In the next round we encountered two of the biggest surprises of the tournament. On one side of the coin we had San Diego State, one of the two west coast teams to make the trip, the Federalis had already held a late lead over Pitt and beaten UNCW in the showcase game on Friday night. On the other side of the coin was Kansas, a Nationals qualifier last year and a team that had driven 25 hours on a charter bus to get some good competition in, but had surprisingly poor results so far this season.
The trends of the tournament continued as SDSU pounded Kansas 15-10.
Once again though, the game didn’t start that way. Kansas managed to begin the game with two straight breaks, both coming courtesy of sharp throws from Kansas captain Ryan Bigley. The Zontals led, 2-0.
SDSU quickly erased that deficit in the next two points, tying the game at two all on a hammer that barely squeaked over the KU goaline.
The teams traded points for one set to go to 3-3 before the Feds drew blood for the first time. Kansas was unable to beat the Fed zone and turned the disc over, San Diego was quick to capitalize, taking a 4-3 lead. The teams would then trade to 5-5 before San Diego took over the game.
Before you even knew what hit you, SDSU had scored 5 straight breaks to take a 10-5 lead.
By the time Kansas had figured out how to move the disc through SDSU’s defense, it was too little too late. Bigley and Kansas captain Justin Kaminsky ran a handler weave and then hit a cutter on a short field to bring the score to 10-6 and Kansas would eventually get within three at 12-9 but in the end, the Feds were too much for the HorrorZontals, winning 15-10.
Kansas was upset with the way that it played, Bigley told us after the game that Kansas’ unforced errors were the key to the Federalis victory.
“It was on us,” Bigley said. ” We had a lot of unforced errors. It might have been fatigue but I’m not sure right now.”
On the other side of the field JT Power was just proud of the way that his team worked as a group to beat the Zontals down.
“We knew going into the game that we had more people than them,” Power told us. “Our whole approach was to run them and get their top guys tired, I guess it worked.”
The highest level of play of the game definitely came from SDSU’s Richie Prodan, who threw seven assists in the game and helped the Federalis offense dictate the pace through solid breakmark throws and decision making from the the handler spot.