The U.S. Delegation Adds Nine Wins to Their Record on Day Four, Now 32-0

Posted: June 22, 2016 03:37 PM
London, U.K. (June 22, 2016) – Day four of the World Ultimate and Guts Championships brought with it the first challenges for the U.S. delegation as all the teams moved through the remainder of power pools and/or into the beginnings of bracket play. And still, the U.S. came away impressing all onlookers. The five U.S. teams added nine wins to their overall record, bringing it to 32-0 through four days of play in London.
The men’s, mixed and women’s divisions all played first games of the championship brackets this afternoon, but first, both the men’s and mixed teams played their final games of power pools. The men’s and women’s masters teams both finished up power pools and will head into bracket play tomorrow morning. 
The men’s team faced Australia and Japan on day four, both teams who also entered the day undefeated and won their initial pools. The Australians’ athleticism was the first real test of the week for the U.S. squad. Australia broke first to go up 2-1, but it didn’t take long for the U.S. to get it back and to go up one themselves. Ds from Matt Rehder and Henry Konker turned into those conversions, and it was off to the races. The U.S. continued to build their lead, which in turn, forced Australia into more and more higher-risk throws in an effort to score quickly. The U.S. took half at 8-6 and ran away with it to win 15-8. The U.S. men followed up their game against Australia with another highly anticipated match up against Japan that really only affected seeding for the top four teams. The Japanese broke quickly on the first point of the game, but again it didn’t take them long to get it back thanks to their incredible defense. Watching guys like Ryan Farrell, Russell Wynne and Dylan Freechild play D against the Japanese quick-moving system is a thing of beauty. A few uncharacteristic errors from the Japanese also helped out the U.S. – they turned into a 12-6 lead after Matt Rehder made an amazing play for a Callahan. But the U.S. left the door open a bit. Japan made a run before the U.S. could finally close out the game 15-12. The U.S. men will face Colombia, who survived a double-game point pre-quarter thriller against Switzerland to advance, in the quarterfinal round tomorrow morning and are on a course that will likely pit them against Canada in the semifinals.
The score line shows another big day for the mixed team, and it was. They dispatched Ireland 15-3 in their final game of pool play before meeting Australia in a game for seeding (like the one the men’s team played against Japan). It seems to becoming a bit of a theme, but Australia broke first to go up 2-1, but again, the U.S. got it back quickly. Strong team D got them the disc, and the game was back on serve at 2-2 before the mixed squad started racking up breaks. They took half 8-4 and won 15-7. The first couple points looked a little frantic at times, but it didn’t take the team long to settle down and go back to making the smart decisions. The team is a dominant force, without question, but even with their big wins today, the games didn’t have the same intensely focused feel as yesterday’s contests against Hong Kong and Germany. No doubt they will re-find that fire, though, and use it in their quarterfinal match up tomorrow against the Philippines. 
The women’s squad had only one game on day four – a seeding game against Colombia. It was another game many were looking forward to. Colombia had only had one close game so far – a 13-11 win over Australia, and they won their pool easily. Although the score line might not show it, the game didn't disappoint. It definitely felt closer than what the 15-6 final score implies. It was the most physical game so far on the women’s side – Colombia has never shied away from contact, and the U.S. adapted back to a more American style of play for the match up. Great plays were abundant from both teams. For the U.S., particularly on defense. I don’t think anyone on the team was totally happy with their offensive execution – they’ll certainly look to clean that up a little moving forward – but the defense was on point. Talking with Leila Tunnell and Claire Chastain, they were both particularly excited about the team’s defensive performance, saying it reached a new level for them. Fun match ups between players like Sarah Griffith and Yina Cartegena and Maggie Ruden and Elizabeth Mosquera Aguilar were really fun to watch. Luckily, we’ll get to see more great match ups like those as the women’s team moves through the bracket. They’ll face Switzerland in the quarterfinals and will likely get the ever-exciting match up against Canada in the semifinals. 
The men’s masters team battled with Great Britain this morning before cruising to an easy win over Australia in the afternoon. Up a break at half, Boneyard traded points with Great Britain. Their offensive line was as stingy as it has been all week, giving up only one break in the game at 3-3, which they were obviously able to win back before halftime. Despite many chances on many points, the Boneyard defensive lines were only able to convert one more break (for three total in the game), right out of halftime. Boneyard and Great Britain traded from 9-6 to the final score of 15-12. The win over Great Britain clinched them the top spot in their power pool, which earned them a bye into the quarterfinal round, so their 15-8 win over Australia was just icing on the cake. They’ll play the winner of the Philippines and Germany in the quarters. 
The women’s masters team has one game left to go in power pools before the division advances straight to the semifinals at 5:30 tomorrow afternoon. Today, in their first two power pool games, they defeated Australia 15-7 and Great Britain 15-8. It looked like their game against the home team might be a bit of a battle. The score was tied at 4-4 before the U.S. went on a three-point run. They took half at 8-5 and never looked back. On day one, despite the 15-0 game they put together against France, it was clear that the U.S. women were still trying to figure everything out. They had all of one practice weekend together before heading to London, and we’re talking about decades of ultimate experience at the highest levels trying to get condensed down into one easy-to-implement system for just this week. The team has worked hard to communicate with one another, and Coach Jit Bhattacharya is on-hand to help them sort everything out. Through the first couple games, there was a ton of talk between players on the sidelines after points, working through what had happened on the field, what might work better, and what each person might expect of her teammates. Now, there is more talk from the sidelines to the players on the field. The team has been able to change their communications focus, and it shows in their play. They have the ever-exciting match up against Canada at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow morning as their last game in power pools.
Fun fact: The depth of the U.S. teams means, even with some stand out players amongst all the stand outs that make up these teams, not a single athlete is in the top 10 for statistics in any division. That’s how you win world championships. 
USA Wednesday Results
Men def. Australia 15-8
Men def. Japan 15-12
Mixed def. Ireland 15-3
Mixed def. Australia 15-7
Women def. Colombia 15-6
Men’s Masters def. Great Britain 15-12
Men’s Masters def. Australia 15-8
Women’s Masters def. Australia 15-7
Women’s Masters def. Great Britain 15-8
USA Thursday Schedule
11:30 a.m. – Women v. Switzerland, Women’s Masters v. Canada
1:30 p.m. – Men v. Colombia
3:30 p.m. – Men’s Masters Quarterfinals v. TBD
5:30 p.m. – Mixed v. Philippines, Women’s Masters Semifinals v. TBD
Other quarterfinal times TBD


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