B-Co Gets Soaked at Santa Barbara Qualifier
As UCSD Dragon Coalition’s B Team (B-Co) prepared to head to Santa Barbara for their first tournament of the 2023 season, there was one thing on the weather forecast: rain. And lots of it.
Sure enough, when the team showed up to the fields on Saturday, they were met with rain that didn’t let up for a second of all three games that day. Despite the miserable weather and being constantly soaked, everyone pushed through and played incredibly hard against some great teams. The first game was against Cali Roll, a high school team of knowledgeable ultimate players. B-Co did very well against the more experienced team, coming close to defeating them, but ultimately losing the game with a respectable 6-5 score. The second game of the day, against Stanford B, was much more important - with a win, B-Co would be moving on to the semifinals. Sure enough, the whole team played well and came out on top in universe point, with a final score of 5-4. The MVPs of the game were B-Co’s handlers. When Stanford B played their zone defense, they stayed calm and collected and found their cutters anyway, despite the fact that the rookie handlers had never seen this type of defense before. After accomplishing their goal for the day, B-Co had one last game with UCSC. This was a very difficult team to beat; B-Co made a valiant effort but lost 9-2.
A highlight of the day was rookie Sophie “Fargo” Rothman’s huge layout grab of a disc that looked like it was sure to hit the ground. And the team couldn’t have made it very far without captain and returner Ashley “Ladle” Shen’s incredible defensive playing and hucks. Even in the rain, she threw dime after dime to her receivers and ensured B-Co’s success.
Going into Sunday, B-Co knew that they had some tough games ahead of them. Luckily, the rain had cleared so they could focus on putting forth their best effort. Their first game of the day was against USC, who had many tall and experienced players. This did not intimidate B-Co who played with all that they could give. The rookies especially put up a good fight on D, but it was tough to defend against such great, mobile players. B-Co ended up losing with a final score of 4 to USC’s 11. For their last game and finals of the tournament, B-Co knew that they had to carry their intensity from their game against USC. And they did. It was an overall very clean game by the B-Cos as the handlers stayed relaxed under pressure, the cutters made aggressive cuts, and the defense did not allow UCI any easy connections. Many rookies played with the skills and confidence of seasoned players as Vianca “Suja” Zavala got a great handler D and Jenna “Merk” Yamami shocked everyone with a handblock. On offense, Bita “Expo” Rahman made some great scores. The returners also played very well and served as great examples for the rookies as Amita “Pesto” Stowitts got a bookend despite being marked by someone who seemed to be twice her height. It was a hard fight and Irvine made some impressive scores towards the end, but B-Co emerged victorious with a final score of 6-4. Everyone had stepped it up for Sunday, and it was clear that everyone had improved heavily by the end of the weekend.
B-Co won the tournament, which is hopefully just the beginning of a successful 2023 season!