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

Posted: July 3, 2015 11:18 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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After another successful day of games at the USA Ultimate U.S. Open Championships, the pool play portion of the schedule is complete with plenty of exciting match-ups remaining in the placement brackets. There were many intriguing developments in the mixed division throughout the day on Friday, and now all of the what-if scenarios of pool play are straightened out heading into Saturday’s action. With no team going undefeated and multiple tie-break situations, a single point was the difference between a spot in the championship bracket or placement games for many teams.

After all of the dust settled, Ellipsis, Drag’n Thrust, Seattle Mixtape and CLX punched their tickets into the championship bracket. That being said, their roads to the semifinals were not as clear as one might expect. Going into the final round alone, seven of the 12 teams were still in contention for the championship bracket. That led every team to continue fighting hard for every point, proving that the depth and consistency of the talent at this event is truly impressive.

Now that the focus shifts to Saturday, with four placement games and the championship bracket semifinals (and the opportunity to pursue the first leg of the 2015 Triple Crown Tour), we’ll recap Friday by looking at how the bracket match-ups developed. Each team has worked hard all weekend and will certainly look to put a positive exclamation point on their experience in Ohio with their remaining games.

Championship Semifinals

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(1A, 4-1)
The Chad Larson Experience
(2B, 4-1)

With possibly one of the more unexpected performances thus far, Ellipsis was able to win a tough Pool A, despite coming into the event seeded 12th. Their successes included a hard-fought victory over Drag’n Thrust to start day two of pool play. Ellipsis led off the game with a break and didn’t look back. Leading 14-11 late in the game, Ellipsis was able to hang on and eventually win 15-14, with that single point proving to be the difference between first and second place in the pool. Despite suffering a loss to Wild Card in their next game, 9-11, Ellipsis bounced back and finished the day with a convincing 15-7 victory against Bird. The 4-1 record was enough to win Pool A based on their head-to-head victory against Drag’n Thrust.

CLX kept their Thursday momentum going into Friday morning in their opening game against Slow White. After taking half 8-6, CLX surrendered three straight scores to Slow White, falling behind 8-9. CLX continued to battle and regained the lead with a huge break at 13-12. CLX’s #99 made a tremendous grab on the side of the end zone to convert the break. One more break by CLX sealed a 14-12 victory. CLX did not let up in their subsequent game against Team Colombia, cruising to a dominant 15-5 victory. Having already clinched a spot in the championships bracket, CLX’s final game against Seattle Mixtape still determined the pool winner, with Seattle grinding out a 15-14 win in hard cap. Yet again, a single point had significant ramifications for Saturday bracket placement.

Ellipsis and CLX will be a great game to watch from the stands or on ESPN Saturday at 12:00 p.m. Both teams have successfully utilized the female halves of their rosters, often creating mismatches against their opponents. Ellipsis runs a vertical stack on offense was very effective over the first couple days, while CLX brings an array of looks to keep the defense guessing. With such cohesive and productive offensive sides (Ellipsis’s Dani Alexander is third in the division with 12 scores and CLX’s Kevin Seiler leads the division with 14 assists), the difference in this game could be the team that is able to come up with key defensive stops.

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

After starting off the tournament with a loss to Slow White, Seattle Mixtape regained their confidence and put together four straight wins to finish first in Pool B (consistent with their original seeding coming into the tournament). Friday started with an impressive 15-4 victory against an outmatched Team Colombia. Seattle continued their winning ways against a dangerous Cahoots team, closing out a back-and-forth game, 15-12. Finishing their pool play schedule against CLX, Seattle had to get a win to qualify for the championship bracket. After giving up early breaks to CLX, Seattle clawed back to take half 8-7. Seattle got another break to lead 10-8 but then gave up three straight to CLX to fall behind. Seattle maintained their aggressive style, staying with it through double-game point at 14-14. Pulling to CLX, Seattle needed a break to win. After multiple turnovers, CLX dropped a swing pass close to their end zone. Seattle was able to convert from the short field and win 15-14.

Drag’n Thrust continues to demonstrate consistency at the highest level of competition, something that is rare in the more volatile mixed division. Despite regularly getting opponents’ best games as the reigning top team, Drag’n finished an impressive 4-1 performance in Pool A, with their only loss coming by one point to Ellipsis in the first round on Friday. Drag’n showed tremendous resiliency and recovered with two more victories to close out the day. First was a convincing 15-8 win against a struggling American BBQ team, setting up a crucial game against Wild Card. Having to win to qualify to the championship bracket, Drag’n made a statement with a dominant 8-4 first half lead. They finished what they started, winning 15-10 and earning the second spot out of Pool A.

This semifinal match-up is a rematch of last year’s National Championships final, where Drag’n’s experience ended Seattle’s miracle run in Frisco. Expect Seattle to use that result as motivation in Saturday’s 1:00 p.m game. Seattle will still likely play their aggressive offensive style (led by Brad House’s 12 scores and Khalif El-Salaam’s 10) and seems to have found momentum going into elimination play. If Drag’n can capitalize on Seattle misfires like they did last year, we may see a similar outcome. That may be difficult with Drag’n defensive leader Jay Drescher contained to the sideline after suffering a shoulder injury early on Friday. Given their high-risk, high-reward style, weather conditions could play a major factor as well, either aiding or hindering the Seattle attack.

Fifth Place


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  Polar Bears
(3A, 3-2)
(3B, 3-2)

The Polar Bears rebounded from a tough day one and got three wins on Friday. Although wins against Wild Card (15-11), Bird (15-7), and American BBQ (14-9) were not enough to overcome the 0-2 start and earn them a spot in the championship bracket (ensuring that there will be a new champion in 2015), don’t expect the Polar Bears to overlook the fifth-place game. With An-Chi Tsou getting more involved on Friday, the Polar Bears looked strong and will use this final game to build momentum for the rest of the season.

Union also earned three victories on Friday, similar to the Polar Bears, beating Cahoots (12-8), Slow White (15-9), and Team Colombia (10-9). This momentum creates a really interesting dynamic for the fifth-place game, as Union will also look to put a positive stamp on this weekend. With two equally matched teams, it could come down to who capitalizes on early opportunities with the 9:00 a.m. start.

Seventh Place

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

In between losses to Polar Bears and Drag’n Thrust, Wild Card did earn a signature win against Ellipsis on Friday, proving they are definitely a dangerous team this season. William Dean (who leads the division with 14 goals) and Vincenzo Vitiello (who is second in the division with 13 assists) lead a potent offensive attack. With a solid 3-2 pool-play record, Wild Card will be ready to finish the weekend the right way.

Slow White recovered from two early defeats against CLX and Union to finish their day with a 15-12 victory against Cahoots. Also at 3-2, Slow White will be prepared for their Boston cross-town foe, Wild Card, on Saturday. With both teams very familiar with each other, this seventh-place game will certainly be tightly contested.

Ninth Place


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(5A, 1-4)
(5B, 1-4)

Before losing to Polar Bears and Ellipsis, Bird was able to capture their lone victory of pool play against American BBQ on Friday morning. In a gritty match-up, Bird finished off a 13-12 win. A highlight for Bird was handler Ryan Oto (four assists in the tournament) with ambidextrous throws making him tough to defend and fun to watch.

Cahoots was able to stay close in all of their Friday games but wasn’t able to get a desired victory. One positive impact was the return of veteran leader Timmy Murray who missed Thursday’s games. His impact on offense was instant; he tallied nine assists today alone. Both Bird and Cahoots are definitely hoping to earn additional bids to Nationals for their regions this summer, and this ninth-place game could be a good place to start that process.

11th Place


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

Although American BBQ and Team Colombia were unable to notch victories in pool play, they both came extremely close on Friday, each losing one of their games by a single point. What this shows is that these teams will continue to fight and are eager to feel the joy of winning. They’ll get a great chance to challenge each other on Saturday, and regardless of the outcome, both teams can take confidence in the fact that they held their own against some of the best teams in the world this weekend.


Saturday promises to offer a great slate of games, as teams crossover between the two pools. For those in the placement brackets, Saturday is a final opportunity to leave their mark on the 2015 U.S. Open and build for the rest of the season. For those in the championship bracket, all four teams will be gunning for the first leg of the 2015 Triple Crown, putting their single losses from pool play behind them and taking the new chance to win the championship. As always, expect the level of play to inspire the fans and set the standard for other club teams to strive for this summer. Best of luck to all of the teams!

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