2015 National Championships: Women’s Division Preview

Posted: September 29, 2015 03:34 PM

2015 National Championships (Event Page)

Pool A
1.    Brute Squad (1)
2.    Nightlock (8)
3.    Heist (12)
4.    Capitals (13)
Brute Squad returns to Nationals as the number one seed for a second consecutive year after an undefeated Pro Flight Finale. They have many wins against the Nationals field this season, with losses only to Fury (2 - Pool B) and Molly Brown (4 - Pool D). Brute Squad is the favorite to win the pool. Among the rest of Pool A, there is a definite potential for close games and upsets among Nightlock, Heist and Capitals. Against the other two so far this season, Nightlock has a win against Heist and a loss to Capitals. Nightlock had an uncharacteristically demure finish to the regular season, with their only other wins over nationals-qualifying teams coming against Nemesis (16 - Pool D). Heist and Capitals played a close game that ended with Heist losing 9-10. Although Nightlock may be the most iconic for this, all three of these teams play with a high level of intensity and will need to be relentless about it during pool play to earn the second spot in Pool A.

Pool B
1.    Fury (2)
2.    Ozone (7)
3.    BENT (11)
4.    Showdown (14)

Despite the departure of long-time head coach Matty Tsang this season, Fury has had an incredible (and incredibly typical-for-them) record, with their only losses to the national field being a pair to Riot. They are likely to commandeer their pool. Ozone did put up 10 points on Fury earlier this season, but they will need to ensure that they win their other two games. The match up between Ozone and BENT is definitely one worth keeping an eye on. At the Pro-Elite Challenge, Ozone won in a 10-9 game. Since their meeting two months ago, both teams’ only other national match ups were at regionals. BENT faced a more diverse field in the Northeast, whereas Ozone's only games against the Nationals field were against Phoenix (15 - Pool C). That being said, also at the Pro-Elite Challenge, Showdown (14) bested BENT in a shortened 7-6 game. If they can repeat that performance, Showdown may come out of pool play with an upset.

Pool C
1.    Riot (3)
2.    Scandal (6)
3.    Schwa (10)
4.    Phoenix (15)
This pool will be interesting to watch. Although Pool D is traditionally known for upsets, this year, Pool C seems ripe for them. Against Nationals qualifiers, Riot has only lost to Fury (2 - Pool B) and Brute Squad (1 - Pool A). If Riot were to get beaten in pool play at Nationals, it would be a surprise, and Scandal has a reputation of being surprising at Nationals. Scandal has yet to beat a top-seeded team this season, despite many chances. After a lackluster Pro Flight Finale, they will be itching to perform in Texas. Schwa, on the other hand, has improved over the course of the season. Although they have been inconsistent, there is no doubt that they are capable of an upset here if they can be "on" at the right time. With that in mind, they will need to back up whatever upset they may earn. A win against Scandal won't mean much if they can't hold against Phoenix. At the Pro-Elite Challenge, Schwa followed up a double-game-point game against Molly Brown (4 - Pool D) with a double-game point game against Phoenix. Phoenix has also improved over the course of the season, finally getting some wins against the Nationals field at the Pro-Elite Challenge. If they can play with tenacity against Schwa's fiery playing style, they have a shot at an upset as well.

Pool D
1.    Molly Brown (4)
2.    Traffic (5)
3.    Iris (9)
4.    Nemesis (16)
Molly Brown has had an extremely impressive regular season. This year, their consistently strong program has sprung into one of semifinals caliber. Their only losses against the Nationals field have been to Fury (2 - Pool B) and Brute Squad (1 - Pool A) at the Pro Flight Finale. They also have not matched up against any of the other teams in this pool. Traffic had some bigger wins and high-scoring losses at the front of the season. In order to be at their best to potentially upset Molly Brown, they will need to take a page out of their opponent's book and close games out quickly against the lower-seeded teams. If Molly Brown can continue their trend of holding many opponents to fewer than six points, they may have the upper hand. Iris is a question mark at this tournament. In the regular season, they have only played one Nationals-qualifying team outside of the Northeast; that was a 13-5 win over Phoenix (15 - Pool C). That being said, at the Canadian Ultimate Championships, they met Traffic in the finals and lost a close one 13-15. Here, they have a chance to avenge their loss. Nemesis comes to the tournament winless against the Nationals field but having played close games against fellow qualifiers Heist, Nightlock and Showdown. If they can execute at the level they showed in those games and keep their mental game strong throughout the tournament, they may silence some critics.

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