The Notre Dame Women's Ultimate Frisbee team kicked off spring break by traveling to Tallahassee, Florida over the weekend of March 8-9 to compete in the 9th Annual Tally Classic Tournament. The tournament is hosted by Florida State University, and for many teams around the country, it is an annual favorite.
The tournament began on Saturday with beautiful weather and low winds, which came as a delight to the women’s team because of the stark contrast in playing conditions in comparison to the South Bend winter. Ranked first in its pool going into the tournament, the A team faced Rhode Island in the first round of pool-play, obtaining an efficient 13-0 win. The ladies then followed to defeat Tulane (13-5). As the heat of the day intensified, so did the competition of the tournament. In an intense match against Penn State, the women’s squad had to play much tighter lines in order to keep the score close. Freshman Mary Hermann did very well in a handler position, taking care to make careful cuts and smart decisions. Unfortunately, the team faced a tough loss of 7-12 and was unable to finish first in its pool. In the last game of the day, the A team took an 11-7 victory over South Florida.
The second day began the bracket play for the tournament championship, in which Notre Dame A faced Georgia Tech in the quarter-finals. After a tough 7-12 loss, ND faced Florida State B in the 5th place bracket and turned the tables to take a 12-7 win. In their final game of the tournament, Notre Dame A faced Tulane in a rematch, beating them once again (9-7) and taking home the 5th place title.
Notre Dame B, led by seniors Erin Cobb and Katie Kraemer, opened against George Mason, falling 13-2. Notre Dame B was unable to secure a win in the final two games, losing to Florida-B (13-2) and Florida State-B (13-4). Though the games ended in losses, the team gained valuable experience for their numerous freshmen players that would serve them at the following tournament in Georgia. Sophomore Isabel Alamanza made her debut handling for the B-team and picked up the new position easily, while Isabel’s sister Alejandra Alamanza added crucial flow to the offense. Maeve Crowley and Katie Bernazzani consistently outran the opposing team’s defense as freshmen on the team generating several quick points for Notre Dame B. Freshmen Lauren Zurawski dominated Notre Dame B’s defense.
On their second weekend of spring break, the Notre Dame Women's Ultimate Club traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to compete at College Terminus, a well known southern tournament, playing against teams from all over the country. Both A and B teams were part of the tournament.
Notre Dame A started off the weekend well, coming out with an 8-5 win over South Carolina in their first game on Saturday. In their second game of the day, the team faced Kennesaw state and took the lead early, marking down another win with a score of 11-6. In game 3, Notre Dame A faced rival school Boston College and gained win number three with a score of 8-6. Game 4 saw ND playing their toughest competition of the weekend, Tufts University (ranked 19) and were unable to get ahead, falling with a score of 11-6. In the Quarterfinals round, ND pulled away from Tulane right away, winning 11-1 and ending the day by securing a spot in the semifinals.
Unfortunately, the second day of the tournament was canceled due to thunderstorms, so the team was unable to continue playing for the championship.
The weekend gave the team a chance to see some tougher competition and to increase team chemistry. Returners and new players merged, playing as a single unit more than they had all season. New A team players Giuliana Carozza and Rachel Francis did extremely well on both offense and defense all weekend, making great contributions to the team. Although the tournament was cut short, Notre Dame A was very happy with the performance of all of its players. The team looks forward to growing even stronger as the season continues.
Over the course of the weekend, Notre Dame B saw some tough competition such as Harvard (1-13 loss), and Alabama (0-11 loss). They also faced Miami-Ohio, falling 11-3, and Tulane, falling 11-0. Due to weather concerns, a bracket game against South Carolina was played on Saturday, adding to the previous four pool play games. Though Notre Dame B ultimately lost 13-2, they gained valuable experience playing against a strong zone defense.
Senior Katie Kraemer, sophomore Ellen Chaleff, and freshman Marissa Ray led team handling, while strong cutter flow between Katie Bernazzani, Maeve Crowley, Erin Cobb, and Molly DeTrempe, all new players, contributed to most of the scores. Marissa Ray played great defense over the course of the weekend, using her strong field sense and speed to continually block throws.
Overall, Notre Dame B had a wonderful weekend of improvement and valuable experience. Notre Dame ultimate can look forward to seeing many great things from these girls in the future!