The toughest region sends two powerhouses to the EUCF!
September 5, 2019 by Stefan Rappazzo in News, Recap with 0 comments
The South women’s division was predicted to be one of the toughest divisions in all of Europe this year. By the late stages of the tournament, there were four teams with a chance. CUSB Shout (Bologna, Italy), Yaka (Noisy-Le-Sec, France), FABulous (Bern, Switzerland) and Freespeed (Basel, Switzerland). These four outclassed the rest of the competition with only FABulous dropping a single game to a team outside of this quartet.1 Shout won the tournament and took the top spot. Yaka claimed the backdoor ticket in dramatic fashion in front of the Noisy-Le-Sec Mayor and a rowdy home-town crowd with a 15-13 win over FABulous in the game to go.
In Pool C, Shout and Yaka went to double-game point after Yaka led 6-3 early in the contest. Shout lifted, and leveled as Irene Scazzierri played out of her mind. Scazzieri’s speed was a lethal match-up killer, and she owned the airways on anything thrown in her direction, usually with two hands on. The momentum would sway back and forth between the two teams with lead changes and short runs in a slugfest that settled at 10-10 when time expired. The Italians held their will until Ilaria Bonfante sent an arcing shot across the endzone to Greta Melega for the score. With the goal, Shout won and advanced to the championship game.
Yaka on the other hand would have to win a game against the loser of the all-Swiss final pool play match up in Pool D. Then they would have to play the loser of the championship game.
In Pool D, FABulous defended their national title, and took it to their rivals Freespeed in their final pool play game with a convincing 15-11 victory. They defeated a Freespeed squad that was not afforded the services of Laura Kunzelman as she was injured for the weekend. Sarah Eklund also played with reduced mobility and field time after an ankle injury in the first game of the tournament.
Shout claim the championship
These results pitted Shout against FABulous in the game for first spot. CUSB Shout proved to be the class of the tournament and they set the tone early. Demonstrating a full team contribution there was still opportunity to shine for Sara Rabaglia in a strong distributing role and Laura Farolfi demanding the disc despite playing through injury. Shout cruised to a convincing 15-9 victory to win the tournament crown, and top bid to EUCF. Yaka also did their part by beating out the other Swiss contender Freespeed with a 15-11 victory, simultaneously eliminating the Basel ladies from contention, and sending themselves towards redemption.
An intense game to go
The final game of the tournament, for the final allocation to EUCF would feature FABulous coming off a loss, and Yaka following their win. FABulous opened up with a break, and seemed to be rejuvenated from their demeanor towards the end of the Shout loss. Yaka wouldn’t allow their energy to hang around for long, and after a few points they took the lead with three in a row. Yaka continued to get stronger and began to steal breaks with frequency, they took half at 8-5, and continued to pull away. At 12-7 ,Yaka were getting plays from everyone, with some standouts in the air from Alice Jacquin and Olga Chinina in her signature yellow sunglasses.
It looked like it was all over for FABulous. With their flame fading, FAB found a way to “feel the Bern” and the Swiss fire reignited on the heels of some spectacular hucking from Olivia Hauser, and an onslaught of athletic plays in or around the endzone from Phoebe Shambaugh and Yannicka Kappelmann. FABulous scored five of the next six and the score was suddenly 13-12. FABulous were within striking distance of the bid and had all sorts of swagger-a’bubblin’. The crowd lifted and got behind the home team. The proud hometown Mayor paced the sideline with nerves-a’tinglin’… Yaka manifested the crowd’s desires with a score that sent the sideline into a frenzy. FABulous answered back with a hold, and once again settled the edgy crowd to make it 14-13. Now receiving on game point, Yaka eventuated the disc into the attacking zone when Aude Richon took a shot for goal towards Chinina. Her sunglasses now resting on the sideline, with clear eyes, she levitated, and collected the goal, the win, and the berth to Caorle in one fell swoop. Chinina’s team rushed the field to celebrate, Yaka were in.
Yaka taliswoman Aline ‘Rasta’ Mondiot said her team remained calm in the face of adversity when FAB scored three in a row late in the game. Mondiot was proud that the team stayed focused and qualified at home. Mondiot is excited for the EUCF and says they’ll only get stronger with US stalwart Robyn Fennig, Annika Wolfsteiner who championed with her last season2 and Pauline Rigollier from Grenoble. CUSB Shout also get stronger with Laura Niederhauser shifting over from FABulous3 and providing them with even further depth for their roster and their fingers are crossed that Anna Ceschi might be available make the trip over from North Carolina4 as they try and defend their title with a near-home-crowd of their own at EUCF.
Yaka wand Shout will both look to contend in Caorle. It’s not absurd to believe we may even see them play again in the EUCF final.
Ladies Jonctees got a win on FABulous early on Saturday ↩
Wolfsteiner played the WUCC season with Yaka, but joined up with a few of her Yaka teammates to win the EUCF with Bologna after Yaka decided to take the European series off. ↩
Players are allowed to shift teams if their team doesn’t qualify, so even though Niederhauser played with FABulous at this tournament, she can move to Shout since FABulous didn’t qualify ↩