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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Stickey Tongued Frogs advance to Nationals

For the second consecutive year, the Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team made it to Nationals. This year, team Co-Captain Sarah Ervin ’11 has high hopes.

“I’m really optimistic. I think we’re in an awesome position because we have improved exponentially as a team this year, both as individual players and how we work together as a team,” she said.

Ervin emphasized the benefit of most team members remaining on the team for their entire time at Grinnell.

“We have a very large and educated senior class which I think it definitely part of [our success],” Ervin said. “Also, we have grown so much as a team over these past four years and I think that has a lot to do with the [senior] class. And additionally, the juniors this year have just being so dedicated, and have spent so much time learning about the sport.”

Paige Hill ’12 describes how much more goal oriented the team has become.

“Originally, our goal for the season was to qualify for Regionals, so I think at this point we are all prepared to go [to Nationals], enjoy ourselves and play really competitively. We are not going to go say we must win Nationals. However, I think we have a really good shot at it. I wouldn’t be surprised if we won, but it’s not something we are basing our success off of right now,” Hill said.

Basically, regardless of how well the team does at Nationals, they will be happy.

“If we go and we play our best and we lose every game, we still achieved our goal and played our best while doing it,” Hill said. “I think that would have been a lot harder to say if we played our best and hadn’t made Regionals, because we made it a goal all season. I think in the back of our minds we are thinking we could win, because we’ve been training really hard.”

Hill described how much these new goals have changed the team’s mentality, not only in improving their seed, but in creating a more successful approach to games.

“We really started believing that we could go to a National Championship, and do good there. We started thinking of ourselves as a much more competitive team. I think a lot of it has to do with, when you think of yourself as a team that is losing but can win you start to approach things differently. You organize your practices differently, you approach tournaments with a different mentality,” Hill said.

When describing how this season has compared to other seasons Ervin pointed out how much the team has committed to always improving.

“I think one thing that been really noticeable about this season is the incredible amount of improvement we’ve had over the year,” Ervin said. “We have a lot of first years that don’t come from an athletic background, but who have worked so hard to figure out the general aspects of the game and have come to almost every tournament performing well.”

There’s been more than just physical improvement this year.

“Technically, we’ve also played way smarter this year. There are just more people on the team who know more about ultimate strategy than in any other year and this has made a huge difference. It has helped us really outsmart a lot of opponents this year,” Ervin said.

Division III Ultimate Nationals will take place in Buffalo, New York during the weekend of May 20.

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