This past weekend the women’s team participated at the Western Washington University annual Bellingham Invite. We’ve attended this tournament several times in past years as it serves as a great warm-up tournament to the season and because we can never get enough of that northwest domination on the field – we love having such great rivals within our region!
We had a first round bye, so the rest of the day would be 4 consecutive games. The TBirds started the day off with a defiant 13-0 win against Whitman Sweets, who was unfortunately a bit short on players, with only 2 subs. The Whitman team last year under Jeremy Norden nabbed the last bid to Nationals and was looking really good at regionals, and as well at Sundodger this past November despite a split squad. We look forward to playing Whitman at full strength later on in the season.
Our next game had us match up against 2012 college champions the University of Washington Element. A team with quite the arsenal of strong returning handlers, the TBirds worked hard to stop their up lines and hucks. The wind began to pick up and play a bit more of a factor in this game, and the TBirds pulled off a hard capped 10-5 win. The game felt much tighter than the score reflected, as the game was capped because of how long the points were (and the wind playing a factor).
For our third game of the day we matched up with host team Western Washington Chaos. We were met with more junky-zone defense and had to adapt our offense quickly. There were a number of turnovers from both sides, both teams still developing chemistry and learning to work with each other. But the TBirds pulled out the win this game 13-4 against Chaos.
The last game of the day we faced returning 2013 champions Oregon Fugue. Our toughest match up of the day, we really had to step it up and leave it all on the field. The intensity of this game was much higher than the previous, the defense had to be extra gritty to shut down their huck plays and quick transitions. However, Fugue being the experienced team they are, pulled out an 8-13 win against the TBirds.
This weekend was an excellent way to finally put our rookies out there and see where our much younger team is at this year. Even though we had a large turnover, the rookies are looking fantastic due to the high level of junior talent in Vancouver. After playing together it’s been made clear a couple specific things we need to work on as well as general team dynamic and chemistry. But overall, the returners have really been stepping up to fill the spots of those who have left us and the rookie talent we’re seeing this year is some of the strongest yet. The Oregon game has left us with a thirst for more and we’re trucking to amp up the intensity of each and every practice. We’re super excited about the upcoming season and can’t wait for our next tournament!
Anyway this was my first ever tournament recap, I’m still working on my tourney recap writing capabilities so please bear with me! I hope you enjoyed reading and stay tuned for more of #allin2014!
– Amy Luo