Mixed Indoor Regionals Report 2012
OW!There is an area of thought, that states that gender is just a concept created by society. That there are no fundamental differences between men and women, and that we should all be treated equally.
Fortunately, UKU doesn't subscribe entirely to this, hence why we can have mixed Ultimate (as well as a separate league for women, although to be fair to the Open comes fairly close to the ideal).
Mixed has always been an area of Ultimate I've enjoyed. While still being really intense, the spirit is always a lot higher, the games friendlier, and the call at the end of the game is not *always* just Euroslaps, despite the attempts of some of my team.
Arriving on the Saturday at the 3g of the Alan Higgs center, we started off against Fling (Nottingham) 2. As always, we started off a little shaky, but it was a good game for us to have first. We started to cut out our mistakes, got tighter on D to work against their fast handlers, and we played our game. The result was convincingly ours.
Demons (De Montfort) were different. As they had only 3 men, they used their women a lot more, giving our females some experience at having 3 on the line. Our girls stepped up to the challenge, and this was an even more convincing victory than the last. 2 down, 1 to go.
Aye-Aye (UEA) tend to pop up in important games for us. This was no exception. Also, given both teams uncharacteristically low spirit scores at open a couple weeks ago, the atmosphere was tense as we waited to see what sort of game it would be. Aye-Aye taking a 2-0 lead didn't help make matters less tense either. However, despite a slightly alarming amount of calls (all of which were settled surprisingly amicably), Oxford managed to not panic and instead played a solid game, getting an 8-3 win and a half hour lie-in for the next day.
The play the first day was smooth, consistent and solid. If we kept playing like this it was going to be a great weekend. Sadly, as anyone in OW! knows, this sort of thing doesn't last. We said goodbye to Hugo and Hannah, and hi there to Jonno and Sivahn, to start with a big crossover against UBU (Birmingham).
Its one of those games I don't remember much of. The smoothness of Saturday was gone, with none of us really turning up to the game. The connections weren't happening, throws that were solid all day yesterday were low percentage in this game. Credit to UBU, they came out hard and played well. We're sorry for not being able to give them more of a game. A big loss, and now we qualify the hard way.
Our 6v7 was against Bears (Warwick), and boy were we annoyed from the last game. Aware of the midlands weave, we adapted quickly and after a couple of points we had it shut down. The intensity was raised sevenfold and most of my friction burns came from layouts in this game. They, however, used their girls to great effect (it is mixed after all), so with little to separate the teams, a disc-in-the-air-on-the-timer catch by Poulson in the endzone drew the game to sudden death. Sadly, it wasn't to be, with Bears working the disc in with trademark patience.
That left us in the game to go to Div 2 (deja vu anyone?), against Lincoln (Lincoln). They only had 3 guys and 3 girls, so we knew they'd be tired. We came out very hard, got our break, and then traded our way to victory. We'd made it.
If we want to be challenging for victory in div 2, we still have a lot to work on. But for a team that hadn't played together, we had a lot of chemistry. Dan did a great job captaining and controlling the team, with Hugo taking over nicely against UEA when Dan had to leave, with Jonno providing some advice and experience, in both throws and tactics, on the second day.
The consistency and skill of the girls meant they weren't just extra players, but members of the team (unlike how Mixed is sometimes played). The fact Emma has only being playing a month and a half still astounds me, I didn't see Sivahn drop once, Nicki was easily able to handle at the back and control the flow, Hannah too is coming on in huge strides and Jess is enthusiastic. Andrei has the speed and throws to make any player jealous, and showed it big time this weekend. Oh, and Poulson managed to only collide with one girl all weekend (and also got MVP for some ridiculously solid grabs).
It was a great weekend, topping off 7th in every regional tournament for Oxford. Only this time, it meant we qualified. After the intensity of OW! at open, and seeing the shear joy of the sport for WOW! at women's, it was great to see the two combined so effectively for COW! this weekend. But Ultimate is a journey, and its by no means over yet.
See you at Nationals.
Hazard T. Mason
Team: Jamie Allen, Jon Daly, John Turing, Jess Rosenqvist, Ben Saward, Jamie Miller, Bryce Leavitt, Dan Cerigo.
Pool Match: OW! 2 12-2 Demons 2
Two words sum up this match - double greatest. We played well considering it was our frst match as a team with intense D even if our O got a little frenetic at times, but the best moment happened when we were already about 8 points up. One of our throws down the line into the endzone was drifting out, but was returned towards the pitch by Ben, only for this pass to start heading out the back. This time it was Jamie Miller's turn to attempt the greatest which was caught by Jon Daly for the score to the amazement of everybody.
Pool Match: OW! 2 10-1 Brookes 2
They started on O and produced a very slick point to score straight away. We didn't panic though and just tried to play our game, with plenty of running off the disc and trying to take our time on it. This turned out to be a very com-fortable game after the first point, with us scoring fairly freely without reply.
Pool Match: OW! 2 6-3 Gloucestershire
This was our last match of the day and we knew we had to win this for the chance to top our peer pool. We got off to our first in a series of bad starts to fall a couple of points behind. With some help from the firsts on the sideline we began our comeback, playing well in the second half of the match to snatch a narrow victory.
Pool Match: OW! 2 4-6 Jesters 2
Going into this game both teams had won all of their matches so the winner was going to get the easier crossover to try and make it into the top 12. Another bad start did not help our cause and this time it was too much to ask to come back to win against a strong Jesters second team. We probably edged the second half of the game, and may have won a longer encounter but simply gave ourselves too much to do.
7-18 Crossover: OW! 2 6-12 Haze 1
We knew we had a good team and having already had a game that day to warm up we thought we had a chance to push them hard and see what happened. 1 In the end they ran out comfortable victors, but we played our best match of the weekend to give them a very good game and perhaps deserved a narrower scoreline.
18-23 Crossover: OW! 2 6-4 Aston
After failing to reach the top 12, the aim was to go for the plate, starting with a game to hold seed against Aston. Though we started slowly, it was better than our previous starts, but this time we did not perform as well in the second half. The match was fairly even, if somewhat scrappy, and we earned a deserved victory.
15-18 Quarter: OW! 2 4-6 UBU 2
We knew UBU 2 would be a sterner test than Aston and that we would have to improve to beat them. We again found ourselves a couple of points down, despite it not being our worst start to a game. We did manage to pick it up again though, but only really to the level where we were trading for the second half of the game. Had we started quicker it could have been a different result. 18-19 Semi: OW! 2 7-3 AyeAye 2 Now that the plate was out of reach we were just playing for pride, and knew we had a good chance of victory against AyeAye 2. This time we came out of the blocks quickly and played more confidently resulting in us taking an early lead which we never relinquished. This was a good performance and gave us some confidence for our last game.
17-18 Final Match: OW! 2 6-7 Bears 2
This was a very close match from the beginning. After losing the toss for the umpteenth time, Warwick started on O and managed to maintain that advan-tage throughout the game, though they never lead by more than 2 points. In the last minute needing just a point to take it into sudden death I managed to drop a dolly of a Warwick swing in their endzone and there was still time to drop a layout catch on their endzone line. This was probably the most enjoyable game of the weekend, it was really tight and tense the whole way through.
Throughout the weekend our game was characterised by a high intensity which served us well on D, where we were regularly earning turnovers against all of the teams we played. It did hinder us on occasion on O, though not as much as our habit of seemingly turning up 5 minutes late to games. The overall perfor-mances were positive though, with Haze 1 being the only team able to beat us comfortably.
MVP: Dan Cerigo
Tireless on D, marking out many an opposition player for whole points as well as making some crucial interceptions. On O Dan made some great cuts and never seemed to drop the disc, including making some huge grabs.
Best O: Jamie Allen
I handled for most of the time and tried to keep the disc moving whilst getting a few breaks out.
Best D: Jess Rosenqvist
Faced with marking guys for the majority of the time, Jess often didn't sound too confident - but that never showed on the pitch. She worked very hard and played well, she was especially good at taking full advantage of guys who un-derestimated her, both on O and D. She deserved best D for her layout against AyeAye 2 alone and spent the whole weekend proving that she didn't, despite her insistence, need dextrose.
MSP: Bryce Leavitt
Bryce played hard and played well, making some nice grabs and one particularly good backhand break against AyeAye 2, but he was always fair and enjoyed playing, with the right attitude.