Sunday, August 29, 2010

Coolest Psychos Preseason 2010

"You have so much coolness, they are doing studies on how to prevent global warming around you." -Splat

1. Archie
2. Slush
3. Imli
4. Agave
5. Carolyn
6. Tidal
7. Cosmo
8. Cuervo
9. Beesly
10. Chip
11. Gryllz
12. Joule

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The End

A week has passed since our season ended at Regionals and my battle wounds haven't healed yet. The scrapes on my knees and bruises on my elbows will fade soon but the heartache will take some time. The weekend wasn't magical, but the season was. On Saturday morning, we didn't play like a team that deserved to go to Nationals. It got better, but not by much. We had some shining moments, like a big comeback against UCLA to take the game to double game point, a 13-0 run against Midas, and a smaller comeback against SDSU, but we didn't have a single really solid game that made me feel like we truly deserved it. I felt the altitude in my legs and couldn't perform at my potential at the end of the day. Against both Colorado College and Colorado State, I felt like more of a non-factor as a cutter than I had for the past two years. I did expect more from myself then than I even had, but I felt way stronger against even the best teams in the country like Oregon and UCSB.

There are way too many "what if's" running through my head that could have taken us to Nationals. What if Ferris played in the Series? What is we didn't lose Ashley at Sectionals? What if we beat UCLA on universe in pool play and went into the game to go after a bye like they did? What if Regionals were held in So Cal and we were the ones with home field advantage instead of playing Colorado State twice with their pumped up sidelines and drunk fans? I can't help thinking that if any of those things had gone our way, I would be writing about whether cows are happier in California or Wisconsin instead of my broken heart. It feels like a lot didn't go our way, but for every one of our misfortunes, we probably had something else work out for us. What if Carolyn didn't find the time between all the studying for med school to play with us? What if we had to compete in the Northwest? What if our rookie class wasn't so ballin' that half of them were good enough to sub in even in close games?

Losing something so important in my life is painful. I miss feeling like part of something special, sharing a goal, and working towards it with my 20 best friends, but it wouldn't hurt so much to lose that feeling if it wasn't so great while it lasted.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Regionals are this weekend in Fort Collins, CO. We lost another one of our best players at Sectionals when Ashley tore like every ligament in her knee in our pool play game against Claremont. Even without Ashley, we beat UCLA and earned ourselves the fourth seed at Regionals. With that win and our win against Cal at the Stanford Invite, we've shown that we can be a great team when we want to be. We'll have to do it again when it counts to go to the big show. It's time to shine!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stanford Open

I’ve been meaning to write about the all the tournaments we’ve played in this season, but since I’m so behind and it’s more fun to write about winning, I’m going to start with the Stanford Open and write about Sectionals next. The tournament began for us well before we arrived at the fields on Saturday morning because all week we had been discussing with each other and reflecting on our own about we needed to do to bounce back from Pres Day and poor play across the board. Unlike almost every tournament we ever play in, we all knew that we had a realistic shot at winning the Stanford Open if we played up to our abilities.
We aimed to leave in the late morning to avoid LA traffic, but we hit traffic when we got to San Clemente. We found out later that the freeway was closed for a couple hours because of a grenade on the side of the freeway. Once we got past the grenade traffic and stopped at Taco Bell, it was smooth sailing to Turlock. Our hotel rooms were huge and since B-Team lost so many girls in the last couple weeks leading up to the tournament, we had way too many rooms and didn’t even need all the floor space. Even some rookies got to sleep in beds. We’re spoiling them too much.

In the morning, we decided to follow a Puget Sound van to the fields instead of figuring out how to get there ourselves. It was a poor decision. We found ourselves in a five car caravan on First Rd. instead of First Ave. in the wrong city and had to make several U-turns, but we eventually made it to the fields. We laughed at how we would be playing on an open field surrounded by farms, and that was before we heard the rooster cock-a-doodle-doo-ing all day. It was supposed to rain on Saturday, but we didn’t feel a drop all day. As it turns out, a 70% chance of rain means there is a 30% chance it won’t rain. It was still pretty windy and it was hard to keep track of which direction the wind was blowing in because it constantly was inconstant. Upwind and downwind directions changed all day and the wind picked up more in the afternoon.
We played Santa Cruz first, coming out with a lot of fire. We went up 4-0 before they started scoring. We looked and felt good, but it was the same case in our first game against Davis at Pres Day that we let up in after a good start and ended up losing. Despite a lull in the end of the game, we were able to hold on to our lead and won 11-8.

Next, we played Arizona. The first few points were long and ugly, but we established a small lead over them. Their biggest threat was LP, who touched the disc a lot and had good hucks that she’d used against us in Santa Barbra. We tried to prevent this by having our farthest defender on their ho-stack poach deep, so we’d have two girls to their one whenever they took a deep shot. It was effective when they were stagnant, but they were able to complete some deep throws after they moved the disc around a little and we were disorganized. Hard cap went off when we were up 8-7, but they scored downwind and took it to universe, just as they had in Santa Barbara. On universe, we had no trouble working the disc up the open side and I believe Ashley threw Ultra the score to win the game 9-8.

After spending our bye eating circus animal crackers and applying Kung Fu Panda temporary tattoos, we warmed up again for a game against Whitman, who won DIII Nationals last year. It was an especially fun game because two of their best players went to high school with me, including one that played basketball with Bonds and me and is one of our good friends. Between the two teams, there may have been times when we had six Paly players on the field at once. The wind had picked up and we threw our zone defense of them. Joule got a couple of big hand blocks including at least one on their goal line. Again, we started with a lead and the game was never close. We won 10-7.

Our last game against Pacific Lutheran was our easiest of the day and secured the first seed coming out of our pool. We won it 11-5.

There were some close games in our pool but not a single upset. In the other pool, the first seed was Davis and they lost all four of their pool play games. A three-way tie between NC State, Sonoma State, and Claremont was settled by point differential and NC State took the top spot. The top teams from the lower pools were San Diego State, Oregon State, and Cal Poly-SLO, with San Diego State looking especially dominant.

After our game, we watched Berserk play Stanford-B and helped them out since they didn’t have any coaches with them for the weekend. Stanford-B won and coincidentally, that meant we would face them in the pre-quarters on Sunday morning.

Even though we didn’t allow Stanford-B to score until the second half, the game was just ugly. Points were way long than they needed to be because our offense was messy so we had far too many turns. Our defense was fine and we won 13-3, but it was a game that we shouldn’t have been scored on in because every one of their points came after at least two or three turnovers on our side. Like we had done when we lost to other inferior teams, we played down to their level. That game cast doubts for me about whether we’d be able to make a run for the Championship because I knew we wouldn’t have a shot if we continued to play like we did when we came out.

Fortunately, we were able to pick it up in our next game against Humboldt. We were able to establish flow and looked like a whole new team. Unlike Saturday, there was no real wind, so taking deep shots was an option we brought into play. We played hard throughout the game, promising each other that we would save our usual lull for the shower after our games, and won 12-6. After we won our quarterfinals game, we found out from the TD that none of the other three semifinalist teams wanted to go to the Invite, so our place was secure. From then on, we were just playing for free shorts and glory.
Our semifinals matchup was against Sonoma State. We’d seen them on Monday at Pres Day and beat them 13-2, but they had been playing without their dominant cutter, Maggie Ruden, who had hurt her shoulder that weekend. They proved that they were better than the team we obliterated at Pres Day. We already knew Brinn Langdale was their big handler who held their offense together, but Ruden made lots of big plays as well, including a couple of lay out D’s. It was a much tougher game than the first time we saw them and we won 13-7.

On the other side of the bracket, NC State beat Claremont. After a week of trying to fathom why NC State decided to fly across the country to play in a qualifier in Stevinson, I talked to a couple of players on the team about it. They told me that they thought the tournament was at Stanford and wanted to see some west coast teams. That answer still wasn’t good enough for me but I let it go.

Our finals game may have been the best game we’d played up to that point. It wasn’t flawless, but we played like we really wanted it. Our defense forced their best player to get frustrated and throw at least five bad hammers on a high stall count. I only remember one that was caught. Like almost every game we played that weekend, the finals game was capped. We held onto a moderate lead all game and won 12-8.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nationals Bid Allocation

Out of 20 overall bids for each the women’s and open college divisions, each region gets two automatically, which adds up to 16 automatic bids overall. All of the remaining four bids are strength bids. The first two are called regional strength bids and go to the top two regions, which are determined by taking the rankings of the top eight teams in the region and dividing that value by eight. Only teams that play at least 10 regular season games at UPA sanctioned events are ranked. The last two bids are team strength bids. They are given to regions based on how strong the next best team in the region beyond the number of bids the region has been assigned already. So the six regions that didn’t receive a regional strength bid will compare their third highest ranked teams to the fourth highest ranked teams from the two regions that did receive a regional strength bid. A region can only receive one of each type of strength bid for a maximum of four bids to Nationals. Rankings will be updated over the course of the season and bids will be awarded after the regular season, which ends on March 28th, but before the College Series. It’s too early in the season to make any real predictions, especially since the rankings aren’t up yet, but after Pres Day, it looks likely that the Northwest and Southwest will each have four bids on the women’s side.

Rankings can be found here. The web page says rankings were supposed to begin last week, but the rankings up are from last year.

The official explanation of what I described above can be found here.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Things I might write about after Pres Day

1. Pres Day
2. Santa Barbara Invite
3. Unaffiliated beer pong tournament that happened to feature some ultimate players
4. More lists
5. New UPA College Rankings
6. How nationals bids allocation works
7. Loryn

Loryn completed a greatest for a score at practice last Thursday.

She carries this team.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Coolest Psychos Winter 2010

1. Ultra
2. Archie
3. Penny
4. Slush
5. Dada
6. DK
7. Tidal
8. Carolyn
9. Ashley
10. Mahi
11. Imli
12. Agave
13. Kacto
14. Cosmo
15. Dwade
16. Godiva
17. Cuervo
18. Beesly
19. Ziggy
20. Austen
21. Ferris
22. Bonds
23. Loryn
24. Gryllz
25. Joule