Virginia and Michigan stayed hot as the afternoon heat peaked.
May 27, 2016 by Daniel Prentice, Katie Raynolds and Cody Mills in Coverage, Recap with 0 comments
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California 15-10 Colorado College
Colorado College, playing the team’s first game of the day, looked like they might be able to steal a win from the tired California Pie Queens. Chloë Rowse, Corey Baron, and Robin Fassett-Carman exerted their will defensively, and beyond Marisa Rafter, Pie Queens looked gassed. Strata, ever scrappy, kept the game close until California took half 8-7.
In the second half, the Pie Queens took advantage of a few Strata throwaways by scoring the first three points out of the break and establishing a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. As the game wore on, Cal utilized its superior depth and speed and put the game away. Colorado College was able to hang around, as the teams largely trade points the rest of the way, but they were never able to cut into the Pie Queens’ lead at all.
Megan Para led the way on the stat sheet for Cal with her four goals and one assist, but all of the Pie Queens’ handlers, Anna Wysen, in particular, paced the impressive second half performance. The leaders for Colorado College, meanwhile, were Frances Gellert with her seven points and Patty Weicht with her five goals.
Virginia 14-8 Colorado
This heat doesn’t benefit many teams, but it’s helping the deep, skilled Virginia squad. They notched their second upset of the day over Colorado Kali 14-8 through gritty defense and consistency.
The teams traded to start, and then Virginia took off: they broke five times to take half 8-3. Colorado is a team that feeds on its own energy, but they were struggling to stop the pinball offense between Rebecca Meeker, Tess Warner, Keila Strick, and Amy Wedmore.
Kali reset during half, and they cleaned up their act — they rallied their energy and rattled off a few breaks to close the margin 6-8. Meeker and Nhi Nguyen went toe-to-toe, and Kirstin Johnson orchestrated some of the best throws I’ve seen today. Her inside breaks did more for Kali than her biggest hucks.
Kali’s excitement was building, until Katiana Hutchinson bobbled and took control of a disc, falling out of bounds. The observer made a questionable active “out” call, and Hutchinson didn’t push back. Kali lost possession, and Virginia scored for the first time in the second half.
That point could have been the deciding factor; whatever it was, it changed the game. Virginia broke, and pulled Kali back down into the defensive trenches. Kali would break once more, but their cutting was stagnant and much of the offensive burden fell to Johnson and Megan Ives. Virginia, on the other hand, still ran their plays through 5-6 people every point.
Virginia broke twice to score and earn their second upset of the day. If today’s heat carries into tomorrow, Virginia is in a great position — and they’re still peaking.
Michigan 14-10 Ohio State
Michigan capped off an ideal first day by defeating the pool four seed in a convincing performance. Flywheel started hot right out of the gates and rode that early momentum to a dominant 8-4 half time lead. Hannah Henkin made a few plays for the highlight reel and the team’s defense took advantage of Fever’s mistakes to take the early lead.
In the second half, Fever did manage to get back into the game with a couple of breaks, though 12-10 was as close as they ever made it. Michigan powered to a strong finish, capturing the 14-10 win.
Flywheel did well to play through the 2:30 round heat and use its deep roster to its advantage. No player scored more than three points for Michigan, the club instead relying on its multitude of offensive assets for its scoring.
Ohio State fell to 0-2 on the day and now have an uphill battle to get out of the pool. Against Michigan, though, Sadie Jezierski was the highlight. She put together an impressive performance, racking up five assists, including the team’s first four, as well as four Ds as the team mounted its comeback performance in the second half.
Stanford 14-10 Washington
In the matchup between Pool C’s top two seeds, Stanford Superfly defeated Washington Element in a game that held more excitement than the final scoreline would suggest.
Element started the game out strong, holding efficiently against a Stanford junk look on the first point and notching a break on the next point. UW began to throw what would become their go-to defensive set for the game: a 1-3-3 zone. The zone was effective at both mitigating Superfly’s strong deep game and forcing their handlers to throw a great deal of long swing passes. Superfly varied its approach against the zone, but saw far more success when they allowed Hallie Dunham, Monisha White, Annie Rempel, and Caitlin Go to slice up the cup with throws through to popper, rather than trying to swing around the wall.
Stanford’s first counter was to try to throw a diamond zone look, which UW solved with relative ease. Sarah Edwards and Nora Landri effectively dissected the look with incisive throws up the middle of the field. Stanford began to mix up its defensive looks, not completely abandoning zone but working in a lot of tough person defense that forced UW into tight throw after tight throw. They stayed patient and ran error-free handler sets that attacked the break side. UW managed to capitalize on another Superfly turn before half to take the lead, but Stanford answered back and the teams enter halftime on-serve at 8-7.
Element broke out of half, and it look as though they might begin to make a run to take the game, but the run of mistake-free offense that they enjoyed in the first half came to a close. The turning point of the game was the marathon point of 11-10, featuring numerous tired decisions and sloppy throws by both teams. Stanford was eventually able to punch in the break and never looked back. They ran off two more breaks to finish off Element.
Caitlin Go had a strong game for Superfly, seeming to always get open in high-stall situations, and coming up with a handful of big blocks; Shayla Harris also turned up her game in the second half, cutting strongly and helping Superfly to pull away.