35th Annual Presidents Day Tournament at UC San Diego
With everyone getting a long weekend for this past president’s day weekend, what better way to spend it than playing ultimate frisbee on our home turf with the buds. Although it was a long weekend it wasn’t necessarily the good kind for our Air Squids. Though we came out to a hot start on Saturday, it was all down hill from there leading to a disappointing last place finish.
As compared to the rest of the weekend, however, Day 1 was going right for our tentacle friends. It started off with a major upset against the 8 seed in Oregon State which UCSD with the help from the livestream seemingly elevated their play to take half 7-6 and eventually getting a few breaks in the second half to take the game 11-10 and a commanding start to the day. Next our squiddos would have to take on the 1 seed in Colorado, although starting the game even with Colorado for a while, that would only last so long. Colorado came out strong in the latter parts of the first half and the rest of the second half, leading to what seemed like break after break leading to a 7-15 loss for San Diego. Despite the loss, the Air Squids hard fought game didn’t bring spirits down. For the final game of the day UCSD took on Stanford, the team that Ultiworld predicted to beat the Air Squids easily; however, UCSD took this to heart and proved them wrong. The first half was a bit of a struggle as we let Stanford get up with a few breaks though our defense. Halftime came with Stanford up 8-6 but we weren’t ready to take this answer, and with a chilling speech about the intricacies of life from our very own Agapito, we had a new fire going into the second half. That fire led to us holding Stanford to 0 points in the second half with an excellent game and final score of 10-8 in favor of the cephalopods.
Day 2 was the beginning of the end for the UCSD team. The team started slow in their game against Colorado State with some crucial mistakes on offense and defense that produced turns. Going into the final stretch we were down a few breaks but with a kill line, we were able to bring it to universe which unfortunately escaped our grips leading to a crushing 11-12 defeat to start the day. From here it was going to be our biggest fight in the reshuffled pools in UCLA. With morale low from our tough loss before, playing UCLA was a fight that led to them steamrolling us with tight D and clean O leading to another critical 12-8 loss that basically put us out of contention for the bracket unless we wiped the floor with GCU, who had beaten the two teams we just lost to. Going into GCU there was not much left in us, but yet there was still some part of us that wanted to make it to the bracket. The first half was looking great for us with a commanding lead going into the second half, but that’s where our fire died and we let that slip from us as we played progressively worse as the game went on leading to another disappointing 10-13 loss. We ended day 2 significantly worse off with spirits low and only playing for 13th heading into Day 3.
Day 3 was more of the same that we grew familiar with from day 2. The team once again started off pretty slow keeping it close with Western Washington who was making lots of mistakes. But at the same time, we were making lots of mistakes ourselves, but up to halfti9me the game was close, with UCSD looking favorable by having more chances to break than them. Though the Air Squids kept the game close, the defense broke one too many times, ending 11-9 in favor of WWU Dirt. After this loss all hope went out the window for our squids. We played our final game of the long weekend against UCSB, who much like us were out of it and it showed with both teams making bad throws, and problems with our hand-eye coordination. But UCSB wanted it more in this mess of a final game, giving us a final score of 11-10 in favor of Black Tide with another tragic universe point loss to end the tournament. Though this tournament went quickly from hot to not, it gave us a lot to think about for how we can improve our play and who knows maybe the Squids will surprise everyone at Stanford invite just two weeks away.