Cascadia d-I sectionals

April 15-16, 2017

Oregon Fugue and University of Washington Element set up in a vertical stack against the backdrop of Mount Baker. (Serena Tam)

Oregon Fugue and University of Washington Element set up in a vertical stack against the backdrop of Mount Baker. (Serena Tam)

Cascadia D-I Sectionals was a strong warm-up tournament for Northwest Regionals because all six teams in the Section get a bid. The teams played a round robin format with the top two teams competing in a championship game. It was a beautiful weekend, with just enough wind to make upwind and downwind sides.

With three out of the five teams of the Evil Empire competing in the Section, it was bound to get competitive. A couple weeks earlier, Oregon Fugue had beat the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds at the Northwest Challenge, 14-12, in a rainy mud bowl match-up, but in this past weekend's sunnier weather, UBC took both the first round game against Oregon, 13-11, and again in the championship match, 14-9. UBC relied on the handler trio of Esther Au, Meghan Zhu, and Serena Tam to calmly navigate the offense upwind. Oregon's Hayley Wahlroos and Kaitlin Brunik had great on-field chemistry, combining for many of Fugue's scores. Junior Ella Hansen and Rookie of the Year candidate, Madeleine Boyle, anchored a strong defensive line that piled up breaks by moving the disc quickly after getting the turn.

The Oregon State Dinos had a great tournament this past weekend, breaking seed with an upset over the University of Victoria Vixens, 10-6, and taking an early 2-0 lead on UBC. Handlers Kaya Trepp and Gabrielle Vandevelder, along with cutter Samantha Rodenberg, had great throws and big cuts that allowed them to keep their offensive form upwind through zone defenses. Lillian Pham, who played on U23's this past year, was a solid defensive handler for the Vixens, who will be looking to prove they still belong in the top 25 at Regionals.

UW Element and Portland State Osiks both brought small rosters to the tournament which forced their big players, Ellen Goldberg for UW and Holly Gibson for Portland State, to play many points over the weekend. Both teams had great offensive flow upwind, with a couple execution errors closer to the end zone.

It's clear the Northwest Region will have their hands full competing against this section!

By Laurel Oldershaw, who plays for the UBC Thunderbirds.