2014 Nationals - Mixed Division Day 3 Recap

Posted: October 19, 2014 03:22 AM

Brittany Winner recaps day three action from the mixed division at the 2014 National Championships in Frisco, Texas.


2014 Nationals Mixed Division:



Nats14 Kotvis D3X3
Photo Credit: Steve Kotvis, f/go


The first semifinal match of the day between Drag’n Thrust and CLX started out as might have been expected, with both teams’ O-lines operating smoothly.  Saturday started with a brisk morning wind, but it died down considerably by the time the opening pull of the semifinals went up at 12:00pm CT.  What little breeze was left didn’t seem to affect either team; through the first seven points of the game, neither O-line had a single turnover. Then each team’s defense made adjustments, picked up the intensity and started generating turns, but neither squad was able to convert for a break.  It didn’t take much longer though, and on a point with multiple turnovers by each team, Drag’n Thust’s Alicia Carr found Mike Petersen with a hammer to go up a break, 7-5. After an 8-6 half, CLX scored their O-line point and then two breaks, highlighted by a Rebecca Miller goal and layout D on back-to-back D-line points, putting CLX up 9-8.  It wouldn’t be enough, however, as Drag’n capitalized on long points with multiple turnovers, going on a three-point run to go up 13-10 before trading points through the final score, 15-12. 


Nats14 Thai D3X1
Photo Credit: Daniel Thai, UltiPhotos

The second semifinal game between Seattle Mixed and Wild Card was about as different from the first as it could get.  The turnovers came early and often, ignited by an opening-point short-field break off an overthrown swing from Wild Card. Seattle jumped out to a 7-4 lead.  Boston got one break back, and on the following point, Vincenzo Vitiello’s pull was touched before it rolled out the back. Sprinting down on defense, Vitiello went horizontal to get the first-throw D in the end zone, ran it out to the goal line and floated a backhand around to Cody McInnis to tie the game at 7-7.  After Seattle turned the disc on the following point to give Wild Card a chance to break for half, Cam Bailey countered with his own layout D on another missed swing and – without bothering to stand up – threw a scoober to close out the half for Seattle, still up a break at 8-7.  Wild Card started strong with a break to begin the second half, but Seattle notched three consecutive scores to make it 11-8. Unfazed, Wild Card strung together three of their own to tie it at 11-11, led by plays from Shellie Cohen and Adrian Banerji.  The momentum shifted once more in Seattle’s favor, when they went up 14-11 after converting on Wild Card throwaways, resulting in another 15-12 semifinal. 

Nats14 Lang D3X2
Photo Credit: Jolie Lang, UltiPhotos

Finals Preview

Drag’n Thrust and Seattle Mixed will play for the national championship Sunday morning at 11:00 CT.  The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and will feature the reigning world champion and defending national champion Drag’n Thrust against a twelve-seed Seattle Mixed team making the most of their Nationals debut.  Expect both teams to look to their defensive playmakers to create opportunities, especially Drag’n’s Jay Drescher and Seattle’s Khalif El-Salaam.  Offensively, Seattle will lean on their athleticism to continue to make big plays; keep an eye on Mark Burton – he leads the team in goals and assists in Frisco.  Drag’n will likely be more reserved on offense, working the disc until they have a mismatch to exploit.  All things considered, it will be an exciting match up between a team that has shown time and again that they have the experience, resolve and talent to grind out every point and a team whose slogan all weekend has been "Why not us?" Seattle Mixed is an athletic and motivated team; they have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and they’ll have their opportunity to take it on Sunday, but Drag’n won’t give up anything without a fight.

Pro Flight Placement Bracket

Earlier on Saturday, Mischief and regional rival Blackbird met for a second time in Frisco to determine who would claim fifth place overall.  Blackbird went up early with a run of three breaks, but Mischief managed to get them all back before half in order to stay on serve.  The second half stayed close, but Blackbird was never able to regain the lead, and the final score line read 15-13 in Mischief’s favor. 

In the seventh-place games, Bucket faced off against Slow White, and Santa Maria took on AMP.  Slow White came out hot, opening up the game with three breaks, but Bucket chipped away to get back on serve by halftime. The momentum continued in the second half, and they came out of the close game on top, 12-11.  One field over, AMP went up early as well, but unlike Bucket, Santa Maria was unable work their way back into the game before half. AMP’s zone defense caused problems for Santa Maria, and they took half convincingly, up 8-3.  To say Santa Maria "regrouped" at half might be an understatement. They refocused, changed their defensive strategy, and started the second half as a different team.  After trading O-line points, Santa scored five straight as part of a 7-1 run.  They went on to complete the comeback, winning 12-11 on double-game point.

Along with the semifinal teams, Mischief, Blackbird, Bucket and Santa Maria will comprise the Pro Flight of the Triple Crown Tour for the 2015 season, as a result of their performance at Nationals here in Frisco.

Elite Flight Placement Bracket

The Polar Bears defeated 7 Figures 15-10 for an 11th-place finish in Frisco, while regional rival American BBQ ended their tournament with a convincing 15-6 win over The Administrators for a 13th-place finish.  In a game with no breaks until the final two points, Cosa Nostra beat D’oh! Abides in a close match up to take 15th place, winning 15-12.

By qualifying for the National Championships, these teams, along with Slow White and AMP, will have the opportunity to compete in next year’s Triple Crown Tour as Elite Flight teams.

Results Through Saturday

1. TBD: Drag’n Thrust/Seattle Mixed
2. TBD: Drag’n Thrust/Seattle Mixed
3T. Wild Card
3T. The Chad Larson Experience
5. Mischief
6. Blackbird
7T. Bucket
7T. Santa Maria
9T. Slow White
11. Polar Bears
12. 7 Figures
13. American BBQ
14. The Administrators
15. Cosa Nostra
16. D’oh! Abides

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