2018 KFall Memorial Tournament Summary
This weekend, November 17-18, the University of California, San Diego Air Squids kicked off the 2018 - 2019 season by hosting the Kendra Fallon Memorial Tournament. For much of the team, this tournament was the first of the year, and as per tradition, the Air Squids split into three teams: T, U, and V. Seven other teams traveled from all over California, as well as two from Arizona, to compete under clear skies and sunshine.
Team U started off the weekend with tough losses to the pool B teams, going 0-4 on Saturday after losing to Cal Poly SLO, Cal Poly Pomona, Arizona State University, and finally to USC. However, U was determined not to let the losses get them down and started off Sunday with a fiery game against Team V. The Air Squids vs Air Squids game ended on double game point, 6-7, with team V taking the win in the end. After these five pool play games, Team U began bracket play against hometown rivals SDSU. A loss against SDSU meant that Team U would have the chance to play V again, and this time U would get their revenge with a win over V.
Team V began the weekend similarly to team U, ending Saturday 0-4 against the other pool B teams. V got their win earlier on Sunday though, with their win over U, which moved them up in pool B and set them against CSU Long Beach. A loss to Long Beach though would bump them down to their game against U, a friendly match which U would eventually take.
Team T started off hot on Saturday in their first game in pool A against UC Irvine, jumping out to an 8-3 lead. Irvine would rally, trading points, but it would be too little too late. T’s spirits were high going into the next match against UCLA, but they were quickly silenced as UCLA jumped out to a 3-0 lead. T was unable to get their energy back and was taken apart, losing 4-12. However, T was able to rally for their next game against CSU Long Beach, trading points until half, when they pulled away for the win. T was ready for their next game against Northern Arizona University, exploding from the start to a 5-1 lead. NAU was not going to go down with a fight though, and they would bring it all the way back to eventually win after taking universe point. T left day 1 with a sour taste in their mouths and they brought the intensity to day 2 in their last pool play game against SDSU. T again ran away with the game in the first half, outscoring SDSU 7-3, then coasted to the win. Their 3-2 record placed T in the championship bracket. Unfortunately their championship run was cut short by a ruthless ASU team. T continued to fight and was able to pick up a game against Cal Poly SLO to move into the fifth place game against Cal Poly Pomona. The Squids were fired up the entire game with sideline energy at a high for the entire tournament and were poised to take the win. Pomona rose to the occasion and scored 3 straight points against T to take the game. T ends the weekend 4-4 with occasional luls in energy, but also some great points. David “N.E. Time” Knapp brought the hype with some insane D’s in his first tournament coming off injury and veteran Jackie “Dormer” Wong ran all over defenses providing consistent fuel to team T’s engine.
Each team will have a lot to take away from this weekend. Teams U and V put up fights against other schools’ full A-team rosters and will be looking to build upon their skills and teamwork before their next tournament. Team T will need to sharpen up their skills and focus on eliminating their simple execution mistakes to be ready to compete with the other high powered California schools.