2015 U.S. Open Championships - Mixed Division Day Three Recap

Posted: July 4, 2015 11:15 PM


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The fourth-annual U.S. Open Championships are underway in West Chester, Ohio.

Thirty-six teams across the men's, mixed and women's divisions are competing to take home the first leg of the 2015 Triple Crown Tour.

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Saturday at the 2015 U.S. Open Championships provided a unique atmosphere compared to the traditional ultimate tournament, with every team having only one scheduled game. From the placement games in the morning through the semifinal games in the afternoon, every match-up provided a limited opportunity for teams to make a statement on day three. There were some surprises as well as some tightly contested games, but across the board, every game was hard fought.

In the semifinals, Ellipsis proved that their pool-play performance was not a fluke with a determined victory over CLX, while Seattle Mixtape avenged their National Championship finals loss from last year with a thrilling win against Drag’n Thrust. In the placement games, Union, Wild Card, Bird and Team Colombia were able to end their weekends with wins, each game having a slightly different storyline.

With only one game remaining in the mixed division, it’s time to take a look at how teams performed this weekend and what that sets up for the rest of the season. While we all prepare for an exciting Sunday finals match-up between Ellipsis and Seattle Mixtape, let’s recap the action from a busy Saturday.

Championship Semifinals

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(1A, 4-1)
The Chad Larson Experience
(2B, 4-1)
  Ellipsis Wins 15-9  

In the noon semifinal, Ellipsis squared off against CLX in the stadium at Lakota West High School with the ESPN cameras watching. At this point in the tournament, Ellipsis was no longer an unknown, having proved that they are a team to be reckoned with after impressively navigating a tough Pool A. The efficient and confident style of play that got Ellipsis to the semifinals definitely continued. Ellipsis received to start the game and patiently marched the disc down the field for an easy score. After a CLX misfire on a deep throw, Ellipsis converted the break chance and was quickly up 2-0. CLX eventually got on the board at the end of a marathon third point, but this was when Ellipsis took control, scoring the next four points to take a commanding 6-1 lead. CLX tried to string points together, but every time it appeared that CLX was gaining momentum, Ellipsis immediately responded to maintain their cushion. After a 4-8 halftime, CLX was as close as 7-11 before Ellipsis tacked on another break to put the game out of reach. Ellipsis finished the game with an impressive 15-9 win.

Ellipsis was able to get breaks early in the game after CLX continued to take and misfire on their deep looks. This ability could prove to be the perfect recipe for success in the finals against Seattle Mixtape, a team that tends to live and die by their aggressive deep game. Ellipsis will also try to utilize the strength of their women, led by Dani Alexander who had a spectacular semifinal performance.

CLX finished another impressive U.S. Open campaign, losing in the semifinals, similar to last year. Although their weekend is now complete, they will definitely be a dangerous team throughout the summer and likely into the fall. Many of the usual cast of characters from years past are still in place, but outstanding semifinal performances by some newer faces such as Andrew Moore and Janani Ragothaman show that there’s plenty of spark in this mixed division powerhouse.

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  Seattle Mixtape
(1B, 4-1)
Drag'n Thrust
(2A, 4-1)
  Seattle Mixtape Wins 16-14  

Spectators definitely benefited from the staggered starts to the mixed division semifinals on Saturday, allowing time for everyone to make their way over to the second field and catch the spectacular second half of the game between Seattle Mixtape and Drag’n Thrust. A rematch of last year’s National Championships finals, the result was surely different than what happened in October, where Seattle struggled against Drag’n. Seattle led at halftime 8-7 and scored the first two points out of half to go ahead 10-7. After trading points to 11-8, the excitement really ramped up, and the crowds started to gather. After struggling most of the game to contain Seattle’s aerial attack, Drag’n made the defensive adjustments necessary to slow down Mixtape. Drag’n earned a hard-fought break at 11-10, and then got their second break at 12-12 off of an amazing bookend point by Brian Schoenrock. On the proceeding point, Schoenrock had another fantastic layout D, and Drag’n converted the break to take their first lead of the second half at 13-12. Just when it appeared that Drag’n’s experience would get the better of Seattle, Seattle responded just the way they had all weekend, with an aggressive offensive attack that challenges the opponent to stop them. Suddenly Seattle started to make big plays again and closed the game out on a 4-1 run, erasing any disappointment from last season and writing a new chapter for 2015. The grueling 16-14 victory places Seattle into the finals against Ellipsis in a match-up that will certainly be entertaining to watch.

As mentioned, Seattle continues to thrive on using their confidence and athleticism to put opponents on their heels. Numerous second-half plays against Drag’n in the semifinals appeared to be initially shut down by Drag’n’s defense only for Seattle to come away with amazing grabs. Seattle’s unconventional style will definitely contrast against Ellipsis’s fundamentals and structured play in the finals tomorrow. If Seattle can make a few plays early, they will definitely challenge Ellipsis more than any other team has thus far. Regardless, never count Seattle, proven by their gutsy comeback performance Saturday.

Drag’n will have to wait until at least next year for the chance to take home that elusive U.S. Open crown, but it’s safe to say that they’ll recover and continue their pursuit of other achievements this season, namely defending their two consecutive national championships in the fall. Drag’n will have some time to heal injuries (hopefully that of Jay Drescher, in particular) and refocus before their next regular-season tournament at the Pro Flight Finale in hometown Minnesota. Look for them to be just as competitive as ever.

Fifth Place


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  Polar Bears
(3A, 3-2)
(3B, 3-2)
  Union Wins 13-11  

After perfect 3-0 Fridays by both Union and Polar Bears, it was hard to predict which team would take the final step with a win on Saturday. Union started the game off quickly with a 2-0 lead, but the Polar Bears recovered and took the lead back at 5-4 behind great play from Daniel Naruo. With the Polar Bears leading 6-5, Union scored three consecutive points to take half 8-6. Polar Bears tied it at 10s, but then Union closed the door and won 13-11. Both of these teams will be in action again at the Pro-Elite Challenge in Colorado the first weekend of August and will surely look to improve on their impressive starts to the season here in Ohio.

Seventh Place

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  Wild Card
(4A, 3-2)
Slow White
(4B, 3-2)
  Wild Card Wins 15-14  

This game between Boston cross-town foes proved to be easily the most exciting storyline of Saturday morning. Slow White came out firing, and Wild Card looked like they were still recovering from their loss late on Friday to Drag’n Thrust, which kept them out of the championship bracket. Slow White made quick work of the first half and led 8-3 at the intermission. Continuing on, Slow White managed to extend their lead to 14-8, seeming ready to put this northeast battle away. Wild Card had a change of plans in mind and suddenly was getting breaks. One break became two, two breaks became three, and so on. Before you knew it, Wild Card stormed all the way back to tie the game at 14-14. With one final break, Wild Card finished the job, scoring the last seven points of the game to win 15-14. Even this wasn’t enough for the team, and Wild Card was seen running sprints after the game to remind themselves that there is always room to improve. Despite the disappointing result for Slow White, there is no doubt that these two teams will be dominant forces (along with Union) in the tough Northeast Region this summer.

Ninth Place


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(5A, 1-4)
(5B, 1-4)
  Bird Wins 12-11  

In a key cross-regional match-up, Bird (North Central) and Cahoots (Southeast) came into their Saturday game trying to give their respective regions a small leg up to start the season. Cahoots took half 8-7 in a back-and-forth game that eventually pushed the time-cap limits. Tied at 9s, Bird got their chance to convert a break. Out of a timeout, Bird was able to connect on a deep score, taking the lead at 10-9 in a game to 12. Bird dropped the potential score to win 12-10 before Cahoots tied it up at 11s. However, Bird responded and got their second win on the weekend, 12-11. This will not be the last chance for these teams to face off as both of them are going to the Elite-Select Challenge next weekend (along with aforementioned Polar Bears and Union).

11th Place


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  American BBQ
(6A, 0-5)
Team Colombia
(6B, 0-5)
  Team Colombia Wins 13-8

American BBQ and Team Colombia both wanted to get their first victories of the weekend, but on this early Saturday morning, it was clear that Colombia had more energy to accomplish that goal. Playing as hard as any team had all weekend (bidding for every disc, being loud on the sidelines and so on), Colombia asserted their control early. Taking half 8-3, they went on to win 13-8, making the trip back home a little sweeter. It’s always a pleasure to watch the Colombian teams at the U.S. Open, and this year was no exception. Although American BBQ was slightly outmatched this weekend, they will have the chance to regroup and make a run when it matters in the Series. Playing against the best possible competition this early in the season will surely pay off down the road for this BBQ team.


After three days of thrilling ultimate, it all comes down to two teams, Ellipsis and Seattle Mixtape, battling it out for the 2015 U.S. Open Championship and the first leg of the 2015 Triple Crown. Ellipsis will try to become the second international team to win the event, while Seattle will try to become the second American mixed team to win; the Polar Bears won in both 2012 and 2014. All of the teams played great ultimate for the spectators this weekend, and Sunday’s finals will likely stay consistent to that form. Tune in to ESPN3 at 11:00 a.m. Sunday to see every moment live, or come out to Lakota West to experience the fun in person!

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