What Went Down At: University Women's Indoor Regionals (UWIR)

Main Writer: Hazard
Editor: Ali Other Contributors: AreYouShawN, Giulia, GeeGee, H.Christou, JonnyArthur95

After Women's Indoor Regionals (UWIR), I had a slack chat discussion with the other university writers for The Show Game. However, it's length/other articles meant this discussion never saw the light of day. I've made the decision to post this unedited (well, except for grammar corrections and fact checks). Publishing this after UWIN will obviously make us look a little like fools. I'm fine with that, and hope you enjoy it! Many thanks to all the writers for their effort in this piece, their permission to self-publish this, and the understanding from the editors who gave me the original opportunity.
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Welcome to the UWIR (University Women’s Indoor Regionals) discussion thread! Before we get into the discussion, here’s what you need to know:

UWIR is split into 4 regions: Scotland, North, East and West.

The aim of the tournament is to qualify for UWIN (University Women’s Indoor Nationals).
The qualification spots are: Scotland: 6, North: 6, East: 4, West: 4

UWIN is made up of the top 20 teams, and only has one division. As a result, the fight to qualify tends to be fierce, with a lot of strong teams finding themselves the wrong side of a crossover.
If you want full results, you can find them here


Final Standings (+ Spirit) - https://goo.gl/89hrm2

Region: Scotland
Writer: @areyoushawn
Prediction:
  1. Edinburgh
  2. St. Andrew’s
  3. Strathclyde
  4. Glasgow
  5. Aberdeen
  6. Heriot-Watt
---------------------------
  1. Dundee
  2. Stirling


Region: North
Writer: @giulia
Prediction:
  1. Leeds
  2. Loughborough
  3. Newcastle
  4. UCLan
  5. Leicester
  6. Nottingham


Region: West
Writer: @ali
Prediction:
  1. Birmingham
  2. Bristol
  3. Exeter
  4. Cardiff
-------------------
  1. Bath


We will be joined in the chat by @katie (Katie Allen) from Southampton, who also plays in the West region.


Region: East
Writer: @geegee
Prediction:
  1. Oxford
  2. King’s
  3. Imperial
  4. Chichester


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Before we get in, here’s a small information dump:
My good friend Matt and I have made a twitter bot to post BUCS scores. Find it here, and let us know any teething issues! - https://twitter.com/UltimateBUCS
The provisional outdoor university (+ club) schedule has now been released - http://www.ukultimate.com/story/provisional_outdoor_calendar_2017
The GB Mixed U23 page has released an unofficial video of their trials https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tszRRwVUYoM
And finally, Boston Ultimate has released an “I need feminism because” campaign album which is very worth checking out here - https://www.facebook.com/pg/buladypilots/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1454970444532896


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Many thanks, and hope you enjoy! As always, if you have any thoughts or anything to add, we’d love to hear it as a comment/email.


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Discussion


hazard
Scotland is up first!


Results:
1. Edinburgh
2. Strathclyde (Horses)
3. Aberdeen
4. Glasgow
5. St. Andrew's
6. Heriot-Watt
----
7. Glasgow 2
8. Dundee


areyoushaw    
Good weekend up in Scotland. The top four dominated,  with lots of pressure from the numerous second teams who were climbing the seedings.
   
Interesting to watch a strong Glasgow 2 battle it out v Heriot in the game to go.


As predicted Edinburgh were top beating Strathclyde in the final. St Andrew’s had a couple of injuries I heard which didn't help their final placing.


h.christou    
Horses look to have had a strong run, beating Glasgow in the semi. And Dundee had 5 debutants in their squad of 7, with Deni Moralieva still being very much injured. A decent result coming in 8th.


areyoushaw    
I was very impressed with the standard throughout the tournament. Helped by numerous U24 development squad and ex U23 girls raising the standards.


hazard    
I was actually chatting to Benji earlier about Dundee. The 4-4 draw with Edinburgh 3 stood out to me in the results. He said they progressed well throughout the tournament. 8th is really impressive in the circumstances!


hazard    
He also mentioned how chaotic it was. Aberdeen and St. Andrew's both beat Heriot-Watt by 1.


Then Aberdeen beat Glasgow, and St. Andrew's lose to Glasgow 13-1. As always, he has my sympathy with the schedule.
areyoushaw    
Agreed.


hazard   
To finish, I’m going to say well done to @areyoushaw for getting 6/6 in qualifying predictions (even if in the wrong order). I'm going to leave the St. Andrew's facebook page's rather bizarre write-up as the closer. https://www.facebook.com/standrewsultimate/posts/1256763727727654

hazard    
Alright, on to the East


A side note for those not aware: this is the combination of the South East + East&London region of Men's and Mixed Indoors.  
   
Final positions:
1. Chichester
2. UEA (Aye-Aye)
3. Kings (Thrown)
4. Oxford (WOW!)
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5. Sussex (Mohawks)


geegee    
This year was really exciting. Because of our proximity to London universities, many of the top club team players bleed into the Eastern region giving a really high standard of competition. And it did not disappoint.


UEA (Aye-Aye) came out of nowhere! I love being proven wrong in my predictions because it made it all so exciting. Aye-Aye really utilised their height and almost flawless catches to tear down teams that were always closer to the top in previous years. Chichester are a very similar team, however in the final their overall grit got the better of UEA to get them their win.


My favourite game to watch was KCL vs Oxford - both really clinical and spicy teams with some impressive plays.
  
But I cannot go away from this weekend without giving a massive shout out to St. Mary’s, Brunel and LSE for sending their first ever women’s teams!


hazard   
I was actually immensely pleased to see Aye-Aye qualify. The game to go in the old Midlands region for mixed used to always be Oxford vs Aye-Aye. They were always so well spirited, I'm very happy to see them do so well this year.


geegee   
I agree. It was a very well deserved qualification.


hazard   
Kings may consider themselves unlucky only finishing 3rd. They beat Aye-Aye in the pool stage, and they came within a point of Chichester (no other team came within 5).


geegee   
That seems to be a common theme this year just with how the crossovers play out. For example, Surrey lost to Hertfordshire in the pool stages but managed to finish a place higher than them in final seedings.


hazard   
In retrospect, King's, UEA and Sussex is an obscenely stacked pool too.
  
As your takeaway, any predictions as to how they'll do at nationals? Can you see them winning an extra spot? I have to say it seems like a very strong set of 4 to me. (East have the joint lowest number of bids)


geegee   
All four teams will certainly do some damage at Nationals. I’m looking forward to Chichester and UEA in particular matching up against some of the top dogs like Leeds, Loughborough and Birmingham. Their consistency, clinical cutting and fantastic overhead options ruined some teams in the East. I’m wondering what it will do to the rest of the nation.


hazard   
Cheers @geegee! @jonnyarthur95, any word from Sussex? Being in two games-to-go as the Sussex Women have been is always going to be tough, and I know how hard those games are.  
  
jonnyarthur95   
I know the Sussex women were just exhausted by that final game to go. They should also be super proud of this result as half that first team squad are first year players. Having spoken to captain Maxine Tink I know that challenging for those top spots is a solid achievement for the Mohawks this year.


hazard   
A small bit of trivia to finish with. As far as I'm aware, Oxford and UEA are the only two teams with a separate twitter account for their Women's team: @WOW_Ultimate and @BirdsAyeUlti. And both qualified for nationals. Clearly no coincidence. Teams, get on it.
  
hazard
North is open!


Final results:
1. Leeds
2. Loughborough
3. Leicester
4. Manchester
5. Newcastle
6. Nottingham
---
7. UCLan  


giulia   
So the North surprised me a little this weekend. Particularly Manchester - they finished 4th overall which was a brilliant step up for them. Their coaching from Amelia Cartwright seems to have given them the boost they deserved.


It was almost a given that Loughborough and Leeds would finish at the top. They always play with such clinical efficiency.


hazard   
Really interesting to see Leeds finish top at Women's after Loughborough claimed the title at Men's and Mixed.


giulia   
The Leeds women just played precisely and effectively. They tore through teams and I found that out when Leicester played them. Everything was precise. They adopted a side stack which worked well for them - managing to get some great deeps shots out.
  
UCLan marginally missed out on Nationals which is a shame for them. After watching their game vs Manchester at universe point, it seemed they lost their heads a little and this gave Manchester the perfect opportunity to put that final score in. Brilliant patience from Manchester gave the girls a 6-5 win.


hazard   
I'm not surprised! UCLan adopted a bold strategy of 6 players on Saturday (and 7 on Sunday). They still topped their pool and beat Newcastle 7-4 (who later qualified).


At some point, you just run out of energy. Particularly in the North. The region is huge!


giulia   
Precisely! After five games on the Saturday I was absolutely shattered.


It was nice to see some overhead shots from UCLan though. The difference in play from mixed was that there were far fewer hammers thrown. It was great to see some of the teams really bidding for the high discs I did see put out, particularly Durham.
  
Sheffield utilised height very well too.


hazard   
Ok. @giulia, any final takeaways?
giulia   
I think Leeds and Loughborough will really step up at Nationals, I thought Nottingham had very well drilled play and the disc got put through all of their players. For other teams I think the turnover of students from last year to this year has affected teams more than they'd hoped. I'd also love Leicester to make a few refinements before Nationals as I thoroughly believe the girls can do far better than last year.


hazard   
Nice. Ok, I'm ending this region on a very sweet instagram post from Nottingham Trent captain Georgia Spencer with her team kitted out in both "This Girls Can" and "Trent Girls Can" https://www.instagram.com/p/BNEbdW1hN9Q/
Instagram photo by @georgiabearxox
  
hazard
Final region! West is up.
1. Birmingham
2. Bath
3. Cardiff
4. Bristol
---
5. Exeter
6. Bangor  


katie   
With just 4 qualification spots in the West I think this UWIR was very heated and very exciting. Despite losing players due to graduation and injury, it was clear to see right from the start that Birmingham 1 remained in a league of their own, capping every team in pool play and finishing their closest game 10-4 in the final against Bath. They also brought a strong second team who finished 11th - the highest placing 2nd team and beating 3 1st teams!


Below Birmingham though it all gets a little more interesting!


hazard   
Very interesting to see that Birmingham are still dominant in Women's then (they won Mixed, but failed to win regionals for the first time in years in Men’s).
  
So, any idea what separated the remaining teams?

katie   
I think Bath, Cardiff, Bristol, Exeter and Bangor all had fantastic weekends and were in hot contention for a space.
Bath were just very clinical and well drilled, as usual. Nothing flashy, simply a very solid group of girls who just play their own game very effectively.
  
Cardiff proved they were there to play hard when they took a surprise win over Exeter in pool play, and then managed to beat them again in sudden death to take 3rd. Jo Lewis (Cardiff) said 'Being seeded 6th meant we had a few challenging games on the saturday, facing Exeter, Warwick and a surprisingly strong UWE, I think this actually really helped us out as a team having difficult games to prepare us for the Sunday.'


hazard   
I had heard rumours (I won’t say from whom) that Cardiff considered this a bit of a development year too. 3rd place and nationals isn't bad for that!


katie   
Yes, I believe they took some freshers on their first team, as well as evenly splitting experience amongst their 2nd and 3rd team.
They've had a fantastic recruitment year this year and clearly have the talent to qualify for Nationals, so watch this space for next year!
  
I think Bangor caused some upsets, beating Bristol to win their pool, despite only having 6 players who (according to Natalie Knight)  'only trained as a team on the Thursday before the tournament.’


hazard   
Yeah, Bangor beat Bristol 9-4 in their pool game, only to lose 5-6 later in the tournament. Lesson learnt - you need more than 6 people on a weekend!


katie   
Yes exactly - having 6 players had its merits for them on the Saturday, and the addition of 2 fantastic GB Junior freshers who have played together internationally for the past 2 years really cemented them as a threat. They had 2 games that they lost by 1 point on the Sunday (the 3v6 against Exeter and the 5v6 against Bristol) that I think would have been won by Bangor if they had had a few more legs.


Speaking of Exeter, they had a really rough weekend. Losing to Cardiff in pool play meant they were fighting the whole weekend. Their sudden death win against Bangor was the tensest game I saw that weekend, with both teams having such near-misses (a drop in the endzone for Exeter and a huuuuge cross pitch hammer from Bangor that was caught on the endzone sideline and so called out). Exeter looked absolutely exhausted after that game and went on to lose the 3v4 and 4v5 to come crashing out of qualification.
  
They lost the 3v4 game by 1 point and the 4v5 game to go by 2 points, despite having an early lead.


Captain Molly Arnett said 'For us having to play 6 games on the Sunday was tough, as well as having both Cardiff and Warwick in our pool. Only retaining 3 people from last years team everyone really stepped it up, absolutely gutted to lose out on the last Nats space but at the same time we're extremely happy with how we played!! '
  
But they too have great potential for next year, having also managed to get 3 teams into the tournament, and with their 2nd team finishing 12th and their 3rd team finishing 16th.


katie   
Also - massive shoutout to Staffordshire, UWE and FXU for fielding women's teams for the very first time!


hazard   
Double shout out to UWE then. Winning spirit in your very first tournament is a very impressive feat.


ali   
Also to Staffs for iron manning their last game!


hazard
Any comments on things further down the seedings?


katie   
Looking to the mid table we had Swansea, Plymouth, Warwick, Southampton and Birmingham 2.


hazard   
I have to say I'm surprised to see Warwick there, especially after getting Div 1 in mixed. Seems like Plymouth edged them in the 8v9 crossover.


ali   
In Warwick's defence, their pool was pretty tough.


katie   
Yeah agreed - The pool with Exeter 1, Cardiff 1, Warwick 1, UWE 1 and Swansea 2 was hard! But I was very surprised at Plymouth's win over Warwick.


ali (Warwick player)   
Weren't we all.


katie   
Having played both those teams, I felt that Warwick were the more drilled and more athletic of the two, and Plymouth's game felt a little more haphazard - but credit to them, clearly it worked!


katie   
Swansea and Plymouths’ level of play exceeded my expectations. Though Swansea remained 7th, I hadn't considered them as Nationals contenders. Yet they made it look easy, bagel-ing Exeter 2 and Birmingham 2 who were not weak! They were also only 2 points off Bath in the 2v7 cross!


Plymouth were my biggest personal surprise - they beat us (Southampton) in pool play 5-3, making good use of overheads and long shots.


katie   
So rounding off the mid table we have Southampton.
I must say I was actually pleasantly surprised that we managed to take 10th, having only finished 9th last year with what looked like a much stronger team on paper. This year is very much a development year for us, having lost 13 girls last year, including Claire Baker (SYC), Celine Lim (Punt) and several other core players.


hazard   
Well done then! Top 10 is always good.


katie   
I guess my takeaways would be that the West is growing both in size and skill, with many teams managing to replicate their successes of previous years despite losing strong players. I think this speaks volumes about the development of University Women's Ultimate in general - that teams perhaps aren't as reliant as we thought on core super-stars, and can continue to be pushing for qualification with hard work and putting effort into developing freshers.
  
Good luck to Birmingham, Bath, Cardiff and Bristol - here's hoping they can go and smash UWIN and win the West some more qualification spots!


hazard   
Nice! And to make @giulia happy, I've found this video of a hammer from Cardiff. https://twitter.com/WarwickUltimate/status/800353791799234561

hazard
Ok, I'm closing up the discussion here then.
Many thanks to you all for your contributions! Well done on a great set of regionals (and also well done to @giulia for qualifying for what looks to be a very competitive nationals). If anyone has any comments, let us know, and we'll be sure to read them.  

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