Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Team Heads to Regionals

Ariel Lewis, Staff Writer

The women’s ultimate frisbee team, the Preying Manti, put in a strong showing during the Ohio Conference Championships at Ohio Northern University on April 16 and 17 —beating rival College of Wooster 12–5 and finishing third overall in the U.S.A. Ultimate Frisbee Division III Ohio Valley Conference. The Manti’s overall points on the weekend advanced them to compete at the regional level in the coming weeks.

The team opened its season with indoor scrimmages against Wooster and Kenyon College followed by tournaments in St. Louis and Atlanta. Over spring break, the Manti trained on the beaches of North Carolina and were awarded the “Largest Community Team” award for their participation in a 5k run for breast cancer research.

Senior co-captain Catherine Durkin remained positive about the early-season results. “We haven’t won many games this season but have had a lot of close games — lost by one or two points,” she said. “Points and point differentials really matter for Frisbee [in terms of rankings and moving on in the season] and even though we didn’t win the majority of our games at Conference this past weekend we scored a lot of points, which helped us move on to Regionals. Additionally, we played Wooster this past weekend during conferences and beat them. It was a great game to win for our own confidence and set the tone for the rest of the tournament.”

Ultimate tournaments typically consist of two days of competition. During Conferences this past weekend, four games of pool play were scheduled for Saturday with around three games for bracket play on Sunday. Unfortunately, Saturday’s match-ups were cancelled after one game when a player had to be rushed to the hospital for hypothermia induced by the windy and rainy weather. Games resumed on Sunday though, which meant the Manti had to play five games in winds approaching 40 miles per hour.

“It [playing in the wind] can be fun, “ said senior Marisa Ishimatsu. “The winds on Sunday were the strongest I’ve ever played in, but we rose to the challenge beautifully.”

They played well despite the weather, but ended up losing all of their games in close fashion to Ohio Wesleyan University, Kenyon and Ohio Northern by scores of 9–7, 10–4 and 7–5 respectively. With Denison University withdrawing from the tournament, Oberlin finished the weekend with an overall record of 2–5.

As would be expected, the windy weather wreaked havoc on the Manti’s game plan.

“The weather has definitely been a challenge,” said senior co-captain Elizabeth Dalley. “All of our tournaments this spring have been either freezing cold, super muddy, raining and/or have a lot of wind. Most of Sunday was extremely windy. Picture the Frisbee flying 40 feet in the air and then being pulled away from the field, landing far out of bounds: That was what every point was like during our games on Sunday. Every member of the team played well this past weekend and it was great to see the culmination of the season in such challenging conditions.”

Last year’s team qualified to compete in the Division III National Tournament and this year’s Manti roster looks poised to do the same. The team heads to tournament in Manheim, PA, on May 7–8 to compete against qualifying Division III schools from Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. A strong result at Manheim would see the Manti vying for a national crown yet again. Win or lose, the team maintains a positive outlook.

“There’s still a lot of things for us to work on as a team,” said Dalley. “In the future we hope to [bring] in more skilled Frisbee players and possibly find a way to acquire a coach. As the course of Ultimate Frisbee changes over the next years — we have already seen it becoming more competitive and serious — I hope that the Manti continue being one of the most spirited teams I’ve ever seen.” “

We sing to our opponents at the end of every game and still wear sparkly, fun skirts. I think that there is still so much further for us to go and I am excited to see where the future will lead us!”