Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sectionals 2010...THE Sectionals...

SO...I refrained from writing a sectionals preview because our schedule was changed like 7 times before it was finalized. I told the girls at our last practice before sectionals that no matter what the schedule looks like, we're going to have to bring the pain...ok I don't think I ACTUALLY said "Bring the Pain", however, it was most definitely implied.

Our first game was against Wheaton. We ran our warmup and about 7 minutes before the game were thinking "Uh...where's Wheaton?" Well, poor Wheaton forgot about the time changed and literally showed up at the fields 5 minutes before game time. Usually I wouldn't have a problem giving them a couple minutes to cleat up, get a couple throws in, whatnot, but since games were to 11 with 60 minute rounds there really wasn't time to waste. They were good sports about it though and were ready to go by 9am sharp. Props, Wheaton...I can only imagine the speeding they had to do to get there on time. Ha. The game itself was quick. I believe we went up on them 4-0 before they got on the board. It was 6-2, ISU at half and the final score was 11-4. The game was kind of a blur for me...although I recall a lot of drops on both ends, which I knew wouldn't fly against Northwestern.

Game #2 was against Northwestern. We were pretty stoked to play Northwestern, especially since the last time we played them was in the championship of Glory Days when we lost 10-13...EVEN after scoring off and UPWIND HAMMER. Damn. I SO thought that would seal the deal. BUT ANYWAY the wind decided to pick up for this game (awesome) and Northwestern knew how to capitalize on it. It also didn't help that we lost the flip. They came out strong, ready to play and had great movement in the wind. Our cup had nothing on them and it took a few points for us to get used to the flood stack they ran...the same one we run. mmhmm. We didn't score an upwinder all game...they did...a couple times...and that was that. Final: Northwestern 11, ISU 6.

The wind decided to REALLY pick up for our next game against Purdue. This time, though, WE were the ones using it to our advantage. We won the flip, and went up on Purdue 3-0 (awe yeah, check that upwinder.) We continued to protect our downwinders for the rest of the game and that strategy worked for us. Final: ISU 11 Purdue: 6

The last game of the day was against Indiana, the 3 seed in our pool (we were #4), so this game was pretty important. You see, breaking seed in our pool would lock us a place in Regionals, so this game was kindofabiddeal. We won the flip (yaaaay) and Indiana immediately scored an upwinder (boooo)...and then a downwinder...and then another upwinder...and then I called a timeout. I don't remember what I said, but I can only assume it sounded a lot like what I said when we were losing to Grinell last semester last semester at No Wisco, because it definitely changed the the game for us. We went out and scored an upwinder...and then it became a game. We fought for every point, everyone played their hearts out, but sadly, after fighting for an upwinder, we lost 6-7 because of cap (and that's why 60-minute games are dumb...especially at SECTIONALS). Props to Catie J though...CALLAHAAAAAN.

This was ok though, because it meant we held seed...OH WAIT. North Park (2 seed) lost to Notre Dame - B (6 seed), meaning that we came out of Saturday 2nd in our pool. NICE.

On Sunday we had to finish pool play with our games against ND-B and North Park. I have to say, ND-B definitely did not look like a B-team. They had some quick handlers and cutters with very good hands. I was impressed. We were also not playing our best. We had a first round bye that day, and ND-B was warmed up from their Purdue game. We managed to pull it out (HA, AMY) though. Final: ISU 9 ND-B 5

Last we had to play North Park. I'll admit, I was worried. They knew that they NEEDED the win, or else regionals would be a stretch, and they looked pretty intimidating during their warmups...and when their entire team sat on the sidelines watching our game against ND-B. Also, in years past, our games against North Park have generally been pretty close...and uh...we had never beaten them. We came out ready to play though and scored 5 unanswered points. Notgunnalie, it felt pretty good. our movement was fast, our handling was solid, and our sidelines were lively. Final: ISU 11 NPU 3 Regionals = clinched

Next we played Chicago in the first round of bracket-play. We saw them at Glory Days and didn't have a whole lot of difficulty with them, however, at that tournament they were missing a couple Nemesis players, which definitely made a difference in our game against them. What was interesting about our game with them was that they were pretty much our twin team...seriously...we played the EXACT same way. We exchanged uphill/downhill points all game (yes, the uneven terrain was THAT much of a factor). Both teams would rock some quick handler movement before launching it downfield for the downhill point. We were finally able to work it uphill with a SWEET layout from Sam in the endzone...only to have the thrower get stalled. Damn. But it was ok, because we the next time around we worked it uphill and finally took the lead. Final: ISU 13 Chicago 10.

Our final game of the day was agianst Indiana, again. The game started out the SAME as the day before. They went up 3-0 and I called a TO. Unfortunately, this time we didn't pick it up like we did the day before. I think the bottom line is that we were just out of gas from our Chicago game. Final Indiana 13 ISU 5

So we went into Sectionals ranked 8th and came out ranked...5th, qualifying us for Regionals for the FIRST TIME IN ISU WOMEN'S ULTIMATE HISTORY. You know what? That's pretty awesome. I love my team, and I'm glad that we could make this happen my senior year. Way to go, Ladies, now enjoy sine of my fav photos from the weekend. Props to Becky McDonald and My mom for taking pictures!

This one probably speaks for itself but...

After beating North Park, qualifying us for Regionals

My mom's caption for this one was "looking to pass"

IS SHE GUNNA GET IT?!?!?!?!?!!?\

Bend and Snap?

And of course...Brooke gets HUGE

See Y'all at Regionals


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lady Gnomes...Spring Thus Far

So yeah...I've been a sucky blogger this season. My apologies, but I promise you, this post will make up for EVERYTHING. Maybe.

Here's a recap springtime for the Lady Gnomes...

We kicked off our season with Knox's indoor tournament, Winter Whiteout. Because we've got a lot of girls, and were only able to get one bid to Knox, half of our women played with Western. The Gnomes lost in the semis and so did Western(?). It proved to be a fun tournament, as always, and a great way to kick off the semester.

High Tide
This year we took a men's and a women's team to High Tide, in Brunswick, GA. The Women's team went 2-1 in pool play, breaking seed, 1-2 on the second day, losing to Yale and William and Mary, and 3-0 on the 3rd day, winning the B-bracket. Over all we played well and had a great time.

Ok...now for what this blog is REALLY about...Chicago Invite.
We were placed in a power pool for the tournament. I think initially we were a little intimidated. Overall on Saturday we ended up playing 3 teams that qualified for Nattys last year, which is a tough schedule for a team that's never even been to regionals to go into.

Despite the snow at 9am on Saturday we played a spirited, competitive game against Valpo. Valpo throws a pretty tight zone that we had to work against in the wind. I didn't keep any stats this weekend, but if I remember correctly, Valpo had 3 upwinders to our 1. We lost 12-8...and all of the sudden realized that we still had 3 more games in EASILY the worst weather I've ever played in.

One of the girls on Wisconsin had the most beautiful upwind pulls I've ever seen. While I was trying to just rely on rolling the disc to gain yards, this chick could pull it remarkably close to our endzone, sailing through the air and landing flat. I had plenty of opportunities to gawk at her pulls because we lost 13-1. Frustrating...yes, however, Wisconsin is a very solid team and losing to a team that proves they deserve the win isn't the worst thing in the world.

The wind picked up a little for this game. Thankfully, we won the pull. No upwinders were scored...one of THOSE games. We did manage to snag two callahans (Yay Colleen and Brooke!!!!). Winning against SLU ranked us 3rd in our power pool, so for our crossover we had to play Illinois. We had about an 1 1/2 hours to warm up before the game, but it didn't seem to make much difference. It was still cold, there were still snow flurries, and this time the fields were transformed into what I would consider most comparable to a mud wrestling pit. We lost 7-6, and despite the elements, and managed to squeeze some fun out of the game.

That night I most definitely did not get all of the mud out of...me. I also discovered the giant blisters that had formed on my feet. I didn't know they were forming during the day because I couldn't feel my feet...and holy cow...these blisters are HUGE. It's my own fault though. I, the responsible captain, left my cleats at home and borrowed cleats from Tyler on our men's team. The cleats actually fit pretty well...at least I THOUGHT they did.

Saturday Night Colleen's mom fed us some pasta, sloppy joe's, garlic break, and lots of snacks. She also washed all of our clothes...because she is AWESOME. Props to Colleen and Catie's families for letting us crash at their houses. Hopefully their houses fared a little better than my car's light interior. I'm just glad I didn't wash the interior after High Tide...because it managed to get dirtier this time around.

Sunday morning I woke up all the girls at 6am to start getting ready for our 8am game. Everyone seemed to be moving in slow motion. Judging by the emails I received the night before I found no evidence of Sunday games being canceled, and since the weather was a lot better today I had to assume the tournament would go on. On the way to the games one of the ISU men called us and informed us that the tournament was canceled. I don't know the exact reason why, but I think it's pretty safe to assume that it was some combination of the the fields being torn up, cars getting stuck in the parking lot left and right, and teams dropping.

I'm not upset with the TD's or anyone who took part in planning the tournament. It was obvious that a lot of time and effort was put into throwing this tournament and it's just really unfortunate that that something as uncontrollable as the weather caused the tournament to get cut short. I really hope that this doesn't discourage the TD's from throwing Chicago Invite next year. I really think had the weather been a little more cooperative, this tournament would have been phenomenal.

Today we had our club photos through the university. FYI...our new uniforms look way hot.

Check out our rookies rocking them...

Ashley Betke...SKY


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Finals Week Updates...Because I don't Want to Write my Environmental Politics Essays...


What have your favorite Lady Gnomes been up to???

High Tide

It's official! We're taking a Women's team to High Tide this year. Currently we are accepting $50 deposits so that we can pay for the bid before the price goes up buy $100 (yuck). Get yo check to Colleen before you leave for finals.

Why am I pumped about High Tide this year? I'm stoked to have to opportunity to play against teams from all over the U.S. Because of our limitations when it comes to funding and such, it's hard for us to get to tournaments outside of our Midwest bubble...which means we play some combination of Loyola, DePaul, Purdue, U of I, and North Park at pretty much every tournament. Not that it's a bad thing, considering they're all in our section, but it'll be nice to see how we stack up against other teams. High Tide is also going to be a good warmup tournament for us. It's 3-4 days of ultimate with a mixture of sun, sand, partying and all of the things the Lady Gnomes love. We'll also be bunking/traveling down with the Men's team so that'll be fuuuun!


We're finally looking into getting a Lady Gnomes design (HOW EXCITING). Don't get me wrong, the Men's Stanley design is sweet as hell, but it's about time we step out with a badass Stella design. I've been contacting people about working on designs over break. If you're interested in sketching a Lady Gnomes design and I haven't messaged/called you lately, please let me know and I'll give you an idea of what we're looking for. Also, if you CAN'T draw and you have an idea of how you want our uniforms to look, feel free to let me know. Don't be scared! I'm open to all ideas! Also, no ideas will be finalized without a lady Gnomes vote first, so everyone's opinion will count!

Additional Tournaments

At the moment the only tournament other than High Tide that we have a bid for is Chicago Invite, which looks like it's going to be pretty awesome this year. Obviously we'll also be attending Sectionals and (fingers crossed) Regionals...maybe we'll throw another tournament in there. I would LOVE for us to go to Midwest Throwdown, but once again, it's held the weekend we leave for High Tide. The other options are Whitesmoke, which from what I gather was run pretty poorly last year, and Huck Finn...which uh...couldn't get enough Women's teams together to hold a tournament. Weird.

What's This Girl up to?

Well...over break I'll be getting a bunch of not-so-awesome dental work done, which will probably result in me drinking my Christmas dinner. Awesome, BUT I am most definitely looking forward to spending the holidays with my family and heading up to Clinton, WI for Christmas. I promise promise promise to have made progress on uniforms. I realize that we'll be debuting them at High Tide, which gives me lots of time to get them together, but I'd rather have them done sooner than later in case we run into any problems (which seems to happen every year when ordering uniforms).

OK! Back to the essays!!!!!!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

What Up What Up What Up


Ultimate has preeeetty much been out of my life for a couple weeks now, making it difficult to churn out entries for anultimate blog. I will, however, enlighten you all with some recent thoughts I've had...

Season Wrap-UP...What we did, who we are, where we're going.
Truth: I've been captaining this team for quite a while now and I've never left a season feeling more confident in/proud of this squad. I just wrote a little history wrtie up for Catie J. on what ISU has done since my freshman year and it kinda blew me away. Winning never used to be something we did and now...LOOK AT US http://www.upa.org/scores/scores.cgi?div=34&page=3&team=7221. That team that used to get bageled every tournament...sturuggled to win games and went into almost every game already feeling defeated made it to the CHAMPIONSHIP of a tournament. I know I've already spent a post gushing about Glory Days, but I'm still riding that high and I'm probably going to until we play again next season.

What made this season better than past seasons? Why is next season going to be great?
  • Rookies. Holy cow, we've got great rookies. They're athletic, excited, and catching on faster than any class I've seen (sry sophomores-seniors. haha).
  • Work Ethic. We work so much harder at practice than we have in the past. Every scrimmage is played as if it's a real game and more than 5 people show up for conditioning practice (a small victory, but I'll take it). Truth: I attribute a lot of the intensity we get at practice to Adrienne Ohler and Catie Johnson. Adrienne is our faculty advisor, and a total baller. Her presence at practice takes everything up a level. Catie is a freshman, she likes bears, intensity and Ashley more than most things. She yells a lot on the field, but the good yelling. Amy would probably call it "cool aunt" yelling.
  • Confidence. I'm not kidding...every single game we've played I have told the team before that game "this is a game we can win" whether we're playing a team we always beat or a nationally-ranked team. I'm also not kidding...no one ever believed me until this season, and it made all the difference.
  • People are playing on their strengths. Jessica learned that she's tall, Amy learned that she's faster than most people, Ashley learned that she's a baller handler, I could go on forever.

I'm looking forward to next season. Having Michelle and Brooke back will be KEY next semester and if we can make it to sectionals without any injuries (knock on wood) we could do a lotta good stuff. yeah. good stuff.

What about you Emily? What are you dooooing?

Well...ultimate has definitely taken a backseat to school/work/adventures lately. That's ok though. After the ultimate overload that was Club Nattys 09, it's been nice to get back into the school groove. Actually that's a lie, oooobviously I'd still rather be playing ultimate, but whatevz. BTW...Nice work, CLX, way to represent for the central region. It would have been COOL if you could have won though.

I WANT TO START RUNNING AGAIN. Freshman/Sophomore year I was SO GOOD about running. Granted, ultimate practices weren't quit as intense and I had to keep in shape some way or another and I didn't work...so I had some time on my hands, but believe me, I was disciplined. I miss that. I miss that last surge after plugging away at 5 mile run, I miss the runner's high, I miss having time for just me and my thoughts (I never run with music) and I definitely miss being fast. Sigh. I also want to go into next season in shape. Come sectionals I want to be at my peak and hopefully If I can get there my team will follow suit.


Nashville. Jess and Amy...let's do this. I'm serious. We need to go to Nashville, party with the Backstreet Boys and pretend we're cowgirls. Maybe I'll even break out my Southern Accent (it's so good, just ask Tom Abell).

Rockford. Kate, Courtney and Rita. We are all 21. Let's do fun things in Rockford.........if we can find fun things to do.

Yeah. Kind of a lame adventure list, but you know I'll find more...

OK...enough rambling. Have a great evening.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Glory Days Recap

Hey All,


K...let's continue. This past weekend we played in Glory Days. I didn't write a preview because a.) I sort of realized that previews are a wee bit pointless during the fall when it's hard to judge how teams are going to look and b.) I had a feeling the pools would get switched around, which they did.

We went into the tournament ranked 7th out of 15.

Our first game was against Northwestern. During the first cut of the first game poor Jessi Gonzalez rolled her ankle and couldn't play for the rest of the tournament. She did, however, brave the cold weather to cheer us on all weekend. Mad props, Jessi. It was pretty clear that Northwestern was missing a few key players, so we didn't have too much of a problem with them. Also, Ashley Betke got a CALLAHAN. What. A. Baller. Final score: ISU 9, Northwestern 4.

Game #2 was against Kalamazoo. We played our rookies a lot, including two all-rookie points. Our rookies impressed me SO MUCH this weekend. We really have a solid group of newbies. Kalamazoo was very spirited and a lot of fun. We like them. Final Score: ISU 13, Kalamazoo 0

Game #3 was U of Chicago. This is a team that has, in the past, bageled us. We gave them a little scare at sectionals last year, but had never beat them. Well, we started off the game with a 4-0 run. It felt pretty good. At half the score was 7-2, but in the second half they started to make a comeback. We held it down and managed to pull out the victory. Final Score: ISU 12, Chicago 7

Our last game of the day was against Xavier. They are a brand new team and this was their first tournament, but you would never had guessed it. They had possibly the most solid handler we saw all weekend and they gave us a fight every point. Final Score: ISU 13, Xavier 3

That's right, we went 4-0. It was AWESOME...and the next day we didn't have to play 'til 11 sooo we celebrated Saturday night...A lot. haha.

The next day we had to play the winner of the Beastly (Eastern and Bradley's hybrid team) and Depaul play-in. Beastly won and we played them in the first round of the championship bracket. They scored an upwinder on us right off the bat and went up 2-0. We came back and did the same thing...a few times. We took them to half 8-3. The wind made each point take extra long and the game ended in cap. I was very impressed with Beastly! I really hope that both teams can get enough girls together for sectionals next Spring. Recruit, recruit, recruit! Final Score: ISU 9, Beastly 4

Our second game was against Loyola to decide who would play in the championship. We've always had a friendly rivalry with them, but we had never beat them before. The wind really picked up and thankfully we won the toss. No upwind points were scored that game and we ended up winning. I really would have liked to play them in a game with less wind, but hey...a win is a win. Final Score: ISU 10, Loyola 9

Championship Game
The championship game was the Lady Gnomes of ISU v. Gung Ho of Norwestern. Sunday they had some of their vets return, so this wasn't a rookie-dominated game for them. The wind was still pretty bad for the first half of the game and they won the flip (bummer). The game was basically just the two teams exchanging down-winders until the most wonderful thing happened. We worked the disc up the field and Colleen threw an upwind hammer to Jessica which gave us the break! This was definitely the pivotal point in this game. The sideline woke up, there was a lot more talking on the field and everyone was AMPED. After the point was scored I somehow managed to pull it just into Northwestern's end zone (uh WHAT?!). We got down there and after a brutal point Northwestern worked it up for an up-winder. After that the wind died down, which made a huge difference. Unfortunately the score was high enough that Northwestern managed to reach 15 before we could make our come back. Final Score: Northwestern 15, ISU 12

SECOND PLACE! When I put in our bid to Glory Days I told people that I believed ISU had a shot a winning the tournament and people laughed at me! Doing so well was HUGE for us. Everyone is finally starting to play to their potential and it's really showing. I look forward to next season because I feel that our team will finally have the confidence we've lacked for the past couple years. Now when we go up against teams that have beat us, even BAGELED us in the past I hope the Gnomettes will believe me when I say "We can win this game". I'm so proud of every girl on my team. The Vets did a great job of showing the rookies how WE play and the rookies stepped up and proved that they belong on the field.

Other highlights from the weekend...
Abby's 2348932480 handblocks
Catie Johnson bringin' it in the rookie game
Liz, Jess and Colleen not wearing pants for a game or two
Two 1st round byes...yeeah
Sam Dimmig's baller layouts coming off an injury
Amy being unstoppable in the Championship game...scoring the most points and RUNNING them deep.
Liz turning 20!!!
Overhearing someone on another team saying "wait...THEY'RE in the championship?!" referring to ISU. That's right! ha!
Becky's sticky hands...that chick does not drop the disc
Ashley's baller handling...I had a lot of people tell me how impressed they were with her. ALL STAR.
...I could seriously go on forever. BRING ON SPRING!

Sadly my reoccurring knee injury has crept up on me and it looks like I'll be taking a couple months off to go through physical therapy so I'm running at 100% by spring (fingers crossed). This was our last tournament of the season. Soon we'll start conditioning and working hard to get ready for spring. I have a good feeling about this team...

-Em Flan


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No Wisco Recap

Ahhh first Lady Gnomes tournament of the semester. I was so excited Friday night that I could barely sleep. We left from Colleen's at appoximately 4:45am to head to the fields and oh hey...we got there EARLY (I believe this is a first for the Gnomes).

Pool play probably could have gone a little better. Minnesota beat us pretty convincingly, although I don't think the score showed how we played. For the first game of the season we did pretty well. We honestly spent most of the game working the kinks out, and I'm ok with that. Our second game was against Mizzou. We played really well that game and won 13-5 (and I got my first callahan...hollerrrrr). Our last pool play game was against Black Cat. We lost...my opinion of them remains the same...that's all I've gotta say. Our last game Saturday was a bye due to a team not showing up, so we wandered around, watching some of the mens' games and eventually headed back to the hotel.

Party: We didn't win free uniforms. bummer.

Sunday we played Grinnell first game after a frost delay. They took us to half 7-4. My halftime talk: WAKE THE FUCK UP. It worked! Ha! We went on a 7-0 run and won 13-10. Our next game was against St. Olaf. In the first half we were going point for point with them, but they took the lead in the second half and we were never able to get it back. I probably should have given my "Wake the fuck up" halftime talk again. haha. maybe not. They sang to us afterward though, so that was cool. Next we played Lake Effect, Minnesota-Duluth's team, who we shared a hottub with the night before. We were up 7-4 at half and cap was about to sound, so we played a rookie point and called it a game. Winner: Gnomes. Our last game was against St. Olaf again, we played a game to 7, they won, and they sang to us again.

Overall for having half our roster, and some of our best players sick/injured we had a good tournament. I really enjoyed playing with the rookies and I'm looking forward to Glory Days. Pools are up, so I'll probably have a preview posted by tomorrow or Thursday.

Spirit: Kelsey Hoover
Defense: Kelsey Oswald
Offense: Amy West

-Em Flan

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

No Wisconsequences: Preview

Hey All,

Here's my preview for No Wisco this weekend...

With a slew of injuries/sickness hitting the Lady Gnomes, it looks like we'll be taking a fairly young team to this tournament. 3 Seniors, 4 Juniors, 3 Sophomores and 6 Freshmen. That gives us 8 returners and 8 rookies. Initially there were 24 of us playing this weekend...good thing we've got a sizable roster this year. This will definitely be a learning tournament for us. What's good is that everyone will get to see a lot of playing time and hopefully by Glory Days we'll be able to pull some people off the DL list!

Game #1: Minnesota
This will probably be our hardest game of the day. We've never played Minnesota before, but we can expect a tough game because at Exit 69 they took 2nd, losing to Iowa in the Championship.

Game #2: Missouri
Definitely a game we can win. Again, we've never play Missouri, but it looks as though they went 0-6 at The Manhattan Project. They do, however, have a tournament playing together under their belts, which we don't, so it'll be important to not come out flat-footed for this game.

Game #3: UW-Milwaukee
Oh Black Cat...
No one can forget our game against Black Cat last fall at Hucktoberfest. Ugh. As I recall they were very unspirited. Rather than calling fouls/violations, they yelled at us and even called one of our girls a P****...?!?!!? That game literally brought a couple of our girls to the brink of tears and that's the only impression I have of that team. What I remember about the game was that we took them to half, had a 4 point lead and they can back and won. We need to play hard and win this game the right way, by staying spirited and playing a solid game of ultimate without letting memories of that awful game last year effect us.

Game #4: Crossover
If we hold seed we play North Park. The last time we played North Park they beat us 13-10 in a very heated game at Chicago Invite. The game prior to that they beat us 13-1 at Western last fall. Obviously we showed huge improvements from semester to semester and I would love to play them this year to see how we'll do.

Sunday begins bracket play. Get excited, girls! This is going to be a great tournament!

-Em Flan