2016 National Championships - Mixed Division Preview

Posted: September 28, 2016 10:27 AM
2016NationalsLogo 435x290  

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Pool A

A1 A2 A3 A4
AMP MetroNorth 2013TCT AmbiguouslyGrey 2016TCT Blackbird
Metro North
Washington, D.C.
Ambiguous Grey
San Francisco


Philly’s AMP took the number one spot this year after an 11th-place finish at last year’s National Championships. Coming off a third-place finish in the Mid-Atlantic region, notably behind pool-mate Ambiguous Grey who finished second, they will be looking to prove they deserve this dominant position over teams that finished sixth (Ambiguous Grey) and tied for seventh (Metro North and Blackbird) last year. AMP has an even slate of one win and one loss with their closest competitor in the pool, Metro North (8), who will be hoping to come back from their 9-13 loss at the Pro Flight Finale. Both Ambiguous Grey (12) and Blackbird (13), who beat out the Polar Bears for a bid to Nationals this year, have put up strong games against each other and Metro North. Despite the disparity in rankings coming into Nationals, these teams have proven capable of tight games that could lead to contested final seedings in the pool. Pool A is the only pool without a newcomer, so we can look to see that experience manifest in the all-around play, resulting in a pool ripe with opportunity for upsets.


Pool B

B1 B2 B3 B4
2015TCT SlowWhite 2016TCT Alloy 2014TCT Noise 2016TCT PublicEnemy
Slow White
Public Enemy


Sporting two Nationals newcomers, Pool B is bound to be a shake up to what we’re used to seeing at this tournament, though there has been very little crossover of these teams throughout the season. Slow White (2) has had a consistently dominant summer, with only three close losses (one each to Mixtape, AMP and Metro North), and looks strong to finish out the same way. They had a 15-11 win over NOISE at the U.S. Open, but haven’t faced off against the other competitors. Alloy (7), unseen as of yet on the Nationals field, has been ramping up throughout the season, finishing regionals undefeated, including a victory over number one seed AMP and 12th-seeded Ambiguous Grey. Alloy will be pushing hard to extend their upward trajectory, but didn’t face any teams in their pool during the regular season. NOISE (11) and Public Enemy (14) will have their work cut out for them in facing off against Slow White and Alloy, especially as the U.S. Open Slow White-NOISE game is the only head-to-head match-up this pool has seen all season. 

Pool C

C1 C2 C3 C4
2015TCT DragNThrust 2016TCT Steamboat 2013TCT LoveTractor 2016TCT NoTouching
Drag'n Thrust
Love Tractor
No Touching!


Seeded third overall, Drag’n Thrust will have their eyes set on continuing their three-year reign as national champions. Steamboat (6) has come back to Nationals for their second appearance after a two-year hiatus, having beat out regional competitor UPA for the Great Lakes Region’s sole bid. Their only loss this season was to fellow pool team Love Tractor (10) at the Pro-Elite Challenge (Colorado Cup), though these teams are 1-1 against each other as Steamboat also put up a winning game at the Elite-Select Challenge. No Touching! (15), in their Nationals debut, faces strong competition from the top of the pool, but has demanded to be taken seriously, as seen by their strong regionals finish that knocked out previous Nationals stalwart CLX. With the exception of regional competitors Drag’n Thrust and NOISE, No Touching! has yet to see any of the other teams on the field. Watch for a strong competition between Steamboat and Love Tractor to settle their score, and for Drag’n Thrust to keep their eyes on the top.


Pool D

D1 D2 D3 D4
2015TCT SeattleMixtape 2013TCT Mischief 2016TCT shame 2016TCT GUnit
San Francisco
Fort Collins


Pool D also boasts two newcomers to Nationals in a group of teams that haven’t met each other all season long. Seattle Mixtape (4) and Mischief (5) each have just three losses this season, both losing tight games to CLX. Look for a hard-fought game between these two to win out the pool, with Mischief looking to cause trouble for Seattle Mixtape’s high-risk, high-reward style of play. shame. (9) and G-Unit (16) have shown scrappiness throughout their seasons and should not be discounted from competition. Notably, G-Unit broke seed from fourth to first at Southeast Regionals to clinch their bid to Nationals. 

Players to Watch

Raha Mozaffari (AMP) is a member of 2016 Team U.S.A. Mixed and top, dynamic player who will cause teams to adjust their game plans specifically to minimize her impact on the field.

Tannor Johnson (Slow White) is one of this team’s several big-name pick-ups this season. His role on the O-line has helped to stretch the field, so other talents can take advantage of their match-ups.

Claire Revere (Mixtape) uses her great speed and quickness to stay consistently open both under and downfield. Her sticky fingers help her reel in highlight-worthy catches that are sure to please the crowd.

Chris Mazur (Metro North), a member of 2016 Team U.S.A. Mixed and former PoNY standout, is taking on a new lynchpin role on the Metro North O-line.

Sarah Meckstroth (Drag’n Thrust), coming out of her recent role on Team U.S.A. Mixed, will be a cutting force to be reckoned with, but don’t be surprised if she showcases her throwing skills as well. The crowd can hope for repeats of her hammer goal against Seattle Mixtape from the U.S. Open.

Games to Watch
MetroNorth 2016TCT Blackbird  

Metro North v. Blackbird - Thursday at 9:00 a.m.

Despite the five seed gap between Metro North and Blackbird, this game has great potential to be a nail-biter. While Metro North is coming out of a strong finish at regionals, Blackbird will be looking to chart its upward course early on. 

2016TCT Alloy 2014TCT Noise  

Alloy v. NOISE - Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

Alloy jumped into Nationals for the first time with a splash, seeded at seventh overall. They will be aiming high, but shouldn’t discount the racket NOISE can bring. NOISE, who lost to Slow White by just four points at the U.S. Open, has only been moving up in their play, and stands to give Alloy a hard fight. 

2013TCT LoveTractor 2016TCT Steamboat

Love Tractor v. Steamboat - Thursday at 1:30 p.m

Love Tractor and Steamboat have faced off twice this season and have a tied record coming into pool play. This will make for a fiery rubber match that is sure to please.

2015TCT SeattleMixtape 2013TCT Mischief  

Seattle Mixtape v. Mischief - Thursday at 3:45 p.m.

With comparable season records and close losses to the same team, Seattle Mixtape and Mischief are seeded close together, and should make for an exciting game.

Upset Alert 

Pool A is chock full of dynamic teams that have seen the Nationals fields many times throughout their team and player histories. We can look for an extremely high level of play from all teams and should be on the watch for potential upsets. Though perched at the bottom of the pool, Blackbird is well poised to swoop in for some gains in seed. Additionally, with a total of five teams brand new to the Nationals scene, there are many opportunities for unexpected outcomes in pool play. Keep an eye out for Alloy to seriously challenge teams throughout the tournament.


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