and finished the game 15-9. As Garcia pointed out after the strong conclusion, “Everyone [on Blackbird] is contributing. That’s key.”

The top-seeded Polar Bears showed a lot of strength on Thursday, but showed they were not infallible after losing both of their power pool games on Friday. Mischief came into the game looking to do some damage, but after a rough first half the Polar Bears were up 8-5. While the second half took significantly longer to conclude, the story was the same: Bears working hard on defense and Mischief getting roughed up by the gusting winds.

Clearly this was a different Polar Bears than was seen on Friday. When asked if they had planned on doing things differently today, Scott Roeder of Polar Bears confirmed, “We changed up our strategy. We are working with our legs because we pride ourselves on a lot of conditioning…We also have made *big* improvements in our throwing in the wind.” The team stayed late today & yesterday following their games with significant throwing practice. They are clearly looking for revenge tomorrow against Blackbird.

San Francisco’s Fury is headed back to the finals after a blowout 15-4 win over Austin’s Showdown. Fury went up a pair of breaks early, but Showdown got one back to stay within one, down 5-4. But Fury proceeded to score the next ten points straight in a dominant performance on both sides of the disc. Their depth was impressive, and they looked much more comfortable in the wind than Showdown. The Austin team was outmatched, no question, but it shouldn’t take much away from their excellent weekend.

Seattle’s Riot took on Washington, D.C.’s Scandal in the other women’s semifinal. It was a much more exciting game. Close throughout, Riot took a small lead in the beginning of the second half and extending it to three at 11-8. But Scandal rallied back with a pair of breaks to tie the game at 11s. The two teams battled, trading points to 13-13. Riot scored their downwind point to get to game point up one. On the next point, Scandal turned it over and Riot worked it up before Rohre Titcomb put up a nice huck to the endzone that floated just a bit too far. But when the Scandal handler tried to put up a punt, she got stuffed by the outstretched arms of the defender. Riot punched it in easily to win 15-13. They will face Fury tomorrow in a rematch of last year’s finals.

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

    Charlie Eisenhood is the editor-in-chief of Ultiworld.You can reach him by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter (@ceisenhood).


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