UT paintball competed in its inaugural conference x-ball event this past Saturday at Paintball Central in Greensboro, NC. The venue was top-notch. The field was worthy of national competition, with a leveled turf playing surface, scoreboards in each pit, and an automated “towel” switch.
The schedule had UT set to battle Liberty, Virginia Tech, and Ohio. The first match against Liberty began dismally. Paint and gear issues hindered any momentum. The match resulted in a frustrating loss. The second match against Virginia Tech saw a revitalized Volunteer lineup. With previous technical issues resolved, the Vols went on a 7-0 run to start off the first half. Tennessee looked much stronger in this second match, and went on to secure a 10-3 victory over Virginia Tech.
The third and final match was against Ohio. Having rebounded in their second match, Tennessee was ready for what would be their most challenging match of the tournament. The Vols opened the match with a 3-0 run. Ohio fought back, bringing the score to 4-3 with timing running low. The next point went to Ohio, tying the score at 4-4. With 2:30 left in regulation, the buzzer sounded and the point began. UT eliminated an Ohio player early. With 1:00 left, it was a 3 vs. 2. The Vols made their push and eliminated the remaining 2 Ohio players. With just seconds remaining, the flag was sprinted in only to have time expire just feet from victory.
Overtime was set for a sudden-death 5:00 period. As the point began, UT lost 2 players almost immediately. Ohio pushed, and UT was not able to withstand their 3 vs 5 disadvantage. The point, and the match, would go to Ohio.
With the first event in the books, UT is looking forward to the next conference event. In early November, Cross-Eyed Paintball will host the second MACC conference event. GO VOLS!