“Outlined against a [sunny] blue [April] sky the Four Horsemen rode again. In dramatic lore they are known as famine, pestilence, destruction and death. These are only aliases. Their real names are: [Hsia, Hittson, Harris, and Henkels].”
This Grantland Rice paraphrase springs to mind in light of the University of Chicago’s women’s Ultimate Frisbee team’s trip to South Bend, IN, to face the Fighting Irish and a slew of other club teams at the Central Plains College Women’s Ultimate Frisbee Sectionals last weekend.
After a winter quarter of indoor training and a trip to Vegas, the team, Supersnatch, was ready to get some outdoor playing under their belt.
The women entered the sectionals tournament with a tenth place seed and needed to emerge in the top eight to proceed to regionals. Not only did they succeed at this but they grabbed a sixth-place finish after a tiring two days of play.
On Saturday, Supersnatch dominated in all three of their games. Despite battling the sun and the wind, the team delivered wins against Illinois, UIC, and Loyola. Each game is played up to 11 points, with a cap at 75 minutes; the cap had to come into play in some of the games because of the ferocity of the wind.
Third-year cutter Skyla Lambeth speaks to the ability of the team to adjust to the windy weather: “You have to be very patient and very conservative with your throws,” she explained.
“We also did a great job on defense,” Lambeth continued. “We stopped a lot of [our opponents’ ] throws.”
The success of the defense came from Supersnatch’s ability to adjust their playing due to the wind.
“On defense we worked in zones [as opposed to man-on-man] on Saturday,” second-year cutter Shola Farber said. “It becomes really hard to deal with the Frisbee getting sent all over by the wind when you are guarding individuals.”
Clearly it worked to their advantage as they crushed their opponents, and by the end of Saturday the team knew they were going to regionals.
Their success can be attributed to their smart plays and the leadership of third-year captains Terra Hitson and Ali Harris, and graduate student Maureen “Momo” Hsia. Third-year Alex Krueger also contributed to several of the points scored.
The team struggled a bit in Sunday’s competitions after the long day on Saturday. Supersnatch lost three games to Valparaiso, Notre Dame, and Illinois State. But they came back for one final win against Illinois before returning back to Chicago.
“The games that we had the second day were higher seeded,” Hsia explained. “Girls were also tired the second day—it’s a mental thing at that point.”
But she also took a moment to acknowledge the team’s performance. “I’m just really proud of how we did,” Hsia said. “We lost a lot of seniors last year so [qualifying for regionals again] was great.”
The regionals competition, held in Bloomington, IN, is coming up in just two weeks.
“We’re going to be facing a lot of tough teams,” Hsia said, “so our goal is going to be to have a really great defense.”