Like ants at a picnic, Hurricane Sandy invaded what would otherwise have been a perfect day for ultimate. But that didn’t stop the excitement – power pools were filled with spectacular plays and exciting comebacks from the best teams at the tournament.
As Fury vs. Nemesis got underway on the showcase field, the next fields over featured regional rematches in Riot vs. Traffic and Showdown vs. Molly Brown. The final power pool matchup was Scandal vs. Brute Squad, a game which seemed to be experiencing the strongest winds of any of the first round women’s games. Upwind scores were a rarity in this game, but Scandal’s zone forced some mistakes from Brute Squad and Scandal won 15-13.
Northwest rivalry rematch Traffic vs. Riot started with Traffic finding their flow after a rocky start on Day 1, taking an early lead. Traffic’s hucks, although pushed around by the wind, seemed to miraculously find their targets such as #17 Candice Chan in far corners of the endzone. Riot found their answer in #7 Calise Cardenas, whose speed and sweet toe-the-line layout scores fired her team up, and #4 Rohre Titcomb’s huge pulls and hucks. Riot pulled this game out 16-14 after a possession-saving layout from #34 Angelica Boyden.
Showdown and Molly Brown was another exciting first round rivalry game with multiple lead changes – Molly Brown took an early lead, battling against Showdown’s zone led by the confident throws of #33 Jana Krutsinger. But Showdown fought back to take half, then Molly Brown went on a run to go up 13-10, then finally Showdown turned it around to win 16-14 on a diving catch from captain Cara Crouch.
Second round games were just as exciting, as teams figured out the best way to flow against the wind. Fury vs. Scandal was a great example of upwind scores, as both teams were able to work it against the other’s zone. Fury took a lead in the second half, but an amazing layout score from Scandal #18 Crystal Davis fired her team up to grab a break score and stay in the game, 13-11. But Fury’s throws in the wind stayed strong and they pulled the game out 15-12 on a captain connection score from #66 Lakshmi Narayan to #8 Nancy Sun sealed the deal.
Molly Brown vs. Traffic was yet another crazy game, as Molly Brown jumped to an early lead, but Traffic battled through to get upwind breaks. Traffic took half and kept the lead to 12-11 thanks to some heads up plays and some luck – a deflected huck caught by Traffic #10 Tory Hislop followed by a deflected layout block caught by another Traffic player. Molly Brown, however, did not want to be sent to pre-quarters and fought back, tying the game at 12s and then taking the lead to win 15-13, led by the hucks of #27 Chelsea Boyle.