The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Grinnellephants fall at Regionals

Over the weekend of April 26-27, the men’s ultimate frisbee team, the Grinnellephants, traveled to Harland, Wis. to play in the North Central Division III College Men’s Regionals. The Grinnellephants finished in fifth place after playing seven games and was eliminated in the semifinals. The last time the Grinnellephants made it past Regionals was in 2011. 

On Saturday, April 26, the team played against Loras College (winning 13-8), University of Wisconsin, Parkside (winning 12-10), University of St. Thomas (losing 11-7) and St. Olaf College (losing 11-6). The Grinnellephants finished their Saturday’s competitions as the number two seed.

“Going into regionals, we definitely knew we had an uphill battle,” said co-captain Benyamin Elias ’15. “We thought we had prepared things pretty effectively. We knew we had a strong defense. And we thought that we had a strong offensive line as well. These things turned to be mostly true. Defense was generally effective, able to get multiple turnovers in every point. Defense and offense is better than [they have] ever been.”

On Sunday, April 27, the team played against Carleton College’s Division III ultimate team GOP “Gods of Plastic” (losing 15-10) and University of Wisconsin, Parkside (losing 11-8). University of St. Thomas forfeited its match, giving Grinnell a victory.

 Co-captain Evan Ma ’14 felt that the team went into its Regionals competition with an effective game plan.

“One of the things that we stressed in practice to focus on things that we could control,” he said. “It’s the little things that count. With two weeks left in the season, it’s not like we could revamp our strategy.” 

Weather is an unpredictable factor in ultimate games, and it turned out to be the case last weekend.

“In those types of games, it’s really up to who gets that first upwind break when they’re on defense,” said co-captain Eric Streed ’14.

Along with a strong wind that hindered the team’s play, Elias also cited a weak offensive line.

“Offensive struggled against the other team’s defense. We kind of relapsed in to the old ways we used to do things, which was less effective,” Elias explained. “On Sunday, we only scored one point going upwind. Our zone defense was not that effective for most of Sunday because we were going up against 30 mph upwind.”

Elias applauded their offensive line for Saturday’s gameplay as areas where they felt they did strongly in. 

“Offense was really good on Saturday. They had some great points. You want your offense line to never get scored on. So our offensive line did a pretty good job on Saturday,” Elias said.

Ma saw the Saturday’s game against University of Wisconsin, Parkside’s team as their strongest performance over the weekend, crediting their sideline players for pushing their on-field players.

“Emotionally and strategically, they were really able to help us a lot with communication,” Ma said. “I think that’s our greatest success in that game.” 

Elias was generally proud of the entire season, emphasizing that the team was able to make improvements from tournament to tournament.

“Our first tournament struggled a bit because we were losing a lot in was that we thought we shouldn’t have been losing in,” Elias said.

To improve their game for next year, the team will be emphasizing their fundamental throwing and catching skills.

“We’re going to emphasize fundamental skills a little more. Some of our turnovers came from easy drops. There are ways we can practice catching under pressure,” Elias said.

Elias believes that next year’s team will continue to be strong next year, with only a few seniors graduating.

“A large part of making the team better is that we are only graduating five seniors, one of which who didn’t play at regionals,” Elias said. “We return almost everyone. We brought nine first years to Regionals, and of those nine, six saw a lot of playing time. With more experience [and] better throws, they can really step up big for this team.”

Ma, one of the seniors leaving after this year, echoed Elias’ praise for their younger players.

“Younger, more inexperienced players brought it on defense in terms of intensity and focus,” he said. “They showed a lot of composure that I didn’t think we really have really seen on that level. I think that is indicative that future is bright for the team.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *