Men’s, women’s ultimate teams host hat tournament, alumni games
Liberty University’s ultimate teams hosted a co-ed “hat” tournament and men’s and women’s alumni games last weekend at the Liberty Mountain Intramural Complex, with more than 100 men’s and women’s players competing in the two events.
“We do an alumni game and a hat tournament on the same weekend to make it more fun for the alumni coming back,” Flames Head Coach Kevin Habermas said. “We had people come in from Richmond, Fredericksburg, North Carolina, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, one guy from Indiana, so it was cool to see people come back and see familiar faces.”
For the “hat” tournament, players were randomly selected out of hats representing six tiers of playing levels, creating six teams of even strength.
Habermas and Lady Flames Head Coach Jonathan Mast happened to play on the winning black team which finished 5-0, beating the 3-2 blue squad in the final, 10-7, after breaking open a 4-4 tie at the half.
“All the teams were mixed and had to have five guys and two girls on the field at all times to make it an even 7-on-7 matchup,” said Habermas, who was joined by his wife, alumna Krista (Johnson) Habermas, as well as Anna High (’20), McKenzie Ross (’19) and Ethan Allerton, a senior on the current men’s team.
The blue team featured 2020 graduates Austin Heston and Andy Lewis.
In Sunday’s alumni contests, Habermas coached his team against the men’s alumni squad, which won 15-12, and the women’s alumni team, featuring both his wife and Ashley (Condon) Mast, that edged Jonathan Mast’s current squad, 10-8.
“Both games were hotly contested,” he said. “Our men’s team has only beaten the alumni three times, and in years past, it was not uncommon for the alumni team to win by blowout.”
Graduates John Simmons, Noah Willson, and Ben McCoy and seniors Caleb Weldy, Joshua Duke, and Caleb Stow played well for the current team against an alumni squad led by MVP Taylor Nelson.
“They had a lineup that would have been a formidable City Club team,” Habermas said, noting the game was tied at 5, 7, and 11 before the alumni pulled away down the stretch. “It was a great experience for the current players, though it was tough to get a full rotation of players. Everybody played well overall.”
The women’s alumni game was tight as well, with the current team, led by graduates Bethany Fowle and Victoria Dissmore, only trailing 8-7 at halftime. The alumni squad only brought nine players, but many were from the 2016-17 team that was ranked No. 17 in the nation. That included Krista Habermas, Ashley Mast, Ross, and High as well as Anna Marie (Stowe) Haggerty, Kaitlyn (Kane) Clay, and Danielle (Smith) Howell, who scored at least half of her team’s 10 points.
By Ted Allen/Staff Writer; Video edited by Kylee Ligle/Club Sports Video & Media Assistant