President’s Day 2017

POSTED BY LIZ HENRY

In a shortened President’s Day Tournament due to weather, teams were limited to just two pool play games on Saturday, two power pool games on Sunday, and the consolation and championship brackets on Monday. Once again this year’s competition was stiff and included powerhouses such as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Cal Poly SLO, including a few other contenders who had attended nationals last year. Colorado ended up the winner of tournament taking the final game over SLO 12-7.

The Squids first game of pools happened to be against this year’s winner of Pres Day. In a close fought game, the Squids lost on universe to the Mamabirds 8-9. An out-of-bounds end zone turn on universe put the Squids in a tough defensive position that they weren’t able to claw back from. This was a good showing for the Squids as they were able to compete with one of the top ranked teams this year.

For the second and final game of pool play the Squids played against Utah. After going up two breaks with some stellar defense, Utah came out in a zone that Squids couldn’t break. Utah rode with their zone defense and got up a couple of breaks. Even with a late surge by the Squids, they fell to Utah 8-10. The switch to zone defense was key to Utah’s success and has been a struggle for the Squids thus far this year.

However, during the second day of games, the Squids were able to get back on track with a win over UC Santa Cruz 12-8. The Squids showed improvement as they were able to carve up Santa Cruz’s zone defense. Stefan “Dent” Samu played well with four goals and two D’s.

The final power pool game of the day was against Oregon. Going down two breaks to start the game, the Squids took Oregon’s best shot right off the bat. Every point after that was neck-and-neck. Both teams going even after Oregon’s two breaks. It was another tough loss for the Squids 9-12 but they hung in there with another top contender, showing signs of growth after every game.

From the results of pool play and power pools, the Squids were placed in the consolation bracket. They were scheduled to play two games but CAL forfeited their match to head on their way back home. So with only one game left on their schedule, the Squids faced SDSU in a San Diego showdown. Up one break at the half, SDSU kept the game close, but the Squids ended the game on three straight breaks. The final point was run by the fish and Andrew “Roq” Hua as Bernard “Bisquick” Suwirjo threw in the game’s final score to Adam “Friday” Stafford. The Squids won the game 13-8 going 2-3 on the extended weekend. Even though there were some tough stretches at points in the tournament, the Squids showed resilience, and they will be tough come regionals.

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Air Squids with Bright Future

POSTED BY LIZ HENRY

The tournament started at 8:00 AM on Saturday January 28th, 2017 for University of California, San Diego Air Squids against University of Washington. It was a cold morning with icy fields and chilly winds. Our team was not fazed at all by this change of weather from the good ole San Diego weather of sunshine and warmth. For the first half of the game, we competed with Washington, the number one seed in the tournament, trading points back and forth with them with only one break point given up at halftime. However, after the half, the mentality of the team lowered and our defense and offensive intensity lower and finished the game with a score of 7 to 13 with Washington taking the win. Despite the loss, this game demonstrated the new features of our team with Eric “Danuc” Hytonen’s ambitious hucks and Stefan “Dent” Samu’s shutdown defense. After University of Washington, Arizona State University was up next. Stefan “Dent” Samu continued to apply his shutdown defense against Arizona State, but the defensive offense struggled to convert the turnovers. Offense continued to roll throughout the whole game, but the final score was 12-14 with ASU taking the win. Next up was University of California, Davis where the offensive line demonstrated immaculate offense throughout the whole game with multiple key players. The Air Squids finally got their first win of the year with a final score of 13 – 11. After Davis, the Air Squids had only one more opponent left for the day, Colorado State. We started on offense, but the offensive line seemed lackluster giving Colorado State two breaks off the start. After a quick timeout and a motivational session with the coaches, the offensive line picked up the pace and started flowing like it did in the Davis game. Beyond the 2 breaks at the beginning, we began trading points with Colorado State. Colorado State took half only one point ahead due to the Air Squids getting back one break. After the half, the defense was aggressive and on fire. With 3 breaks out of half, Air Squids quickly took a 10 – 8 lead. With points being traded up with one break in favor of Colorado State, the score became 12 – 12. At the end, Colorado State comes up with 2 breaks, ultimately, taking the win at 12 – 14. This wrapped up the first day of the Tournament with the Squids having a record of 1 – 3 and placing 4th in their Pool. While the Air Squids did not have the starting record we wanted, many players showed signs of greatness, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the year.

Sunday Funday, The Air Squids only had two games. First game of the day was against Victoria. Overall, the game was average with trades between each team. Defense wins games and that is what happened near the end of the game as the defensive line of the Air Squids plowed its way through the Canadians for their first win of the day. Next up was Dartmouth. The Air Squids offense once again started off a little lackluster when the Dartmouth defense came down with a zone, giving Dartmouth 3 breaks (one being a Callahan). After a quick timeout, and some motivation from the coaches, the offensive line came out rolling and the defensive line pulled out a break before the half. The game continued on with scores occurring for both Dartmouth and the Squids, but the climax of the game was undoubtedly when the Squids tied the game at 10 – 10 with Zac “Fyla” Goldberg’s vicious sky over two Dartmouth defenders for an insane grab on a Migal “Chugga” Manickaraj throw. Due to hard cap, the next point with Squids starting on D was considered universe point, the final point of the game. Dartmouth slowly works their way to the Squids end zone, however, the Squids defensive line came up with a big defensive play when Gene “Mr. Snuffleupagus” laid out and smashed the disc to the ground on an inside pass to the end zone. A few passes later, Stefan “Dent” Samu hucks the disc to a streaking Jake “Crouton” Gutkowski, who skied his defender. Air Squids win 11 – 10 on universe point, and everyone goes wild.

While our record was not what we wanted it to be, the Air Squids broke their seed and moved up 4 rankings. Throughout the weekend, multiple signs of greatness were shown that indicated that the Air Squids have a very bright future ahead. The grind to Nationals has only just begun.

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UC San Diego Ultimate Frisbee Psychos SB Invite Tournament!

POSTED BY LIZ HENRY

Saturday morning, January 28, started off with a bang. UC San Diego Psychos took first in their pool after winning three games. San Diego played Santa Clara in their first round and ended it with a dominating score of 13-6.

Their second game was against Whitman from Washington who placed 2nd at nationals last year and were ranked #1 in the pool. Psychos fought hard and won on universe point with a final score of 12-11! Highlights include a huge layout from Maria “Fluxx” Zavala on the first point of the game, who then threw an assist for the score. Several of our offensive line handlers received a shout-out from UltiWorld on twitter which recognized Kelli “Krypto” Iwamoto, Dena “Chrome” Elimelech, and Leanne “Muse” Go. This was described as the biggest upset of the tournament.

The final game of the day was a win against Cal Poly SLO when the wind started to pick up. Final score was 13-8.

The first game of Day 2, January 29, was against University of Victoria, an out-of-region team from Canada, in the quarter finals. The Psychos came out sleepy with a slow first half, and then woke up for the second, but Victoria still took the win with 12-10. Highlights include several layouts and incredible plays in the air in the endzone by Dena “Chrome” Elimelech.

The second game of the second day was played against a very athletic UCLA. Five players had to take an injury due to pivots and divots all over the field. Highlights include a hand and foot block by Leanne “Muse” Go and some incredible defense and solid offense by the defensive line. Also, a super exciting rookie point by some very enthusiastic baby Psychos. Final score was 11-8 UCLA.

Third and final game of the tournament was played against UC Davis. Lots of hard work on both the offensive and defensive line helped Psychos take the win 10-9. Defense fought hard going upwind and offense seized every opportunity downwind.

Overall, Psychos played a great first tournament and took home 7th place. Shoutout to our coaches for putting their newborn in a stroller and being both parents and amazing coaches all weekend!

 

Avery “Starsky” Jones

 

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Squids Host Socal Warmup

POSTED BY LIZ HENRY

The University of California San Diego Air Squids close out the preseason with SoCal Warmup, a tournament held on UC San Diego’s campus to get players of all levels a whole lot of play time. Like every year, we split into three teams, each with a healthy mix of A-team, B-team and rookies. Team Nick Cage took to the fields with expressive Nick Cage faces spray painted on their white tees. Team Oh Yeah instilled fear into their competition with the Kool-Aid man bursting out of their shirt. Team Pokémon drew pokeballs on their tees and came out to play chanting “Gotta catch ‘em all!” at the top of their lungs.

Early on Saturday, Team Nick Cage faced off against Northern Arizona University. The opponent proved to be an athletic, capable bunch who was used some tricky throws to sneak past team N’s zone defense. Consequently, Nick Cage switched to practicing man defense and found success in the one-on-one match ups. While team N put up a good fight, they would lose the game 7-9. On Sunday Team Nick Cage also took on Cal Poly SLO’s B team. They used this opportunity to put people in challenging and new positions. Rookies became the main cogs on the line of seven, dictating where the discs went and getting it moving when the offense slowed down. They cruised to a strong victory of 13-6.

Team O started off Saturday with an inconsistent performance against UC Irvine. Despite their best efforts, attempts to take control were hampered by a series of turnovers that ultimately gave Irvine the upper hand. Fueled by their defeat, Oh Yeah faced their cross city rivals SDSU. Utilizing a tight zone defense, Oh Yeah generated turns by forcing SDSU to throw less than ideal throws, which were eagerly swatted down by Oh Yeah’s fish army. By stifling SDSU’s offense, Team O went on to win by a comfortable margin of 10-5. Soon after, Oh Yeah faced SLO. Using the same zone gave Team O a 4-0 lead. However, as the game went on, Oh Yeah lost focus, and ended up losing in universe to a high-stall huck. O battled it out later in the day against Arizona and Pomona, but finished the day with a 1-4 record. Not deterred at all, and determined to be crowned the best team in San Diego, as well as the Ninth place champions, Oh Yeah woke up Sunday refreshed and ready to battle. Their first game Sunday saw them battling their arch-rivals, Nick Cage. After trading O points and not being able to capitalize on turnovers, Oh Yeah finally got a break with their trusty zone. That break then led to several others. Emerging victorious from the duel with Nick Cage, Oh Yeah then faced their other arch-rivals, Team Pokémon. Both sides saw outrageous plays by the fish and returners alike, which led to a close game by all accounts. However, through sheer willpower Oh Yeah broke away and won, claiming the crown of the best team in San Diego. But the day wasn’t over yet. SLO wanted a rematch for the Ninth place championship. Oh Yeah sent in the fish lines, eager for payback. Flying fish were seen all around, with everyone wanting a piece of the disc. Oh Yeah cruised on to beat SLO to claim their Sunday title, led by an ever improving squad of fish that refused to tire.

Team P had a really strong game against USC Lockdown and took them all the way to universe, where the scores were tied, and had an opportunity to score because of a good defensive effort but the team couldn’t convert and USC capitalized to close the game. Despite losing such a close game, the Pokémon Masters rallied to play some of their best ultimate all tournament against Cal Poly SLO’s B team, running a tight zone defense and capitalizing on all of SLO’s turns. Team P took half for the first time all weekend with a score of 7-6 and then continued playing with defensive intensity, displayed by layouts from various members of the team, to roll into their first victory of the weekend.

Each team played hard fought games with competition all over the Southwest regions, but played even more ferociously when it was time to play against one of the other Squid teams. Nick Cage took down Pokémon in a convincing 13-2 win the first day, but lost to Oh Yeah in a hotly contested battle on day two. Oh Yeah would go on to win against Pokémon and cement their title as the best Air Squid team for SoCal Warmup 2016. Other notable games were Team Nick Cage’s heated game against ASU’s A-team, which featured a great showing of athletic plays offensively and defensively from both sides, and Team Oh Yeah defeating local rivals, the SDSU Federalis. Ultimately, veterans and rookies alike had a great time playing with and against their fellow Squids while the younger members also got valuable experience on the field. By the end of the tournament, even rookies were executing veteran moves, diving for discs and throwing pinpoint shots deep for a score.

 

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Tritons Take on Sean Ryan Memorial Tournament

POSTED BY LIZ HENRY

The UC San Diego Air Squids traveled this past weekend, 11/12-11/13, to Santa Cruz to play their hearts out. Upon arrival at the fields, the team was greeted by an awe-inspiring view of the morning sun rising over the Pacific Coast. With the grass dewy and the ground soft, they prepared for their first game against the University of Nevada – Reno Elevation, a team which retained all of their players from the year before. Despite going down in the first half, the Squids fought back to double game point due to a strong early second half surge. However, the experience of Elevation proved too much for several of the younger players on the Squids line who had touched a disc for the first time only several weeks before, and they punched in a score to take the game.

After the tough loss, the Squids were matched up against our long-time rivals, Santa Barbara Black Tide. The UC San Diego returners played competitively with them the first few points, but they began to be more liberal with the lines and once again the experience of the opponent proved too much for the 14 new Squids. The Squids dug themselves a hole that they couldn’t get out of.

With the two losses, the Squids had been eliminated from the championship bracket. That made them even more hungry for a win.  The next opponent, Sonoma State Grapes of Wrath hung with the Squids for most of the game, but the field smelled like calamari in the second half as the Squids began to heat up. After pulling ahead to a comfortable lead, the returners let the rookie Squids finish the game. They ended with 2 complete “rookie points” to score twice in a row and close out the game.

In the 9th place bracket, the Squids were matched up against Claremont College Brain Eaters. They had a couple solid handlers, and the Squids weren’t playing to the level that was expected. However, despite rolling over when they were down by 2 while Claremont was 1 point away from winning, the Squid returners came on and churned out defensive plays and consistent offense to take 3 straight points and win the game.

The next game came after a 3 hour bye, and the Squids were gassed during the warmup. Santa Clara Altered Beasts, the next opponent, came out with more intensity than the Squids and the Squids once again found themselves in a second half hole. After a valiant 4 point comeback effort by the returners, the Altered Beasts worked the disc and threw a beautiful put to the back corner of the end zone, which was caught thus ending the game.

The final game of the weekend was scheduled for an hour and a half later and with an 8 hour drive ahead of them, the Squids decided to pack up and go. The weekend brought a lot of great moments, and allowed the new guys to gain a bunch of realistic game experience, which is invaluable. As the season ramps up, we’re excited to be see what some of the young talent we have can bring to the table.

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President’s Day Invite 2016: February 13-15, 2016

POSTED BY LAUREN SAWVELLE

This last weekend the Air Squids got the chance to defend their home turf from 17 teams from all over the United States (and Canada) at The President’s Day Invite.

For the first game of the tournament, the Squids came out strong against Vermont. Due to the Squids’ high energy, tough defense and high level of athleticism, Vermont’s offense had great difficulty in scoring and the Squids were able to capitalize on Vermont’s mistakes. The Squids took their first win of the day 13-4 and prepared themselves for their next game.

Coming off a hot win against Vermont, the Squids started out with 4 breaks against the Columbia team. The Squids took this game with tough and gritty defense with a seventy-five percent conversion of defensive plays to points scored. As the Columbia team came back with a break against the Squid O-line, the Squids responded by taking the half and proceeding to break Columbia three times after the half. The squids finished out the game with the win with 13-5.

After two games and two easy wins, the Squids found a tougher opponent in the Dogs of UC Davis. For the first half of the game both teams steadily traded points, until Davis made a mistake that the Squids could capitalize on and took the half 7-6. Coming out of the half the Squids adjusted to the offensive flow of the Dogs and were able to capitalize on more of their mistakes, leading to a third win against the Dogs 11-9. This game showed the tough grit of the Squids’ defense and the team’s ability to adapt to unfamiliar strategies.

The last game of the day, the Squids faced the toughest opponents in the pool, Colorado MamaBird. The game began with the teams trading points until Colorado was able to make some plays and gain a few points over the Air Squids. By the middle of the second half, the Squids were down by 5 points, but they weren’t going to go down without a fight. For the remainder of the game, the Squids were a different team. They had excellent defensive pressure, higher energy, and better decision making. Unfortunately, the Squids rallied too late and MamaBird came out victorious, 13-11.

At the end of the day, the Squids finished second in their pool with a 3-1 record, and advanced to a Sunday Power Pool with Cal Poly SLO and University of Washington.

In the first game of the Sunday Power Pools, the Squids faced a tough opponent in the athletic and huck-happy Cal Poly SLO. With a couple breaks from SLO the Squids found themselves down by two at the half, but SLO kept coming with the breaks leading to the Squids having to dig deep in order to have a shot at advancing in the tournament. The Squids went on a four score run to bring it down within 2 points, but SLO took the game with 12-15.

Coming out of a tough loss against SO, the Squids were determined to win against Washington. A tough Squid defense was able to generate turns, but they were unable to convert these defensive plays into points scored. The Squids found themselves down by one break at the half and the teams traded all in the second half except for the last point where Washington broke the Squids for the win at 12-15. This loss put the Squids out of the championship bracket, leading the Squids to compete in the Consolation Bracket.

In the first round of the consolation bracket, the Squid got another chance to beat the UC Davis Dogs. With this second game came the opportunity to put new players in different positions that they were not as comfortable in. This led to Davis taking the half. However, as always, the Squids don’t give up without a fight. The fought back hard and took the game 14-10.

The Squids finished up on Sunday with a 1-2 record, and would be back on Monday for one more game.

For the last game of the Pres Day Tournament the Squids went up against Colorado State University. The Squids started out with a break, but were quickly broken and finished up the first half trailing their opponents by 2 points. Throughout the game, it seemed as if the Squids were feeling the grueling effects of two days of hard ultimate, never seeming to match the intensity of previous games. With a series of breaks against the offense to start the second half, the Squids had to push in order to stay alive in this game. The Squids made a two break run towards the end of the second half, but were unable to recover leading to a win by Colorado State 12-15.

Overall, the Squids finished 9th place at President’s Day Invite with a 4-4 record. They faced a lot of strong competition from all across the United States, and even though they struggled to close out games, they are in a very good position for the rest of the season. The Squids showed glimpses of excellence, comparable to the team two years ago that made it to Nationals. If the Squids learned one thing this weekend, they learned they have the ability to make a comeback. Unfortunately the comeback always came too late, but as soon as the Squids learn to start a game with high energy, gritty defense, and the urgency to win, they are going to be a very difficult team to beat. Until then, the Squids will be practicing hard and by their next tournament they will be a force to be reckoned with.

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Santa Barbara Invite 2016: January 30-31

POSTED BY LAUREN SAWVELLE

A bristling wind front stormed the California coastal areas this past weekend. High pressure fronts above the ocean, and low pressure fronts inland characterize Pacific Coastal wind storms. The UC San Diego Air squids ensured to bring their own kind of pressure to Santa Barbara invite. Though high winds and rain do not characterize the Air Squids typical practice conditions, the Squids absolutely LOVE water, so they brought their mightiest passion and intensity to last weekend’s tournament.

The Air Squids saw their first action against Cincinnati. At the half, the Air Squids were down by 3 points. The team huddled together and let out a thundering cheer which echoed throughout the lands proclaiming that enough was enough. The Squids stormed back onto the field to show the team from Ohio that their journey to California would be for not. The Squids ensuing flurry of throws dazzled the Cincinnati defense. Jake “Crouton” Gutkowski, pouncing about the field, his hair swirling through the wind like a golden stallion’s mane, laid out time and time again. Each step he took charged up his batteries for a bizarre, yet oddly charming lay-out that most closely resembles a cheetah tripping over his hind legs at a dead sprint. The squids mounted a vicious comeback that gave them a 1-0 start to pool play.

Santa Cruz came next. You could almost smell their fear. Though they proved formidable opponents, an unprecedented performance of endurance led by Zach “Denim” Spidell characterized the Air Squids second victory of the day at a nail-biting score of 9-8. Next came the group-play favorites, Tulane. Fortunately, Isaac “Sukasa” Rehg brought the house down with an MVP performance, leading the Squids to a statement-making victory. On Saturday’s final game, the Air Squids stumbled and lost to BYU. That being said, the Air Squids claimed the top seed in their pool and clinched a first-round bye on Sunday.

The Squids awoke on Sunday morning. Then the tempest arrived. The rain flew horizontally as the Squids warmed up. Water fell from their hat brims as they focused in on the game ahead of them. Despite an awe-inspiring and lengthy monologue by Will “Bola” Sun prior to the game, the Squids fell to the University of British Columbia 11-7. In the end the Squids placed tied for 5th, since the remaining games were cancelled due flooding.

Just like last weekend’s tournament, the Air Squids plan to take the rest of the season by storm and they could not be more excited for their own President’s Day Tournament February 13-15th.

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SoCal Warmup Tournament: November 21-22

POSTED BY LAUREN SAWVELLE

So Cal Warmup 2015 was as expected- sunny and hot, sunny and hot.

The Air Squids once again split up into three teams, providing an open avenue for all squids to step into individually challenging, competitive roles. The fresh, large rookie class was able to taste the competitive pressure of their first home tournament and thrive.

Team F took a third place finish in the tournament, fighting relentlessly throughout and losing to an ASU Prime that had great break throws and athleticism. The squids were able to stretch their limits and grow, with a defensive intensity inspired by Scott Radlauer who humiliated opposing teams with his hunter’s certification in baiting. Team G, led by crafty Alec Johnson and Ryan Anderson, was able play hard and offer rookies an environment to rise and develop individually in different roles. Team H played some classic squid deep ball with a creative handling backfield of Jake Gutkowski and Cody Kirkland, showing aggressiveness in attacking long and in the air. Connecting often, the squids stretched the field and many rookies and returners demonstrated great improvement under pressure.

Evidently, the squids are getting better and better but still have much to strive for, particularly with fundamentals, before Santa Barbara Invite January 30th.

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President’s Day Invite 2016: February 13-15, 2016

POSTED BY LAUREN SAWVELLE

This last weekend the Air Squids got the chance to defend their home turf from 17 teams from all over the United States (and Canada) at The President’s Day Invite.

For the first game of the tournament, the Squids came out strong against Vermont. Due to the Squids’ high energy, tough defense and high level of athleticism, Vermont’s offense had great difficulty in scoring and the Squids were able to capitalize on Vermont’s mistakes. The Squids took their first win of the day 13-4 and prepared themselves for their next game.

Coming off a hot win against Vermont, the Squids started out with 4 breaks against the Columbia team. The Squids took this game with tough and gritty defense with a seventy-five percent conversion of defensive plays to points scored. As the Columbia team came back with a break against the Squid O-line, the Squids responded by taking the half and proceeding to break Columbia three times after the half. The squids finished out the game with the win with 13-5.

After two games and two easy wins, the Squids found a tougher opponent in the Dogs of UC Davis. For the first half of the game both teams steadily traded points, until Davis made a mistake that the Squids could capitalize on and took the half 7-6. Coming out of the half the Squids adjusted to the offensive flow of the Dogs and were able to capitalize on more of their mistakes, leading to a third win against the Dogs 11-9. This game showed the tough grit of the Squids’ defense and the team’s ability to adapt to unfamiliar strategies.

The last game of the day, the Squids faced the toughest opponents in the pool, Colorado MamaBird. The game began with the teams trading points until Colorado was able to make some plays and gain a few points over the Air Squids. By the middle of the second half, the Squids were down by 5 points, but they weren’t going to go down without a fight. For the remainder of the game, the Squids were a different team. They had excellent defensive pressure, higher energy, and better decision making. Unfortunately, the Squids rallied too late and MamaBird came out victorious, 13-11.

At the end of the day, the Squids finished second in their pool with a 3-1 record, and advanced to a Sunday Power Pool with Cal Poly SLO and University of Washington.

In the first game of the Sunday Power Pools, the Squids faced a tough opponent in the athletic and huck-happy Cal Poly SLO. With a couple breaks from SLO the Squids found themselves down by two at the half, but SLO kept coming with the breaks leading to the Squids having to dig deep in order to have a shot at advancing in the tournament. The Squids went on a four score run to bring it down within 2 points, but SLO took the game with 12-15.

Coming out of a tough loss against SO, the Squids were determined to win against Washington. A tough Squid defense was able to generate turns, but they were unable to convert these defensive plays into points scored. The Squids found themselves down by one break at the half and the teams traded all in the second half except for the last point where Washington broke the Squids for the win at 12-15. This loss put the Squids out of the championship bracket, leading the Squids to compete in the Consolation Bracket.

In the first round of the consolation bracket, the Squid got another chance to beat the UC Davis Dogs. With this second game came the opportunity to put new players in different positions that they were not as comfortable in. This led to Davis taking the half. However, as always, the Squids don’t give up without a fight. The fought back hard and took the game 14-10.

The Squids finished up on Sunday with a 1-2 record, and would be back on Monday for one more game.

For the last game of the Pres Day Tournament the Squids went up against Colorado State University. The Squids started out with a break, but were quickly broken and finished up the first half trailing their opponents by 2 points. Throughout the game, it seemed as if the Squids were feeling the grueling effects of two days of hard ultimate, never seeming to match the intensity of previous games. With a series of breaks against the offense to start the second half, the Squids had to push in order to stay alive in this game. The Squids made a two break run towards the end of the second half, but were unable to recover leading to a win by Colorado State 12-15.

Overall, the Squids finished 9th place at President’s Day Invite with a 4-4 record. They faced a lot of strong competition from all across the United States, and even though they struggled to close out games, they are in a very good position for the rest of the season. The Squids showed glimpses of excellence, comparable to the team two years ago that made it to Nationals. If the Squids learned one thing this weekend, they learned they have the ability to make a comeback. Unfortunately the comeback always came too late, but as soon as the Squids learn to start a game with high energy, gritty defense, and the urgency to win, they are going to be a very difficult team to beat. Until then, the Squids will be practicing hard and by their next tournament they will be a force to be reckoned with.

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Feb 13 M. Ultimate

POSTED BY MICHAEL ZHONG

President’s Day Invite 2016: February 13-15, 2016

 

This last weekend the Air Squids got the chance to defend their home turf from 17 teams from all over the United States (and Canada) at The President’s Day Invite.

 

For the first game of the tournament, the Squids came out strong against Vermont. Due to the Squids’ high energy, tough defense and high level of athleticism, Vermont’s offense had great difficulty in scoring and the Squids were able to capitalize on Vermont’s mistakes. The Squids took their first win of the day 13-4 and prepared themselves for their next game.

 

Coming off a hot win against Vermont, the Squids started out with 4 breaks against the Columbia team. The Squids took this game with tough and gritty defense with a seventy-five percent conversion of defensive plays to points scored. As the Columbia team came back with a break against the Squid O-line, the Squids responded by taking the half and proceeding to break Columbia three times after the half. The squids finished out the game with the win with 13-5.

 

After two games and two easy wins, the Squids found a tougher opponent in the Dogs of UC Davis. For the first half of the game both teams steadily traded points, until Davis made a mistake that the Squids could capitalize on and took the half 7-6. Coming out of the half the Squids adjusted to the offensive flow of the Dogs and were able to capitalize on more of their mistakes, leading to a third win against the Dogs 11-9. This game showed the tough grit of the Squids’ defense and the team’s ability to adapt to unfamiliar strategies.

 

The last game of the day, the Squids faced the toughest opponents in the pool, Colorado MamaBird. The game began with the teams trading points until Colorado was able to make some plays and gain a few points over the Air Squids. By the middle of the second half, the Squids were down by 5 points, but they weren’t going to go down without a fight. For the remainder of the game, the Squids were a different team. They had excellent defensive pressure, higher energy, and better decision making. Unfortunately, the Squids rallied too late and MamaBird came out victorious, 13-11.

 

At the end of the day, the Squids finished second in their pool with a 3-1 record, and advanced to a Sunday Power Pool with Cal Poly SLO and University of Washington.

 

In the first game of the Sunday Power Pools, the Squids faced a tough opponent in the athletic and huck-happy Cal Poly SLO. With a couple breaks from SLO the Squids found themselves down by two at the half, but SLO kept coming with the breaks leading to the Squids having to dig deep in order to have a shot at advancing in the tournament. The Squids went on a four score run to bring it down within 2 points, but SLO took the game with 12-15.

 

Coming out of a tough loss against SO, the Squids were determined to win against Washington. A tough Squid defense was able to generate turns, but they were unable to convert these defensive plays into points scored.  The Squids found themselves down by one break at the half and the teams traded all in the second half except for the last point where Washington broke the Squids for the win at 12-15. This loss put the Squids out of the championship bracket, leading the Squids to compete in the Consolation Bracket.

 

In the first round of the consolation bracket, the Squid got another chance to beat the UC Davis Dogs. With this second game came the opportunity to put new players in different positions that they were not as comfortable in. This led to Davis taking the half. However, as always, the Squids don’t give up without a fight. The fought back hard and took the game 14-10.

 

The Squids finished up on Sunday with a 1-2 record, and would be back on Monday for one more game.

 

For the last game of the Pres Day Tournament the Squids went up against Colorado State University. The Squids started out with a break, but were quickly broken and finished up the first half trailing their opponents by 2 points. Throughout the game, it seemed as if the Squids were feeling the grueling effects of two days of hard ultimate, never seeming to match the intensity of previous games. With a series of breaks against the offense to start the second half, the Squids had to push in order to stay alive in this game. The Squids made a two break run towards the end of the second half, but were unable to recover leading to a win by Colorado State 12-15.

 

Overall, the Squids finished 9th place at President’s Day Invite with a 4-4 record. They faced a lot of strong competition from all across the United States, and even though they struggled to close out games, they are in a very good position for the rest of the season. The Squids showed glimpses of excellence, comparable to the team two years ago that made it to Nationals. If the Squids learned one thing this weekend, they learned they have the ability to make a comeback. Unfortunately the comeback always came too late, but as soon as the Squids learn to start a game with high energy, gritty defense, and the urgency to win, they are going to be a very difficult team to beat. Until then, the Squids will be practicing hard and by their next tournament they will be a force to be reckoned with.

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Nov 21 M Ultimate

POSTED BY MICHAEL ZHONG

SoCal Warmup Tournament: November 21-22

So Cal Warmup 2015 was as expected- sunny and hot, sunny and hot.

The Air Squids once again split up into three teams, providing an open avenue for all squids to step into individually challenging, competitive roles. The fresh, large rookie class was able to taste the competitive pressure of their first home tournament and thrive.

Team F took a third place finish in the tournament, fighting relentlessly throughout and losing to an ASU Prime that had great break throws and athleticism. The squids were able to stretch their limits and grow, with a defensive intensity inspired by Scott Radlauer who humiliated opposing teams with his hunter’s certification in baiting.

Team G, led by crafty Alec Johnson and Ryan Anderson, was able play hard and offer rookies an environment to rise and develop individually in different roles.

Team H played some classic squid deep ball with a creative handling backfield of Jake Gutkowski and Cody Kirkland, showing aggressiveness in attacking long and in the air. Connecting often, the squids stretched the field and many rookies and returners demonstrated great improvement under pressure.

Evidently, the squids are getting better and better but still have much to strive for, particularly with fundamentals, before Santa Barbara Invite January 30th.

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Nov 14-15 M. Ultimate

POSTED BY MICHAEL ZHONG

Sean Ryan Memorial Tournament

November 14th 2016

The 2015 Sean Ryan Memorial Tournament hosted by UC Santa Cruz was met with both excitement and sadness by the UC San Diego Air Squids Ultimate Frisbee Team; excitement because UC San Diego had a good showing in the first pre-season tournament of the 2015-2016 season, and sadness because it had to end early.

The Squids showed up to the fields bright and early at the crack of dawn as they faced Las Positas College in their first game. The fields were wet and muddy but that didn’t slow them down, as UC San Diego cruised to an easy victory by a score of 13-5. Next they played UC Davis with high hopes coming off of their first victory of the season. Unfortunately the Squids came up short by a score of 8-13 to a very admirable opponent. As for the third and final game of the day, the Squids got back on track defeating CSU Humboldt in a landslide victory by a margin of 13-2. Going 2-1 on Saturday was good enough to push UC San Diego into bracket play on Sunday.

Unfortunately due to heavy overnight rains, the fields were flooded and the tournament had to be cancelled. However, UC San Diego had a productive first tournament of the year. They got to show some freshmen what an ultimate frisbee tournament was all about, and some returners got to show the team how much they improved over the summer. The Squids are hoping to have a productive season this year as they look forward to their next tournament, SoCal Warmup which UC San Diego will host.

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Jan 30 M Ultimate

POSTED BY MICHAEL ZHONG

Santa Barbara Invite 2016: January 30-31

A bristling wind front stormed the California coastal areas this past weekend. High pressure fronts above the ocean, and low pressure fronts inland characterize Pacific Coastal wind storms.  The UC San Diego Air squids ensured to bring their own kind of pressure to Santa Barbara invite.

Though high winds and rain do not characterize the Air Squids typical practice conditions, the Squids absolutely LOVE water, so they brought their mightiest passion and intensity to last weekend’s tournament.

The Air Squids saw their first action against Cincinnati.  At the half, the Air Squids were down by 3 points.  The team huddled together and let out a thundering cheer which echoed throughout the lands proclaiming that enough was enough. The Squids stormed back onto the field to show the team from Ohio that their journey to California would be for not.  The Squids ensuing flurry of throws dazzled the Cincinnati defense. Jake “Crouton” Gutkowski, pouncing about the field, his hair swirling through the wind like a golden stallion’s mane, laid out time and time again.  Each step he took charged up his batteries for a bizarre, yet oddly charming lay-out that most closely resembles a cheetah tripping over his hind legs at a dead sprint.  The squids mounted a vicious comeback that gave them a 1-0 start to pool play.

Santa Cruz came next.  You could almost smell their fear.  Though they proved formidable opponents, an unprecedented performance of endurance led by Zach “Denim” Spidell characterized the Air Squids second victory of the day at a nail-biting score of 9-8.   Next came the group-play favorites, Tulane.  Fortunately, Isaac “Sukasa” Rehg brought the house down with an MVP performance, leading the Squids to a statement-making victory.  On Saturday’s final game, the Air Squids stumbled and lost to BYU. That being said, the Air Squids claimed the top seed in their pool and clinched a first-round bye on Sunday.

The Squids awoke on Sunday morning.  Then the tempest arrived.  The rain flew horizontally as the Squids warmed up.  Water fell from their hat brims as they focused in on the game ahead of them.  Despite an awe-inspiring and lengthy monologue by Will “Bola” Sun prior to the game, the Squids fell to the University of British Columbia 11-7.  In the end the Squids placed tied for 5th, since the remaining games were cancelled due flooding.

Just like last weekend’s tournament, the Air Squids plan to take the rest of the season by storm and they could not be more excited for their own President’s Day Tournament February 13-15th.

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