Beach Diaries, Masters (Balch) 8/22/11

Posted: August 22, 2011 04:25 PM

The day began with a morning team meeting over breakfast where we outlined our goals for the tournament.  For our team, the focus is on playing with good spirit and respect for the other teams, respecting our teammates, representing our country well, and realizing our potential as a team.  Those are the things that we have under our control which we can focus on, with winning taking care of itself when we accomplish this. 

Despite the sweltering conditions even at 10:00 AM, we managed to play well and learn how to work together as a team during our first game against Hungary.  Although the final score was not close (13-1), it was a spirited game with hard play throughout.  We were quite intimidated, however, with the whip skills shown by the Hungarians following the game in the spirit circle.  One of the things about international competitions that differs from Ultimate in the U.S. is that teams get together to talk about the game afterward, usually involving the presentation of team gifts.  Our team presented a combination of poker chips from Las Vegas, an American flag medallion for the MVP, and a USA headband for the captain.  The Hungarian team had buried a bottle of homemade liquor in the sand for a lucky U.S. member to find. 

We entered the second game of the day against France knowing they had dispatched Great Britain (coming in as the 2nd ranked team) 13-1 in their first game.  After an initial break by the U.S., we traded points until 3-3 with both sides having intense defense and solid throws for the score.  The depth and conditioning of the U.S. team broke through as we reeled off several breaks in a row to make it 6-3, with the trend continuing for a 13-5 win.  Overall it was a good test against a solid team that made us work hard through long points to fight for the goal. 

Tomorrow we face a good test with Germany, followed by Currier Island, and finishing off the day in the arena for the showcase game against Canada.  A long day punctuated by a chance for our fans at home to watch our progress and cheer alongside us. 

Team USA Beach Diaries

Some members of Team USA will be submitting diary entries during the event to keep everyone posted on their experience in Italy.

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