Lady Flames open play at Chapel Hill, men eye opener in S.C.
February 3, 2013 | Chapel Hill, N.C.
Liberty University's women's ultimate frisbee team opened its second semester of competition this past weekend by participating in the Queen City Tune Up, hosted by the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
After winning their opening match on Saturday, beating the Tar Heels' "B" team 11-10, the Lady Flames lost their final five games, but gained valuable experience against some high-level competition.
Liberty concluded play on Saturday with a 12-5 loss to Ohio and 13-1 setback to Clemson, the tournament's overall champion.
On Sunday, the Lady Flames lost to Swarthmore — which finished 5-0 in pool play and runner-up to the Lady Tigers in the championship bracket — by a 13-4 final before falling to Wake Forest, 13-1. Liberty, which traveled with the minimum of seven players needed to compete, went on to lose to Georgia State, 9-7, in the tournament's ninth-place game to wind up 1-5 for the weekend.
"We didn't have any subs, so we didn't get out there with the freshest of legs, but the girls improved greatly," said Liberty assistant coach Annette White, who travels with the women's team. "They gained confidence that they did not have before. I think as the coach, I have gained knowledge to better coach them and how to highlight their strengths."
She hopes the Lady Flames can learn from the experience and improve as the season progresses.
"I am very excited about the upcoming tournaments, as are my players," White added. "We took some hard hits this weekend, but I'm confident that the girls now have the drive to want to win."
Liberty next will compete in the Feb. 16 and 17 Commonwealth Cup in Martinsville, Va., which will feature a 17-team field. The Lady Flames will play in Pool D along with George Washington, Rochester, and Davidson.
Other teams expected include Georgetown, Harvard, Lehigh, Mary Washington, MIT, Richmond, VCU, Wake Forest, William & Mary, and Maryland's, UNC's, and Virginia's B squads.
On that same weekend, Liberty's men's team will travel to its first tournament of the spring season in Charleston, S.C., the Chucktown Throwdown hosted by the College of Charleston.
Flames head coach Jason Jarrett, who started the program in 2010, graduated the majority of his players over the past two years. Now, he is working with numerous underclassmen who will be getting their first collegiate tournament experience against a field as large as 20 teams.
"This year, the team has approximately 70 percent freshmen and sophomores, which is great for the team going forward," said Jarrett, who also has two first-year graduate students expected to stay on for two more years.
By Ted Allen/Staff Writer