Beach Diaries, Mixed (Regnier) 8/24/11

Posted: August 25, 2011 09:53 AM

Day 3 thoughts

If you've read my previous posts, you may have noticed a familiar pattern: our games are often close at the outset, but then we usually string a 4-6 point run together in the middle to take control.  I think that the depth of our team has a lot to do with this trend.  There are a number of teams here with very strong players starting the game, but we have yet to play a team which can reload point after point like we can.   As I may have mentioned before, it's also a bit warm out here - which only accentuates the importance of subs.

All of that being said, we need to find a way to start games more strongly, because good teams will not let you string together six points in a row.

On to the games:

9 AM: USA vs. Russia

Early games are often hard to wake up for; at the same time, all teams here have learned to covet the early and late games in order to avoid the hot sun and sand of the middle of the day.

The intel on Russia is that they play a physical game; this turned out to be correct, as our women cutters relayed that they were being jostled a bit upfield.  I can also personally relate that I was stopped from throwing an unmarked backhand huck by a player who grabbed my arms from behind (though he did apologize). 

Overall, it was still a spirited game, just one that required more patience on our side.  The Russians played well out of the gate, hitting a deep shot to one of their girls and to cut the deficit to 4-3.  We then reeled off a 6-1 run on our way to a 13-5 win. 

Shout outs: Daniel "Peaches/Boy Shorts" Walton made a nice lay out grab of a huck that had been D'd, denying the Russians of a play that could have changed the momentum.  Once again, Tyler Grant caught several hucks (many from Dugan) on his way to the game MVP (along with Lisa) award (in the form of a Soviet army hat that looked a little TOO good).  Several more good zone points, which clogged the middle of the field, also helped us keep up our defensive pressure.

12 PM: USA vs. Portugal

As we were walking to watch the US Masters team play in the arena last night, I was talking to my brother-in-law about our upcoming game against the Russians.  At that moment, a 10 year old boy on a bicycle screeched to a halt beside us.  Here is a transcript of our conversation:

Boy: Let me give you a piece of advice: do not worry about the Russians.  They train in the cold and wind, and late in the game, when it is hot, they will not play well and you will win. 
Me: Thanks for the help.
Boy: What team do you play for?  Open or mixed?
Me: Mixed
Boy: Oh - you play us tomorrow.
Me: What team are you?
Boy: Portugal
Me: Oh yeah, we play you at noon.
Boy: Yes.  And we're going to kick your ass.

Portugal had good reason to be confident - they had won their first four games, and seemed sure to make it five after opening a 4-1 lead predicated on U.S. miscues and big hucks to their tall men including one, David, who is about 6'4".  Then we turned on the jets, going on a 9-1 run that was jump started by a nice poach D by Sally Mimms and was maintained by two GIGANTIC sky D's by male game MVP Erol Yildiz.  After the game was capped, our D-line finished it as Brett "pretty-boy" Kolinik found Adam Raty in the back corner with an on-target hammer.

Shout-outs: An-Chi Tsou for saving my ass with a nice lay-out grab, and Sam "Frat Boy" Regnier (like that humility?) for a lay-out D in the end zone that led into a score on a nicely placed huck from Adam "smooth like gelato" Raty.

4 PM: USA vs. Belgium

After our slow starts in the previous few games, I took it upon myself to curse at the team a bit in the huddle.  But, you know, in a friendly way.  As a result, I can take complete credit for the 6-1 lead we jumped out to on the way to a 13-4 win. Once again, we used the second half to tinker with our zone, in this case finding out what didn't work: forcing to the sideline.  Belgium had a bunch of drops in this game, so we were able to capitalize and enjoy a quick final game of the day.

Shout-outs: Liz "Big Willie" Willets with a run-through catch D on the goal line, leading to an immediate score for El Capitan Dave Hammond. 

After the game, we headed to into the ocean for a spirit circle to beat the heat (as we are wont to do), and the Belgians sang us a truly stellar song, complete with guitar, to the tune of Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time." Quite a performance.

We then headed out into the ocean for a spirited game of 500, or, as I like to call it, "Sam getting repeatedly and violently roofed."

We play Great Britain tomorrow at 10 AM in what will be our biggest game so far.  Courage Freedom Pride!

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.

  Grand Masters
Mixed Masters