The Pleiades hopped on a plane last weekend, jetting off to the West coast for the first weekend of their spring break.
But unlike the countless other college students, UNC-Chapel Hill’s women’s ultimate Frisbee team wasn’t heading to the beaches – though a few did work some recreation into the weekend. Instead, the women competed in one of the more prestigious tournaments before the college series: the Stanford Invite.
The tournament, which fielded 14 women’s teams, was held March 6 and 7 in Stevinson, Cali. Pleiades went 1-2 on Saturday, holding seed to take third in pool play. They then went on to win the chumpionship bracket on Sunday, taking ninth overall after being seeded 11th.
photo by Erin Wiltgen
Pleiades gathers on the line before the start of a point
But though Saturday’s win-loss record may not look like anything to celebrate, the scores showed the games were tight. Against the second-seeded (in pool play) UCLA, Pleiades lost 15-13 after going up at half and tying the game at 13s. Against the first-seeded University of Washington, UNC lost 13-12 in overtime.
“On paper, it sounds like we ran out of gas,” said Lindsey Hack, Pleiades assistant coach. “In the Stanford and Washington games, I felt like we lost on mental lapses.”
Another thing the women struggled with was moving the disc laterally and getting the disc off the trapped sideline, Hack said.
But the team showed some improvement as well. Besides a spectacular deep game, Hack said the team had a number of layout Ds.
photo by Erin Wiltgen
(from left) Janna Coulter, Lindsay Lang and Ashley
Barfield cheer the team on from the sidelines
“Our defense is pretty impressive,” she said.
But outside of pure skill improvement, UNC also improved in other ways. As one of two flying tournaments the team travels to in the spring season, Pleiades typically goes into Stanford with a smaller squad. But the smaller numbers didn’t affect the play, Hack said.
“It didn’t matter if we had 11 or 20 girls,” she said. “I thought they had enormous growth.”
And even though some players still saw more playing time than others, some women who normally don’t get in the game for more than a few points got the experience they needed, Hack said: “Everybody had a really positive uplifting experience.”
For more info:
Tournament score reporter
Pleiades advances to semifinals at QCTU
Women’s ultimate Frisbee advancing
Pleiades B-team plays at Ultimax
What is ultimate Frisbee?