Holy Family Catholic HS Dominates Girls Division at Rivertown Throwdown 2016

An impressive weekend in their home tournament gave Omega their second title of the spring season.

Holy Family Catholic Omega at the 2015 HS Central Championships.
Holy Family Catholic Omega at the 2015 HS Central Championships.

This past weekend, eight girls high school teams from across the Midwest descended on Mason, OH for Rivertown Throwdown. Hosted by Holy Family Catholic Revolution/Omega and local disc organization Oshadega, the tournament was very well run and is aiming to attract even more youth teams in the next few years.

The competition on the weekend was indicative of a relatively early season tournament and the girls division saw its fair share of upsets on a poor weather opening day.

Saturday Pool Play

Pool A
Holy Family Catholic (1), Walter Payton (3), Central Kentucky Homeschool (6), Blackman (8)

Pool B
Mount Notre Dame (7), Milford (5), Neuqua Valley Girls (2), Center Grove High School (4)

Saturday’s competition was defined by the weather. With temperatures in the 30s along with heavy rain and wind, teams battled in slow, low-scoring games littered with turnovers. Most teams resorted to zone defense to take advantage of the conditions, and got plenty of defensive reps.

In Pool A, things went to seed. Coming off their impressive win at Deep Freeze earlier this month, Holy Family Catholic rolled through the day, dominating all opponents to take the top spot in the pool while giving up only 7 points on the day. Walter Payton (Chicago, IL) and Central Kentucky HS played the lowest scoring yet most exciting game of pool in a slugfest for second place, with Central Kentucky showing off an effective zone offense.

Mount Notre Dame and Milford upended their higher-seeded opponents en route to claiming the top two spots in Pool B; both just seemed to battle harder for their points throughout the day than their opposition. Milford was especially impressive in dominating Center Grove, with handler Jordan Bausch consistently beating the Center Grove cup with great tosses over the top. After consistently starting games slowly, overall 2-seed Neuqua Valley slipped to third in the pool, setting up a tougher road through the bracket than they perhaps anticipated heading into the weekend.

Sunday Bracket

With the weather taking a turn for the better by Sunday morning, some normalcy returned for the girls division as the upper tier teams were able to finally demonstrate their skills and experience.

On one side of the bracket, Holy Family Catholic shut out Center Grove 13-0 and Milford dominated Central Kentucky to the tune of 13-1 in the quarterfinal round. Mount Notre Dame continued their hot weekend, taking down Blackman 8-5 in the closest game of the round. Meanwhile, Neuqua Valley recovered from their Saturday troubles, cruising to victory over Walter Payton to earn a berth in the semifinals.

The semis rematch between Mount Notre Dame and Neuqua Valley started sloppily, both teams rushing to take their first option throw. Neuqua Valley came out on top of a marathon opening point which gave them the confidence to take control of the game. Mount Notre Dame played a few promising defensive points, but the difference in programs showed as Neuqua Valley more consistently maintained possession en route to a 9-1 victory.

The Holy Family Catholic vs Milford semifinal was perhaps the most exciting game of the tournament in the girls division. Led by Abby Swenson and Jordan Bausch, Milford had played well to this point of the weekend, fighting their way up from the fifth seed for a chance to take on the top team at the tournament. Swenson played confidently as the deep in the Milford zone and contributed as a lead handler on the turn; Bausch also palyed well, contributing an awesome crossfield hammer assist in the game. Holy Family Catholic’s solid handler corps of the Samson sisters (#6 and #99) — who were very active on both defense and offense — and Katherine Fry (#63) compliment each other well on the field and led the way for Omega. Both teams battled hard, but Holy Family Catholic ultimately made fewer mistakes as the game went on, pulling away to secure an 11-8 win.

While the finals matchup was the same as in the boys division, the girls game followed a very different script. Holy Family took control early, never relinquished, and claimed the Throwdown title with an dominant 9-2 victory over Neuqua for their second tournament win of the spring.

The third place game between Milford and Mount Notre Dame was far more exciting; both teams were taking risks that frequently paid of, keeping the score close throughout. With the score tied at 5s, Milford’s Cara Sieber collected the disc and threw it into the endzone for a break. Mount Notre Dame would not back down, and #561 really stood out as a downfield defender and handler. The points were long in this game, but both teams kept fighting, finding themselves locked in a tie in the hard cap until Milford’s Rachel Honerlaw got free in the endzone for the game-winning score.

With the 9-8 double-game point win, Milford claimed third place on the weekend. They played well throughout the tournament and proved they may have a chance against traditional powerhouse and tournament champion Holy Family Catholic in future matchups. It will be exciting to see how they do the rest of the season.

  1. I apologize for not getting every name and player number. It’s early in the season so feel free to send updates or corrections to @not__ham via Twitter. 

  1. Kathleen Nottingham

    Kathleen started playing ultimate with University of Wisconsin Eau Claire SOL in 2007. Follow her on Twitter at @not__ham.

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