Dragons Soar Above Monterey Bay at Santa Cruz
For one of the first far away tournaments of the year the UCSD Dragon coalition packed up their cars for the long drive up to Santa Cruz to attend the Sean Ryan Memorial tournament being held there last weekend. Saturday morning dawned bright and crisp with the team arriving at the fields in time to watch the sunrise over Monterey bay. The D-Co’s got ready and warm for their first game against the well known quantity that is Cal Poly’s Slo Motion. The team decided to split into four lines, named boots, spurs, bulls and pistols, to go with the wild western theme of the tournament. The game started off well and kept the same momentum throughout, with returners like Marlo “Valen” Ramada making some great hucks to connect to rookies like Liana “Rango” Kitchel downfield. After warming up to playing D-Co took home the win against Slo Motion. Next the Dragon Coalition took on the hosts of the tournament, the UC Santa Cruz Sol. It seemed like nothing could stop the Dragon Coalition, and through the rookies stellar defense and the calmer looking handler movement by the returners D-Co once again comfortably took home the win. D-Co then got to enjoy a bye round and took the opportunity to fuel up for the next game against the Cal Berkeley pie queens. With the wind picking up, some throwing adjustments had to be made and everyone had to be heads up when the disc was in the air. The game ended on a magical note, with Jessie “Saber” Finkelor throwing a beautiful huck downfield and Josie “Bumpa” O’Toole gritting her teeth and running down what seemed like an out of reach disc with ferocity.
The next day the Dragon Coalition got to sleep in, as the first game wasn’t until 12:30, but the team arrived at the fields ready for more. The first game against the USC hellions was tight and competitive and after trading holds for most of the game, USC ended up with the upper hand and won the game, taking D-Co out of the 1st place bracket. Ready to play more ultimate and iron out some of the problems from the first game, D-Co was eager to play Reno, but they had left the tournament and forfeited the game. Luckily, Santa Cruz had a bye that round and was more than willing to play the Dragon Coalition again to get the reps that each team wanted from the tournament. D-Co was beginning to get tired though and lost the game but was grateful for the opportunity to play. The last game of the day was set to be against Slo again, but with the long drive back to San Diego looming over D-Co, we agreed to play half a game against them. With the coaches gone to their flights home, D-Co had fun putting on rookie lines and playing with each other. The last point of the tournament was a rookie point that, with fierce competition from both sides, lasted nearly twenty minutes, the Dragon Coalition rookies gritted it out though and took the point, once again on a deep look to Liana “Rango” Kitchel. Overall the weekend was an incredible learning experience and the Dragon Coalition is ready for more to come in the new year.