In March/April, we hit a rough patch in our season. This isn't unusual for us, but this year, it was especially hard for some reason. After days and weeks of trying to figure it out, we finally decided to have a weekend camp for both Scorch and Sirens, our B Team. We realized that we really just needed to be around each other in a different atmosphere, where we could just play ultimate for fun, have a big potluck dinner, have a dance party, and just enjoy each other's company. Unfortunately, the weekend we chose was the one time it rained consistently all spring. So, we improvised of course! Instead of playing ultimate, we played games inside, watched movies, shared stories, and just hung out, which was even better if you ask me! Afterwards, we felt refreshed and ready to take on the next step as a team: The Series.
Sectionals (or The Desert Conference Championships, as it is now called)
Just like always sectionals was a one day tournament in late April, due to the Desert Conference only having, at most, 5 teams. This year, it only had three: ASU, UNM, and us. Our team really came together and was able to overcome our mid-season slump. With two solid wins, we walked away from sectionals excited for what was coming next: Regionals.
With the restructuring of the College Division, the Southwest Region now claimed all of California, which meant Tucson falls on the southern side of the region. This season, Regionals took place in a neutral location: Morgan Hill, CA, which is actually close to home for me, so I was quite excited to be traveling to Central California for my last college tournament. Even though this tourny fell on the first weekend of finals for us, we were still able to get a good portion of our team to come. We started off with a great first game against Long Beach and finished with a score of 15-8. Next, we faced UCSD, a team that we've struggled against in years past. We traded points the whole game and in the end, we came out on top, winning on universe 12-11. It was a solid game all around. In our third game of the day, we played Stanford, in a game I'm sure we'd all like to forget. But, we didn't get bageled, which was all we were hoping for! After the loss, we refocused our energy on the last game of the day: SDSU. We had a tight game with them at Santa Barbara Invite earlier in the season, and we knew they were going to put up a good fight. It was a close game, but they pulled it out in the end, winning 12-9. The end of that day was especially hard, because it meant Scorch was not going to be in the championship bracket. A few tears were shed at this realization because it also meant that Sunday would be our seniors' last day of college ultimate. It was hard when that moment came because so much of our college experience was spent with this team. I definitely spent way more time devoted to Scorch during my four years than studying for exams or writing papers. We walked back across the street to our hotel, sent 18 people through two showers, and got some dinner at a pasta place close by. Nearly everyone fell asleep on the table before our food was brought out, one, because we were exhausted, and two, because it took way too long to get our food. Let's just say we all slept well that night.
Sunday brought some rain in the morning, along with some cooler weather, but Scorch was fired up. We played a great first game against Stanford B and won 15-4. I love their jerseys :) We then had some time to have an awesome dance party, along with some karaoke on the fields before our next game against UC Davis. It was a tight game all the way through and we had a strong comeback towards the end of the game, but lost on universe point, 11-12. Since most teams wanted to start heading home, we weren't able to get in a third game. Instead, we took this time to reflect on the tournament and the season as a whole before driving home.
For us seniors, the end of that tournament also meant the end of our college ultimate careers. Yes, of course most of us will go on to play club, but nothing compares to the experiences you have on a college team. Your teammates become your best friends, and the team becomes your family. I'll cherish the times I had on this team and I don't know what I would have done the past for years without my Scorchies.
26 Strong Forever