Women’s Round 1 Recap, Presented By Spin Ultimate

Pool B delivers the drama while favorites hold in Pool D.

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Pool B

RIP, Pool B. We hardly had a chance to know thee.

One round is over and the entire pool is already shuffled: Dartmouth upsets UBC, Chaos upsets UCLA.

Dartmouth 14-13 British Columbia

Princess Layout unseated UBC in commanding fashion to start the day. The score will look close on the stat sheets, but the game was always Dartmouth’s. Breaking for the first point sent a message: we should not be a 5-seed. Breaking for the second point sent a cannonball: we should be 1-seed.

With Jaclyn Verzuh and Angela Zhu finally both healthy, Dartmouth suddenly has a wealth of options they lacked at Northwest Challenge. Zhu’s break throws are lethal, and she found Verzuh on insides and backhand breaks from the first point to the last. Even with UBC stars like Mira Donaldson and Victoria McCann lining up for the Verzuh matchup, they couldn’t protect both the open and break options.

UBC is a fast and young team, but they looked like they were chasing Dartmouth for the first hour. On offense, many of the Thunderbird deep shots failed to connect, and Princess Layout knew how to capitalize. Dartmouth rolled to an 8-3 half.

In the second half, the Canadians collected themselves and climbed back into the game. Their game didn’t fundamentally change, but cutters like Esther Au and Alei Mohr worked harder to provide options under. They broke Dartmouth several times to close the margin and tie it at 12s.

UBC showed their elite colors with excellent grabs from McCann and great endzone defense from Au and Donaldson, but it wasn’t enough to stop the advancing break train that is Dartmouth. Dartmouth won on an outside look to Julianna Werffelli, and the New England champs closed the opening chapter of their 2016 Nationals with a clear message: we are back.

Chaos 15-11 UCLA

To continue the first round craziness in Pool B, pool four seed Chaos upset UCLA BLU, the pool two seed. After a hold and an early break to go up 2-0, UCLA began to struggle against the Chaos zone. The teams traded points for the majority of the first half, but a series of execution errors led to a Chaos break run into half.

Down 8-5 out of the break, BLU battled their way back into the game in the second half’s early points. The early stages of the half were characterized by sloppy play from both sides, but UCLA managed to grab a couple breaks to get things back level at 8-8. Teams traded long points before the second half ended in much the same manner as the first. Again UCLA began committing simple execution errors and forcing throws against the Chaos zone. BLU had its own break chances down the stretch, but was unable to capitalize and Chaos ended on a 5-1 run to seal the victory.

Chaos’ offensive production was largely spread across the roster, but Abbie Abramovich led the way with a pair of goals and three assists. Freshman Aileen Isla contributed with an assist and two goals, one of which was a point block Callahan. Han Chen, meanwhile, led UCLA in scoring with a goal and three assists.

Pool D

Whitman 15-10 Wisconsin

Taking center stage on the showcase field, Whitman jumped out to an early lead in its first game of the tournament and never looked back. After the teams traded easy holds, Whitman went a three break run to establish a 4-1 lead that Wisconsin was never able to recover from. Impressive defense from Whitman, led by Brenna Bailey’s pair of first half blocks, combined with some sloppy turns from Bella Donna contributed to the early Sweets lead.

Whitman took half at 8-4 behind impressive performances from Bailey, Alex Hardesty, and Nina Finley. The Sweets continued to pour it on out of half, opening up a 13-5 lead. Wisconsin closed the gap a bit down the stretch as Lo Guerin and Anneke Vermaak began to make a larger impact on the game. But Bella Donna was never able to cut the lead to less than five.

Whitman coasted through the final points for a comfortable opening win. Statistically, the Sweets were led by Hardesty’s three goals and four assists, but Melanie Jochheim-Atkins racked up a hat trick of goals as well. Vermaak’s five points (one goal, four assists) led Wisconsin.

Texas 15-12 Ottawa

In a game of runs, Melee managed to come out on top over the Lady Gee Gee in the first round of play. Texas opened up a three break lead on the game’s first three points, but Ottawa responded well and clawed their way back to within 6-5 behind strong play from Izzy Bedard. Texas went on another run, though, to take half at 8-5.

The pattern would repeat after the break, as again Ottawa capitalized on Texas mistakes to claw their way back to get things level at nine apiece. Melee pulled away with another three point run and this time were able to make it count, keeping their cushion the rest of the way out.

As the game wore on, the morning heat started to take its toll on the players, with sloppy play leading to some long points. After an Ottawa hold to close the gap to two at 14-12, Texas gave the Gee Gees a handful of chances to get within one and put the pressure back on Melee, but Ottawa was unable to convert. Trying to close out the game, Andrea Esparza launched a desperation stall nine hammer to the endzone that was caught to seal the opening round victory.

Domenica Sutherland was the vocal leader for Melee, while Susan Gilbert led the way in terms of scoring with three goals and one assist. Izzy Bedard led the way for Ottawa in the valiant upset effort, racking up one goal and five assists to lead the game in scoring.

  1. Katie Raynolds
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    Katie Raynolds took a break from Seattle ultimate to test out the Midwestern scene, but now she's back in the Northwest to investigate this "bubble" she keeps hearing about. She played for Northwestern Gungho, two seasons with Chicago Nemesis, and now plays for Seattle Underground. Katie serves as Ultiworld's Women's D1 College Editor, and is damn proud to cover women's ultimate. You can reach her by email (katie@ultiworld.com) or on Twitter (@kraynolds90).

  2. Daniel Prentice
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    Daniel Prentice is a Senior Staff Writer at Ultiworld. Daniel is a product of the Tallahassee ultimate community and has been writing for Ultiworld since 2015. You can follow him on Twitter @danielprent and email him at daniel.prentice@ultiworld.com.

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