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