The Auburn Ultimate team was very busy this spring, participating in 4 major tournaments over a two month span.
Tally Classic VIII (March 9th-10th) in Tallahassee, Florida
Freaknik (March 30th-31st) in Atlanta, Georgia
Gulf Coast Sectionals (April 13th-14h) in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Southeast Regionals (May 3rd-4th) in Tupelo, Mississippi
Recap and Results:
Tally – Auburn came in seeded 12th among 19 teams, featuring heavyweights from across the country including Florida State, Carnegie-Mellon, Virginia Tech, and Georgia. In pool play, an exciting upset of Notre Dame 15-8, a loss to the 1-seed Georgia, and a win over the 4-seed Mississippi earned Auburn 2nd place in the pool, good enough to advance them to the Championship Bracket on Sunday.
There, they faced the surprising 1-seed in Pool C, George Mason. Down several breaks at half, Auburn stormed back in the second half of the game to win 12-10, advancing them to the semifinals of the tournament, and locking them into a top-4 finish. Next up was Ohio State. The game traded back and forth early, with Auburn taking a one-break lead close to halftime, but as the wind picked up and the weather changed, so did the game. Ohio State’s trapping zone, and a few drops and miscues by Auburn’s offense lead to Auburn’s defeat 11-6. This dropped Auburn into the 3rd/4th place game, matching them up with the overall #1 seed and host of the tournament, Florida State (who apparently already left the tournament cause they lost, so we’ll take the forfeit victory). Auburn earned a 3rd-place finish in the tournament, breaking seed by 9 places, with its only losses coming to the top two teams, Georgia and Ohio St.
Freaknik – Auburn came into this tournament in uncharted territory, seeded first out of 12 teams. With the tournament split into two pools of 6, Auburn Ultimate went undefeated on Saturday with wins over Georgia-B, Oberlin, MIT, and Armstrong Atlantic. Using their perfect pool play record, Auburn advanced directly to the semifinals of the tournament set to face the second-seeded team of the tournament, Emory. Down 11-9 late in the game, Auburn rattled off two consecutive breaks to win the game 12-11. Oberlin advanced from the other side of the bracket, causing a rematch in the finals. Auburn defeated Oberlin 13-8 in pool play the day before, and extended their dominance in the championship game winning 13-6. This was the first tournament victory of the season, and most players’ first ultimate tournament victory ever.
Sectionals – Coming off of two very successful tournaments, Auburn rolled into the Gulf Coast Sectionals tournament ranked 4th overall behind Tulane, LSU, and Alabama. The first game Saturday was against the one-seed of the pool, LSU. After a rough half, Auburn found itself down 7-4 going into intermission. Inspiring defense and solid offensive play got Auburn back in the game and tied it at 10 apiece. However, LSU regrouped and took advantage of a few Auburn mistakes to take the game 13-10. Auburn picked itself back up, taking games against Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi, and Mississippi State (in exciting fashion) to finish pool play with a 3-1 record.
The second place finish in pool play earned Auburn a spot in the 4-team championship bracket, where they faced defending champs a tournament favorite Alabama. Despite promising weather earlier in the week, Sunday turned into a windy, rainy, and cold day of ultimate. Less than ideal conditions and an experienced Alabama squad proved too much for Auburn, despite a great second half push. Alabama took the game 15-11, and went on to beat LSU in the finals 15-7. These top 6 teams from sectionals advanced to Regional play: Alabama, LSU, Tulane, Auburn, USM, and Miss St.
Expect a separate recap for Regionals shortly.