Atlantic Coast Showcase Concludes With NC State Games Vs. Virginia, UNC

A successful first year for the ACS.

NC State’s Davey Jones lays out against UVA. Photo: Brian Whittier.

This article was written by Charles Kerr, the NC State assistant coach. He was the head coach from 1991 – 1997. He is also the co-author of the Callahan Rules and the “Callahan Goal,” the founder of the Callahan Award, and the primary developer of the JinxCam elevated camera system.

The opening season of the Atlantic Coast Showcase wrapped up with games between NC State and the University of Virginia and UNC in bang bang fashion.

On Friday, February 16th, the NC State men took on Virginia Night Train at 6:00 PM before the NC State women battled Virginia Hydra at 7:45 PM.

In the opener, NC State took half 8-6. With the score 8-7, a Virginia turn left the disc on their own 30-yard line and an break mark flikc strike from David Jones set up a quick flow into the end zone and, from there, State was able to extend the lead to 13-9. UVA staged a comeback, but State sealed the +1 WFDF-style capped game 14-12.

The nightcap saw the upstart NC State Jäga women’s team take on Jianna Torre and a Virginia Hydra team that’s been to College Nationals in seven consecutive seasons. The NC State women–led by an experienced handling core of Ashley Powell, Carmen Tormey, Briana Campbell, and Danielle Sawyer–quickly jumped out to a 5-1 lead. UVA regained its footing and brought the game back to 8-6 at half, but State recharged and raced out to a thumping 15-8 victory.

The Universe Cleats Play of the Night went to NC State speedster Rowan Jaynes where she out-jumped several UVA players on an up-for-grabs huck.

Just four days later, with temperatures dipping down to the low 40s and a bitter wind deterring some fans, an NC State vs. UNC clash featuring four top-20 teams still made this the best attended night of the Showcase series.

Even with the wind gusting, fans expected a high-level of play: that’s exactly what they got. The State women, ranked #20, started the doubleheader playing #5 ranked UNC Pleiades. With UNC leading 4-3, constant wind led to a series of turnovers by both teams, and when #22 Anne Worth punched in a short assist, the game turned decidedly in UNC’s favor. UNC took half 7-4.

UNC Pleiades, led by experienced handlers Elisabeth Parker and Callahan candidate Jenny Wei, were quick to look for long downfield shots, while State resisted the urge to “punt and play D” and largely succeeded in moving the disc with a series of short handler and in cuts. After half, NC State threatened several times to get back to within a single goal, with UNC fighting them off on each attempt. The game was capped at 11-8 and UNC scored to take the game 12-8.

The men’s side of the Atlantic Coast is currently the country’s toughest region. If the season ended today, the region would earn four bids to the USA Ultimate National Championships. The final Showcase game pitted the NC State men, ranked #17, against UNC Darkside, the #1 ranked team in the division.

The game got off to an unexpected start, with NC State ripping through a series of Darkside turnovers to go up 5-1 at the 20-minute mark. But as quickly as State jumped on UNC, Darkside, a team with a history of spectacular comebacks, turned the tables right back, and reeled off three of the next four points. At 6-4, NC State lost key player Conor Chickos when he was mowed down on a fluke play as he intercepted a UNC throw that got popped in the wind.

From there, UNC went onto take half 7-6. When State’s David Jones had to retire from the game at 9-7, State’s fate was pretty much sealed, with UNC going on to win the game 13-9. 

For the final Showcase doubleheader, the Universe Point Play of the Night went to UNC’s Marc Rovner for a key sequence of handler defense where he laid out to block a reset pass that helped fuel UNC’s comeback run.

The 2018 Showcase was powered by NC Ultimate’s Ken Randby; observers Mitch Dengler, Daniel Wong, Bill Bourret, and Clint McSherry; the video and audio production team of Matt Wolff, Craig Sullivan, Corey Williams, Robbye Brooks, Taylor Pope, Jake McGoogan, Clayton Carey; and student organizers Kevin Harrow and Briana Campbell.

NC State looks forward to working with USA Ultimate, Discraft, Universe Point, and Atlantic Coast teams to build on this year’s Showcase for a bigger and better return in 2019.

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