We managed to get in touch with few teams from the women’s side of Atlantic Coast Regionals. We’re going to do this is a little bit of a different format than the Open Previews. Here goes.
UNC – Wilmington
Seaweed has fought hard to finish No. 8 in the UPA Top 25 for the preseason. The team has been to four tournaments this season and, with the exception of The Stanford Invite, gone to either the semifinals or finals of each tournament and won the the Carolina Sectionals without a loss all tournament. The team is the ideal mix of older, smarter talent and young raw potential. Senior captain Elise Bardsley wrote us in an e-mail. “During the season so far we have been riding high,” she wrote. “We have worked hard on our game. Our potential has grown as well as our ability to achieve it.”
- Senior Elise Bardsley leads the team from the handling spot. Her deep throws are accurate and smart.
- Junior Kelly Tidwell is one of the bigger downfield threats on the team. Tidwell will layout for a huck and has the ability to put the disc deep to open receivers as well.
- Junior captain Sara Casey plays a large role on defense. She’s a key part of Seaweed’s dangerous cup and acn match up with any one on the field on defense. “We have really stepped up our defensive game,” Bardsley wrote. “(Casey) is one of the main reasons we have been succesful in that area.”
- Sophomore Jessica Patrick is another one of the important cup defenders for Seaweed. When Seaweed throws the zone, a handblock from Patrick is not a rare sight.
Why they will win:
UNC-W is the most dangerous team at Regionals and the team knows it. There is no end to the ways that they can do damage on the field. On top of their pure talent, these girls are firing on all cylinders this season. They beat North Carolina three times this season and topped Wake Forest for the first time this season. The team’s winning attitude is evident in its captain’s words. “I expect us to win Regionals, plain and simple,” Bardsley wrote. “We have the ability, the athleticism and drive. I won’t be satisfied with anything but a bid to Nationals. This is my fourth year playing, so it is my last chance. And it is our team’s chance this year. We back on the watch list for Nationals, which we haven’t been in eight yeras. (That’s) pretty huge for a team like us.”
Georgia has quite obviously been the team to beat outside of the Carolina Section this season. However, there has been a good deal of inconsistency throughout the preseason. Injuries to key veterans have hamstringed the team throughout the season. We exchanged e-mails with captains Allison Snow and Sarah Owenby and they told us, “We have played within our potential within our potential but we havne’t really stretched our weings.”
- Senior captain Sarah Owenby leads the team on offense and defense, all downfield. Owenby is a threat to get the disc deep anytime she’s on the field and impossible to huck against when UGA throws its zone defense.
- The Hodawgs will also look to junior Melissa Hovanes to initiate their offense throughout the weekend. Hovanes can make plays either downfield or from the handler spot.
- Graduate student Sarah Baker, will be handling and keeping Georgia calm and chilly with the disc. She is the team’s only graduate student and she can motivate the Hodawgs on offense or defense.
- Senior captain Allison Snow, due to injuries, has been forced back to the handler position this season. Regardless, Snow is just as dangerous on the offensive side of the disc.
Why they will win:
There’s no doubt that the vast consensus among the Ultimate world is that the dominant North Carolina Section will be taking the bids to Nationals this season. However, the Hodawgs do have the talent to take one of the AC’s bids. Not many people see UGA coming but that may be the main reason that they have a shot at making it to Nationals. “I expect our team to be the dark horse,” Snow and Owenby wrote. “No one knows what to expect from us. Sometimes we beat some really awesome teams and sometimes we aren’t up to par. The Hodawgs have lost in the game to go the past two seasons and I am pretty sick of that feeling, but we’llhave to play a perfect weekend to get the big prize.”