Welcome to Pro Flight
Truck finishes tied for 7th
Frisco, TX – Truck Stop Ultimate has earned a coveted spot in the Pro Flight for the 2015 season and in doing so, had its best results at Nationals since 2009. A victory over Seattle Sockeye in the Pro Flight placement bracket secured a top 8 finish for us. On the whole, it was an unpredictable Nationals, where tournament heavyweights San Francisco Revolver, Seattle Sockeye and Chicago Machine all were eliminated before semifinals. For Truck, it was a weekend of finally putting it altogether to have the best tournament of the season, but still left knowing more was possible.
Thursday pool play started off with a matchup against Portland Rhino. DC came out firing as Chris Kocher cored the first three goals of the game for Truck. Truck wouldn’t let off the gas and finished with a confident 15-10 win. Portland struggled with some throws in the wind and against Truck’s defense, who played close in man-to-man to come down with floaty passes. Our next game was against the pool’s 1-seed, Machine. A few of our early hucks carried too far in the wind, and we fell to Chicago after cleaning up our early mistakes, but unable to punch in enough breaks. Our final game of the day was against Minnesota Sub-Zero. It was a close, chippy game that came down to a late break as Sub won and finished second in the pool. That set up a regional rematch with Pittsburgh Temper, who finished second in Pool C while we finished third in Pool B.
In our first match-up with Temper, in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Finals, we won Temper 15-7. Friday morning, we were confident we could repeat. Pittsburgh was hungry to show that regionals was a fluke and move on to make a splash in the club’s first national championships — they had a very strong Thursday, notching wins over eventual semifinalists Ring of Fire and GOAT.
Our Pre-Quarters match started off with each team notching a break on their first point. But after trading a few points, our d-line punched in several breaks to give us a sizable lead going into half. In the second half, Pittsburgh started to chip away at the lead, but couldn’t close the gap as Truck’s o-line stayed strong under the pressure, eventually winning 15-11.
Wae moved on to quarters to face Denver Johnny Bravo, 4th overall seed and eventual tournament champions. It was an extremely tight game with Bravo going up two breaks in the first half with Truck Stop able to get one back right before half. The game stayed within one break for the rest of the match as Washington’s d-line failed to convert break opportunities. The game finished in soft cap by narrow margin of 14-12, with both of Bravo’s breaks coming off of offensive miscues that turned over the disc. Even though it was a heartbreaking defeat for us, we took some solace in finally hanging tough with a great team that had beaten us easily in previous years.
— Johnny Bravo (@BravoUltimate) October 22, 2014
A demoralized Truck Stop team then dropped into the Pro Flight placement bracket in which seeding was redone according to original tournament seeding. As the lowest seeded team to make it to quarters, (14) Truck Stop would square off against (1) Revolver. San Francisco would win to secure their spot in the Pro Flight for next season. That game was terrible all around and we’re just going to move on.
The entire season came down to just one more game to secure a spot in the top 8. The DC club would play 3rd overall and WUCC finalist Seattle Sockeye. Truck Stop got off to an early lead and stay ahead for nearly the whole game. Then, on the doorstep to a soft capped victory at 14, Truck stalled at 13-9. The Fish score an O point and then rattle off three breaks in a row leading to a dramatic 13-13 double game point. Truck Stop received the pull and marched down the field and clinched the win with a 30 yard huck from Chris Kocher to Peter Prial. Watch the final harrowing minutes here:
We now head into the offseason knowing next season will push us even harder to be better, to execute cleanly and prepare to defend our spot in the Pro Flight and make a push to reach what was so close to us this year: a spot in Club Nationals Semi-finals.