The 2016 NPGL Season started off with a bang last week as Coach Sarah and the San Francisco Fire defeated the LA Reign in the season opener. On Tuesday night the season continues with one of the most heated rivalries in GRID, as the Fire take on the Phoenix Rise (the team that knocked San Francisco out of the playoffs last year) in a Western Conference showdown.
The match will be streamed LIVE on GRID TV on Tuesday evening, Aug 23rd at 6pm PT, and then will be rebroadcast in primetime (after being edited and made fancy a la American Ninja Warrior) on NBC Sports Network starting in September. For all the details on how to watch the season's matches, including this one, click here to get the scoop from the NPGL.
As usual, the Gridmaster offered a prediction for Tuesday's SF vs PHX match and you can read the entire article here - most of the coverage is included below:
Two 1-0 teams are facing off in the Western Conference second match of the season: the Phoenix Rise, who tipped over the Miami Surge last week and the San Francisco Fire, who toppled the LA Reign. These two teams have a rivalry that goes back to the semifinals in 2014, and we expect a massive push-pull all through the match.
Ashley Gatewood, the rookie from San Francisco, made herself a valuable commodity right away in Week 1, with high-speed reps that brought the Fire back against LA in Race 1. Gatewood showed remarkable calm for a rookie and will be be a major asset to this team throughout the season.
On the men’s side, Gerald Sasser performed masterfully in all quadrants of the GRID against LA. Sasser unleashed big sets of butterfly muscle-ups in addition to moving the bar in Quadrant 4 a number of times. Sasser is a seasoned veteran with San Francisco and will be a big force against Phoenix.
For Phoenix, the story in their first match was Blaine McConnell. McConnell has stepped up in a big way while Danny Nichols has been working back up to full strength following some minor knee surgery in the offseason. McConnell turned in a near-perfect match against Miami in every single quadrant of the GRID. He brought the power during the Ladder, hit muscle-ups, rope climbs and Quadrant 4 barbells.
On the women’s side, both Bjork Odinsdottir and Valerie Calhoun will contribute quite a bit up and down the GRID on body-weight elements, and Jamie Hagiya and Jessica Phillips are both lined up to close. Add Emily Loeffler to that mix and the Rise women are among the tightest closing team in the league.
Races to Watch
Without a doubt, the Mirror will start the fireworks. Partner Forward, Race 1, can go either way and these two teams are so good that it simply will be a matter of who is faster. But the Mirror, with heavy thrusters, will bring both teams to the brink of exhaustion early. Although this race will be quick, the power output required is major. Both teams have strong athletes and understand transitions, so the winner is the team that makes every quadrant unbroken without a failed rep. This race will be exciting.
I like Phoenix to win all three points on the Ladder. This team leans heavy, and both the women and the men — including some of the men you wouldn't necessarily expect to move a ton of weight — will. While the Fire have Adam Cantrell, Cam Pernich and Ian Daniel, the Phoenix women should push the overall total, as well as the women’s total, into the Rise column for a sweep here.
Jack and Jill leans a bit toward San Francisco — deficit handstand push-ups into 10” deficit handstand push-ups into freestanding handstand push-ups favors the team that has body-weight dynamos. When you watch the Fire’s Jolaine Undershute, Courtney Walker, and Eric Cardona — especially on the final element — the speed is hard to beat. On the Phoenix side, Calhoun, Odinsdottir and Marcus Filly will run hard to keep up. Calhoun is also fast, and the lead could trade hands a few times, but Cardona will head for the 10 freestanding handstand push-ups and will be hard to beat.
The nine burpees to 10-foot rings in Race 11 will be Bryan Miller’s domain. Quite frankly, I am not sure the Fire have an athlete who can match speed with Miller. Once Miller hits those rings, Danny Nichols will trot out and clean up the nine clean and jerks for the win.
San Francisco shellacked LA but may be experiencing a false sense of security. They were not challenged in that match, and Phoenix is firing on all cylinders. I predict the Rise will clinch a postseason match with a win, putting San Francisco in a must-win situation against Miami later in the week.
Will Sarah and the San Francisco Fire be able to avenge their 2015 playoff loss to Phoenix? We'll find out on Tuesday night!
WOD for 08-23-16:
Repeat your loading from 08-15-16 or add 2-4%
Kettlebell Swings @ 70/53 lbs