Players Plaudits - AUC Womens Div 1 2019

The women’s division at the 2019 Australian Ultimate Championships was everything we’d hoped for and more - close games, big grabs, incredible throws, the arrival of break-out players, and the return of some of the greats.


The bar for the women’s division in Australia was well and truly raised throughout the tournament, so we’re taking deep dive into the incredible athletes who compete in the women’s division from a slightly different perspective.


Inspired by Ultiworld, Caro Ma and Georgia Egan-Griffiths approached players from a range of different teams, and asked them for their thoughts, feelings and opinions on the best players in various categories. The result - an incredibly inspiring compilation of superlatives from the athletes themselves.


So without further ado…


Best Player


Georgia Egan-Griffiths (Ellipsis).

“A calm and composed decision maker with beautiful accuracy as handler, and an audacious defender leaving everything out on the field.” - Ellie Seckold (Spicy Chilly)


We took multiple timeouts to try and stop hat girl. We were amazed and inspired when she’d throw scoobers where you’d usually see a backhand. She can throw so well at the end of her reach SO MUCH control. So speedy. Tenacious and focused on defense. Best player and nicest person. We love hat girl.” - Eva Weatherall (Capital Punishment)


“Kat Smith (Fuse) has always had huge throws but adds to those with explosive movement and impossibly strong body position in contests. Can do all the things.” - Sarah Brereton (Kaos)


Lyra Meehan (Rogue)

“Lyra played a crucial role for Rogue this season. She was a calm, controlled and powerful presence on offence with her throws allowing her to fill the role of playmaker when needed.” - Clare Barcham (Factory)


“Lyra has a near-complete game. She is lethal behind the disc and provides strong options downfield, as well as speed, athleticism and aggression on defence. If you give Lyra the freedom to throw her backhands she is almost unstoppable.” - Kirsten Ayre (Factory)


“Rachel Parsons (Rogue) is such a good all-around player. She's just as dangerous with the disc as she is as a receiver and she's super smart with her defensive positioning. She can make huge plays in the air and get crazy layout grabs and Ds. And she makes all of it look so easy.” - Bekah Ziegman (Fuse)


Cat Phillips (Ellipsis)

Cat just has the ability to focus and improve everyone around her with the intensity and experience she brings on to a team. Also she has this wild ability to beat you without you knowing how she did it.” - Michaela Dunmall (Zig Theory)


“She is surely the best player in the world. Her ability to consistently control the game is amazing. She is also an absolutely INCREDIBLE leader.” - Georgia Egan-Griffiths (Ellipsis)


“Lucy Deller (Ellipsis) - she rocked up halfway through our game against Ellipsis and far out, she had an instant impact. I was really impressed watching her play such a big role on a star-studded team, and her final break throw for the gold in the final was crazy good!” - Rachel Parsons (Rogue)


“Sarah Wentworth (Manly) - how is she still so god damn IMPRESSIVE?!” - Ash McInnes (Fuse)



Best Defender


“Abbie Dawson (Factory). Relentless pursuit of her player and the disc” - Bec Carman (GWS Blaze)


Rosie Dawson (Manly)

“Can get a block on anyone. Ask someone from Wollongong to show you the "I'll do it myself" gif. Case in point.” - Dani Alexander (Manly)


“Rosie is the best example of ‘it's not about how big you are, it’s about how big you play’. Her ability to build pressure all over the field is just amazing and she's not afraid of putting her body on the line either.” - Michaela Dunmall (Zig Theory)


She has unparalleled speed in the women’s division. It is nearly impossible to get open on Rosie. She is capable of shutting down handlers and cutters alike and securing game winning block after game winning block.” - Kirsten Ayre (Factory)


“Ash McInnes (Fuse) generates blocks from nowhere!” - Sarah Brereton (Kaos)


Hannah Mangan (Ellipsis)

“She’s fast, fierce and undeterred to put her body on the line on defense. - Ellie Seckold (Spicy Chilly)


To sum up Hannah’s defence in a word, it would be ferocity. If she is your opponent, you know you have to attack the disk. If you give her even the smallest of margins, she will eat it up.” - Ash McInnes (Fuse)


Gritty, tenacious, smart, will shut down opponents but also get huge clutch blocks.” - Caroline Ma (Ellipsis)


Caitlin Grange (Factory).

“Caitlin held Cat Phil up SUPER well in the handler space this season.” - Georgia Egan-Griffiths (Ellipsis)


Caitlin Grange shuts out players who like quick, short, smart movement with her agility, quick thinking, and read of the play. Caitlin gets blocks in zone looks as well as in match with really heads up defence.” - Clare Barcham (Factory)


“Alice Si is really good at using her speed on defense, especially in her first three steps. She stays heads-up and engaged all the way through a point and is continually repositioning to stay in the optimal space to make her opponent's life as hard as possible.” - Bekah Ziegman (Fuse)



Best Thrower


“Rachel Grindlay (Manly) makes throwing downwind outside in flicks look too easy.”- Clare Barcham (Factory)


“Kat Smith (Fuse). Huge range, can break a mark & nice touch” - Bec Carman (GWS Blaze)


Caroline Ma (Ellipsis)

“She always looks good with disc in hand. Confident with breaks, longs and a give-go - I pity the person trying to put a mark on that.” - Dani Alexander (Manly)


“Caro sees spaces so well, and knows exactly how to get the disc there with utmost control. Plus her around backhand is unstoppable.” - Georgia Egan-Griffiths (Ellipsis)


“Alicia Lim (Kaos) had a stellar tournament. Alicia certainly ranked up there as one of the best handlers of Nationals. The combination of her and Max Qua was really lovely to watch.” - Ellie Seckold (Spicy Chilly)


Cat Phillips

“Cat Phillips (Ellipsis) has the greatest range of throws in the women’s division in terms of angles, release points and distance. I've seen her throw throws I didn't know were possible and they always hit her downfield target. Also, after watching the women's final, for me, she is the most consistent thrower in the wind. All of her throws looked like gravy.” - Ash McInnes (Fuse)


No surprise but hugely deserving of recognition. I particularly loved Cat's laser fast break and crossfield shots in the final, something I am going home to practice!” - Sarah Brereton (Kaos)


“Diana Worman (Manly) has a huge range of throws and exhibits lethal amounts of both power and creativity. Even after a significant amount of time out of the game and a year playing Div 2, she nearly carried Manly to the gold medal this year.” - Kirsten Ayre (Factory)


“I love watching Georgia Egan-Griffiths (Ellipsis) throw. She's so good at always being balanced when she throws and I've never seen her throw anything that wasn't super smooth. Plus she's great at using her length and has really nice edge control and field vision which all adds up to make her super dangerous when she has the disc.” - Bekah Ziegman (Fuse)


“Ava Mueller (Fuse). How does she throw it so far with what looks like minimal effort. Her flick bombs are killer. We knew it was coming and we still couldn't stop it.” - Eva Weatherall (Capital Punishment)



Toughest Player to Guard


“Caitlin Grange. Speed, work rate, jaw-dropping grabs and some creative throws.” - Sarah Brereton (Kaos)


Rosie Dawson (Manly)

“R Daw is the fastest player in Ultimate, and her timing is absolutely unreal. How the heck do you stop her?!” - Georgia Egan-Griffiths (Ellipsis)


Rosie Dawson is able to exploit whatever her defender gives her to make powerful cutting options” - Caroline Ma (Ellipsis)


Georgia Egan Griffiths (Ellipsis)

“We had absolutely no answer when Georgia would continuously throw and go making a smear cut across in front of the thrower to then receive the disc and look long.” - Clare Barcham (Factory)


“G is a smart player with great acceleration and a beautiful range of throws. Stopping her getting the disc under is imperative but almost impossible. We tried matching up almost everyone on our D line against her this season to no avail.” - Kirsten Ayre (Factory)


“Bec Soper (Capital Punishment) has high release hucks that she can get off with basically any mark which works well with our game plan of huck to the tall/very good receiver. Sneaky in the handler space. Also very underrated but holds CP together with her versatility.” - Eva Weatherall (Capital Punishment)


“Sarah Wentworth (Manly). She doesn't know where she is going to run next, so neither does her defender” - Bec Carman (GWS BLaze)


Cat Phillips (Ellipsis).

“As far as I can tell it's virtually impossible to stop her from getting the disc when she wants it and then she had the throws to get it anywhere on the field.” - Bekah Ziegman (Fuse)


After a couple of points on Cat my legs were on fire from constantly crouching trying to pick which direction she would move in next…” - Rachel Parsons (Rogue)


“If you mark Cat Phil under she catches the goal. If you mark her deep then she catches it. The only thing you can really do is put Rosie Dawson on her and hope for the best.” - Dani Alexander (Manly)


“Jodie Brown (Fuse) is one of those players that's just so fit and fast and doesn't stop. She's fierce on the field; always hungry for the disc, and it's really hard to shut her down. She's got a powerful first few steps, and that separation she gets in doing that makes her really difficult to mark. How does she do it?” - Ellie Seckold (Spicy Chilly)


Caroline Ma (Ellipsis)

“The toughest players to guard are the ones who are unpredictable and Caro literally has no cutting pattern. If you stop her one way she’ll demolish you in four other ways, probably two of which you didn’t even know were possible.” - Michaela Dunmall (Zig Theory)


You are not ever going to stop Ma from getting the disk, the best you can do is make her work for it. Her first three steps are super explosive and she can change direction on a dime which makes her super difficult to guard when she is around the disc. On top of this, she can be dangerous downfield too. She has such an exceptional read on the disc that you're unlikely to get into a better position before her. All you can do is start thinking about what you got to do after she snags it.” - Ash McInnes (Fuse)



Most Underrated Player


Kya Wiya (Rogue)

“She’s a smart cutter with great throws and even better decision making. Kya will find creative spaces to cut and throw into and will punish any out of position defender.” - Clare Barcham (Factory)


“Kya is coming up, fast. Her running at that height is going to be a handful for many more years and her throwing style is already so smooth. Who lets a rookie pull, honestly?! She's that good.” - Dani Alexander (Manly)


“Courtney Thompson (GWS Blaze). Timing of cuts is killer, she'll score on you deep if you blink for too long. She'll also just chuck in a layout block every now and then” - Caroline Ma (Ellipsis)


“Mandy Fung (Rogue) has got to be one of the most consistent players I've ever played with or against - she has a great range of throws, rarely (if ever) turns it over, and her ability to posterise people every now and then is the absolute cherry on top.” - Georgia Egan Griffiths (Ellipsis)


“Myriam Vinot has added so much composure to an athletic and intelligent game. Can't wait to see her growth again next season.” - Sarah Brereton (Kaos)


“Harriet Barrenger had a breakout season for Fuse this year. She's probably our best small space defender and the one we use if we want to mark a handler out of the game. And she's super quick on offense, never stops running, makes great cuts, and is amazingly effective popping in a zone.” - Bekah Ziegman (Fuse)


“Sarah Lee (Zig Theory) is super underrated in everything. She can throw, she can catch, she can layout basically her full body length and rumour has it she’s been breaking the mark on boys like double her size (not actually a rumour, I've totally seen it)” - Michaela Dunmall (Zig Theory)


“Ali Zalums (Rogue) is an incredible player, she often provides an amazing cut right when you need it and her work ethic on the field is second to none!” - Rachel Parsons (Rogue)


“Georgia Sullivan (Fuse). Oh wow, so freaking reliable. You want this girl on your O line, on your D line, you want this girl on the field for every point (and she will probably have the stamina and grit to do that!). You won’t see her on any highlight reels because she plays ruthless shut down defence and doesn't have to layout for the block. Sullivan is an absolute workhorse and she was instrumental in Fuse's success this year.” - Ash McInnes (Fuse)


“Amanda Hudson (GWS Blaze). Experienced player with throws, speed, awareness but not recognised as a threat by other teams. Hands down the best player to have never worn an Aussie jersey” - Bec Carman (GWS Blaze)


“Khanh Nguyen’s (Spicy Chilly) growth from the start of the season to Nationals has been exponential. She's an absolute pocket rocket with a never say die attitude. Her quick movement, ability to find space, diversity in throws and no fear in laying out makes her a force to be reckoned with.” - Ellie Seckold (Spicy Chilly)


“Niki Botes (Capital Punishment) hasn’t attended many big tournaments since U23s 2013 so she’s not often on people’s radars. But she’s one of the best handlers to come out of NZ. Huge long throws, great breaks, endless running and a calming presence.” - Eva Weatherall (Capital Punishment)



Best Downfield Receiver


“Clare Barcham (Factory). Great timing, tall body, good read.” - Caroline Ma (Ellipsis)


“Simone Ryan (Rogue) stands out because of her timing, read, height and smarts once she gets the disc. Shutting down Simmo always had to be a top priority or Rogue would score very quickly.” - Clare Barcham (Factory)


Steph Bengson (Manly)

“She was so bloody huge in the endzone at Nationals. Goodness. She was unstoppable in the final”. - Georgia Egan Griffiths (Ellipsis)


“Her speed, agility, height and ability to read the disc means that she comes down with almost everything in the end zone. Steph has enjoyed a meteoric rise in ultimate since ending her career as a tennis player and was instrumental in Manly’s silver medal this season.” - Kirsten Ayre (Factory)


“It's a close one between two Manly team mates - Dani Alexander and Steph Bengson. Bengson, being her first Div 1 Nationals was a standout throughout the tournament and particularly in the final. She's got an incredible ability to read and then attack the disc; a far cry to her previous tennis career with a round yellow ball. And Dani Alexander - need I say more?” - Ellie Seckold (Spicy Chilly)


“Dani Alexander. I mean really is there any other option, her ability to just get the disc no matter where it is makes Dani the ultimate downfield receiver. Add her throwing skills into the mix... really you don't want her anywhere near the end zone.” - Michaela Dunmall (Zig Theory)


“Julie Chong (Spicy Chilly). Speed, grabs and the best first step/shoulder fake around.” - Sarah Brereton (Kaos)


“Zoe Risner (Capital Punishment) was a huge target for CP and she caught everything that they threw in her general direction. And she was super hard to guard unless you are a fellow giant.”- Bekah Ziegman (Fuse)


“Amy Barnes (GWS Blaze) seems to come from nowhere right when her team need her to provide a speedy and efficient downfield option, very tough for defenders to stop her getting the disc.” - Rachel Parsons (Rogue)


“Kya Wya (Rogue). Height and can actually read a disc. Short people don't stand a chance” - Bec Carman (GWS Blaze)


“Hannah Monty (GWS Blaze) will run you around the field for days until you finally give up and she catches the goal. What a pain.” - Dani Alexander (Manly)


“Sam Ruhlman (Capital Punishment) has the best read on the disc of anyone I've ever played with. She makes defenders look silly. She also comes with so much fire and intensity. Even in the out of control heat she would run down the pull with the team when she wasn’t on the line. Absolute beast in her first overseas tournament.” - Eva Weatherall (Capital Punishment)



Smartest/Crafiest Player


“Sarah Crossie (Manly) always seems to know whats going on and gets herself into advantageous positions on offence and defence” - Bec Carman (GWS Blaze)


“Rachel Parsons (Rogue) always appears at the right place at the right time, she’s there plucking a disc out of the air or laying out right in front of you. You’re always left wondering where she came from and where she’ll be next.” - Michaela Dunmall (Zig Theory)


“Cat Phillips (Ellipsis) will always inject herself into play at the right time and make things happen. She can control downfield movement, safely move the disc, and create opportunities with cuts and throws that most people would never see as an option.” - Clare Barcham (Factory)


“Bec Carman (GWS Blaze) is an incredible player with an ability to strategically analyse play and find space both in handler and as a receiver. She's quiet on the field, secretly crafting her next move (often to receive a cheeky breakside huck to the end zone) and that makes her dangerous.” - Ellie Seckold (Spicy Chilly)


“Caro Ma (Ellipsis). So much intelligence in ability to get free anywhere she wants and to break any mark.” - Sarah Brereton (Kaos)


“Sarah Wentworth (Manly) is on the field to score a goal and if she doesn't run it out of you, she'll outsmart you to get it. Her experience shines in the clutch points and she can always pull out a pretty I-O flick at the front of the end zone to make it look easy.” - Dani Alexander (Manly)


Dom Simpson (Fuse)

“Dom is an incredibly smart player. She has a wide range of trickier throws but is really smart about when to use them. She's also great at defense because she's always heads-up for a poach block opportunity and is really good at baiting throws to her player that give her a chance for a D.” - Bekah Ziegman (Fuse)


“Dom Simpson sees space developing before anyone else and she has the throwing arsenal to hit her target absolutely anywhere on the field. Her breakside blades are nothing short of visionary!” - Ash McInnes (Fuse)


“Jodie Palmer (Ellipsis). Watching this woman defend handlers is such a joy. She uses her strengths so well, has great positioning and footwork to be able to contain super well.” - Caroline Ma (Ellipsis)



Most Fun to Match Up On


“Adelaide Dennis (Ellipsis) and I have been marking each other since I couldn't throw a flick in Canberra, and it's still good. Crossie tried to call me off her one time and I was like, nah... It's the best to play hard against someone you know is going to play hard on you and love every moment of it.” - Dani Alexander (GWS Blaze)


“Jodie Brown (Fuse) will endlessly work to get free, bid for everything, and put up great hucks. You can't help but be stoked when she does really cool stuff. Also Lucy Deller (Ellipsis) because she could pull out the sweetest hammer at any moment.” - Clare Barcham (Factory)


“Bella See (Rogue). I always enjoy this match up because Bella is so smart with how she moves around the field and what she does with the disc. I also like to think we’re fairly evenly matched so I always manage to learn something new every time we match up.” - Michaela Dunmall (Zig Theory)


“Eunice Cheung (Rogue). Great player who will compliment you on your good plays and laugh with you when she makes a mistake” - Bec Carman (GWS Blaze)


“Amy Barnes (GWS Blaze) mainly because people get us mixed up all the time. We have, in the past, swapped jerseys and played with each other's team without anyone realising. She's a great player and always a challenge to match up on.” - Ellie Seckold (Spicy Chilly)


“Caro Ma (Ellipsis). Even knowing the moves wasn't enough. The throw and go's and break throws are an awesome challenge to defend.” - Sarah Brereton (Kaos)


“We only played Manly once this season but I really enjoyed matching up on Rosie Dawson. Knowing how good she is and that she can destroy me in a footrace forced me to pay a lot of attention to my defensive positioning and was a super fun challenge.” - Bekah Ziegman (Fuse)


“Rosie Dawson (Manly). The challenge is SO much fun...even though she Ds me on up the line cuts erry time.” - Georgia Egan Griffiths (Ellipsis)


“Georgia Egan-Griffiths (Ellipsis). I don’t often do much to prevent G from getting the disc, but gosh its a fun time matching up on her!” - Rachel Parsons (Rogue)



Assorted


“Eunice Cheung (Rogue) deserves a mention. She can run you into the ground and throw whatever she likes and still make you feel like you're her best friend. She has a heart of gold and will of steel.” - Dani Alexander (GWS Blaze)


“Most spirited - Bec Carman (GWS Blaze) is super awesome to be on the field with always. She plays super hard, but is also a calm and collected communicator.” - Georgia Egan Griffiths (Ellipsis)


“Wanted to shout out Ali Lim as a player to watch. She was huge for Kaos this year. She never stopped running or gave up on the disc, even at the end of their fourth game on the third day of natties.” - Bekah Ziegman (Fuse)


“Kelly Carter (Capital Punishment) deserves a mention. She got multiple run through blocks, she never looks phased as a handler, huge throws, breaks and grabs. She can rip apart a defense and Cat, G and Caro (Ellipsis) styles with a killer give go.” - Eva Weatherall (Capital Punishment)


“Best Pulls - Lyra Meehan's pulls were a nightmare in the wind frequently rolling out the back on the downwind side of the field. The Adelaide Dennis-Dani Alexander match up in the nationals final was so fun to watch. They're both so athletic and were damaging wherever they were.” - Clare Barcham (Factory)


"Best pulls - Dom Simpson. So much float. So much time to set up defence.” - Ash McInnes (Fuse)


“Best layout technique - Bella See” - Bec Carman (GWS Blaze)