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All Region 2016: Southwest (D-I Women's)

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Who are the best players in the Southwest region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.

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Definite First Team IMO:

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Han “Heist” Chen: Fantastic thrower, one of the best in the college division. She’s also crucial for the UCLA defense, shutting down deep looks consistently.

Monisha White: An all around solid player for Superfly. Monisha has consistent throws and great defensive pressure.

Speaking of great defensive pressure…
Courtney Gegg: She has taken on a huge role for Stanford this year, generating a ton of blocks.

Marisa Rafter: Great player with smooth backhands. She was great going upwind at Centex, and leads the Pie Queens well.

Jackelyne “Kobe” Nguyen: I think plays like this are considered “standard” for her.

Other Top Players for First/Second Team:

USC
Linda “Skipper” Venema: Some have gone so far as to call her a Huck Guru.
Julia “Khumba” Johnson & Avalon “Bugles” Igawa: Two handlers and key leaders on the team.
Alyssa “Tattoo” Perez: Extremely speedy cutter, great on defense.
USC has a very young team this year, and these four are big contributors to the team’s success.

UCLA
Tiana “Zeus” Rangchi: Big contributions to BLU in every tournament this season. She is very effective at moving the disc through the middle of the field. Also great zone defender.
Camille “Kailua” Wilson: Catch her if you can. This girl is always open, and has really developed her throws this year, occasionally sliding into the handler spot for BLU.

UC Davis
Veronica Chan
Cheryl Hsu
Jazmin Jordan
I haven’t seen as much from Rogue this year, but these three are all really big contributors/nightmares to guard.

UCSD
Dena “Chrome” Elimelch: big thrower and cutter who uses her height to the advantage.
Juliana “Terra” Jordan: fierce competitor who really puts it all on the line for Psychos.

Stanford
Veronica Cruz
Shayla Harris: great aggressive defender
Caitlin Go

Freshman of the Year

Hallie “Hallie’s Dad’s Daughter” Dunham: Obvious pick for rookie of the year. She handles for Stanford as a freshman after playing in the Seattle youth scene and at WJUC.
Emily “Mamba” Beck: A true rookie from UCLA who has quickly become a phenomenal cutter. She played several lines in our games against Oregon and Stanford at Pres Day Invite and scored in both games.

I really like the idea of FOTY going to true rookie freshmen as their nomination comes after only 6-7 months of playing ultimate. I would love to hear about other stand out freshmen!

Coach of the Year

Alex Korb: Huge bias here, obviously.
Manisha “Slap” Daryani

The only players I can personally comment on are Han Chen (UCLA), Jazmin Jordan (UC Davis), Veronica Chan (UC Davis), and Alison Griffith (UC Berkeley).

I had the good fortune of having Han on my Lei-Out team this year. She is an absolute baller. You know how some players are just so good at everything that you can’t really say what position they are best at but you definitely know you want them on the field as much as possible? That’s Han. She has killer throws and can get open at will from the handler set or the cutting lanes. She is also pretty damn good at defense. I haven’t watched a ton of UCLA games this year but when I have I was not surprised at all to see her dominating there as well, in the exact same manner as I had witnessed on the beach. She routinely makes things that are difficult look easy.

Jazmin is a handler who I’ve played with once and watched play on multiple occasions and every time she has impressed me. She is one of those players who has great skills and is a great athlete but also who manages to be more than the sum of her skills and athleticism. I’ve never seen her not giving 100% on the field. She also appears to possess the rare trait of always being fully aware of her team’s #1 priority on the field. In seven years playing ultimate I’ve played with less than a dozen players who share this trait. When her team needs a break she finds a way to throw one. When her team needs a reset she finds a way to get open. When her team is trapped on the downwind sideline she finds a way to get the disc back to the center. It doesn’t matter if her defender is amazing or if she doesn’t have the best throw or positioning or angle to get the job done, she finds a way to make it work.

I played club with both Veronica and Alison two years ago, and can vouch for the abilities of both of them. I feel like the best way to describe Veronica would be that she is simply a nightmare to try to defend. The three biggest components of a good cut are spacing, timing, and angle. She spaces really well, her angles are fantastic, and her timing is phenomenal. On top of all of that she is incredibly fast and clears really hard. It’s kinda hard to beat a team when one of their players is always open and V. Chan is always open. She is also a force multiplier because her spacing and clearing consistently make her teammates more open. Davis has done well this year and she is definitely a big part of that.

Alison is another speedy player with an incredible desire to constantly be learning and improving. She was good then and has undoubtedly become even more dangerous. The fact that I’ve seen her name once or twice on Ultiworld writeups seems to back that up. She was easily one of the better deep cutters on our team. What impressed me most, however, was that she is one of the best players I have ever seen in any division at harnessing communication from the sideline. How many times have you heard a sideline shout “UNDER!” to a defender whose cutter is about to turn a deep cut into a huge gainer, only to see the cutter succeed because the defender didn’t react to the call fast enough? Or a strike or no big call to a mark fail to prevent the upfield throw? Alison is the type of player who shuts down that defender and denies that huck. I have never felt like I was influencing a game from the sideline more than when talking to her.

These women are really good.

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Sorry I’m a newbie- not sure if I’m doing this right butttttt Ive gotta nominate our UC Davis coach, Orion Edwards. He’s a first year coach and has improved our team by leaps and bounds. I don’t know how he can even talk after tournaments cus he literally never stops talking on the sidelines. Always comes up with the perfect drill to fix what we’re having trouble with, and keeps a positive attitude no matter what!

Ok, now for other team nominations:

Cal:
Lexi “Rex” Hasan- caused a lot of trouble for us last weekend at sectionals. A cutter who never stops working and had tons of super high grabs.

Superfly:
Dozer (don’t know her real name, sorry!)- I think she’s a rookie? If so, def nominate her for rookie of the year. She’s literally always open and plays great d

Haven’t played any other teams enough to nominate!

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Dozer is Shayla Harris! She’s a sophomore, but agreed - very good and deserves recognition.

First year coach with a team in the top 20? Hot damn. Great nomination!

WOW. Forgot to mention Pojunis!!

lol OBVI vendetta is a first team nominations. My sister’s played against her a lot more than I have, but I’ve watched her play in really important games and she takes it upon herself to take the biggest match up, always be the one there for a reset, and always be the one to make the big play when needed. I’d much rather have her on my team than as my opponent. I’m glad she’s also figured out what a dangerous play is and has toned some of the questionable layouts down a bit (sorry but last year she pretty seriously injured 2 of our players :grin:) it’s all good now we forgive you!

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I’m one of the coaches of the USC Hellions. I’ll contribute to the conversation by throwing out the names of the USC players that deserve to be mentioned in this thread.

Linda “Skipper” Venema
Connie “Dory” Chan
Avalon “Bugles” Igawa
Julia “Kumbha” Johnson
Alyssa “Tattoo” Perez

I haven’t seen most of our Southwest opponents this year so I won’t try to talk about other teams, but I will say that any 1st team without Han Chen and Kristen Pojunis on it would be just wrong.

Haven’t seen as much Southwest action as I would like this year, but I’ve certainly seen my fair share and want to keep this conversation going!

I’m also discussing D-III players here because last year, D-III Southwest women were included in the D-I All-Region voting list (only regions with D-III Conference Championships had separate voting). Even though I’m super biased as their coach, the players from Claremont deserve to be included in this discussion. They have really challenged some of these D-I teams and crushed it in the D-III division.

All-Region (this is so hard, Southwest TOO strong)
Cal
Kim “Korra” Long
Jackelyne “Kobe” Nguyen
Marisa Rafter

Claremont
Kaitlyn “Dags” Anderson: drops dime hucks & hammers like she’s made of money
Amelia “Fetch” Haselkorn: absolutely roasts her defenders & throws pinpoint passes
Marianna “Banxx” Heckendorn: for real one of the top 5 sheerly-powerful throwers in the whole Southwest
Sarah “Joey” Laws: ridiculous speed + the stickiest fingers you’ll ever see #MaxiFlexEliteGloves #Sponsored

UC Davis
Cheryl Hsu
Veronica Chan

UCLA
Han “Heist” Chen
Kristen “Vendetta” Pojunis
Camille “Kailua” Wilson

USC
Connie “Dory” Chan
Huck Guru Linda “Skipper” Venema

Stanford
Courtney Gegg
Anne Remple
Monisha White

FOTY
Emily “Mamba” Beck (UCLA)
Hallie Dunham (Stanford)
Rose “Solo” Soiffer-Kosins (Claremont) - super reliable on O, great pressure on D, awesome product out of Seattle Fryz

COTY
Manisha “Slap” Daryani (Cal)

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I am a current third year player at USC, and so these are people who I think are deserving players, and who I know. I know significantly less NorCal players. Also sorry I can’t spell that well in regards to names. I’ll start with my own team -

USC:
Rachel “Wall-E” Chang - One of our quickest cutters, she can turn on a dime and is always looking to cut for the deep shot. (Currently out for injury though)
Alyssa “Tattoo” Perez - A staple in the front lines of our Zone D, and a very quick, hard-working cutter.
Linda “Skipper” Venema - Handles with me on the O-line, and is an extremely consistent thrower.

UCLA:
Han “Heist” Chen - Handler-cutter hybrid who gets big in the air, and has even bigger throws. I think we all know Heist.
Kristen “Vendetta” Pojunis - Played U23 Mixed, and 7 Figs the past two years, having to mark up against V is one of the toughest match ups I have had. She’s always sprinting hard, and is not afraid to use her body.
Melissa “Fuse” Kan - A great handler-cutter hybrid for BLU, she is either throwing the assist or continue cutting into the endzone.

UCSD:
Julianna “Terra” Jordan - A total workhorse who touches the disc every other throw. If you’re guarding her get ready to run.
Dena “Chrome” Elimiech - Whenever we play Pychos, she has huge layouts on O and D, and puts up most of their hucks for the team.

Cal:
Marissa Rafter - Their main thrower, she can throw anywhere she wants finding weaknesses in every defense.
Jackelyne “Kobe” Nguyen - Played club with her this summer, and then facing off against her this season has been really fun. Kobe has huge grabs, and is pure athleticism, really grinding hard for PQ, she’s also has one of the most graceful layouts I’ve ever seen in the college women’s game.

Stanford:
Courtney Gegg - Always marks me, and with her quick feet and very large wingspan, makes it almost impossible to throw around her.

Davis:
Haven’t played them once this entire season, so I can’t comment.

SLO:
Analiese “Swag” Huysenstraut - I play club with her, and she essentially runs Slo’s offense. She gets the disc every other making huge breaks and hucks. On D, she always takes the other teams best match-up and shuts them down.

FOTY:
Hallie Dunham is the first that comes to mind, though I think we all know her ultimate history and success being from the Seattle Scene. In terms of an actual rookie, I am not sure.

–Julia “Kumbha” Johnson

My two cents:

Kristin Pojunis (UCLA):
She and Han Chen are absolute nightmares on stopped-disc and fast-break hucks. She often draws the bigger, faster defenders and wins those match-ups. She was key to UCLA beating Oregon (see: Pojunis skying Kaylor). She’s a threat offensively and defensively and no sane coach neglects game-planning against her.

Han Chen (UCLA):
Han is an absolute general with the disc. She’s probably got the biggest hucks in college women’s ultimate, but I’m nominating her for her ability to see the field and use those throws to throw her team mates open. She also wrecks zones and marks with her pinpoint hammers.

Camille Wilson (UCLA):
One of my nominees for second team. She’s not too scary behind the disc, but she’s an elite defender. When she’s on handlers, she uses her quickness to either shut down or bait high-stall desperation looks to the dump. When she’s on cutters, she uses her speed to position herself to shut down her girl or get the poach D. She’s very underrated next to Chen and Pojunis, but her presence is definitely felt on D.

Marisa Rafter (Cal):
She oozes vettiness on the field. She plays with a lot of grit, always able to pull through with a layout D or a poach D from out of nowhere. She stretches the field with her deep looks and does a great job elevating her team mates by spreading the disc.

Jackelyne Nguyen (Cal):
I would definitely nominate her for second team. She never gives up on the disc and her athleticism makes her a reliable downfield defender.

Veronica Cruz (Stanford):
A recipient of many of their deep and under looks despite being one of their shorter receivers. She is fantastic on defense, especially on handlers and in the cup. She frequently applies pressure and gets D’s on swings so she can score on the ensuing fast-break huck.

Shayla Harris (Stanford):
One of my nominees for second-team. Though not as fearsome with the disc, she has quickly grown into one of Stanford’s more reliable downfield threats. On defense, she and Cruz are a fearsome pair in the cup (or as a wing) and uses her athleticism and lankiness to recover quickly and snag floaty discs.

Caitlin Go (Stanford):
Very underrated on Stanford. This year, teams have had success shutting down their handlers, but time and again Go has bailed them out with several-yard under cuts. She excels in seeing the field and she frequently picks apart defenses with her cross-field hucks. She gets so little recognition because her style of play makes her team mates look good, but she is Stanford’s “true hybrid” in that she is probably the only player on that team who is as dangerous behind the disc as she as downfield.

Linda Venema (USC):
Another nominee for second team, Venema’s the undeniable leader of the USC offense. She does a great job stretching the field with her throws and her footwork allows her to reliably get open in tight spaces. She’s got great throwing mechanics, which helped her throw in the wind at SBI.

FOTY:
Hallie Dunham (Stanford):
Only a rookie, but one of Stanford’s main handlers. She contributes heavily to field positioning with her huge pulls.

Leanne Go (UCSD):
Look up their highlight video. For a rookie on a team that got the region its last bid, she stands out with her quality throws.

Responding to posts above, I’d like to respectfully make a few comments:

Stanford has been an exceptionally physical team this year. Playing them, I’ve noticed a lot of fouls on the mark (backpacking, bear hugging) as well as dangerous late hits. Probably not intentional, but a few of the players mentioned in previous posts have been guilty of making those plays. In the interest of SOTG, I’d prefer that shoulders to heads and elbows in chests not be mistaken for defensive prowess.

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Not trying to be comprehensive (or unbiased), just want to make sure we get one more Davis player in here:

Amanda Meroux: Amanda has to be one of the most reliable cutters in the region. She gets the disc under practically every-other on offense. She lays out for everything. She routinely skies defenders a foot taller than her. She is a panda. Good luck getting open if she’s defending you.

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YES “HALLIE’S DAD’S DAUGHTER”

This is like the secret passcode to the Ultiworld office party

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All-Region Nominations

Cal (as unbiased as possible):
Marisa Rafter: fearless leader on our team who has taught our team so much. She dominates in pressure situations, yet keeps us all invovled. In all of her experience in ultimate since she was 13 (Worlds, Nightlock, etc.), she has so much grit, skill, and superb talent in ultimate.

Alison “AliG” Griffith: Another of one of our fearless leaders. Regardless of any game, she always hypes our team up whether its skill-wise or in our huddle. She cuts hard, goes after any disc and never gives up. She has great field awareness and frisbee IQ, and I’m so glad we’ll have her for another year.

Alexandra “Rex” Hasan: A fellow cutter on our team who always is in high spirits. Although a little awkward sometimes, she uses her height to advantage by skying everyone and throwing deadly deep throws. She also is a great cutter to cut with because she reads off what our team is doing to create better flow.

UC Davis
Cheryl Hsu: one of the main handlers for this team, she gets it every other in situations and has a deadly huck.

Lindsay Hadgecock: another handler who I remember also gets it every other and has strong cuts.
Playing them at Sections I noticed she would take over the offense and put Davis is better positions.

Veronica “V-Chan” Chan: In all my times I’ve guarded her or watched from the sideline, there is always at least a couple insane grabs per game that she gets. She’s a pretty speedy one which makes sense why she’s one of Davis’ key receivers.

UCLA
Kristen “Vendetta” Pojunis: Guarding her at Centex this year really showed me how key she is to UCLA’s offense, defense, and even team morale. She’s not afraid to huck it with a mark on her and her athleticism is an added bonus of her frisbee IQ.

USC
Connie “Dory” Chan: Playing with her this past summer and playing her int he regualr season, one thing I noticed about Dory is that she never gives up. Getting run-through D’s, sprinting down the field, and being one of the rocks of USC"s offense, she is such a dangerous cutter.

Julia “Kumbha” Johnson: Another summer teammate, Kumbha as a lefty handler really changes the game we play against this team. We’re never safe because of their strong lefty handlers who have awesome field vision.

Linda “Skipper” Venema: another lefty handler, she’s one of the few players I’ve seen who is so chilly and smart with the disc. She communicates to her teammates well on the field and has been an anchor to USC’s offense.

Stanford
Courtney Gegg: always the tallest receiver on the field, she is definitely one of the hardest players to guard. On top of skying everyone she also has solid hucks/throws upfield.

Anne Rempel : had the opportunity to play with her at the women’s mixer this year and she is such a solid handler. She always keeps her composure to make good decisions and her athleticism puts her on another level.

Monisha White: Being one of the headliners for Stanford, Monisha has definitely earned that. She is one of the most dangerous handlers I’ve ever played against. Any little amount of space you give her, she’ll put it. She is so smart with the disc and seems to be key to Stanford’s success.

–Jackelyne “Kobe” Nguyen

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Following Radar, I wanted to combine SW D-III & D-I.
I play for Claremont (D-III) and for the past four years I have been playing and admiring the SW D-I teams, so wanted to add my two cents :slight_smile:

FOTY:
Hallie Dunham*- (I played club with Lil Berry) she works so hard, and is a very diligent, calm, decisive thrower. She has a huge arsenal of throws and knows exactly which one to pull out for each situation.
Leanne Go- a key handler for UCSD, her ycc experience is a real asset, great positioning on O to get the disc for resets
Rose Soiffer-Kosins- (from Claremont) she is incredibly consistent, timing of her cuts benefits her team so much whether in creating space, going deep, an under give-go, her frisbee IQ is really high for a freshman which means solid decision-making

UCLA
Han “Heist” Chen
Kristen Pojunis
Camille Wilson- girls got hops, so hard to cover deep

Stanford
Caitlin Go- very quick, constantly exactly where her throwers need her for a crucial reset (who do you think taught Leanne all she knows?)
Monisha White

Davis
Lindsay Hedgecock- really calm, patient handler with key accurate hucks, also super solid spirit

SLO
Swag- incredibly explosive and loves to break the mark, her team has worked their O around her backhand breaks; y’all she’s a beast

Claremont
Sarah “Joey” Laws- she may be 5’2" but her ability to read the disc from literally any direction makes her a lethal deep threat, plus those sticky hands and an absolute refusal to let the disc touch the ground. She’s explosive, quick, energetic and a pain in the butt to cover

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Veroncia Cruz
Counrtney Gegg
Marissa Rafter
Marianna Heckendorn