2014 U.S. Open - Women's Division Preview

Posted: July 2, 2014 05:58 PM


 Fury Scandal US Open W Final 20130707 141623 KWL 4789 (ZF 9041 52920 1 001)
Photo: UltiPhotos

The Field

U.S. Teams

2014TCTLogos Scandal
Washington, DC



Scandal finished second last year at the U.S. Open, the same finish they had the year before, but the feeling after the result was much different. The 2013 U.S. Open felt like a declaration by Scandal. It was a bold declaration, and they backed it up with a National Championship in the fall. The team returns most of their players this year, including Octavia "Opi" Payne and Sandy Jorgensen and 2013 ‘rookie’ Anne Mercier, all of whom were standout performers for Scandal at the Championships. They also add a few new players and one returning ‘new’ player, Ashley Daly (the leading women’s scorer at last year’s National Championships from New York Bent). Some flex in the roster is happening due to the Worlds year, and now Scandal has the target of champions on their collective backs. Can Ghesquiere and Co. start the year off on top?

2013TCT Fury
San Francisco, CA


Certainly, Fury’s "downfall" was the story of the year last year. In 2014, they have added talent that comes with experience galore, with four "rookies" who could barely be called by that moniker: Liz Duffy (Riot, Ozone) and VY Chow (most recently Brute Squad), Andrea "Dre" Romano and Sabrina "Kodiak" Fong are all talented and knowledgeable. The team is coming full strength to the U.S. Open, looking to keep building on a season that started with a win in their first tournament – Summer Solstice in Eugene two weeks ago – where they defeated Riot 15-11 in the finals. Is Fury ever really an "underdog?"

2014TCTLogos Riot
Seattle, WA



Riot is another team coming off a season that didn’t meet all of their expectations. With semifinal losses to Scandal at both the 2013 U.S. Open and National Championships, one can be sure that Riot’s sights are set higher this year. Riot will be missing a few players to injury, but their roster is always deep. They are one of two teams benefiting from the Nemesis exodus this year, with the addition of fiery Kelly "Vegas" Johnson. Riot is excited about the opportunity to play some of the international teams they will see at Worlds in Lecco next month. The U.S. Open will be their first tournament with Coach Andy Lovseth, as he was not with the team at Solstice.

2013TCT Showdown
Austin, TX



Showdown comes into the tournament as a wildcard this year, thanks to extensive roster turnover. At the top of the list of Showdown "losses" must be Cara Crouch. A U.S. National Team mainstay, Cara’s on-field influence for Showdown over many years may be the most important "one player" impact. Showdown has always been more than just Crouch, however, and this year they are adding a number of skilled players who hope to build on Showdown’s perennial success. The two names likely to be most talked about are Sunny Harris and Mariel Hammond, who are coming off of impressive performances at the USA Ultimate College Championships with the University of Central Florida. But other new players may play even bigger roles. Look for a different Showdown than has been seen in years past, but expectations should still be high.

2014TCTLogos BruteSquad
Boston, MA


Brute Squad

Brute Squad may be the team benefiting the most from player movement between elite teams. They pick up Kirsten Unfried from Scandal and what feels like a full squad from Chicago, led by Lien Hoffman, Kami Groom and Paula Seville. They also regain the coaching services of Mike "Tross" Lawler who worked with Riot last year. Last year’s trendy team to talk about at the start of the year earns that title again in 2014. Brute Squad felt the ‘newness’ of their roster with a loss on day one at Boston Invite to Canadian team Qub, who are gearing up for Worlds, but righted the ship to complete a tournament win, including revenge for that Saturday loss. Is Brute Squad ready to jump into the "could they win it all" discussion?


International Teams

2014TCT Iceni
London, UK

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Iceni leads the list of international competition at this year’s U.S. Open. This team from the U.K. has won eight out of their last nine national championships, along with three consecutive European championships. A few players will be familiar to the top U.S. teams, including Alex Benedict and Sonia Komenda who have played with Capitals but now reside on the old continent. The team makes the trip across the pond for a good look at teams they will face at Worlds in only a few weeks. They are certainly looking to improve upon a 17th-place result from Prague in 2010, and this trip to the States to face America’s top teams can only help.

2013TCT Traffic
Vancouver, BC

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Traffic comes to the U.S. Open as an international team representing Canada, yet this is a very familiar team to most of the U.S. squads. Traffic finished tied for seventh last year at the USA Ultimate Club Championships, after a one-point pre-quarterfinals loss to Canadian rivals Capitals. Traffic is another team gearing up for Lecco after winning the Canadian Ultimate Championships last August. Strong results across many years, including three total Canadian Ultimate Championships and six trips to the USA Ultimate Club Championships, translate to a very competitive team with high expectations. This is one international team that will sneak up on no one.

2014TCTLogos Bamboo

Bogotá, Col.



One of the best developing scenes in the world, Colombian ultimate is becoming more and more familiar in the U.S., as several teams have made trips to American tournaments, and top teams from the U.S. have made similar trips to Colombia. Bamboo was formed only eight years ago (2006) and quickly developed into a highly competitive team, finishing second at the 2011 Pan American Ultimate Club Championships last fall; they lost to Fury in the finals. This is Bamboo’s first trip outside Colombia, but there are many players on the team that will be recognizable from different traveling Colombian teams. They are coming to the U.S. Open as part of their ongoing mission to compete at the highest possible level of play.


U.S. Open Championships Event Page

Event Guide (PDF)


Women's Game Schedule

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