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Glazed Daze and Chesapeake Open

September 1, 2009

Glazed Daze

Even though Glazed Daze was two weeks ago, I want to briefly re-cap what I remember since it was our first tournament of the year.

Saturday

Axis of C’Ville 15 – Big Red Death Machine 7

Axis 13 – Rival 11

Axis 13– Jukebox Heroes 11

Axis 14– American Hyperbole 7

Axis 15– Dumpsterfire 3

Sunday

Axis 15- 12 Captain Zero (Pre-Quarters)

Axis 14-7 TAU (Quarters)

Axis 15– 8 The Crumb Dusters (Semis)

Axis 15– 8 Hooray for Coed, Hooray! (Finals)

My thoughts…

  • Nine games in one weekend, five being on Saturday, is way too much. We were well-conditioned and as a result were lucky enough to pretty much avoid injury, but there wasn’t a team that we played on Sunday that wasn’t down a few players from injuries that came from overuse. North Carolina tournaments tend to emphasize the number of games they offer, which is all good and well, but at times it turns into this weird tough guy complex that doesn’t acknowledge that people can actually get hurt when they play too much.
  • The Rival and Jukebox games were by far our toughest of the weekend. Against Rival, our offense got a bit spooked when it got its first real look at a team that played defense against us and often took away the first in cut. On defense, we had a bit of a tough time dealing with the fact that Rival actually runs an offensive system (sort of the Mixed version of last year’s UVA offense), and we struggled to bring up the intensity when unforced turnovers diminished. With Jukebox, we went up a few breaks somewhere between the start of the game and half, but then mentally checked out for a bit, letting them back in the game. I wasn’t as concerned in this game as I was against Rival, but according to everyone else on the team, they were a tougher win. Go figure. I’d expect both of these teams to challenge for Nationals bids. 
  • Crumb Dusters was a random pick-up team that consisted of some old ECU and Ring guys, along with one of Duke’s better players from last year, Alex Trahey. They weren’t bad, but apparently Glazed was their only tournament.
  • Kusy reminded everyone that he still has it. His play elevated with each elimination game on Sunday, and it was particularly cool to see because so many of our opponents and the people watching were North Carolina folks who had seen him play a lot in his NC State and Ring days. At one point, the guy I was guarding had his throw layout D’d by Kevin and he turned to me and said, “I’ve seen that guy do that 500 times.” Sunday was sort of the Kusy show.
  • The Hooray team we saw in the Finals, by all accounts, was not anywhere near full strength (this was confirmed two weeks later at Chesapeake), so they definitely struggled. Their handlers were very quick, but they often looked off swings to girls, which allowed us to keep them trapped on one half of the field. I had heard a lot about Hooray being assholes, but they were generally very friendly when we played them.
  • Chase sat out the Finals after tweaking his hamstring, but that was our only injury. On the weekend, we were missing Tom (sprained ankle) and Scuttle (broken arm) due to injury, as well as Andrea and Karen due to prior commitments. 
  • Cool shirts for winning, Cookout to celebrate. I love Cookout.

Chesapeake Open

Saturday

Axis 13– Germ Circus 11

Axis 13– Bashing Pinatas 4

Axis 13– Dumpsterfire 4

Axis 13– Olio 6

Sunday

Axis 12– Bucket 9 (Quarters)

Axis 10– Hooray for Coed, Hooray! 6 (Semis)

Axis 12– AMP 10 (Finals)

  • Our play against Germ Circus was horrible. On D, our overall lackluster effort included crappy straight up marks that allowed them to huck, poachy and lazy downfield play, and an expectation that they would turn the disc over for us. On O, we threw dumb stuff against their zone rather than patiently finding our offense, and were content to beat them with hucks and hammers rather than actually working it. Once we got it together, we were fine.
  • Which leads me to this thought: in Mixed, it’s still hard to provide tournaments where every game is a challenge (as opposed to Open, where the teams in the Elite division had to battle it out throughout Saturday [to an extent, anyway]). While both Bashing and Olio had some quality players (Brian Conklin from NC State can play), their entire teams didn’t really match up that well, making it somewhat tough to find both motivation and rhythm. In other words, Saturdays can often become hard by virtue of being easy, and the real challenge often lies in keeping your own team focused on its own goals rather than skating through. I think that this is an issue that most good teams deal with at various points in their seasons, and it certainly increases the appeal of big tournaments like Centex or Emerald City Classic. 
  • Hooray was a lot better this time around, but so were we. No big issues, and they still don’t swing the disc to wide open women. 
  • I was looking forward to the AMP game a lot given that they are a regional opponent that has had Axis’ number the past few years. They were a good team, just really solid across the board with some serious speed on defense. Jeff Laarz, a James Madison alumn who I played Winter League with a few years ago, is really good: huge pulls and really good D both on the mark and in the air. He did a good job with Chase. Also, Eddie Peters was impressive. I think we beat AMP because we were able to bring enough pressure to force some errors and our defensive offense was good enough to convert, but they gave our O line a good amount of trouble. They’ll be better at Regionals, which is why we need to keep working hard.
  • The general lore about Mixed usually goes something like “Mixed teams are only as good as their women.” After two tournaments, I’m not really sure that I buy this. I think that in the past, it may have been true because the women’s game progressed more slowly than the men’s so the disparity between teams with experienced women and teams without was more pronounced. Now, however, I think that this gap is closing. Sure, good women are essential to a good Mixed team, but that’s because good players are essential to a good team. I do, however, think that the type of women required to be successful in Mixed can be different from those required in Women’s, as males are typically the ones throwing hucks and breaks. In this way, women who do this stuff tend to stand out.
  • Two different genders on the field definitely does make things interesting. I want to formulate my thoughts a bit more before I write on it, but I had been curious about the dynamic of things ever since reading this article last year. So yeah… more to come.
  • So far, Axis is teaching me a lot about team management throughout a tournament that I wish I had known as a college player and that I hope to bring to UVA as a coach. Night Train being underway is tight.
  • Klean Kanteens with Chesapeake Open Champs logos on them for the victory. Good because they’re cool, bad because I’ve never met a water bottle I couldn’t lose. 

That’s it for the write-ups. I plan to keep talking about my thoughts on Mixed as the season goes on. Also, I’ll post soon about the showcase games and the other Open that I was able to watch. Seeing Robert on Chain was cool.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Rusty permalink
    September 3, 2009 8:00 pm

    I think the whole “mixed teams are only as good as their women” still stands. Many teams do not utilize their women (hooray for coed, D’oh, and 2007 Shazam as examples) so that when their men get shutdown on saturday, or become fatigued the women have not had time with the disc so have no chemistry. It’s not so much about the disparity in skill, although from top to bottom on a roster this disparity is still much bigger than on the guy’s side, but it’s often the disparity in use within the team, so I suppose the saying should be changed to “mixed teams are only as good as the utilization of their women”.

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