On Sunday morning, the men’s and women’s Ultimate Frisbee teams assembled at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for the Western Massachusetts Sectional Tournament. Having graduated a strong group of senior players, the teams were eager to show that the remaining talent could pick up where last year’s nationally ranked squads finished.
Led by Pete Jones ‘01, Britton Mann ’00, and Duncan Meiklejohn ’01, the A-team got right down to business, matching up against Dartmouth in the first game of the day. Matt Wessler ’01 started the offense early by connecting with Yang Wang ‘01 on a point that saw every player handle the disc. Bailey McCallum ‘01 also found Meiklejohn in the end zone right away, and the blitz was on when Mann threw full-field to Tom Grant ‘00.
Solid play by Pat Foyle ‘01, Charlie Doret ‘02 and Wayne Wight ‘00 kept WUFO ahead the entire game. Brian Conners ‘01 made an especially nice grab on a throw from senior Ted Satterthwaite. Although perennially a strong college team, Dartmouth was no match for the potent WUFO attack.
The final score was 12-5.
During the fall season, tournaments consist of club teams composed of older, more experienced players who generally represent a distillation of skill. Playing against a Burlington club team that began the day as the top seed, WUFO came very close to winning. Although WUFO ended up losing 13-11, the game was close throughout as the two teams traded points back and forth.
First-year Ian Warrington stepped in and gave everyone a sense of his class’s potential. Mann and Meiklejohn continued to amaze, while steady performances by Alex Hassinger ‘00, Brad Geddes ‘00 and Mike Chiorazzi ’02 added to the WUFO effort.
The next two games were also against club teams; the first was another close defeat despite a showing of intense play versus a team called Big Dig. Nonetheless, WUFO players were frequently seen laying out and contesting discs that didn’t look like they could be intercepted.
Throughout the day, Alan Baldivieso ‘01 greeted opposing players as he out-leaped them and ripped away discs that should have been caught. Finishing with a victory over a team called Smallpox, WUFO overcame fatigue and realized just how deep a team it could become. Much to WUFO’s amusement, as the game proceeded, Smallpox became irate that non-A-team players were participating. When it was pointed out that they were being beaten by B-teamers (many of them freshmen) who had finished their games and come to support the A-squad, the complaints subsided.
After the starters dominated the early part of the game, the sidelines relaxed a little and just enjoyed the great weather and good spirit. Sophomores Henry Mathieu, Devin Becker and Gary Sanders continued to improve their play and looked strong all afternoon.
The B-team also had a very auspicious day, gaining experience and respect. During victories over Middlebury B and UMass B, all of the new players stepped up and gave captains Mayur Deshmukh ’01 and Dan Auerbach ‘01 something to be very pleased about. Every player contributed in some form, whether it was a layout defensive block or a score.
The experience of Ben Cooper ‘01, Jacque Edelin ‘01 and Mike McBean ‘02 provided a balance to the occasional frosh blunder. But Steve Wollkind ’01, Gabe Brammer ’02 and First-years Hal Kronesburg, Krishna Kannan, Chris Durlacher, Jeremy Redburn, Aamir Wyne, Josh Feit, Josh Ain, Mark Cummins, Pat Connorton, Jamon Frostenson, and John Pahl demonstrated poise under pressure and the ability to make things happen.