Club team of the week: Women’s club ultimate Frisbee team

Bethany Blass, Sports Co-Editor

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Named after a 1970s classic by The Doors, the Peacefrogs are the only women’s club ultimate Frisbee team at the University. Despite non-varsity status, the dedicated team holds two to three practices a week, and tries to attend three or four weekend tournaments per semester. The club team is preparing for its journey to North Myrtle Beach, S.C. this spring to contend in the competitive three-day tournament.

“You don’t need to know anything to get involved with ultimate. ‘No experience necessary’ is basically our team’s motto. Very few people on our team came in knowing how to play ultimate or even how to properly throw a disc. You don’t need to be athletic, you don’t need to have played sports before, and you don’t need to be in shape. You need to be open to messing up and to learning new things and to having fun, because that is what our team is about,” co-captain Sarah Holler ’16 said.

Though not a very common sport, ultimate Frisbee combines the continuous athletic endurance necessary for ordinary soccer with the aerial passing techniques required for football. Two teams participate in the game intending to catch a pass of the disc in the opponent’s end zone. Drops, interceptions, boundaries, and holding the disc for over 10 seconds increase the game’s difficulty. Ultimate relies on the governance from the “Spirit of the Game,” in which the tradition of sportsmanship puts much of the accountability of fair play on the participating athletes.

The club team participated in the Division III College Championships: Women’s Division in 2010. In 2013, the team was named Sectionals Champions, which earned the club program a vied-for spot at regionals. Though many athletes have since graduated and recruiting has been a shaky process, Holler stays positive about the growing program.

“I choose to believe we are on the rebound, and this year, for the first time since 2013, we’re going to our annual spring break tournament in Myrtle Beach on our own,” Holler said.

“The best part about being on the team is being with a group of really awesome people who are very laid back,” co-captain Ashlynn Trimmer ’16 said. “The culture that Frisbee creates is so enjoyable, and it honestly helps me forget about a lot of the stressful things I have going on because the environment is just so comfortable and relaxed. I’ve also really enjoyed going to the tournaments that we have gone to, especially when we do mixed tournaments with the men’s team because it brings a new dynamic to the game.”

In preparation for the spring break tournament, the team focuses on conditioning during practice. Typically, practice style varies according to the season; weather permitting, practice in the fall is outside, and late spring calls for drills to work on throwing and specific offensive and defensive strategies. The women’s club team also scrimmages the University’s men’s club ultimate team, the Mudsharks, whenever it has the chance. Weekend tournaments allow the team to participate in three or four games—pool play on Saturday and bracket play on Sunday. The team’s excursions take them to other colleges in Pennsylvania or New Jersey for competitive play. Occasionally, the Peacefrogs and Mudsharks team up to represent the Bison in co-ed tournaments.

“My favorite part about being on the team has been the community. Though I love that I have a new sport to play to keep me active, it’s more important to me that I’m meeting new people and making solid friendships. Learning a new sport together, struggling through the hardships of such a small team, and attending tournaments makes us a close-knit group. More than that, though, I have never met a more welcoming group than the Ultimate community,” Holler said.

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