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Series Time

May 3, 2010
  • Sectionals and Regionals are fun to watch because they give a glimpse into how Ultimate is developing in a given geographical area. At Sectionals, improvements in the overall level of play were really apparent. Generally, it’s a top-down kind of thing, with lower teams picking up on things like endzone plays and defenses that include more than just calling out a force. Also, the drive notwithstanding, Knoxville was a cool location for our Sectionals because there was a pavilion that overlooked the entire complex, making it possible to see all of the ongoing games at once. It kind of made it feel like watching College Gameday.
  • On that note… improvements coming from the top-down is nothing new in sports. In watching Pitt play at Easterns, I noticed a couple of minor tweaks to common knowledge strategies, and aside from their coaches and mentors that play high-level club, some of this has to be a result of the shared knowledge pool that is created amongst teams that are constantly turning out high finishes at the best tournaments. It’s sort of obvious that this is how it works, but I think it’s cool nonetheless. It also makes me think that Wisconsin and Carleton, in particular, benefitted from a long stretch of basically owning the Central Region: while their regional competition was pretty weak, it guaranteed them a look at the best of college Ultimate year after year, leaving them privy to advanced strategies and letting them know what they were up against once they advanced to Nationals.
  • Whether you’re personally surprised or not, Stanford and Texas missing Nationals is worth noting. Both were in Semis last year, and from my perspective, were programs that had proven themselves far enough ahead of the game planning and poise curves to overcome drop-offs in talent. While Stanford had the better season, Texas was probably the more likely of the two to make it to Madison given the weakness of the South (and depth of the Northwest). I know that William and Mary didn’t make Regionals in 2005 after making Semis in ’04, but can anyone tell me the last time two of the previous year’s National Semifinalists missed qualifying?
  • UVA’s girls team got 4th at Regionals this past weekend, the best they’ve gotten since I’ve been in Charlottesville. Nice work, Hydra!
  • Regionals is this weekend. Florida-C (let’s not go down that road…) should be the 1 seed, and I expect UVA to be the 2. We’ll see how seeding shakes down from there, but regardless, should be a fun weekend.
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