Women start Saturday at ASU; men host event next weekend
November 8, 2013 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University's women's Ultimate Frisbee team will kick off its season at the Blue Ridge Blowout, a 16-team tournament hosted by Appalachian State University this Saturday and Sunday in Boone, N.C.
Besides ASU, which will enter both a student and alumna team in the tournament, the University of North Carolina, UNC Asheville, UNC Greensboro, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Duke, Davidson, Elon, Tennessee, Radford alumna, Virginia Tech, Charleston (S.C.), and a club team from Asheville will be on hand.
The Lady Flames, coached by Liberty Head Coach Jason Jarrett and his new assistant Jonathan Mast, return a few players from last year's team, including senior captains Sydney Comer and Kaitlyn Kane. Another senior, Stacy Gardner, is back after last playing as a freshman.
Liberty's men's team scrimmaged Longwood University two weeks ago, winning by 13-4 and 13-2 scores, before participating in an unofficial tournament in Roanoke, defeating host Roanoke College 13-2 and 15-1.
"Haydn's very good at throwing the disc and Travis is very, very fast," Jarrett said.
"They usually combine for a lot of our scores as a duo."
Sophomore Taylor Nelson is becoming one of the team's best handlers.
"He's very fast as well and a good defender," Jarrett said.
Jarrett is still trying to recruit players to the men's team, which practices Tuesday and Thursday nights on the fields behind the Hancock Welcome Center and Saturdays along with the women's team on adjacent intramural fields.
"We had 19 last season, but some were kind of raw," Jarrett said. "We have only 15 now, but not many of them are raw. There are several with a lot of potential."
The Flames will host their first competition, Nov. 16-17 on the new intramural fields on East Campus. So far, seven teams have registered for the event — Bridgewater College, Roanoke College, BLUD (Big Lick Ultimate Discs) from Roanoke, YAK (You Already Know) featuring several Liberty graduates, and Liberty, as well as B teams from the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech.
"Right now, we have seven teams and we're trying to get eight or 10," Jarrett said, noting Mast will serve as the tournament director while he focuses on coaching.
Ultimate is more of a spring sport, with competitive tournaments beginning in late January to early February.
"The (fall) tournaments (for the men's and women's teams) are going to be good indicators, but they don't officially count," Jarrett said, noting teams must have 10 games in a sanctioned tournament to get a ranking.
There are eight other schools in Liberty's league, the USA Ultimate Virginia Conference — George Mason, James Madison, Old Dominion, Radford, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University, and William & Mary. The Flames will need to place in the top five out of those nine teams in the conference tournament to advance to the 16-team regional competition.