From the hours of 10pm to 6am on the night of January 27th the ultimate frisbee team hosted their first ever tournament in PepsiCo recreation center. The Augustana Stonecutters team took third place that evening.
“We have this tournament overnight because its the only time that we can have the whole place rented out without anyone else in the building. It’s a cool experience,” said senior Eric Shershen.
This particular tournament was special for the stonecutter’s team because it was one of the first times they were playing in an indoor tournament. The typical ultimate frisbee season takes place in the fall. This was a big change according to junior Laura Neswold.
The biggest difference of indoor vs. outdoor is the fields. Indoors the fields are a lot smaller. We were only able to play 5 vs. 5 rather than the standard 7 vs. 7. Having no wind is also a huge factor. It’s a lot easier to make accurate throws indoors,”said Neswold.
The tournament consisted of a mix of men’s clubs along with a number of different Division 3 schools from around the area. Cedar Rapids ultimate D and Cedar Rapids ultimate P took the first and second place spots.
Augustana had to make several different changes when it came to playing indoors on the basketball courts. The team has to change a number of their planned routes and a number of the stacks that they use.
The Stonecutters came into Saturday’s tournament off of a successful fall season according to Shershen. The team had success against many of the Division 3 teams that they played during the year but struggled when it came to facing off against Division 1 teams.
The problem comes down to size a lot of times for the stonecutters. While they have around 30-40 members on their squad it can be difficult getting players out on a weekly basis due to busy schedules.
Funding has been an issue for the Stonecutters team because most of the time they have enough money for the fall and spring tournaments but come up short during the winter. The ability to use PepsiCo allowed the team to host their first ever tournament and put their name out there while keeping costs down, according to Neswold
Although the struggle for numbers is something that will be a constant battle for a club like ultimate frisbee, the growth since Shershen’s freshman year has been large.
“My freshman year we had pretty good size, but my sophomore and junior year we had trouble recruiting kids to come out. However, this year we had some freshman come in where we didn’t have to sell them much on the program. I can see them growing the program more and more as time goes on,” said Shershen.
Photo above: Sophomore Matt Friello gets a throw past his defender during their tournament at PepsiCo on Saturday night through Sunday morning. Photo by Kevin Donovan