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Balaton 2009

We arrived at the tournament as reigning champs but the reality of being seeded fourth put expectations for the weekend into perspective. Game One against Samantha Fogz (Hungary) boosted our confidence with a rather easy win despite the rather large number of turns by both teams. Playing in the sand meant that “leading” passes to the cutters needed to be shortened and the short fields required more finesse on the throws to avoid overshooting the distance. The game against Hot Pants United (Austria) forced us to rely on more deep looks as the young Austrians were rather crafty at shutting down horizontal movement. The “Sticky-Andrea connection” worked for a few points and Chie hit the corners beautifully to bring the game to 5-5. Mirna’s recurring knee injury sidelined her – an unfortunate blow for “Chicks”. Game point, disappointingly, went to the Austrians. Game three was on the larger field, a fact that we would have enjoyed had the wind not bordered hurricane strength. This game against Fakanál (Hungary) was probably the most ridiculous game in which I have ever played. I remember standing on the line before the first point saying that we needed ONE break, just one, and we would win the game. I didn’t expect this break to come on the very first point. I believe, after numerous turns, Iva caught one of my crazy throws deep throws, dumped to Sticky who hit Iva P “driving the bike” to the corner. We were able to only forfeit downwind points from this point which won the game. Although this game was frustrating because of the conditions, I think we can all learn a lot about how certain cases require playing position over possession. Weather postponed game four until Sunday.

balaton09

 

“Chicks” hoped to capitalize on the fact that many of the ladies had played in the 6:30am mixed game, thus being warmed up compared to CiCi Catch (Austria). To our credit, it was actually a pretty close game, I believe 5-3, considering the fact that they went on to win the tournament. I think this team really exploited “Chicks” lack of cohesion as it was obvious that these ladies have been playing together for years. Lead by veterans Marianne and Pikachu, this team was too deep in skill and experience for us to match. Despite the loss, I think this was our best game because their talent forced us to step up our aggression which lead to lots of layouts and even some fouls on the marks (yes, I am congratulating you ladies on fouling people). Game two against Frizmi (Slovenia) was lost due to just a couple of unforced errors. Iva J and Chie both had excellent lateral movement that made it so they were both consistently open for in-cuts. Sticky brought out her increasingly accurate hammer for two scores – one being a completely blinded by the sun, over the shoulder, left-handed catch that I miraculously caught. Zdravka and Marta both rotated into a handler position on day two which was effective. “Chicks” ended up in the 3/4 game, again playing against Fakanál (Hungary). The calm, sunny weather allowed Fakanál to shine with their quick, accurate short passes compared to Saturday’s hucking game in the wind. The final score was a disappointing 2-6.

Final standing: 4th. However, the crowning achievement of the weekend was the fact that “Chicks” won the “Best Spirit” award. I believe this stands as a true testament to your love of the game and your dedication to fair play.

I also want to take a moment to say thank you for letting me play with you all this summer. You ladies are awesome, on and off the field. I can see so much potential in this group – it is just a question of how much you want to turn this potential into developed skill. I am particularly impressed by Sticky’s dedication; she stands as a true leader which is clearly respected on the team. I hope that the team continues to train together so that you can eventually rival teams like CiCi Catch or Frizmi that have an incredible amount of consistency because of their years of experience TOGETHER. I love you all and in the infamous words of Darija: “keep playing!” 

Andrea