2015 Masters Championships - Day 1 Recap

Posted: July 24, 2015 09:30 PM

It was an exciting first day at the 2015 Masters Championships in Aurora, Colo. today. 

Men's Masters (schedule)
USA Ultimate

In the men's masters division, after a 2014 that saw fewer challengers for the title than has become normal, thanks to the closeness of the Masters Championships and World Ultimate Club Championships which made traveling to both events difficult, competitors are back with a vengeance this year.

In Pool A, defending world champions Boneyard held off a last-round challenge from Horse to finish the day at 3-0. Boneyard captain Alan Hoyle noted, "overall we played well, grinded D and O mixed with the occational big play. We definitely haven't played our best yet though." The Beyondors were the surprise of the day in Pool A. After squeaking through their regional championship with just enough to qualify for the Masters Championships, they managed a 17-16 upset of Horse and a big win over Crawl to take the pool's second spot. 

Other than a flip flop in the bottom two spots, Pool B played to seed with Johnny Encore putting together a 3-0 record if solid wins. Their biggest challenge came from Chicago's Pacemaker, who led 11-9 before Encore came back to win 15-13. The Chicagoans upset their original 14th seed to finish third in the pool. Pool C featured a last-round rematch of 2014 Masters Championships semifinalists from Sarasota, Surly and Woolly Mammoth. A retooled Surly, this year with all the talent they're used to having, won the day convincingly at 15-7. The Mid-Atlantic's Black Cans & Highlands also got a win over Woolly Mammoth to finish the day in the pool's second spot. 

The star-studded Seattle squad, Voltron 2020 got an upset win over defending national champions Tejas to take the top spot in Pool D with an unblemished record. The overall four v. five match up ended in a convincing 15-10 win for the Seattleites. They'll be one to keep an eye on during bracket play. 

The top three teams in each pool advanced to tomorrow's championship bracket play. The pool's top seeds earned a bye into the quarterfinal round, while the two and three seeds will have to fight their way through the pre-quarterfinal round. All those games promise to be exciting match ups. If things play to seed, Boneyard will take on Voltron 2020 in the semifinals, which ships be particularly fun to watch. 

Masters Women’s (schedule)
Danielle Ennis

This year, the Masters returned to Colorado, swapping out the Sarasota sand for the mountain peaks of the west. But the sun and heat were still there to play in pool play at Aurora Sports Park. 

The day started with an upset, as number 12 seed Jezebel out of Denver, beat the overall one seed, Boston, 13-12. 

But, that was the last of upsets in the first round of games. Things panned out as seeding suggests, outside of the Jezebel upset and the number eight seed Hot Lava mixing things up in the B pool.

Boston later went onto to merely survive their last game, beating Hot Flash by just a point, 12-11.

Jezebel, Ripe, Baylands Kite Flying Team, and Loose Cannon all earned a bye for tomorrow morning’s bracket play, sleeping in till past noon. 

Loose Cannon, last year's champion who beat Ripe by a point in the championship game, looked strong in all three games of the day. 

The Baylands Kite Flying Team out of San Francisco soared to their name throughout the day, topping their pool and allowing only 23 opponent points in total. Their defense managed to hold one squad, ZFG, to two points. 

The last game of the day was the closest, where Washington DC's Lame Ducks and North Carolina's Ripe went up against each other with 2-0 records on the day. A tight game went nearly point for point after the half, and after heated and argumentative turns and disputes, the game was 13-13, double game point (after soft cap). The North Carolina ladies pulled through in the end to win 14-13 and finish first in Pool D.

The bracket is set for tomorrow with the bottom four finishers--Salty, HayROLD, ZFG, and Restless--awaiting the losers of Saturday's first round matchups for a 9th place finish.  

The winners of Hot Lava vs. Retro, RIO vs. Cougars, Hot Flash vs. Lame Duck, and Mint vs. Boston, will face Jezebel, Ripe, Baylands Kite Flying Team, and Loose Cannon, respectively. 

Temperatures should reach close to 95 tomorrow, where by 6 pm, only two teams will remain in contention for the championship. 

Grand Masters
USA Ultimate

Fresh off a national title from the inaugural Beach Championships, North Carolina's Alchemy is keeping their momentum going. They pulled off a last-round upset of defending grand masters champions Surly, 15-13, to take over the top spot in Pool A and earn themselves a bye into tomorrow's quarterfinals. 

Both Pool B and Pool C played out to seed with 2014 finalist Shadows and 2013 champion No Country (for the first time minus Hall of Famer Jim Parinella) taking the top spots and the first-round byes on Saturday morning. 

The overall four v. five match up in Pool D once again proved exciting this afternoon. Newly established grand masters branch of Johnny Bravo and Johnny Encore, Johnny Walker upset Georgetown Brewing who has become a stalwart at the Masters Championships 13-11 to avoid the pre-quarterfinals round. 

Tomorrow morning, the elimination rounds begin. Defending champions Surly will start their day against familiar faces in the team from Chicago, Old Man Winter, in what should be a great first-round game. Everything leads up to the championship finals, which will take place on Sunday morning. 


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