Dragon Coalition Brings the Heat at Northwest Challenge
After wrapping up winter quarter, a small crew of 14 members of Dragon Coalition flew to Seattle, Washington for Northwest Challenge, a spring break tournament that boasts some of the highest level competition in the nation. Of the twelve teams there this year six are ranked in the top seven teams in the nation so D-Co knew they would face some tough games.
The weather at Northwest Challenge is notoriously rough, with chilly temperatures and blustery rain, but this year provided a warm and relatively rain-free weekend. Saturday began with pool play, with D-Co facing off against Western Washington Chaos. Swinging around the tight zone Chaos through, the Dragons were able to gain momentum early and maintained their composure throughout the game, leading to a clean victory, 15-7. The second game of the day was against University of Virginia Hydra. Hydra played fast and athletic and presented a tricky trap cup that gave Dragon Coalition some trouble. However, they eventually got their footing and with the help of Jessica “Soren” Wan and Kate “Guava” Lindeman, were able to recover and take half. Strong defense on D-Co’s part, including some very impressive run-through D’s from Maggie “Manta” Pierce, and good conversions on the turns helped by great catches from Cameron “Cheezus” England eventually secured the win 14-10. These two wins put D-Co on top of the pool and put them straight through to quarterfinals the next day.
Sunday saw the rematch between UCSD Dragon Coalition and Washington Element after D-Co clinched a victory over Element just three weeks prior at Stanford Invite. The two teams traded holds, playing gritty defense and calm, collected offense. D-Co sometimes struggled with movement through poaches occasionally, but managed to take half. Element came on strong after half though and powered through, delivering D-Co their first loss of the weekend, 13-15. This put Dragon Coalition into the fifth place semis against Carleton Syzygy, whom they had met in the finals of Stanford Invite. It was a tough game, with both teams fighting through hot conditions and exhaustion from the preceding battles. D-Co managed to fight their way to take half but gave up several breaks in the second half to Syzygy, ultimately losing 10-15. The final game of the day, for seventh place, would have been against WWU Chaos, however they forfeited in the interest of going home early. This leaves D-Co with a fantastic 7th place finish at Northwest Challenge.
With such a small squad of athletes, many newer players got the chance to practice many new plays and defenses, making this a perfect way for D-Co to continue growing their team. All of their rookies played well this weekend and showed that Dragon Coalition has great things in their future as they head into the spring postseason.
Catch D-Co on their next adventure at SoCal Conferences in SLO on April 26-27!