Stanford Invite 2013: Day 1 Recap (Open)

Follow the Stanford Invite action on our dedicated page, with live-updating tweets, scores, previews, news, & video.

Anything is possible. Upsets have been the early story at the Stanford Invite, with only a single one seed (#2 Pittsburgh) going without a loss today. Every undefeated team coming into the tournament (#1 Wisconsin, #5 Arizona, #6 North Carolina, #8 Oregon, #11 North Carolina-Wilmingon, and #20 Texas A&M) now has at least one loss.

Here’s a look back at today’s stories:

Wisconsin fell to the Pool B 4 seed Whitman in one of the biggest surprises of the day. Whitman’s Jacob Janin and Ethan Parrish played very well as they led the team to a marquee victory. Wisconsin had an uncharacteristic number of drops and mistakes that helped give the game to the Sweets. Janin said after the game that Wisconsin had the best defense they’d seen all season. He attributed Whitman’s success to good defensive strategy, forcing into Wisco’s side stack and putting pressure on their cutters.

Despite the loss, Wisconsin still won their pool with easy wins over #5 Central Florida and #12 Colorado.

***

#9 Carleton showed up this weekend ready to play. With Justin Norden back in the fold, they easily got past Stanford and Washington, but would have to work a lot harder against Oregon in one of the best games of the day. With the 15-14 win, Carleton looks back on track after a lackluster Warm Up. It is, of course, not uncommon to see Carleton with mediocre results early in the season, as they focus on developing their underclassmen. But there’s a reason they were ranked at #2 coming into the season — they are very good.

***

#2 Pittsburgh went 3-0 today, but still doesn’t look like they are clicking on all cylinders. They struggled against North Carolina in the 1/2 matchup, trailing for much of the game. They were sloppy with the disc in the first half, but strong play from Tyler Degirolamo late helped bring them back to a 14-13 win and a bye into quarterfinals. That loss stung UNC, who went on to have a big letdown in their prequarters game against Colorado where they lost 13-8.

Pitt has an easy road to the finals, however, with a winnable game against Stanford and a likely semifinals match against Carleton, who they already beat this season.

***

#19 Tufts was the surprise of the day, going 3-0 against some tough teams. They opened the day with a 14-13 win against #3 Texas, a team that Tufts coach Mike Zalisk called the “mirror image” of his own. It was a battle of two patient, “take what you give them” squads, he explained. Tufts came out on top. Their discipline served them well against Arizona’s junky zone that rattles a lot of teams but is susceptible against those that work the disc methodically. They closed out the day with a 12-6 thrashing of UNC-Wilmington, who was plagued by drops.

***

Texas stumbled big today, finishing 0-3 after a very successful showing at Warm Up. They seem to lack an explosiveness and energy that is part of winning at this level of the college game. Against UNC-W, they were listless: standing in the stack, sitting on the sidelines, and never getting into the game in the second half as the Seamen pulled away. They showed one moment of spark. After scoring on a marathon point to take half, senior Mitchell Bennett spiked the disc as his teammates rushed the field. Will Driscoll, moments later, picked up the disc off the ground and spiked it again, yelling in a rare display of fiery emotion. But they wouldn’t bring that with them into the second half, as UNC-W outscored them 6-1.

***

It was a rough day for the Southwest region, as the three teams went a combined 3-8 on the day. #21 Stanford, the lowest ranked of the three teams, had the best day, making quarterfinals after going 2-2. Arizona got a big win against Texas, but choked away a win against UNC-W. In that game, they had a 7-3 halftime lead, but give up six straight breaks en route to a 13-11 loss. UC Davis went 0-3, getting upset by Texas A&M in the last pool play round to get sent to the losers bracket. Could this cost the region a bid?

***

The North Carolina teams each got off to a hot 2-0 start, but third round pool play losses sapped their energy heading into the prequarters where they both buckled and got bounced into the 9th place bracket. UNC was up 12-10 on Pittsburgh and had led much of the game before succumbing to a four-point Pitt run to lose 14-13. After being a point away from winning the pool outright and heading straight to quarters, Darkside lost their energy and got rolled by Colorado. UNC-Wilmington beat the best of the west in Arizona and Texas before falling to Tufts. They never regained their rhythm, as drops and miscues killed them against Stanford in prequarters.

***

Due to the cost of traveling to California, Texas A&M left seven players back in College Station, but they came ready to play this weekend. They lost to Pitt and UNC by 3, then beat Davis by 2 to grab a spot in prequarters. There, they shocked a strong Central Florida team with a 14-12 win. Regardless of how their day goes tomorrow, they have likely locked up a bid for the South Central. The question will be whether Texas has done enough to stay in the top 20.

***

Follow all of tomorrow’s action on our dedicated Stanford Invite page.

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
    Charlie Eisenhood

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

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