Monday, April 5, 2010

Bella Donna discs

Looking for a Bella disc? Buy one here for only $10!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stanford/Stevinson Invite Highlight Reel

Bella Donna Stanford Invite 2010 from Emelie McKain on Vimeo.

Much thanks to Frances for videotaping and Fran and Mck editing.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Stevinson Invite

Back to California and no rain on Saturday.

Reebs began the day with a Callahan to give Wisconsin a 1-0 lead on Southern California. However, Bella falters 1-2 before Sandy hauls in two scores to give Bella command 4-2. Erin Moran and Jenny Gaynor add goals to give Wisconsin a 6-3 lead. USC responds to 6-5 before Sandy scores half 7-5. The clouds are threatening as Bitterman reels in a Callahan and Sandy scores her 5th break goal now 10-6. Bella runs away with the game 13-6 with 10 D's total, as Reebs, McKain, and George all add score multiple assist and goals.

Next is Western Washington as the winds increase. Bitterman scores but WW is up 1-2. Gaynor gets a layout D and score, but WW takes a 2-5 lead! Bella pulls it together as Westgate and Sandy pull in goals to make it 5-6, before dropping half 5-7. Beginning half WW breaks to lead 5-8, but Bella Donna is chill. Gaynor and Bitterman snag multiple goals as Wisconsin breaks 5 straight times to lead 11-8. Neither observers nor timeouts could stop Bella's intensity. Newman, Georgia, and Al pull in the last 3 points as Wisconsin wins 13-9.

Next up is Stanford as the winds loosen, still cloudy and 63ish. Becca, Schott, and Westgate scores goals as Wisconsin explodes to a 7-0 lead, overcoming 2 timeouts. Wisconsin never relents and wins 13-3, using aggressive D. Gaynor scores 4 goals, while Reebs and Sandy add 3 more. The 18 D's and Callahan top the performance.

Last up is Oregon, as Wisconsin moves fields and wind. orientation.
Frustrating - the game went exactly as the first meeting. Oregon's momentum was going up, Bella was in a lull. Oregon starts fast, Bella was never able to dictate. Erin Moran caught 2 goals and Bitterman added a score to tie the game 4-4. Bella turns 2 swing/dump passes and Oregon converts both in seconds to take half 4-7. Transition defense nowhere to be seen. Bella is able to break back in the second half to 6-8, but again cannot handle the perceived pressure of the moment. Soon it is 7-10, and ballgame 7-13. Oregon has a strong 5 person junky/cup that also goes man on the first dump, but it was Bella's timidness and uncertainty that was their undoing. Bella had only 3 D's against Oregon, compared to totals of 10, 13, and 18 in the first three games. If Bella can withstand Stanford in quarters and Washington in semifinals -- it will be a very angry revenge seeking KillMode BD in finals..


[Sunday morning Bella got to the fields early and fired up for elimination rounds with a speech (geared at the newbies) on the many reasons we needed yet another redeeming win against Stanford. Unfortunately, even after amping up the revenge factor, Bella still came out looking like we'd run eight Bascoms that morning. Stanford took a 5-0 lead before McKain threw to Bitterman for a score on a no-turn point. Unfortunately, the scoring trend didn't catch on until Stanford had taken half 8-3. At this point the girls decided that losing in quarterfinals wasn't something they wanted to be a part of and, led by a couple "Ridiculous"-earning plays by their captains, went on a 7 point run to bring the game to 10-8. One more layout-D by Rachael Westgate and the game was finally closed out at 13-10.

Celebration lasted about a minute before we had to pack up and sprint off to another field to play Washington in semis. The game was a fight the entire way, with amazing plays on both sides of the disc. Erin Moran skied O'Malley for a score and a D'ed disc in the Bella endzone was snatched amazingly an inch off the ground by Bitterman to save a goal. The largest spread in the game was when Washington took half 8-5. Bella fought back, however, and brought it up to 12-12 after a sick Mahowald D. Soft-cap had already gone on, but unbeknownst to both teams, hard cap went on during the point, turning it into a DGP game that ended in Washington's favor after a couple unfortunate turns on Bella's end. On a positive note, Sandy ended up +9 for the game, with the next closest being Bitterman at +4.

Bumped out of a finals appearance for the second big tournament in a row, the team rallied and looked forward to a redeeming game against UCSB for third place. The game started out strong with freshman Erin Newman earning a D and score for a bookends lead. After this the game stayed close until 4-4, but Bella stayed fired up with Julie getting a layout D in the UCSB endzone and Sandy hucking a full-field backhand in the same point. From here Wisconsin took it away and without much trouble finished the game 15-8.]
Sunday written by Georgia. Now back to Muffin:

Wisconsin aims to get outside in Chicago for the first time this spring -- then clean up Centex to secure the 2 seed.

The main things that separate Bella are their depth, legs, and decision making. Undisciplined, but loaded with athletic talent and speed. More legs and endurance than any team. Even after coming back against Stanford and going 12-12 with Washington, both teams were way more exhausted than Bella. Literally, playing the same 7 players then calling timeouts to conserve their legs, while Bella puts out line after line after line of fresh legs. If only we could clean up the offense a little bit! Wisconsin plays unusual ultimate -- making all sorts of unconventional throws, random cuts, and just plain silly decisions. It's the midwest swirl opposed to the west coast spread. The undefendable star stack offense was drawn up during a timeout and run to perfection as well.

Best plays of the weekend including Sydney Dodkin's getting a ridiculous sky poach D. Julie "The Cat" Chen making up 4 steps on a deep throw and getting a bidding D in the end zone. Sandy played the best semi's of her life, going +9 with 5 goals, 3 D's, 1 assist, and 0 turns. Erin Newman had several bookends with run through D's and immediate deep goals. Gaynor had several nasty layout D's and big hucks. Georgia played like Callahan, while McKain shredded marks. Laura Schott had a sick poach sky D while Maria Mahowald hit the ground multiple times to save possessions. Laura Bitterman was a constant threat to explode on teams, as Westgate played solid the whole weekend. Aimee Speaker played gritty hard-nosed defense game in and game out. Reebs caught a floaty catch and spiked it on a girl's head, while getting injured all at once. Newman had a sweet bid catch in the end zone on a floaty Julie throw.

Next up, Hodag-Bella prom match-ups.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Prez Day

McKain says she only looked at 1/3 of the video...

The weekend began with 14 of 20 Bella's overrunning the Madison airport. Those not in the original group, beheld the hardships of a lost bag and early ticket back on a three day weekend. Wisconsin had a first round bye, but arrived to the fields early in anticipation of an awesome weekend. The sun was high in the sky and Bella's spirit was higher than it had been in months. Seasonal depression disappeared as the sunscreen came out, and San Diego's dominant architecture and mountainous terrain were mind blowing. It was rumored that God actually visited the UCSD library on the weekends. The weather and landscape were just perks, however, because Bella came to play.

The first round saw Bella (The Official Bill Nye Fan Club) matched up against a fired up Texas team. Bella started on offense, playing the vets to calm the nerves that inevitably come with the first spring tournament. After a quick Melee turn and a Georgia to Emo score, Bella's D line was set to dominate. Three breaks later, Texas' offense came out firing on all cylinders. Melee's handlers swung the disc well, setting up a nice deep look and a goal. Bella played shutdown defense and chilly offense to bring the game to half at 7-2. Both teams continued to play with the intensity of a tied game, layout D's and hand-blocks included. Bella finished the game 13-3. Even before the game against Melee was over, thoughts were on the much anticipated game against Stanford Superfly.

The newborn Stanford-Wisconsin rivalry, stemming from last year's nationals quarterfinals, brought emotion to the second round. Bella started on defense. Vu got the first D of the game. After a Bella turn, Bitterman got a sick run-through D that set up the score from Maria to Rachael. Stanford's offense used the break side effectively to make the score 1-1. The teams traded one more time before Bella found their groove. Wisconsin took half 7-3. Bella knew better than to relax after half and a fired up O line punched one in. The D line continued to roll, creating smart match-ups and moving quickly on Superfly turnovers. Bella closed out the game 13-4. Science rules!

The next two rounds featured match-ups with UC Davis and UCSD. Bella seized the opportunity to just play hard. After being cooped up inside for months, Bella came out of hibernation to stretch their legs. They ended the day 4-0 with scores of 13-2 and 13-1 respectively.

Top plays of the day include Al Ellis getting 3 layout D's in one point against Texas with her hair down, flying about, as well as a super sick layout catch D on the goal line against Stanford. Laura Bitterman and Sandy Jorgensen both collected bookends while fighting for the most plus on the day (winner +7 Bitt). Maria Mahowald ripped a 68 yard backhand to the Erin "The Cleanup Kid" Newman, who was in the right place at the right time for at least 3 goals today. Julie Chen skied and spiked the disc without regard, while both Maria and Rachael Westgate took full fledged blows from opponents in the face and arm respectively. McCain ruined marks as Gaynor ruined defenders, both playing very strong today. Kelsey had several big bigs for the disc deep as Speaker played tight shut down D all day. Vu and Reebs moved the disc easily as Jingy paced the offensive movement. Overall, Wisconsin played very smart and rested their legs in anticipation for two more hard days of ultimate in sunny California.

The night has been filled with Jersey Shore reruns, science projects, coffee shop study trips, and Jingy insisting that no one make her sing.

Bella will see UCLA and Oregon tomorrow in the race for the number one seed on Monday.

The first Wisconsin car arrived at the fields at 8:10am for a 10:45 game, as the 2 hour time difference made for early risers. A quick tour of campus and a little Aladdin in the bathroom, and Bella watched a bit of Colorado before finding their field. Sunday morning was very sunny and hot - a high of 78 degrees. Bella had a relaxed, yet thorough warm-up drills and looked mentally ready to begin. The power pools were a stark difference from the Saturday's teams, as UCLA started strong leading 2-3. The intensity was lurking, but not quite apparent. UCLA was protecting the disc and scoring consistently, leading 3-5. It took a Georgia sky D and 80 yard flick bomb to Bitterman to spark a break 5-5. Al Ellis scored a break to give Wisconsin the lead 6-5. UCLA ties the game before Becca scores half 7-6. Madison starts super strong in the second half, breaking 3 times to lead 10-6 as Sandy scores twice. Bella eases up just a bit and UCLA breaks back twice to bring it to 12-10. Bitterman slams the door and the disc on a huge sky and kick spike for the win 13-11.

Bella moved to the shade, only to find that the last game of the day against Oregon, began in 10 minutes. The captains stressed the importance of this game quickly as a couple of accelerations is all the warm-up Wisco took. Oregon gave Wisconsin their choice on flip, choosing Offense. Oregon covered the pull well and break 3 times straight to lead 0-3. Bitterman finally scored to get Wisconsin on the board 1-3, but Oregon pressured and D'd every throw to lead 1-5. Bella settled in and break back to fet to 3-5 and felt a little better. Fugue scored to lead 3-6 and McCain answered to 4-6, finally getting some confidence. Oregon scored upwind with a ridiculous catch to take 4-7 and fully in control. Bella needed an answer and fired up during halftime -- finally getting angry.

It was pretty windy, but Wisco responded -- closing the score to 6-9 with the disc on the end zone line. All 3 coaches agreed that Bella needed to score this point and when Oregon rushed the field at 6-10 it was over. Fugue played with high energy all game and made countless (~8) spectacular layout catches and skied deep repeatedly. Their transition offense found goals within 5 seconds repeatedly and Bella was left with only a bitter taste in their mouth 7-12. Wisconsin was done for the day, only to looking for the winner of Texas/California Berkeley.

Monday morning Bella was at the fields super early third day in a row. First game was against the Berkeley Pie Queens. Bella's warm-up was focused, intense, and with a vengeful attitude. Wisconsin was downright pissed about losing their last game on Sunday and was out for blood from the start. Cree Howard was the do-all for Cal, pulling 70 yards, playing shut-down D, and skying for the first point 0-1. Wisconsin pulled it together and break to lead 5-1. Madison took half 7-3 and traded to 8-4. Wisconsin played with heart from start-to-finish winning 13-4 despite Cree completely leaping over McKain for a jaw-dropping layout D. Georgia finished +7, Bitt +5, and Gaynor +4.

1-0 Georgia to Bitterman
2-1 McKain to Westgate
3-1 Al to Julie
3-5 Break City to Carolyn Finney
4-6 Bitt to Gaynor
6-6 Gaynor to Jingy
6-7 Skirts take half

7-7 Speak to Gaynah
7-9 Pre-meltdown
10-9 McKain to George, Al to Julie!
10-10 On Serve Going Downwind
10-13 Drop, drop, drop...

0-2 Big bombs
4-2 Bitterman scores 4 straight times
7-5 McKain for Laura for a score
9-7 McKain to Gaynor
12-8 Reebs to Emo, George to McKain, Jingy to Julie
12-10 whoops
13-10 Georgia to Sandy

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jerseys 2010

We're ordering jerseys! See below for colors, design, and order form. Click on an image to view it full size.
Send questions to gbosscher AT gmail DOT com.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Midwest Warmup Recap

The brand new 2010 edition of Wisconsin's Bella Donna (sans freshman Al Ellis and coach, Muffin Malocek, both absent due to hallucination-inducing fevers) headed down to St. Louis, MO for Michelle Ng and Holly Greunke's Midwest Warmup. Somehow along with a constant supply of bagels, bananas, peanut butter (creamy and crunchy, thank goodness), and sports drinks, the TDs managed to hold the weather at a perfect 70 degrees with just enough wind to keep things interesting.
After a brief battle Saturday morning with directions to the wrong park (luckily only a few streets away from the real deal), Bella arrived at the fields savoring a first round bye. Lines quickly formed at the trainer, bagels, bathrooms, and most importantly, around our prodigal Texan, Frances Tsukano. After hugs and reintroductions it was time to prepare for our first game (the trainer, while fantastic, proved to be extremely careful and thorough, meaning a few of us less-intact players missed morning warm-up).
Wisconsin debuted against 25-seed Grinnell, beginning on defense with a starting line of Jenny "I learned how to ride a bike before Jon" Gaynor, Georgia "Fury calls" Bosscher, Rachael "I hate wearing clothes" Westgate, Maria "I have an eight foot wingspan" Mahowald, Rebecca "Old man face" Enders, Sandy "I actually hate everything athletic" Jorgensen, and Aimee "I have the best attitude about everything" Speaker. This dominant line earned their score from Reebs to Sandy after a D from Speaker. From there the game went by lighting fast, with Bella racking up scores with hardly a need to set up an offense. The mental focus faltered for a moment on game point when Grinnell managed to sneak in a score after a couple of Wisconsin turns, however, some smooth offense from Bitterman to Bloodford ended the game 13-1 with only ten turnovers.
The quickness of the first game allowed plenty of time to restock on bagels and sample the various flavors of Vitamin Water (acai-blueberry-pomegranate = fantastic, if complicated). Fully refueled, Bella looked to take on their second competitor of the day, Wash-U B with guest stars Holly "I go through Fly withdrawal within an hour" Greunke and Michelle "I personally know 90% of the Ultimate community" Nggwooanhuhh. Once again starting upwind on defense, Gaynor, Joja, Maria, and Reebs led the fray, this time joined by Becca "I can lobster claw catch discs at my knees" Ludford, Michelle "Please stop getting me sick, everyone" Hofeldt, and Erin "Who knew I had a boyfriend" Newman. The line battled through a turnover and ended the point with Lil' Goldenhand getting a D and throwing the score. Bella continued to rack up points, with both Maria and Bitterman each ending +6 (!) with no turns. Wash-U B was led by Kate "Deuce" Wilson, a great player who also graciously hosted all of Bella at her apartment (thank you!). Final score: 13-4.
Ohio State was up next, giving BD their first chance to start a game on offense. In continuation of tradition, Gg started with Erin "I did WHAT to Doede??" Moran, Frances "How many ways can I get injured standing still" Tsukano, Jenny "Ranch dressing" Koll, Sydney "I've played four years of varsity ultimate, what'd you do in high school?" Dobkin, Laura "Beth" Bitterman, and Emelie "I can dance lower than you can" McKain. The O line proved they had a bit of work to do by starting out with two turns, but managed to score anyway after a D from Australia and a throw from Bosscher to Frengces. The game went by quickly, ending 13-1 with a total of 10 D's and only 9 turns for Bella Donna. The defensive line stats are frightening.
Wisconsin continued to play better and better, ending the day against 12-seed Kansas. The starting D line of Fran, Bitt, Jaynor, George, Mars, Reebs, and Stallion continued the trend of turning it over on the first point of the game, but again, managed to get on the board anyway. A few points later a ferocious cup ran down a back-of-the-endzone pull, pushing Kansas into a corner. After only a few passes Rachael got a hand on a swing pass, changing the direction of the disc and giving Gwargia enough time to run it down for the Callahan. Teamwork at its best! From there the game flowed to a 13-1 finish, giving Bella a 4-0 record for their first tournament day as a team.
After an encouraging huddle, a few veterans and brave rookies played a rousing game of "MILK," (in which the participants throw a rejected disc into the ground as hard as they can and then try to catch it one handed when it pops sporadically back up), which Speaker somehow dominated at, despite kind of sucking at most other random disc games. From there the team packed up and headed back downtown in search of sustenance. A few who didn't think free Chipotle on Sunday would be enough to get them through a weekend found refuge in burritos, chips, and guac, while the more adventurous settled for Noodles&Co. At least no one can say Bella doesn't take advantage of local food options, since afterwards everyone flocked to FroYo and overloaded their cups with various combinations of fruit, cheesecake bites, and jimmies (some for the second time in the weekend).
The team settled into a mellow evening, watching Little Giants and Mulan in a quick 1-2 punch of motivational children's movies. The leadership then took off to a fantastic meeting with other captains and coaches focusing on ways to expand, support, and popularize college women's ultimate. A lot of great ideas and connections were tossed around which hopefully will lead to improvements across the board; from small to large schools, new to veteran players. It was also found out that Bella got reseeded at number 2 behind Iowa State because of a one point spread between differentials, pitting them against the winner of Ohio State and Northwestern for the morning quarters game.
Sunday morning Bella packed up, refueled briefly at Starbucks, and drove back to the fields (the completely brake-less van simply retracing the probably much longer incorrect directions, not having bothered to get new ones). After an intense warmup on a nearby football field Bella moved out to meet Northwestern coming off a prequarters win.
Bella made quick work of the first half, bringing it in at 8-0. Never complacent, they came out pumped for the second half (middle to FINISH!), with Bosscher tallying the first layout D of the weekend on an under cut. From there Northwestern started finding their game, even managing to break the Wisconsin O-line for 13-4. However, the Bella momentum had been rolling strong all weekend, and the game ended 15-5. Frances managed to score 6 goals and McPain and Bossch each had 4 assists. Mck and Jaynor tied at an impressive +5 overall.
Madison stayed on the same fields, waiting for the SLU alums to finish their game. Most of the SLU alumni were on the team last year that twice beat Bella on universe point. A very quick-moving, scrappy team, the SLU girls are athletic and make incredible catches, with Kara O'Malley leading by example and playing almost every point. The game started with Bella on D, but unfortunately the line was unable to convert and St. Louis became the first team all weekend to score before Wisconsin. Not to be outdone, Bella scored two in quick succession after Bitt fired up the team with a clutch footblock. The next point ended almost immediately as Bittewman-what's-yow-fiwst-name managed to grab a swing pass in the cup for Bella's second Callahan. However, SLU's handlers sliced through Wisconsin's next D attempt and then got a break of their own off a trap zone. Bella 3 - SLU 3. 4-3. 4-5. 6-5. 6-7. Finally, Bella took half 8-7. The game of two-point runs would have to stop for either team to emerge victorious. Hard cap went on at 9-9, meaning universe point, with Bella on defense going upwind. A strong line of Frances, Bitt, Georgia, McKain, Rachael, Maria, and Sandy took to the field to grab the ticket to finals. A D was earned, but squandered on a miscommunication. Bella then amped it up to dominating proportions, pressuring the SLU offense with the tightest man D in the Midwest, earning a throwaway near the Wisconsin endzone. A Diamond was called and executed perfectly, with Bitterman somehow juking around SLU's best defender to catch the game-winning throw from Joja. Bella had won their first universe-point game! Laura Littlebits had an absolutely dominant performance with 3 D's, 2 assists, and 4 scores without a single turnover: +9! Officially setting a new standard for every player on the field.
Fired up and excited, Bella brought it in and prepared themselves to play Iowa State, coming off their own universe point win against Wisconsin-Eau Claire (9-8). Iowa State has perennially been a Midwest dominator, in 2009 breaking through to College Nationals for the first time. Their strength runs through Jasmine "Jazz" Draper and Christine "Animal" Rosen, both dominant players who make ridiculously athletic catches and D's look easier than finding dollar beer nights in Madison. The game was pushed back 15 minutes to make up for both semis going to hardcap, giving Bella some extra time to come together and decide to dominate, everyone committing to playing their specific role so as to be 20 strong the entire game.
Bella started on D, but were unable to convert after two turnovers and Iowa State went up 0-1. Another 3 Bella turns in the next point put Woman Scorned up 0-2. Things slid even a little further downhill on the next marathon point as Bella fought upwind, but lost the point after 6 turns (not without 4 legitimate D's, however). A fired up O line then scored downwind from rookie Julie "Just took the title for most stylish on the team away from Sarah Offutt" Chen to Bitter. Iowa State answered back again after another hell point (Bella racking up 5 turns). Finally the Wisconsin ladies decided to give up on the whole "turn the disc over" strategy and amp up the D (Gaynor leading things with a handblock), scoring the next 4 in a row to bring it to 5-4.
Iowa State punched in one more to keep things close, and almost scored the next after two unfortunate turnovers by Madison. However, Lil' Bitt decided to take things into her own hands: the rest of the team worriedly watched as the disc was thrown toward an open offender in the endzone. Bitterman suddenly arrived airborne from halfway across the field to hit the disc away with a sick layout D. Not to be outdone, Jenny "Cooler" Gaynor kept things interesting by getting her own mile-high layout D, also against an open offender in the endzone. After this succession of ridiculously talented defense, the line had no choice but to score, bringing it to 6-5, BD. During that point Iowa State's Christine Rosen took an injury sub because of severe cramping, dealing Woman Scorned a large blow both to their game flow and to their confidence. Wisconsin, on the other hand, was only continuing to peak, scoring the next 5 in a row with only 1 turnover. The rest of the game seemed anticlimactic, with Iowa State scoring only 2 more times, and Madison finishing the game on a roommate connection from McPain to Urn Moran. 15-7, and Bella's first official tournament victory!
Free Chipotle rejuvenated the Wisconsin energy as the girls prepared for their 6.5 hour drive home. Final thoughts on the weekend:
  • Michelle Ng runs a pretty sick show. Loving the updates and quick delivery of information.
  • Iowa State and Eau Claire have a rivalry comparable to the Packers and Vikings. No comment on which is which, though one could equate Robyn to Favre, minus the multiple retirings and switching of sides.
  • The Bosscherbella van is officially retired after limping home and thankfully not blowing up. A toast was given in its honor. You may post condolences below.
  • Courtney Kiesow has a gorgeous voice, just don't expect to be able to hear your name called on the sideline. She's not as quiet as Holly was though, so I guess our coach selection is improving in volume.
  • Bella's rookies are terrifyingly good. Their confidence is on the up and up and they're already making plays rivaling the veterans.
  • There should be a FroYo in Madison, mostly so Shira can be blissfully and unequivocally happy more than once or twice a year.
  • And finally and most importantly: Wisconsin is officially starting a Legacy of Hurt. I would recommend getting on board, it is going to be awesome.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Introducing Bella Donna 2010

Midwest Warmup

The Wisconsin ladies are stacked with talent...
Bella Donna Fall 2009:

Brandon Malecek - Coach
Courtney Kiesow - Coach
Georgia Bosscher - Captain, Callahan, Fury Club Champion
Emelie McKain - Captain, fiery competitor
Shira Klane - Officer, baller
Jenny Koll - Officer, training the hardest
Becca Ludford - Officer, speedster
Laura Bitterman - fastest ever and considering lifting,
Sandy Jorgensen - D-1 athlete, Scandal
Jenny Gaynor - wishes she were Jon
Maria Mahowald - wishes she were Drew
Rebecca "Reebs" Enders - surprisingly under the radar
Rachael Westgate - FOTY returns
Aimee Speaker - will D you
Erin Moran - ice cream scooper
Al Ellis - has style
Sydney Dobkin - Paideia import
Julie Chen, ridiculously athletic
Erin Newman - on the fast-track
Michelle Hofeldt - Athlete X
Spring Tryouts:
Frances Tsukano - Showdown
Elizabeth Vu - Grad school
Sara Scott - Seattle import
Laura Schott - skype availability limited
Leah Alstad