CUUC 2011 – Preview
Tally ho! (That’s a greeting right?) I’m sure if you’re reading this that you’ll be somehow involved in, or at least linked to by fewer degrees of separation than to Kevin Bacon, CUUC 2011 in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Earth. And so let me open by saying good luck to each and every team, player, coach and especially volunteer that will be a part of this great weekend. :)
But, before we get there, the scouting reports! For those of you sidelined and playing fantasy all weekend, listen up, this one’s for you. (And I guess the rest of you can read on too, I can’t stop you.)
The university circuit looks stronger than ever this fall, and I have no doubts that there will be come very competitive, high calibre ultimate played this weekend, on the men’s and women’s sides. I’ve asked many captains to give me a little something-something on their team and many have graciously replied, and I thank them for making my life that much easier. So, as the esteemed Mr. Carroll once said (no, not you Andy), we shall begin at the beginning and go on until we come to the end; then stop. There will be no particular order to this, other than letting the ladies go first.
The University of Guelph‘s Womens team – LOAF – is returning with a solid veteran squad working it with a talented group of rookies. Comprised of girls from Canada’s U23 team, PPF, Stella and MuD, LOAF which will keep any opponent on their toes. Gritty defense and strong team chemistry propels the Guelph ladies into the top ranks of University ultimate. With an exciting second place finish at the 2010 CUUC in Ottawa, LOAF is looking to take home the gold this year in Waterloo. Watch out for dirty layouts from Megan Thomas, Jess Chen’s beautiful breaks and the hustle coming from rookie Amanda Devries. – Thanks Jill :)
This season is a fun and exciting one for the McGill Martlets! The team is made up of players on a whole spectrum of skill levels; from those who are playing competitive ultimate for the first time to those who have represented Canada at Worlds. The combination makes for a dynamic team that shows extreme growth and improvement after every game and every workout. Cross-cutting all skill levels is a love for the sport, some wild energy, and a great spirit of friendship. The Martlets had a strong showing at Easterns, winning their first three games before being out matched by Torontula after a high-intensity and very competitive game Saturday afternoon. The Martlets loved the high level of competition at Easterns and learned a lot from the experience. They are extremely eager for CUUC and can’t wait to give every game their all and see where they stand this year in Canadian University Ultimate! – Thanks Taylor :)
The University of Ottawa Lady Gee Gees is excited for Nationals! After attending Easterns with just two practices under our belts, we’re ready for a little more. With a team that is half made up of returning players, and the other half being new to the team (and several new to ultimate), the Gee-Gees have started this season with a competitive mindset. We have a lot of players who have stepped up into filling a bigger role, as well as having a young talent that continues to show that they are just as eager to prove themselves. In rebuilding this year, our emphasis has really been on teamwork. We win and lose as a team, and that’s what matters. On strategy… we do a bit of everything, and keep a little something in our back pocket if needed. Defensively, our team really focuses on tough man to man D – we like the match-ups and so we don’t stray from that very often. Offensively we mainly run horizontal, but our biggest strength is our ability to adapt to other teams strategies. We have worked hard at improving our zone offense and have been quite successful at it to date. We are looking forward to competing at Nationals in Waterloo – it will be the first tournament for a few of our players, and the first time we’ll be playing together as a full team this year, and we are looking forward to playing every game. – Thanks K :)
Over the last few three years, Carleton Stealth has started to come into their own much more as a competitive team. As a relatively new team to the University series, our greatest goal is always team development. With coach Onita Basu and captains Dominique Rioux, Heather McCabe and Sarah Hobbs, that development is finally starting to come to. After finishing 5th at CUUC last year, we are hoping for a similar finish this year. Even though we are a “rookie heavy” team this year, we were quick to find our groove this year at Eastern’s and excited for what is to come. Keep an eye out for veteran handlers Dominique Rioux and Sarah Hobbs and the aggressively sexy cutting styles of star players Heather McCabe, Rachel Young and Cassandra Cheung. Don’t dare underestimate our rookies either! Brittany Schlosser is new to Carleton but certainly not new to the game! And Meghan Callahan might be new to frisbee but she’ll teach you a thing or two about endurance and aggression. See you on the fields, UC! - Thanks Hobbs :)
Having hosted CEUUC 2011, the University of Western Ontario Sharks are happy with our overall performance at (5-1), but think we can improve on our placement of 5th. We look forward to CUUC this weekend to have a go at medaling, which we believe is totally possible with the skill, character and drive that we’ve developed this fall season. – Thanks Jordo :)
The Queen’s University Women’s team is looking really strong this year. That’s in part due to our great group of returning players, who have some great connections on the field, but we also have a great group of rookies this year. A lot of them are fairly new to the game, but they are fast, athletic, and have picked up on everything that we’ve thrown at them (no pun intended) very quickly. Since Easterns been working on strengthening the connections between our players, getting our new players more comfortable with the disc, and making sure that we have the most active sideline we can at Nationals. It’s difficult to pick out names of any players who have especially stood out, since we have so many great connections between our players that they really help each other look good on the field. I will say that I’m glad to have Paula Saliba and Katie Fizzell back for their amazing hucks and break throws; Michelle Wang for her tireless cutting; and I’m excited about all of our rookies, including Chantal Badger, who is easily the fastest girl on our team and who is willing to hit the ground every time to make a catch. - Thanks Rebecca :)
After a season without women’s ultimate at the University of Waterloo, and a continued void of women’s ultimate at Wilfrid Laurier University, both schools have come together to form one consortium team. Being from the same city has made it a logical choice for Ultimate Canada approve the consortium and allow the team to not only participate at Nationals but also promote and develop the game on their respective campus. Given the short season within university ultimate, we’ve struggled to sort out logistics for group practices and attain group cohesion in a timely manner. The majority of the team members are very dedicated in attending training sessions as well as social aspects off the pitch. After moving practices to Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 6am, we’re beginning to feel like a team and believe that we should be able to improve upon our performance at CEUUC and put up a good fight at Nationals. Some names to watch for on the field are: Brianna VanderGriendt, a 4th year player with the skills to lead her team. She can handle a disc with the best of them and as soon as her confidence reaches her talent level, she will be one of the very best in the university series. Sara Lawlor, a first year student from the Ottawa junior system is already a polished player with a strong resume. Sara should help carry the team to positive results for many years. With strong leadership shown from many players, as well as promising young talent, we strongly believe our team will be competitive not only this year, but for the foreseeable future. This year the focus has been on development, not only of individual players and skills, but also for the future of women’s ultimate at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. As more games are under our belt, the team’s trust level has increased exponentially as has the recognition of personal strengths and weaknesses. As the weekend wore on during CEUUC we began to play smarter and really hone in on our strengths as a team and focus on what we had been doing well throughout the tournament. Our team places a lot of trust in our coaches; Jon Hines and Andrew Portwine, as we’re confident they continue to help us develop and play more as a team. The coaches have assisted us in pointing out strengths, weaknesses and attaining our personal and team goals. Their dedication to our team has been phenomenal and we appreciate the time and effort they put in both on and off pitch to help our team be the best we can be. – Thanks Brianna & Andrew :)
Lady Torontula will be a force to be reckoned with this coming weekend, led by Capital Kate Jardine and up-and-coming captain Alex Boross-Harmer. After a strong finish at CEUUC, this deep squad will be looking to medal in Waterloo. Watch also for McMaster University, coached (because she shouldn’t be playing because she needs to heal!) by veteran Hayley Burgess, who will of course take a shot at the title. Watch for the reliable hands of ex-Liquid Neenah Navasero and the always open cuts of Stacy Zahanova as this squad’s safe, intelligent playbook will tie your defence in knots.
University of Guelph MEAT surprised a lot of people last year. Everyone but themselves. After a 3rd place finish at CEUUC 2010 they showed great heart and teamwork to grabbed the 2010 CUUC title. With a team that only boasted a few big name players they took a lot of teams by surprise. While losing a few players from last years squad an infusion of youth has the team looks strong once again. Similar to last year, this year MEAT will find success with their depth and relatively unknown talent. Almost everyone in the Canadian University Ultimate circuit knows captain Josh Meron, as well as Cam Harris and Thomas Black but there are other key cogs to this team that are lesser known and just as important. The unknown’s are led by strong cutters Eamonn Pinto (GT/3rd year), Sky Powell (Maverick/4th year) and handlers Tim Martin (No touring affiliation/4th year) and Chris Sanderson (MuD/3rd year..ish). Guelph knows that there is a target on their back, and it only got bigger with their CEUUC 2011 win. They look forward to the upcoming challenge of CUUC. MEAT would also like to give a shout out to captain Tim Likely, who, due to unfortunate circumstances is back home in Ottawa. – Thanks Andy :)
After a building year last year Queen’s University ultimate has seen a big surge in interest and skill. Rookies Ryan Wilson and Greg Dennis will add athleticism and energy to an already athletic team. Expect returning veterans Miles Wilson, Alex Ginther, and Matt Slonetsky to provide the foundation for the team and add some spectacular plays. A well rounded and speedy roster will hang with the best at Nationals. – Thanks Andy :)
The Carleton Ravens are back with the same core of veterans this year, boosted with some talented and athletic rookies to fill out the roster- Quite possibly the deepest team the school has ever assembled. Tryouts were competitive this year, creating an opportunity to take a larger roster than previous years. Easterns saw us lacking some intensity and chemistry at times, but with all the kinks worked out, and the addition of the couple vets that weren’t in attendance in London, we look to make a return to the final and leave it all on the field. In terms of naming some players to keep an eye on it’s tough. The usual Ravens who played key roles on Phoenix, TrainWreck, as well as a couple from GOAT an BC’s Blackfish form the core of the team’s talent, but a few rookies from Ottawa’s junior program and abroad fill out this unit and could quite possibly make some game-changing plays in big moments. We’re looking forward to hitting the field and putting this season’s hard work and energy into play. – Thanks Mat :)
As the co-host of this year’s CUUC, this is only the second year that Wilfred Laurier University is fielding a team for the university series. Although they had a team last year, they were unable to get enough commitment to field a team for CUUC. CEUUC 2010 and 2011 has found Laurier finishing 10th with some difficult losses. Although only in their second year of operation, and with a relatively inexperienced team, the team has some very strong and energetic players that should surprise some unprepared teams at CUUC 2011. Key players to watch out for are Van “The Pirate” Hung, Steve “Football” Woolner, and Tiro “CFL” Timmers. A very talented O-line coupled with such a large, energetic and physical D-line should ensure that Laurier has a stronger finish than they did at CEUUC. – Thanks Dave :)
2011 marks the first year of competitive ultimate at York University and we’re looking to make a name for ourselves in the Canadian University scene. I would tell you about our strategies but to be honest we don’t really know them all that well ourselves. What I can tell you though is that we have superpowers. I have extensively reviewed the CUUC rules (as well as provincial laws) and there is nothing that implies that flying, telekinesis, super speed or omnipresence is prohibited. Aside from that there isn’t too much to say about our team, see you on the fields. – Thanks Micheal :)
If there’s one thing repeated every time we talk about Torontula 2011, it’s depth. With an O line led by the likes of Satchin Raina and Geoff “Bomber” Powell, we feel we’re able to go down and score on any given point, especially since we feel that we’re able to provide a supporting cast drawn from almost our entire roster. Watch for: Bocian hucking to Tat, Clark and Raina against the zone. On D, the classic gritty Torontula style has been embraced again this year. Strong captain Wes George will look to lead the D, along with new additions this year of Justin Mang’era, Phil Isaac, Jordan Tingle and veteran Chris Yarnell. With only 4 players only 23 and 12 under 21 and a squad that can and will roll the full lineup, this will be a fast, exciting team to watch. Watch for: Mike Huang on the quick turn, Santos breaking to Amjad, Dave Tingle offering “advice” to his younger brothers. – Thanks Javier :)
Boasting the largest roster in recent history at the University of Waterloo, the CUUC 2011 co-hosts will show no shortage of energy and exciting Ultimate come October 14th. The Warriors have been on the edge of breaking into the Elite group of University teams and with newly acquired size from local talent and Toronto Overdrive’s Taylor Kotwa, this could be the year. Newer players will look to Bryan Cunningham, Nima Mostaghimi, and Daniel Huynh for leadership and experience while workhorses Cam Bruggeman, Matt McGill, and Daniel Johnson are all looking to make a serious impact on defence. Hard work, smart decisions, and grit will all be keys to success for the Warriors. – Thanks Carson :)
This year the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees surprised many people by placing fourth at easterns. With the strongest squad the school has ever fielded, they are coming to CUUC 2011 to break hearts and extinguish dreams of national glory. This year some of the key people to watch are Alex Bush, who has become a force in the lanes; Rob Ainsworth and Hagan Riglin, the team’s veteran handlers; and the Boucher brothers, Cory and Nick. The real key to Ottawa’s success this year, however, has been the way that every player on the team, new players and veterans alike, has stepped up his game in a big way. – Thanks Rob :)
The McGill Redmen are really excited to make our appearance at CUUC this year and show that, despite a lackluster performance at Easterns, we are contenders for the championship. We barely graduated any players, and we got a new set of very strong rookies. We will be looking to run down other teams with our deep roster and shutting down star players that many teams rely on to succeed. Among rookies, standouts include wugc junior Greg Moore (cutter) and pheonix-alum Geoffrey Bevan (handler). – Thanks Joe :)
Led by team Dad Andrew Meikle and GT’s Bryan Yue and Alex Vlahos, McMaster University will look for more than a few upsets this weekend. This speed-heavy team will rely on strong handling from WJUC veteran Evan Cole and others as they look to slice teams open as a big-play offense. Similarly, the University of Western Ontario Sharks will look to do likewise with their talent-filled roster. They look to improve on their CEUUC finish with leadership from the all-knowing Andy Siy, up-and-comer Calum MacKenzie and the always important 8th man, the crowd, as the UWO Alum team (Oktoberfesters) will be living vicariously through their young team. A deep squad filled with guys like GT’s Ben Horgan and TooBad’s (represent!) Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood will make them a definite contender this weekend.
That’s it! If you’re still reading, congratulations! You win the grand prize, a new tv! Which is good, because I’m going to hazard a guess that your tv is missing. :O
Thank you, good night, and good luck