Friday, May 11, 2007

UPA PA State Championships: the PHUEL side

[editor's note there are two separate previews for PA state champs at the moment, you can see the second by scrolling down, or by clicking here]

The UPA PA HS State Championship is this upcoming weekend, May 12-13, at the Brandywine Polo Fields,
260 Polo Road
Toughkenamon, PA 19311

My, fully Philly-centric, preview follows:

PHUEL is sending 7 open teams and 3 girls teams this year.

PHUEL teams being sent to States 2007 (seeds):

1. Pennsbury Peyote (1)

2. St. Joe's Prep Hand of God (5)

3. Haverford High HUDA (8)

4. Council Rock South Fiasco (7) > Radnor

5. North Penn FTM (6) > Cheltenham

6. Cardinal O'Hara Waste of Life (12) > Great Valley

7. Lower Merion Babaganouj (11) > Neshaminy

(4-7 have the team that won the game-to-go > the game that lost the game-to-go, ranked by RRI in order of the original higher-seed)

A slightly more robust system was in place to determine who would make it to states from PHUEL this year. Using the PHUEL standings, which award 3 points for a win, and 1 point for a loss, the top 11 teams were chosen (a number arrived at by taking the total number of bids PHUEL got [7] and adding 4), and then re-ranked by RRI. The top 3 teams got automatic bids to states (Pennsbury, SJP, and Haverford High). The remaining 8 were to battle it out for the remaining 4 spots. 4v11, 5v10, 6v9, 7v8. The latter two matchups provided slight upsets, with LM and O'Hara winning rematches they had lost earlier in the year.

And that set the field for PHUEL's contingent to states.

I believe PHUL has been lucky enough to get 8 bids both of the last two years, so they merely send all the quarterfinalists in their (much more organized) playoff system?

Add in the 1 CPHUL playoff winner (Boiling Springs this year [I believe the first time a non-SCUF team has played outside of CPHUL?], SCUF last), and you have your state field set.

Do any other states need to allocate bids, or is PA lucky in that we must turn people away because it has three booming leagues?

Back to the teams:

Pennsbury has to be a favorite to easily make the finals, if not win it. Noah Saul, Mark Dundala, and Scotty Wright may be the three best players in the state, and they're all here to prove they deserve it (and to get back in gear for easterns next week).

Any other PHUEL team would be very fortunate to make the finals, and even a semis appearance would be impressive for many of these teams. But many of these teams are still dangerous, with SJP playing better every time they take the field this spring (although their prom tonight may interfere with a good pool play showing, look for some underclassmen to step it up), and Haverford, North Penn, and Council Rock South (an unknown before this year, playing with a fire lit by Mike Lenz) playing very well but still untested against other outside top competition.
LM won't be graduating any difference-makers this year, (co-captains Adrian Galbriath-Paul and Harry Friedman are juniors) so this is a bit of a rebuilding year, though they'll bring all the game they can.

We may be even able to see an all-Easterns matchup in the finals if Pennsbury and North Hills hold seed. But this year should be closer than others, with anything possible.

Girls teams:

1. Cardinal O'Hara (2)
2. Pennsbury (5)
3. Lower Merion (6)

The seeds are a little more meaningless in this one, as there's been practically no playing outside of each respective league, and no common opponents between the PHUL teams.
I've been talking a long time about Cardinal O'Hara's girls, and this is their chance to prove they can game outside of the open division.
I don't know much about Pennsbury, but they have the advantage of having played some competition in the rest of the country; experience is lacking in here
LM's team is built almost entirely on sophomores and frosh (see Nina Bar-Giora and Emily Eisner, respectively), so even a weak showing this year is a good sign for years to come. The mere existence of this division is a good step for PA Ultimate.

The other 3 teams are all PHUL teams, North Hills, Fox Chapel, and Hampton as each league only send in 3 bids, I believe. Not quite a full division, but very good.

Unfortunately none of the PA girls teams are going to Easterns, but a state tournament here is a good first step in sending teams in future years.


Anonymous said...

A B-Division was added to PA States. Some of the teams turned down from states were invited to play in the B-Division, which will play on sunday.

Anonymous said...

any news on what happened today?

Anonymous said...

check out the open thread on the main page. that has all the latest updates.

also if you browse the comments of the other preview posts, that should yield some info.