Notre Dame Men’s Ultimate traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan this weekend to compete in a one-night “hat tournament.” Hat tournaments typically consist of teams that are put together by randomly drawing names out of a hat, but this tournament also featured several college ultimate teams. Notre Dame was split into A and B teams for the first time this season, and both teams looked comfortable under new leadership. Playing against other opponents was a refreshing change from having to scrimmage each other in practice.
Notre Dame A started off by playing against two hat teams in short 50-minute timed rounds. After taking advantage of a casual first few points to shake off the dust of winter, the offense started clicking like it was designed to—it was evident that the diligent drilling at practice was paying off. Notre Dame won the games against the hat teams 18-11 and 16-6, due in no small part to the athletic freshman class, comprised of Luke Brennan, Sam DeTrempe, and Collin Klenke.
Following a short bye round, Notre Dame had two more games against Michigan State B and Indiana Wesleyan. Firing on all cylinders by the third game, Notre Dame easily defeated Michigan State B 18-3. The game against Indiana Wesleyan proved more difficult—a combination of fatigue and an early-season chemistry that is still developing. The fourth game ultimately came down to double game point, and Indiana Wesleyan came out on top 12-11, despite brilliant defensive efforts from juniors Charlie Labuz and Andrew Geisel.
Notre Dame capped off the night with a 30-minute game against a “hat all-star team”, which was made up of the best players from the hat teams. It was a good-spirited match that showcased some of the tournament’s top players on both sides of the disc. The score was only loosely kept, as it was primarily an exhibition match, so Notre Dame officially finished 3-1 on the weekend.
Having lost just three seniors, Notre Dame is poised for a big year in 2015. The team travels to Cat Fight in Kentucky on the last weekend of February for their first outdoor experience of the season.