When I was a senior training and preparing for my last college season, I put “winning the region” as a personal goal alongside the team goal to “make nationals.” Knowing how good the Bulldogs were in 2016 gave me enough realistic hope that in I would get a chance to make that happen during my last year. Winning the competitive Atlantic Coast for the first time in addition to going to nationals for the first as a team was what I worked for when I saw a trainer early on a Tuesday morning or came out to an evening practice.

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The teams UNC faced at nationals in 2015 knew far less about UNC’s defensive systems than UNC knew about their opponents’. That’s a scary advantage for any team to have at the biggest tournament of the year and it’s a testament to the patience and trust that team shared throughout the season. At any point UNC could have decided to run its zones to stave off defeat at Queen City or Centex or Easterns. It’s one of the great examples of strategic deception in college ultimate, and a very important lesson in strategic patience. 

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