WUCC 2014 Diaries: Day Five, Presented By VC Ultimate

Akina, Brett, Ian, Brummie, and Charlie share updates from Lecco.

Everyone is back for Wednesday’s diary entries. Get an inside look at the tournament from players and reporters.

Brett Matzuka (Johnny Bravo)

Due to the schedule, logistics of the tournament, and basic lack of sleep, I was unable to get a diary in yesterday. Alas, I will do my best to account for both yesterday and today in this post.

For this posting, I have invited a guest and teammate, Jake Juszak, to provide wisdom and knowledge as we delve into the prior two days excursions…or something.

Because of the restructuring of the tournament, we were lucky enough to play in the 9 AM rounds the previous two days. This results in a beautiful Italian morning where we wake up at 5:45 AM to meander to a pleasant breakfast where we whimsically jostle for chocolate croissants with the other teams sharing our accommodation before gallantly making our way to the shuttle.

Upon arriving at our final positions within the mechanized steed, I gracefully place my earbuds in and set on to a rather eclectic playlist. Music for the morning consisted of Parachute “Disappear”, Reality Addiction “Almost Beautiful”, and The Summer Set “One Night”, among many others. My tonal palette is quite divergent from the typical Pitbull “biggity boys and diggity dogs” the general frisbee populous seems to find invigorating.

Arriving at the fields, we make our way to frisbee central to get ready for the day.

August 6th, 2014

7:00 AM: (Jake) One redbull down. The tent is hot and muggy. Card machines in and out of service. No doubt its going to be a scorcher

(Brett) Put socks and cleats on, beautiful countryside and lush mountains to start a wonderful day.

7:10 AM: (Jake) Second redbull in hand, biding my time. made eye contact with a cute girl, possible Tinder right swipe.

(Brett) Listening to “Somewhere over the rainbow”, great to be in Italy with my teammates taking on another team pushing to make us better

7:45am: (Jake) Got a better look. Definite left swipe….

(Brett) Cleats on, disc out, ready for a throw. Jake seems to be distracted with eye candy, need to find alternate throwing partner. Excited to prepare for a challening match up against Nomadic Tribe of Japan. Decide to throw with Brodie — Worst. Decision. Ever. After every third throw, he is required to sign a disc or take a photo, little progress made with warming up throws.

9:00 AM: (Jake) 14 pills of Aleve and 17 shots of Jager, ready to play. Jager says she might be a right swipe after all. Will get to the bottom of this if it’s the last thing I do.

(Brett) Jake is apparently playing mixed with Sweden now, not sure what happened. He will be missed. We start on O, and are quickly broken. Defense answers with two breaks after the offense holds. Bravo takes half 8-6 (I believe).

9:45 AM: Game continues forth

10:30 AM: Bravo gives up a late break and finishes on offense to win 15-12. Jake managed to return to the team, but now has a German tattoo. No one wants to ask what happened.

…Anyway, it was a good morning. We then had 2.5 hours before our next game at 1 PM. We would be playing Tchac (France) to top the power pool. While we waited, the team went back to the main tent to rest, get out of the sun, and get supplies from the food area.

When 11:45 AM came around, Jake and I ventured back to the fields for our final game. The team did our active warm up, drills, and O\D scrimmage to prepare. The French came out firing with many big shots and plays. Bravo played a patient offense moving the disc laterally to open up the field. Bravo took half 8-5 (I believe).

Coming out of half, the French continued to use their high flying, play-making offense to keep applying the pressure on Bravo. However, in the end, Bravo would take it 15-9 in a extremely hard fought game against a very respectable and talented opposition.

Now, the real competition began as Bravo would have to put its best foot forward as it navigated the often rigorous and dangerous terrain of catching the shuttle.

While competing with many for few spots, Bravo managed to obtain the precious seats upon the heavenly bus whisking us away to our current home. The Irony Gods continue to have a field day — the very tournament we came here to participate in was postponed due to rain, but our hotel still struggles to provide water for bathing and the aqueducts ran out of water causing shortages at the fields. We managed to bathe today and go out for dinner and laundry. Overall, today was a success and the team is in high spirits going into the elimination bracket.

On the more serious side, I have played on a number of teams where the team’s achievements were surrogates for the individual’s perceived life success. This has always been a hard situation to be in as a feeling of self worth and character is defined as a metric entirely out of one’s control.

As I look across the fields the previous few days, I see a culmination of relationships I have nurtured, both new and exciting, and old and meaningful. I grow to realize that while the love my relationships are built on transforms into a desire to bring my teammates, new and old, success, many of them will not be leaving this land with medals to boast of their hard work personified.

The journey in itself with the people we take it with is the reward, and while we strive for excellence in play, it is about those we grow with along the way that truly makes it meaningful. We approach elimination tomorrow with lofty goals in tow, this tournament will be a success win or lose because of the people I have been fortunate enough to fight alongside this week, and those who helped get me here.

I cannot promise my team future moments of grandeur upon a podium, but I can promise them to give my heart and soul, and to be the person and teammate they deserve in victory as well as defeat. I wish all my friends the best in the upcoming games, and hope you take something more away from this than just frisbee. Good luck and send your positive thoughts to Bravo tomorrow!

Sion “Brummie” Scone (Emo)

Two big logistical issues when running Worlds are supplying food and water. Neither is being done well.

Yesterday, the water supply disappeared entirely for some time. Today it was back, but the water stations are poorly designed, with only a single tap which dispenses water while holding a button. I think they are the slowest taps on Earth; no water pressure at all means it takes 30 seconds to fill one bottle.

Food quality is getting worse by the day. Today I was served a grey bowl of “vegetable soup” as the only alternative to plain pasta with tomato sauce, or plain boiled rice. Hardly the advertised quality or variety.

With 9 AM and 5 ON games, we didn’t watch much as we chose to avoid the sun. After taking half on Furious George, they made defensive adjustments that generated a few breaks, and their O line was so clinical (2 turns all game, no breaks) that we fell 15-11. This meant our match with Freespeed was for top 16. It was a big game with tons of huge grabs and sensational passes from both teams, but it went our way and our tournament continues, 15-11 final score.

It’s an all-UK matchup for us tomorrow as we face Clapham.

Akina Younge (Revolution)

Another day of playing, another day of surprises. Revolution advanced to power pools and today we played QUB of Quebec, Canada, and Wood Chicas of Munich, Germany. We barely but thankfully won both games, securing a spot in the quarterfinals after our final power pool game against Traffic tomorrow morning.

Our two games were crazy. In both, we went down several breaks: against QUB we were down 5-1 and against Wood Chicas we were down 6-2, both times managing to bring the game within one point by half time. Both games went to time cap and were grueling for everyone involved.

Muddy fields, tired legs, aggressive defense were definitely themes of the game and we all impressively came out the other end in one piece…and not mad at each other, but happy for the high spirited, athletically and intensely played games. We’re at a point in the tournament where these games are do-or-die, so everyone gives their all but so far without losing respect and admiration for their opponents and teammates.

Our team has had no easy games during Worlds. Some people have been noting how hard all our pools have been, how tight each of our games has been, and it’s easy to get discouraged. This is a long and draining, but rewarding tournament.

Our coach Mauricio Moore reassured us today after our two major comebacks that Revolution didn’t come here to have easy games, we came here to let the world know who Revolution is. As important as winning has been to us and as enticing and exciting the idea of winning it all remains, it is nice to be reminded that no matter how we do, Revolution and Colombia women’s have solidified themselves in the international frisbee scene as a threat.

Ian Toner (Johnny Bravo)

Since we last spoke, I haven’t napped and we’ve advanced to elimination rounds.

I’m not pretending like I knew what my team signed up for–but our two included meals/day have decreased to one field site meal/day for roughly €20. Our other options include ham sandwiches with little meat for €4 or pizza slices. Some teammates have yet to be refunded for the meals they missed on Sunday. I don’t understand how I’m not cramping up all over the place, given how horribly I’ve eaten.

The shuttle situation has improved, becoming more flexible by the day.

The town and fields literally ran out of water, and the first aid tent inexplicably keeps running out of ice, even when there is water. This is in the middle of record-level rainfall. The irony.

I don’t understand how this is a world-class tournament. Food difficulties notwithstanding, last summer’s U23 tournament has a clear leg up on this WFDF performance.

At least the weather has cooperated since Sunday. Would I be surprised to see a monsoon tomorrow? No.

All this being said, many of these complaints can be categorized as uncontrollables (from the player perspective). We have no choice but to roll with the punches and play through the cards we are dealt, poor nutrition and all.

Charlie Eisenhood (Ultiworld)

Really feeling the effects of the combination of long work days, little sleep, and an utter lack of nutritious food today. Although I managed to keep energy up with a steady supply of espressos, I am ready for a good night’s sleep (bonus! No 9 AM round that I have to care about tomorrow).

The ultimate was fun today, which helped keep spirits up. The big Phoenix upset over Buzz Bullets was quite a game, and it’s great drama. Phoenix with a chance to keep doing damage, Buzz up against Ironside in a brutal round of 16 game, a crazy challenging top draw of the bracket. Fun! Don’t moan about how unfair it is — it’s exciting! You should have to beat those teams to win the tournament, anyway. Also: lucky, lucky Sockeye. Their odds of winning have gone WAY up.

I’ll give the Open Division spreads and my picks against the spread here for entertainment value. Picks in bold:

Revolver (-4.5) v. Lucky Grass
Clapham (-2.5) v. Emo
Johnny Bravo (-5.5) v. Ragnarok
Ironside (-1.5) v. Buzz Bullets
Phoenix (-1.5) v. Heidees
Colony (-3.5) v. Nomadic Tribe
Furious George (PICK) v. Juggernaut 
Sockeye (-3.5) v. General Strike

I think the biggest potential upsets (moneyline) are Juggernaut over Furious (who has struggled a bit with medium-tier opponents), Heidees over Phoenix (feels even, though I like Phoenix to win), and Nomadic Tribe over Colony (who has been inconsistent). Any other upset would strike me as a big surprise.

Some will say — but Buzz Bullets! I don’t see it. The team plays a wonderful style and are clearly a very high-skill team. But they looked beatable earlier in the week and then Phoenix today exposed some of their weaknesses. You can beat them with height, and you can beat them by being patient against their loose junk zone. Ironside is very capable of carving up this defense. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a sizable win. (But I’ve been wrong before!)

I love the Doublewide v. Johnny Bravo mini-preview going on in that JB v. Ragnarok game. Should be fun to watch the American matchups. Ragnarok has no chance against the defense of Bravo, and I think that wide spread is fair. I like Ragnarok to just cover.

Until tomorrow, ciao!

  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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