Sunday, October 28, 2012

Club Nationals 2012

Well, life is interesting! Who knew that College Nationals last May wouldn't be my only trip to the big show this year? Two years ago I helped start a coed team with my then-boyfriend. We grabbed some of our favorite frisbee friends, won a few tournaments, won the Section, then fell short Sunday at Regionals due to lack of numbers and fitness.

This season the returning members of the team buckled down, had tryouts, flew to a tournament, and decided to push fitness for everyone. We took a larger roster, had a few minicamp weekends and ended up winning the Region after multiple universe point wins. It was nuts. Colorado put up a good fight. But we wanted it more.

We showed up to Nationals as the 16th seed. We finished 5th. And we got to watch a team win in the finals that we had been beating the entire game when we had our shot at them until we managed to blow our lead. Crazy! Mixed this year was wide open. And our "Cinderella story," as some are calling it now, only shows that you can make something from nothing if you have the right chemistry.

Play frisbee with your friends. Play frisbee because you love it. Play to fight for that W.

Coed Ultimate is not for everyone. But when you find that right group of crazy mobsters to play with.. just go with it. Imagine where it might take you.

And if you want to play great ultimate move to Austin, Texas. It's in the water. It's in our blood.

I got my ankle crushed during a game at Heavyweights and two months later still haven't recovered. As amazing (completely awesome) as Nationals was this weekend was, I would have loved to play healthy. Guess it means it ain't over yet. I want to get back there, play my heart out, and leave it all on the field (without risking my leg).

As of now, the plan is to move to Hawaii toward the end of this coming summer. I don't know where the road will take me, but I know that I'm not done with what I helped start.

'Til next time Nationals

- Libs

ps This community of elite ultimate is just outrageous. I couldn't fathom knowing a more entertaining and talented group of people.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

NATTIES 2012 & the end of an era

OH MAN. I cannot and will not believe that collegiate ultimate is over.. a reality I will avoid for a long time I imagine. :'( I think that means I officially have time back to do things- like study? WEIRD! 

Nationals! I ended up cancelling my flight and driving there and back with the team, which was a great choice because it yielded more team bonding time (and leaves me with a plane ticket for Chicago Heavyweights at the end of the summer to support Tool/Without Limits and ball it up with my coed team)

Getting out there was actually a painless trip and a teammate's family put us all up for a night in order to break the trip into two parts. Whoo!

We got in Wednesday evening and relaxed in the hotel, which was nice and certainly cost more than my BARGAIN hotels at 30something a night for nationals two years ago #yolo

Thursday we had our scheduled practice 11-2 where we got the surprise pleasure of sharing the field with the Wisconsin boys who went on to the finals. Spent the rest of the day eating and hanging out together. Team meeting to get us all pumped and on the same page for the first day of play.

Friday morning we got to "sleep in" with a first round bye but scheduled a long warmup for our game against Sonoma State. They were the three seed in our pool of five, and we hadn't seen them since our close loss to them at the end of Pres Day this season. We came out a bit strange, but it ended up being enough for an ultimate point win. A bit too close for comfort, and we knew we needed to work out some kinks. Then, we saw Wisconsin. Wisconsin was going to be interesting because we had played and beaten them twice at Music City but the games were always close and competitive (their athletes are a good matchup for ours) and we were hoping that third time wouldn't be the charm for them. Unfortunately, our inability to capitalize on our multiple shots at the final score resulted in a loss in ultimate point. Left the fields feeling pumped but feeling the pressure. We needed to step it up for Saturday play. I personally had a couple layout d's and scores and was feeling very happy with my ability to push myself individually to lay it all out there. My teammates made some FANTASTIC plays and we felt generally positive about what was to come. Saturday would mean EVERYTHING. Do or die.

And step it up we DID. Oh man, we came out FIRED UP for our game against Oregon. We got up 7-1 in the first half, then traded points in the second for a final score of 15-10. We adjusted to their offense and our suffocating d COULD NOT BE STOPPED. I hadn't seen us play like that on d.. maybe ever. Our offense also found itself again, having worked out the misconnections that hurt us on Friday. Then, we knew we also HAD to beat Ohio State to stay in the running to finals. We came out strong against them too and after a significant lead at half they probably allowed themselves to start mentally preparing for their pre-quarters game soon to follow and gave us a significant point diff to be proud of. Going from maybe not continuing on to WINNING THE POOL AND OVERTAKING THE ONE SEED felt great :) But we knew it wasn't enough, we had to want more more more.

Sunday we had an early game against Washington, who showed up ready to work their cup in the windy weather. Capitalizing on our turns in our 1/3 of the field and our mis-catches allowed them the all-important win into semis. As sad as it was, having played my personal best and knowing that we came and did what we wanted to do I have NO REGRETS about how the tournament went. It helped that they went on to have a significant win over Oregon in the finals too! I pretend that means we're the second best team in the country. I also like to think we are the MOST amazing group of women I've ever met.

This team has come to mean so much more than I could ever have known. More than my elite soccer team, more than my ridiculously talented cross country team even.. ultimate becomes a part of you that no other sport could touch. I will NEVER forget these five amazing years. I will never forget the women that have changed my life. This sport does things for people that I argue no other can. The relationships you build are indescribable. I will be so sad to not call myself a collegiate ultimate player anymore, but I know what great things are to come for the team! I cried some but mainly just for the end of the era and feeling happy we did what we wanted to. Not because I was sad with the result. Melee 2011-2012 met all their goals. And that leaves you feeling pretty darn satisfied.

5th place finish at nationals. Second best finish in the team's history since the Cara/Tina era of greatness. I think that this was a FANTASTIC season and in the end I actually wouldn't change anything. Though I would suggest using all five years of eligibility if you can :) Grad school people.

Melee Love continues, with or without me. And rumor has it I'm coaching the B team next year.. 

other comments-
Fun seeing the teams we'd been facing off against all year. Mad respect to UNC, Iowa State, etc. for their efforts this season! Bizarre to not see UCSB there. Same with UCF (who we did end up seeing on the sidelines!) Nice running into Christy from Kansas, etc. In the end, WashU really is a strong team and I wish them luck next season!

I'd also like to tell Michigan that we really thought they were another very athletic team. I think seeing them in the finals would have been MAXIMALLY entertaining for everyone due to the speed that would be on display. 

At the start of the season the ONLY team I saw play and thought I saw going all the way to the finals was Washington. And, though honestly not the clearly dominant force based on the Nationals games outcomes (everyone had a loss), Washington had a great season start to finish. Congrats Element!

I guess I can continue to keep this blog post-Melee. I may need a little break though to re-group and find my new voice without my team of ladies behind me. 

Club season begins. Start your engines. 




Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Nationals Bound

Well, a very intense and tiring weekend at Regionals is over. And the close of the spring semester is upon us. The timing may have been terrible with school but everything came together just the way Melee would have wanted.

We went 4-1 in pool play on Saturday. We came out hard against Rice, but couldn't pull it off in the game against WashU losing by 3? I got injured during the first half of the game and between dealing with that/talking to the trainer can't say much about specifics from what I saw during the second half our defense just wasn't on the way it normally is. We managed to re-group and wins over CSU and SLU put us back where we wanted to be.

We knew this would mean Kansas in the morning. Playing them was a good time, and their captain Christy is one of my favorite women in the sport- athletic, knows the game, a great leader for her team and fun as all get out. That meant advancing to semis for a sectionals re-match against A&M. Those girls had put in a good weekend with such low numbers and big huck completions kept them in it for a while, but we finished 15-10. On to the finals

Colorado College lost to WashU in ultimate point on their side of the bracket, so, we geared up for an intense game. Going in to the 8th game of the weekend Melee pounded some Redbull (not me, yuck) and got our sideline energy pumped up for what became one of the most dramatic and memorable games of my collegiate career. From the sideline (injured, remember) I saw a lot of great things and some raw athleticism on both sides. WashU's fourth-year stud athlete ran down one of the zippiest hucks I've ever seen for a score and looked straight up like a cartoon character kicking up dirt at a dead sprint. Slevinn and Sharon's huge grabs were so clutch during the finals, and Melee took care of business in the end (despite some errors that gave up our early lead, then got us down towards the end of the game) score a couple of breaks to win it 15-14. The crowd was SO supportive of us and that, in the end, may have been the difference. We were so pumped. Honestly, I was sobbing. It was a great way to end the last regionals, and I got together with the 7 other Melee-ers finishing this semester and celebrated. 

Looking ahead to Boulder- we've got a couple of weeks to train, and work out the kinks (red zone conversion people), but once school ends we will be able to focus a little more easily- though scheduling gets a bit crazy when times of practices and all that change. My flight's been booked. I'm ready to roll. Shout out to all the other teams that qualified and can't wait to see who else will be joining us after this weekend! Most of us are still shocked UCSB won't be there- mad respect. I hope Melee can do some damage and have an amazing time. 

School-focused for a bit until then. Eager and excited, but it's a lot easier knowing we're going :) See you in Colorado! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Wow. So Sectionals came and went- quick as that. Sectionals champs once again :) And it feels good to be back there. That being said, we have a lot we need to take away from this weekend

-close games happen to all teams. looking at the other sectionals results I'm seeing that almost across the board. Cal, Iowa State, etc. 
-you can learn from those situations. In our case, I would say we need to remember and IMPLEMENT playing at our level at all times and valuing every team. you can't take for granted that you're going to win. It still takes work, whether you're the best or not.
-focusing on your personal game is important. I am proud of how I played at Sectionals, despite the things going wrong as a team unit. It was great that my parents got to come watch me play for the last time in my collegiate career.
-When you see mistakes/errors happening take the time to PICK YOUR TEAMMATES UP. You don't want to be that person bringing the energy or vibe of your team down. Take the time to tell someone whose head is hanging what you liked about their last point on the field- and be GENUINE. 
-be a better sideline. Everyone. Always. Can improve this.

So, Melee definitely, undoubtedly did not play our best ultimate at Sectionals. We went to ultimate point against UNT who (thanks to coach Paul who hails from Iowa) played as a TEAM for the first time ever in the series. Yes, they've played in the series before but true kudos to them for actually coming together. Their work ethic improvement showed. Then, got to play our B team in what was a REALLY FUN game and seeing their improvement was a pleasure. Then, Texas State. So, finals next day. Played A&M. Their (fabulously talented) captain Meredith (you may know her from Showdown) took the game off (after beating Rice in ultimate point at the end of Saturday) to rest up for Regionals. Though they put up a good fight, 14-9 final score (after a 10 minute or so ordeal where my teammate ran head first in to a METAL SOCCER GOAL. DUMB. we need true ULTIMATE FIELDS. no line painting. just made for that purpose. hah I can dream. She is alive and well, sans concussion and going to rock a harry potter-esque scar from her 32 stitches).

Not peaking at Sectionals is a good thing. But we are going to have to play our game every game ALL WEEKEND at Regionals. Winning the pool in order to have the more desirable format Sunday would be ideal. However, I truly believe we can beat every team at the tournament. We just have to focus. From what I've seen, when/if we have poorer games it is NEVER something the other team is doing. And that fact alone is why I think we could do major damage at Nationals this year. Because there isn't a team out there that can stop us when we're playing our best. It's just a matter of making sure we are strong enough to keep it together ourselves. And those other top contenders out there are the same way. The mental game is the name of the game for Women's Ultimate 2012.

I have two weeks until my last assignment for grad school is due this semester. But worst case scenario my college career ends in four days. That is insane. We have to go out with a bang. And no regrets. Melee Love!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Going in to the Series

Well, it's mid-April and in one week Sectionals will be ending. Then we will be one week from REGIONALS. The weekend that determines it all. Wow.

Looking back on five years of college ultimate.. is pretty crazy to think about. All the people I met and fell in love with that I would never have known if it weren't for this sport. All the places I got to go that I wouldn't have seen otherwise. There are so many things that Ultimate opened me up to that cross country, elite soccer, and the other sports in my past would never have been able to.

I try to imagine next year.. writing my thesis and finishing grad school without playing college ultimate. It's the weirdest feeling to imagine having those 15 or so hours a week (with travel weekends averaged in there) back and using it for something else. And it's bizarre! I almost don't know what I will feel next year. These girls have become my best friends. Obviously.

The part where I know that everyone moves on.. people move out of state, etc. It makes it easier. Knowing I will be in Austin one final year is nice because I can still be supportive and involved and help out a lot (especially if the team wants me around :)) will make that transition just a little bit easier.

Since I'm so future-oriented: looking ahead I think Ultimate will always be with me. I want to do my fellowship in an area with a decent frisbee scene (Colorado? North Carolina?) and good club options for me. I think, though Melee is on the national level, some of the girls were not meant to always play frisbee. You see it every year- some of the seniors continue on and others walk away. I think I can safely say I will be playing several years from now (as long as my old-lady body lets me), and coaching younger players and helping increase opportunities for women's ultimate are two things very close to my heart. I can't wait to see how frisbee (especially women's) will grow in the next decade. 

In two weeks I will know if I get an extra month of college ultimate. Fingers crossed. I've had some heartbreaker endings to seasons and at the end of last year I just told myself "I want to walk away from my last game at regionals knowing that was the best we could have done and that there's nothing I would change." Let's hope that holds true. Melee can do this. Together.

Frisbee Love- Libs

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Whoops. Must have dropped the ball on blogging about Nashville.. but on to the next

CENTEX! Wow. So pool play we saw UCF (won in universe), UCLA (lost in universe) then UNC (who won out.. we were all in our own heads during that game sheesh). Appreciated all the sideline love and just sorry we didn't gel better Saturday. Didn't have to play the crossover D2 game.

SUNDAY (today) was magical. We had a rough start this morning, not quite awake enough to beat UCSB (13-11) at 8:15 am. When we were on, we were on- and our offense looked worlds better than Saturday. We were happy to find out they ended up in the finals.. if someone had to knock us out they sure as heck better make it count

Then we saw Colorado College- happy to see someone else from the region (I see that Wash U and A&M, despite some losses won out after their morning games too). Beat them solidly. Enjoyed their positive energy, and I found their coach particularly pleasant.

Then, Carleton College. Our old pals from Pres Day! They're an aggressive, fit team but we had the energy and the chemistry and had another sold win there by a few. Our coaches don't keep us too informed on the score. I enjoyed my matchup on one of their captains and another handler in particular. Lots of calls, but generally spirited.

Finally, Stanford! It's been years since I've played Stanford but I thought they were a pretty fit team. We were on again though and finished 13-9 over them after easing off our intensity some after being up 8-4 at half. 

Moral of the story- a LOT of the elite teams are in it. No one is a lock for finals at nationals. I maintain a lot can happen between now and the end of May. Melee's in agreement we have not peaked. I can't wait to see what we're capable of. We've got our regionals flights booked and I'm hoping for Boulder baby. 

I housed UCF this weekend.. hadn't seen them since losing to them at CCC in the fall but they're a sweet team with a love of ultimate.

Got to see my buddy Christy from Kansas and enjoyed their Centex dance (among others) during Danceoff. 

Gaps & the Iowa State ladies found themselves our Centex champs! We will see what changes in the coming weeks but I think they're another highly athletic team.

Fitness and drive are two of the big factors common amongst the majority of the top 12 or so teams in it in my mind right now. The women's division is wide open. Therefore, it's ours for the taking if we work for it :) 

Sad to see my last Centex come and go. Our Centex Board dinner tonight was delicious and I can't wait to take on a bigger admin/day-of role post-eligibility alongside Michelle next year- shoutout to TOOL. i love her. you love her. she's changing women's ultimate as we know it


Monday, February 20, 2012


Three days in California with great weather (as opposed to all the UT chums at mardi gras over the weekend).. wow is all i can say. 

We were missing alexe this weekend with an ear infection and amy made the trip out there sat-sun but we really had a fantastic weekend, despite missing Tina the whole time!

We went 3-1 saturday. beating Humboldt, Claremont and UCLA then losing to UCSB. Red zone conversion and de-line offense was the name of that game and we've got a lot to improve on but what we saw was so promising! Hannah was out with a concussion and I pulled my hamstring.
Sunday we went 2-1 beating UCSD and Colorado with a good point diff. losing 11-12 to Sonoma. I wasn't concussed but sat out a while so can't say much about the middle of the game, but we finished strong and know what we need to work on.
Monday (today) we beat Humboldt again first thing then went 12-9 over Carleton (after they got a forfit in to our game). It was awesome! 7-2 finish on the weekend. A lot of amazing plays by everyone and a lot of things we know we can improve on :)

This weekend made me appreciate my health.. antibiotics kicked in and new inhaler worked wonders. I am looking forward to playing my next tournament NOT after having to go a week without cardio.

Melee. Is love. And this weekend was mindblowing to witness. Five years in the program and this is chemistry like I've never seen. Can't wait to play some more! But grad school and a shower are calling my name. 

This blog was rushed. But it was fun to return home to emails about Centex.. and a lot of teams cheering "See you at Centex" has everyone's energy high!