CUUC 2010

To anyone who didn’t play at this CUUC or hasn’t at a previous one, let me tell you, you’re missing out. The level of intensity is infinitely higher than anything I’ve ever played. Miserable conditions always feed the fire though, and this weekend was no exception form that. The winds were up around 15 KM/h and it felt like they stayed there for most of the weekend, Friday through Sunday. There were definitely at least a few pulls that got carried over a field or two over the course of the weekend.

Nonetheless, good ultimate, great ultimate I should say. With a upwind and crosswind being at most every other point, there was a lot of weird zones, a lot of wall/rabbit, and even a three man cup played at one point. Anything to drive a team back downwind I guess. It’s almost surprising that I DIDN’T see a callahan this weekend what with teams being forced into their endzones and the crazy winds.

Easily the most repeated criticism I heard the whole weekend was “WHERE ARE THE BAGELS AND BANANAS?!?!?” And I wondered too, where were the bagels and bananas? I mean the food tent was awesome, hot drinks and a barbecue are always appreciated, but this is the university championships, somehow I don’t feel that most people would’ve been too excited to spend money. Or maybe I’m just projecting because I’m cheap.

So that’s what everyone was dealing with, here’s it from my view.

I played with Carleton this weekend, we ended up third come Sunday afternoon. Adequate, but we had hoped for better, though I’m sure most teams did. Friday we went three and oh, and a tough loss to DKUT early Saturday (with 1 upwind score all game)  hardened our resolve for the rest of the tournament. Sunday morning we started against McGill, a rematch from the CEUUC finals, and are so far three and oh this year against them. An injured Tim Tsang helped our cause but our defense was impenetrable all game. We had a bye next, which I took to watch and chirp UW v McGill. Fun for everyone. Back on the field after that against MEAT, and I think I can safely say that that was the craziest game of the tournament. Trading points for a few until Guelph broke, then we broke back (it always feels so good), trading more points, breaking, breaking back. At hard cap we ended 10-10 and went to universe to go to the finals, and that wind came up and bit us. Well fought Carleton, but we lost it 11-10 in a heartbreaker. MEAT would go on to beat Western in the finals, earning them 2010’s top university team in Canada, huge congrats to them.

And now on the Women’s side of things, here’s Amy Luo of the Carleton Stealth. A first-year out of Vancouver, she had a bittersweet tournament. Many of you there might’ve noticed medics running to field 2 mid-Saturday. That was her and her newly dislocated shoulder. Get better soon Amy :)

Anyways, here she is.

From what I saw throughout the weekend, winners of most games were teams that had the perfect combination of skill and luck to gain that upwind break.  Opening with an upset against Toronto gave us a huge momentum boost for the rest of the day, and we looked forward to playing Queen’s at the end of the day, who we’ve developed a friendly rivalry with. It was an unfortunate start for Toronto, as I heard they were missing various key players due to midterms and such, which is never the best.

Montreal’s U de M came next, who were M.I.A. at easterns, so we didn’t know what to expect. More of the same would come with Sherbrooke on day 3, both developing programs but showing promise. We beat U de M, but ended up losing to Queen’s later on, but U de M beating Queen’s reseeded us as third (below U de M). I look forward to playing with Carleton these next 3 years and watching programs like this, and Carleton’s, develop.

Queen’s was a tough loss in the torrential rains. Trading points in the first half, fatigue eventually began to set in for us and Queen’s ended up taking it by 4 in the end. Lots of layouts this game turned it up to 11, great games are always hard to lose and I hope to have another shot at them down the road.

Day 2 began with Brock, who really were outmatched by the wind. I was reminded of an old coach who told me to use ugly days to work on throwing, because if you can throw in that, you can throw in anything. Next came LOAF (3rd at easterns), a good challenge for us. Unfortunately, I dislocated my shoulder attempting to layout d for a d on a hammer throw early in the game, and can’t give much feedback, not being there and all. I heard it was a close game Stealth didn’t make it easy for LOAF to win, so well done ladies :)

I returned from the hospital in time to catch the Stealth vs. Western game. We beat Western handily at Easterns, and were looking to repeat that feat. Unfortunately for us, Western played a different game here than they did at Easterns and their experience in handling got them some early upwind points, leaving Stealth to fight to catch up. The wind and frustration began to get in our heads, and despite a good battle, Western took victory 10-5.

Being a freshman in college and having my first taste of women’s/college level ultimate, I am surprised to see the number of key players that emerged from junior teams. I myself came from a junior team in Vancouver, Misfit, and I recognized a number of players from Dirt/Overdrive and OJ/RessureXion that we played against in CUC, as well as some friends and acquaintances from the BC All Star team. All the Vancouverites I’ve seen (rookies or not) were on the All Star team at one point (myself excluded). The three I know of that are freshman are already core players on their respective teams, despite being rookies. Our very own powerhouse Dominique Rioux came from the Ottawa Juniors program two years ago, and this year we have additions from Dirt, RessureXion and Misfit, all already playing major roles on the team. I noticed girls from Overdrive on Western, TULA, and Guelph also being very key players. From my observations and own experience, I feel like a strong Juniors program is vital to feed into college ultimate.

Had I not dislocated my shoulder, I would have taken some photos I could have shared to go with this article. Thanks to Javier for giving me the chance to share my views on the women’s side of Nationals.

And thanks Amy for contributing :)

To all of you who played, coached, watched, organized, cooked (looking at you Bill), thanks for a great tournament and good luck with whatever you end up doing over the winter.

– JJ

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