Liberty men suffer three one-point losses in Lorton tourney
March 3, 2013 | Lorton, Va.
A weekend after winning its first-ever tournament in St. Mary's College (Md.), Liberty University's men's ultimate frisbee team, depleted by injury and illness, struggled to an 11th-place showing out of 16 teams Saturday and Sunday at the Callahans in the Capital tournament in Lorton, Va.
"We had a lot of injuries and several guys getting sick," Liberty head coach Jason Jarrett said. "We were hurting for players. Our main handler, Haydn Bibby, was out after he landed on his knee, and Sandon Fisher hurt his elbow and played sparingly. So we were playing without two of our top assist leaders and it makes a difference."
After finishing 0-4 in pool play on Saturday, losing their first two matches by just one point, the Flames were placed in a lower bracket for Sunday's playoffs and won two of their three matches.
"We barely had enough people available to play today, but we played well," Jarrett said. "This was our third tournament in three weekends in a row, so we're all exhausted."
Though Liberty left before Sunday's finals, Richmond, which beat the Flames 12-11 in Saturday's opening match, and Columbia, which edged the Flames 11-10 in the second round of pool play, were vying for the championship.
"We had them beat, but we had a sloppy turnover and they scored the last two points in the final minute," Jarrett said of Columbia. "That was pretty demoralizing. We definitely could have won the whole tournament because the guys that beat us were in the final."
Liberty also lost to tournament host American University, a team it had beaten last fall, 11-8, and Millersville, the top seed out of its pool, 13-8, in Saturday's fourth game.
"By that time, we didn't have any of our starters," Jarrett said. "We had 16 players make the trip, but only eight or nine were able to play. They wanted to go, but were injured or sick."
On Sunday, using mostly reserve players, the Flames defeated Radford, 12-9, and Mary Washington 13-0, but lost to Pittsburgh's B team 11-10. (Pittsburg's A team won the national title last year.)
"That was very frustrating," Jarrett said. "They beat us in the final point."
The Flames' next competition, and their last before hosting the April 13-14 Mid-Atlantic Conference championships, will be the March 23-24 River City Lights event in Richmond, featuring separate men's and women's tournaments.
Jarrett expects to see many of the same teams at that event.
"The thing that was good about this weekend is we know we could have beaten any team that was there," he said. "We were very shorthanded and it was discouraging to lose the games, but encouraging to know that once we rest up and heal up, we'll be fine."