Saturday, October 13, 2007

CUUC 2007 Saturday Update


Just giving a quick update on the men's and women's divisions. Some surprises and some expected results as the teams head into Saturday play.

The top 8 teams held their seed. The results and schedule can be found here.

Here are the details within each pool:

Pool A
  • Toronto holds seed and goes 3-0. They beat UBC C and Saskatchewan easily, and survive a relatively close game with Alberta (13-10).
  • Alberta goes 2-1. Of note is their win over Saskatchewan, eking out a 13-11 victory.
  • Saskatchewan goes 1-2, a disappointing result given the tight games they played against Torontula and Alberta. However, they manage to stay in the Saturday power pools.
  • UBC C was not the giant killer they hoped to be on day one. 0-3, and they scored less than 5 points in all of their games.
Pool B
  • UBC A holds seed and goes 3-0. They beat McMaster 13-8, they handle UBC B 13-4 and then crush 2nd seed Queens 13-1.
  • Queens goes 2-1. They win a very close game versus McMaster, winning on universe point 15-14. They beat UBC B but then lose to UBC in an embarrassing defeat. Were they playing possum, having already moved on to power pools?
  • McMaster goes 1-2. Had they won on universe point with Queens, they would have pulled off a huge upset. This team has really improved this year.
  • UBC B goes 0-3. Probably the toughest pool on friday, and they will have to do well on Saturday to get a backdoor chance at quarters.
Pool C
  • McGill/MUT goes 3-0. They have a strong day, and their toughest game is against Ottawa, who has seen their zone before and obviously benefited from that.
  • Victoria goes 2-1. They get tripped up by McGill and their system, but they get the job down versus Ottawa and Simon Fraser
  • Ottawa goes 1-2 and beats seed to finish third in the pool. They fared poorly versus Victoria, but they win a close game against Simon Fraser. Sadly, a big day still finds them outside the power pools, but they still have a back door chance.
  • Simon Fraser goes 0-3, falls to fourth in the pool, and is still looking for their first win on Saturday. Not quite ready for prime time in their first nationals (At least in many years).
Thus the Saturday power pools look like this

Pool 1
  • Toronto
  • MUT
  • Alberta
  • McMaster
Pool 2
  • UBC A
  • Victoria
  • Queens
  • Saskatchewan
The weak pool is as follows. (I assume the top 2 finishers will get a crossover opportunity at the end of the day)
  • Ottawa
  • UBC C
  • UBC B (Will they be able to beat the C team?)
  • Simon Fraser

The women's tourney is set up as a two day round robin, with quarters at the end of day Saturday and the rest of playoffs on Sunday.

The schedule is posted here

Here is each team's results

  • UBC A goes 4-0, and gives up just 2.5 pts per game.
  • Toronto goes 0-3 and loses to the top seed, the fourth seed and the seventh seed. A very dark day for the female spider squad.
  • McGill has a strong day, but still finds themselves at 2-2. They give UBC A their toughest challenge (13-6). The beat SFU and Queens, but fall to 8th seed Victoria
  • Alberta goes 2-2 on day one. They fall to Queens and Saskatchewan, but they beat UBC B and Toronto.
  • Queens goes 2-1. They beat Alberta and Simon Fraser, but they lose to McGill. It seems like the Martletts have the Mothership's number this year.
  • Saskatchewan finishes day one with a 2-1 recored. They muster little effort in a loss to UBC A, but defeat Alberta and UBC B
  • Simon Fraser goes 1-2, but looking at the scores, one sees a lot of hope for this team. They lose to McGill and Queens, but the games were very close (11-8 and 10-8 respectively). They pick up their first win of the entire calender year with a 13-2 trashing of Toronto
  • Victoria goes 2-0. They should have a third game versus SFU to report, but it is not listed online currently. Regardless of the last game, 8th Victoria shows it's a team to be reckoned with, and their low seed is no detriment.
  • UBC B goes 0-4, having a tough day. Through losses to Saskatchewan, Alberta, Victoria and UBC A, they fail to live up to the UBC depth hype. Most painful game- Getting bageled by the A team.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

CUUC 2007- Women's Preview


Here's a quick rundown of the women's section of the Canadian University nationals, taking place this weekend.

Tournament site is here

Schedule is here

Teams are discussed below in order of seed.
UBC A- Here's the question- Are they glad that last years champions (Ottawa) are not attending? It's a tough call. On one hand, they greatly increase the chance of a national title. On the other hand, they lose a very valuable experience. The fact is that the Gee Gees stacked lineup is not at this tourney, and UBC A becomes the front runner. All that matters is winning the title and fending off Toronto.

Toronto- I am reluctant to say this, but from what I saw at CEUUC 2007, it will be a two team race for the national crown. Toronto might be missing some handlers that are going to play in Florida for the Capitals ( "Show Dawg" Hadiya Roderique, Lexi Marsh, etc). If they don't have replacements to make the throws, the move back into the rest of the pack.

MUT- I've seen this team over the last two years, and there is a lot to like. The one thing I don't like is- How do they play in the wind? Although they do have experience in the backfield with people like Kirsten Niles (Just a wicked person, and an alum of co-ed team TOYS, one of the most spirited teams ever that has been defunct for years sadly... "Yeah TOYS!"), they do need some more to make a serious run for #1.

Alberta-Is there any Team Alberta players on the squad? Who is running the show? Are the better than McGill or Queens? Darkhorse/sleeper pick material. Purely speculation.

Queens- Kingston-I would not expect Capitals player Jenna McBride to be present given her impending trip to Sarasota. That hurts them this year, more than it normally does. She's a great talent/leader, and they are depth-thin this year in terms of experience.

Saskatchewan- I don't think they will match the results of their male counterparts. I just hope the tourney shirts have the name Saskatchewan spelled properly this time around. Call me a jerk for saying that, it's just bad business.

Simon Fraser- Does the clam play a clam defense against the vertical stack? Cheesy. They've lost 14 straight games in 2007. This will be the tourney they secure their first win.

Victoria- Barring total disorganization and meltdown, this team will beat seed and challenge for the 4-6 range.

British Columbia B- If the women's program is as strong as the men, would it stand to reason that this team could expect/hope to upset Victoria, SFU, USASK, and Alberta? They might be a B team in name only.


Canadian University Nationals 2007- Men's Preview


CUUC 2007 has quickly approached, and will be taking place in Vancouver this weekend. The main tournament site is right here.

Open Preview

First off, the seeds and schedule are listed on the upa site. It would be nice to see CUPA work towards having a similar tournament details capability in the coming year.

Here's my brief preview of the teams (in order of seed per pool) and their chances to the extent of my knowledge.
Pool A
Toronto- The defending national champions are looking to reclaim their title. Whether you like the eligibility rules at CUUC or not, the grad students and exceptions used by this team greatly complement a team with solid undergraduate talent. The positives are the depth of talent, experience playing and winning at this level, and the solid leadership. The negatives going into the tourney is the expected loss of players due to travel costs, and the expected absence of GOAT players who will be focusing on Florida after qualifying last weekend. The spiders have decided to spin a web in Vancouver, but they will face a much tougher UBC squad than the skeleton crews that travel east for other nationals.

Alberta - This team participated at CUUC 2006 in Ottawa, and failed to make a lot of noise. They finished no higher than 13th. One more year of experience, and one cheaper plane ticket this time around might lead to better results. Given the growth of Edmonton, the existance of a men's competitive team in the town (EMU), the athletic resume of the school in other sports, and the sheer size of the school, this is a program with much promise.

Saskatchewan- If you saw this team play last year at nationals, you can understand why they might be a little insulted by being ranked lower than Alberta. Last year, they were seeded low and destroyed weak teams en route to a crossover game with Western. The lost their chance to sneak into quarterfinals, but they gave the prairies a solid name with their huck game and their team athleticism. If the roster is similar, expect them to beat seed.

UBC C- Absolutely no pressure for UBC's third team. How deep is Vancouver's high school and university programs when UBC has three teams and SFU has a team? This team likely won't be world beaters, but they'll get some great experience, and look to upset one A team at least.
Pool B

UBC A- Expect this team to dominate their pool. One of the posters on this site brought up the fact that past squads attending recent nationals were missing some players- Let this tourney be a showcase for the school. One of the things I detest in ultimate is seeing young/talented teams not play their best at all times. I hope the Thunderbirds bring the intensity and help raise the training/development of other teams.

Queens- This is not your older brother's Mothership. They proved this with their 5th place finish at Easterns. The team is going through a lot of change after a dynasty in Kingston. After watching them lose to Western at CEUUC 2007, I saw plenty of players and pieces, but their was a leadership void and time is needed for it to come together. I have seen Miles Wilson and Ernie Lin for several years, and they are great college players. Lin will make every effort in his home city.

McMaster- Okay, I'll just say what many have told me- the response to their new jerseys is luke warm at best. It's a collar versus no collar debate. To me, it doesn't matter. They looked much better skill wise this year, and they gave 2nd place CEUUC 2007 finisher Guelph a super close game a month ago (9-8 loss). This is a wide open tourney, so do they have enough talent and handlers when we get to quarterfinals?

UBC B- I think this team will be a proverbial grenade which McMaster and Queens steps on.


Pool C

McGill/MUT- Listed in UPA under the B team name. However, I expect it to be composed with many of the same zone happy guys that finished 2nd last year at Nationals. McGill had a disappointing CEUUC 2007 this year, getting pounded by a Carleton and finishing out of the top 3. I think they have a nice seed, and its up to them to hold it. Victoria and SFU have every intention of upsetting them.

Victoria- Two of the top reasons for eastern teams to attend nationals this year, in my opinion, is to play for a national title, and to play UBC. The other reasons are to enjoy Vancouver and to get a rare glimpse at Victoria's new players that will hit the scene. There are a lot of "Eastern" people who spend time in Victoria. They tell tales of goaltimate, coed tourneys and players who are not the most athletic and training driven, but are just "good at ultimate". I have nothing to go on for this team, but I would not be surprised to see them in the semis. I also hope it's not the aggro/chippy type of squad Victoria has had in past CUC coed versions. Does anyone remeber the chick from Lucky who mooned the crowd and threw a disc into the stands? I forget what the disc had written on it....

Simon Fraser University- The SFU clam are making an appearance. I have SFU's excellent co-op program to thank for two reasons. One, they sent a huge number of students/players to Ottawa for co-op and these students ran the pick up ultimate games on Parliament Hill that lead to my introduction to the sport and the formation of the MAUFO Parliamentarians dynasty. Secondly, the coop program lead to the meeting of my fiance in Ottawa.. another huge bonus.

Burnaby's finest are not as advanced as their UBC opponents, but expect them to continue to use the Vancouver talent pool and near bye US/Canada competition to develop into a strong team nationally.

Ottawa- This serves as a "last ride" for several players who have played with the Ottawa team for many years now. The core of the team has its star players (Eric "The Show" Morrow is nearly unstoppable as a cutter), but a majority have battled injuries, lack of leadership, and simply personal skill limitations. However, a new core is developing on both the A and B team, and leaders have been in place since last year to flesh out talent and results. I really think Ottawa should strive to be a tough opponent in the quarters, and to finish in style.

Monday, October 8, 2007

UPA Update

Hey Folks,

Just a quick review of the weekend games. I have to enjoy the rest of my holiday with the Pride of Praha aka The Fiance.

Congrats to Goat and Capitals for getting into the UPA championship round.
Northeast Regional Update

-Goat finishes 2nd in Open, losing a close game to Boston Ultimate and then squeaking out a one point win over Pony in the game to go.

-Grand Trunk wins the division II crown. I'm not surprised. Even in beating them at sectionals with Firebird, you could tell that despite some key missing people, the team still had a core of talent and some key ROY pickups that could do some damage with the right focus.

Lowdown via Jamie Noonan on

"I'm sure people have read the accounts of the Open Sunday on disc, but holy crap -- GOAT had two of the toughest finishes to their 2 games-to-go I've ever seen; simply amazing ultimate both ways. Boston's comeback win against them in the 1-2 game was ridiculous, and PoNY hanging with them right to universe point in the backdoor equally crazy. Fortunat Mueller of Boston made at least 2 sick plays to win his team the #1 NE seed -- one of them on a huge huck to two 6-2+ GOAT strikers, who he split at the last second and simply out-wanted the disc for a d-grab (he's 5-10, tops) and another monster layout for the game winner. But GOAT is soooo deep with tall, athletic, skilled players, and their confidence level and calmness seems so high after their stellar summer. They've got a real chance to make some waves at UPAs."

-Capitals and Storm go undefeated on day one pool play
-Capitals drop their semi final to Lady Godiva 14-11
-Storm is crushed by Brute Squad (15-1) in the other semi. Brute Squad takes 1st over Lady Godiva
-Capitals climb back and Sugar Shack, Ambush, and Lady Godiva to take 2nd and secure a spot in Florida
-Storm loses to Ambush, then beats Rouge and Chikitas before bowing out to Ambush in the final game to go (15-4).

: Capitals advance, Storm finishes one place out of qualification.

-Bytown Flatball Club opens the tourney with wins over 7Express and Denoiret. Unfortunetly, like the CUPA regionals and the nationals final, the wheels then fell off for this squad who has no shortage of talent for the coed level. BFC loses to eventual champ Slow White, then to the Bashing Pinatas, and then to Puppet Regime. Their final placement is 6th.

-Montreal's Denoiret (A coed team based on open and women's players) crush their seed and finish 5th, up from their pre tourney ranking of 11th.

-Qualifiers are Slow White, Tandem and Bashing Pinatas. The Bashing P's take a spot and beat BFC during the tournament, despite losing to BFC twice in sectionals.


-Team Chemistry and the lack of practice time does not appear to be a factor for Tombstone as they go 3-1 in Saturday pool play.

-However, Tombstone runs in Sunday difficulty. They lose 15-7 to DOG, and then lose 15-11 to Above and Beyond. They fail to qualify.

- Jaime Noonan of Tombstone writes on the forum about the Tombstone roster makeup and their performance on the weekend:

"Everyone contributed all weekend. It was absolutely not a TO-centric effort. I still think we had the deepest team at Regionals, and had we had more time to play together -- it was the first time for many of us even meeting each other, let alone playing ultimate -- we would have pulled out one of the two games to go. A&B played the 3-4 game against Not Dead Yet, a much, MUCH weaker team, while we were fighting DoG. They ended up finishing 15-2 and waiting for the loser of our game. It started out very even; DoG is, as you would expect, extremely efficient with the disc, and turnovers were hard to come by. Our chemistry issues showed, as we worked it down to the red zone time after time and couldn't punch it in. Every point was hard-fought, but by half, the score was 8-4. It felt much closer, but a team decision was made to shut it down in the second half to rest the starters for the game-to-go. I think the final might have been 15-6 or 7?

The A&B game-to-go was another typical NY vs. 'NE Cdn Masters Team X' scrap. Lots of calls and "discussions", a few of which ended up going to observers. Pitched battles on every point. Arnie Sanchez was a machine, outrunning and hauling down hucks over and past our defenders. We had a better time getting turns than we had against DoG, but also had the same problems punching it in. They went up a couple breaks early and took half 8-5. Another break early in the 2nd had us down 4. We laid it all out right until the end, and had a better second half, but couldn't close the gap and lost 15-12 or 11, can't remember.


Central Open Regional Update

-General Strike is a factor in the 3rd place bracket, but loses 15-5 to The Van Buren boys
-They fail to qualify, and all we can say at this point via the upa site is that General Strike finished somewhere in the 5-14 range.
-Qualifiers for this region include Sub Zero of the Tri Cites, Machine of Chicago, and The Van Buren Boys of Ames. That's Ames, Iowa. This might be the cinderella team of the UPA championships folks, as they moved from a 6th seed to upset 2nd seed BAT and 4th seed Madcow in taking the last qualifier spot.
-Hopefully Pegger can update us on the tournament..