Saturday, March 24, 2012

Palmetto Regional

This week The Hitchhikers, team 2059, competed at the Palmetto Regional. This is our first year doing two regionals and our first regional outside of North Carolina.

I didn't get to the event until Thursday afternoon because I had class and when I got there we were going out for our 2nd practice match of the day. I would have liked to have done more, but I guess we can save that for NC. We didn't get inspected til late on Thursday and our bridge arm wasn't fully finished but looking at our match schedule I felt good about Friday.

Friday started as Thursday ended, with us working on our bridge arm. We lost each of our first two matches, one of which was totally our fault. The other alliance didn't score any balls and we gave them enough points to win because we drew a technically foul when we contacted the opponents bridge. I wasn't to happy about it but the afternoon made up for it. We won our third match and then lost our fourth to go into lunch 1-3. Everything changed after lunch when we rattled off 4 wins in a row including our first double balance. We finished the day 15th even though we didn't get a single coopertition point which I was a little frustrated with because our alliance attempted in 5 of the 8 matches. Overall it was a great day, we got the bridge arm working, and a bunch of students were complaining that nothing needed to be done on the robot (not a bad thing).

Friday night we had a great scouting meeting with our scouters, who did a fantastic job throughout the event. It was just like a Krunch meeting and I felt really good with the list we were able to come up with.

Saturday we had three more matches and in each of them we were able to get coop points, the last two with us balancing. Unfortunately we went 1-2 and finished 15th. We were selected by the 2nd seeded alliance 2640, The Hotbotz from Reidsville, NC, after they picked 1319 who declined. With out 2nd pick we choose  281, EnTech Greenvillains from Greenville, SC.

Our first match we worked pretty well and were able to win 34 to 19. Throughout eliminations our hybrid was off and I think we only got 1 or 2 in during the 8 matches. Regardless we balanced in 7 of the 8 matches and that was instrumental in our winning. QF 3-2 was our first lose and the only problem we had during elims, the pwn for the bottom roller came out so we couldn't pick up for about half of the match. Also during this match 281 was dead because they switched there computer it wasn't working. The third match is when things started going crazy. The ball score was 6 to 5 and then both alliances balanced two robots which made the final score 26 to 25 for us. It was really nerve racking winning a deciding match by one point and I know I gave at least one webcast viewer another heart attack. The match wasn't even the craziest part. 281's shooter broke during the match and they were unsure if they could fix it. We had to call our timeout and when they couldn't fix it we had to call in a backup robot, 2815, Los Pollos Locos from Columbia, SC. During quarterfinals I was pretty calm but everything that happened between quarters and semis just blew that away. I definitely think all of that had an effect on SF 2-1 which we lost by 7. It also didn't help that 2815's radio was unplugged for most of the match. We rallied back to win the next two semis with identical 40 point scores. In finals we were up against that 8th seeded alliance and during the two matches 2815 came up huge. Their ability to quickly score twos while us and 2640 balanced helped to push to a seven point 48-41 win in finals 1. Finals 2 us as well as 2815 scored and then we balanced with 2640. As we were balancing the red alliance was also attempting a balance and just after we got our they flipped a robot and it was over. We started celebrating with 30 seconds left in the match and continued after the buzzer.

It was such an awesome site seeing us win a regional I can't even describe it. I was barely able to keep it together in the aftermath of the finals and winning is so awesome. For the rest of the members and well as the students I don't even want to think about it. For most of them this was there first event and it was also the first time 2059 had made eliminations so the rush for them must have been amazing.

I know this post is getting long but I just have a couple of notes as well as some thank yous left.

In addition to Regional Winner we also won the Spirit Award for our Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy theme as well our full adoption of our new primary color, orange. As they were reading the award once we figured out it was us I looked at our lead mentor and was like "seriously". I knew we were orange and spirited but it wasn't even something I thought we would be in the running for.

As for my coaching, with our 12-7 record I moved to 30-17-1 in four events with two wins and two missed elims. I guess when I coach its all or nothing and this time we got all of it.

A big thanks to 2640 for picking us. There we some many good robots in the field I was stunned when they called with the 2nd pick. Your auto was consistent and deadly and never had any problems on the bridge.

281, its too bad you guys couldn't make it all the way through but you were good while you were with us. I hope you guys get everything worked out for North Carolina in two week and congrats on the well deserved Chairman's.

2815, man were we lucky you guys were the top backup bot. Your two point scoring kept us in matches and was instrumental to our victory. I'm glad you guys get to go to St. Louis and that you became the first team to win back-to-back Palmetto regionals.

And finally to all of the students, you guys built a great robot and kept it working throughout the event was crucial.

Both of our other mentor came up to me after and thanked me for everything I've done for the team and that made me feel really amazing.

See everyone in two weeks at NC and then in St. Louis!!

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