Men's squad narrowly misses qualifying for regionals
April 18, 2014 | Lynchburg, Va.
As the seventh seed out of nine teams in the Virginia Conference tournament, Liberty University's men's Ultimate Frisbee team faced a challenging draw for Saturday's first round, held for the second straight year at the Liberty Intramural Fields.
The Flames lost to No. 1-seeded University of Virginia 13-5, No. 3-seeded George Mason University 13-6, and No. 5-seeded Virginia Commonwealth University 13-7 to finish 0-3 in Saturday's pool play. The tournament was reseeded for Sunday and Liberty knew it would have to win all three matches to have a chance to secure the conference's sixth and final bid into the May 3-4 Regional Championship tournament in Martinsville.
But the Flames lost a 15-7 opening-match decision to William & Mary, which eventually clinched sixth place, before defeating Radford 13-10 and Old Dominion University 11-7 to finish seventh.
"We held our seed, but obviously wanted to do better than that," Liberty Head Coach Jason Jarrett said. "It was a very tough tournament. We beat the teams we should have beaten, but didn't beat the teams we needed to beat to qualify. If we would have (beaten the Pride), we would have gone to regionals instead of them."
Liberty only trailed 9-6 before allowing William & Mary to pull away by scoring six of the final seven points.
"We had our opportunities, but we have a young team and don't have the experience other teams do," Jarrett said. "Our starting line only has five guys with more than one year of experience."
Jarrett said Liberty's two captains, senior Travis Felker and junior Hadyn Bibby, both played well throughout the tournament, leading the Flames in scores and assists. Junior Teddy Seago, an assistant captain, also had a solid performance along with sophomore Taylor Nelson, who has emerged as one of the Flames' best players with excellent handling and defensive skills.
James Madison University, a team Liberty defeated twice this semester, placed second, followed by Virginia, which was ranked No. 15 in the nation, and VCU. JMU, ranked No. 104, and GMU, ranked No. 64, both beat UVa.
The Flames will hold two scrimmages next week, Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. on the field behind the Hancock Welcome Center. They are open to any returning Liberty players and any who would like to try out for next year's team.
Images by Lizzie Benson/Liberty University