SQUIDS ADVANCE TO NATIONALS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2010
Friday, May 2, 2014
College Regionals, the pinnacle of the season for the majority of teams in the country; for some teams, their chance at advancing past Regionals is slim to none, while others cling onto a very real sense of hope at taking a bid to nationals. For the Air Squids, this was simply another chance to prove themselves. Coming into the tournament ranked 13th in the nation, with tournament victories at Sean Ryan Memorial, Santa Barbara Invite, and Sectionals, the Air Squids looked to take the bid they had earned to Nationals. This year, Regionals was held in Long Beach, and the conditions could hardly have been more favorable: 80 or so degrees, with winds that rarely ventured above 10mph. The Air Squids came out hotter than the weather on Saturday, dispatching with Chico State 13-10, Northern Arizona 13-8, and finally Arizona, a team that had competed at Nationals last year, 13-8. With those three victories, the Air Squids earned a bye straight into the quarterfinals Sunday at 9am.
The first matchup of Sunday gave the Squids a shot at one of the few teams to defeat them this year in Santa Barbara’s Black Tide, a longtime rival. The last two times these teams faced each other, the results could not have been more varied; Tide took one of the games 13-5, while UCSD took the other 15-3. The Squids quickly extinguished any doubts as to which was the better team by taking an early lead and never letting go, finishing the game 15-8. The semifinals pitted the Squids against University of California’s UGMO; the Squids started off strong, taking half at 8-4, but Cal began to claw its way back. Suddenly it was 12-11—soft cap was called so that the game would be first to 14—UCSD scored the next point to make it 13-11, but UGMO answered by scoring 2 consecutive points to tie it at 13s: universe point. UCSD turned it over early on during the final point, but smothering defense prevented Cal from scoring on the goal line. From there, the Squids never gave it back, scoring to win the game 14-13.
After the bye, the Squids had one last game: the game to go, the one for all the marbles, win or go home, the finals. UCSD was matched against UC Davis’s Dogs, another team that had competed at Nationals last year, and a team that was currently on a hot streak. The Squids however, were not to be thwarted; despite going down 2-1 to start the game, the Squids scored 5 straight to take the lead 6-2, and eventually the half 8-4. Despite a heroic effort by Davis, the Dogs never came within 2 points again, with the final score UCSD: 15, Davis: 10. With that victory, the Squids earned their 4th victory of the year, and a bid to Nationals for the first time since 2010.
Mar 1 - Squids Don’t Quite Shine at the Stanford Invite
Mar 1 - Stanford Invite
Feb 25 - Men’s Ultimate Controls Santa Barbara, Lands on National Map