Parity provides murky outlook in Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes.
July 28, 2021 by Steve Sullivan in Coverage with 0 comments
During the 2021 summer and fall season, we will publish a bite-sized weekly recap of the action across the Club Division. This will serve as a supplement to our standard tournament reporting and will offer a high-level look at the latest happenings and the biggest stories of the week. We go through the annals of score reporter so you don’t have to!
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While certainly not at the pace we have come to expect by this point in the summer in other years, the club season continues to slowly grind along in 2021, with few big events but teams still finding ways to get in some competitive games. The second TCT event of the summer, Select Flight Invite East, played host to the weekend’s highest-profile tournament, while elsewhere the Mid-Atlantic saw a couple of round-robin events for top regional contenders. Elite club roster announcements continue to be the source of considerable news across the division, providing some surprises and giving us some insight into what to expect from the latter stages of the season and Series this fall.
For now, let’s look back at the limited action from this past weekend.
Select Flight Invite East Portends Crowded Great Lakes Regionals
For a one-bid region, the Great Lakes appears to have plenty of qualified squads ready to battle for the lone invitation to Nationals. The Cleveland Crocs are the latest to enter the conversation, securing a tournament win over their regional competition at SFI East, though not without blemish. The tournament champions cleaned up against all regionals competitors including a bracket run past #16 Columbus Cocktails, Cincinnati Steamboat, and #18 Ann Arbor Hybrid en route to the title, though they were bested by #24 Nashville ‘Shine in pool play. Cocktails, Hybrid, and ‘Shine also each emerged with just a single blemish on their weekend ledger, though no trophy to show for their efforts. Either way, the margins here appear small enough that all of these teams should be expected to be in the hunt for a bid come Sunday of their respective Regionals this fall.
While a step off the pace of the tournament’s ranked competitors, Baltimore Fleet put up a decent showing with a sixth-place finish after coming in as the no.13 seed.
AMP Sweeps, but Rally Impresses in Round Robin
In a DC Rally-hosted round robin on Sunday in Maryland, #1 Philadelphia AMP beat #2 DC Space Heater 12-10, though it was the host squad that was the surprise of the day, playing both top teams to within one. While it is widely expected that the two 2019 qualifiers will once again claim the bids to Nationals, it appears that the second Capitol City program may not be as far behind as originally expected.
Rumor has it Philly star Sean Mott was not in attendance and may not end up on the AMP roster for the season.
As far as we know, there was no club action in the women’s division again this weekend, as teams around the country continue to focus internally during the ramp-up back to competitive play.
Mad Men Beat Up Competition at SFI East
If the mixed division saw lots of parity in Columbus, the men’s division was much more of a one-team show. Madison Mad Men steamrolled the competition at SFI East, with only the preseason-ranked Raleigh-Durham United getting closer than four points. Tennessee Tanasi made the final, picking up decent wins over RDU and Ferndale Nain Rouge in the bracket, but lost 15-9 to the squad from Wisconsin in the title game.
Split Results Complicate Mid-Atlantic Pecking Order
The men’s division also saw a Mid-Atlantic round robin this weekend. While all of the region’s ranked squads were in attendance, the results only muddy the picture of what to expect in the two-bid region. #10 Washington DC Truck Stop and #16 Pittsburgh Temper head-scratchingly split a pair of blowouts, with Truck taking the first game 12-7 then Temper returning the favor 13-6 in a rematch. Pittsburgh also split a pair of close games with #18 Virginia Vault. #22 Philadelphia Phantom went winless on the weekend and may soon have to contend with a new Mott-led crosstown challenger in the division.
It’s another slow weekend for the club season, with just Heavyweights on the docket. Though let’s be serious, the last weekend in July is typically reserved on many East Coast players’ calendars for Wildwood anyway.
Over in Aurora, IL, we’ll get club action in all three gender divisions. Madison Mad Men will get right back at it after their SFI East win, as the top seed and heavy favorite in a seven-team pool at Heavyweights. In mixed, Omaha Woodwork go into the weekend as the no.1 seed amidst a crowd of Classic Flight competition. We’ll thankfully see some women’s action again as well, with St. Louis Stellar headlining the field.
- More than 20 youth club teams across six divisions will meet in Morrisville, NC for the Southeast Showdown. Local adult club teams #8 Durham Toro and Raleigh Malice in Wonderland will be on hand to give some games to a pair of U20 Mixed clubs, Washington DC Swing Vote and Nashville Brutal.