Friday, March 8, 2013

Lutes cause trouble in Vegas

Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team wins tournament, men finish fifth
by Cassady Coulter, Guest Writer
Pacific Lutheran Ultimate Frisbee took Vegas by storm last weekend. The men and women of PLU Reign traveled to the two-day tournament "Trouble in Vegas" on Saturday and Sunday. With a combined record of 13 wins and one loss for the weekend, the women won their bracket and the men finished fifth.
Draped in sparkle clothing and visors, the women’s team stepped onto the field complex bright and early on Saturday morning, unsure of what to expect from the tournament.
The women’s bracket contained 14 other teams from across the country, with Lewis and Clark being the only friendly faces from the Northwest Conference in the women’s division.
The men’s bracket contained 26 other competitors from all over the country, several of which they competed against at the tournament in Riverside, Calif. in February.
Day one started on a high note for both teams. The PLU men’s team began the day facing off with Cal Poly-Pomona. The men won their first two games decisively with scores of 13-9 and 13-4.
The women started off the day with two crushing wins against the University of Nevada-Reno and the University of California-San Diego both by a score of 13-0.
Both PLU Reign teams finished their opening day with two more wins, ending Saturday with a 4-0 record.
Sunny skies and 72 degree heat proved to be a nice change of pace for a tournament in early March. However, day two brought some unexpected high winds of up to 30 mph.
At the edge of the Silver Bowl Field Complex, the wind overturned a Honey Bucket and a tumbleweed blew across a stretch of two fields. Wind carried unsuccessful throws sideways and across four or five fields.
Despite a disappointing loss to the Canadian U-23 national team, the men’s Reign team wasn’t discouraged. They turned around and won two more games despite the windy conditions.
The women’s team earned two hard-fought wins early in the day as well. The wind proved to be even more difficult as the day went on, sending discs flying in all directions.
The women’s team played its seventh and final game against a team from Ottawa, Canada. Channeling all of their final energy into the last game, the PLU women wrapped up the weekend with a decisive win with a final score of 12-4.
Claiming first place at "Trouble in Vegas" was the first national tournament win for the PLU women’s team since winning the national championship at the D-III Nationals in 2010.
After an incredibly successful weekend for all of PLU Reign, both team’s goals have solidified further to take another stab at D-III Nationals in Milwaukee, Wisc.
Fundraising efforts in the spring will be a deciding factor for the women’s team plans for Nationals. However, the men’s Reign team has high hopes for their trip to Wisconsin and anticipates a successful outcome.
With Nationals a little ways in the distance, both teams are highly anticipating their home tournament that will be hosted on PLU’s campus for the first time this year.
Keep an eye out for Frisbee players swarming the PLU campus tomorrow and Sunday for the PLU men’s barbeque and on March 16-17 for the PLU women’s barbeque.

*Editor’s note: Coulter is a member of the Ultimate Frisbee team.