The Knox College ultimate frisbee teams competed in the Black Penguin Classic in Bourbonnais, Ill. over the weekend, with the women’s team on the verge of making history. The ultimate frisbee women’s team entered the Black Penguin Classic ranked third out of eight teams. The women’s and men’s team both went undefeated in their four Saturday games. Then, on Sunday, the women’s team won their quarter final and final match. The men’s team didn’t play due to poor field conditions.
Knox’s ultimate frisbee team has seen a meteoric rise over the past couple of years. At first, they were struggling for players to show up. Now they’ve built a core group of consistent players.
“We’ve been building our women’s team in past years, and now we’re at a point where we have a steady foundation to create a solid women’s ultimate program at Knox,” said junior Kylie Hoang in an email.
For a team that doesn’t have a coach, the captains take on an extra sense of importance. Not only are they teammates, but they also have to be stern when needed.
“It’s definitely a different dynamic from when you have a coach, being a captain. When you’re a captain with no coach, you’re expected to plan practices, you’re expected to be there for your teammates emotionally, physically, and getting them to a place where we all can compete at a high level,” said senior captain Meryl Davis in an email.
The Black Penguin Classic was a bit of a measuring stick for the team. North Park had knocked them out last year in their bid to make Nationals, but the Prairie Fire came back and beat North Park this year, with the final score being 13-5.
Keeping up this high energy is of importance to Hoang with Sectionals approaching.
“Sectionals is rapidly approaching, and it’s really important for us to keep our energy up! . . . This is huge because North Park took our region’s bid for Nationals last year,” said Hoang.
The women’s team is on the cusp of history. If they make it to Nationals, it will be the first time that the women’s ultimate frisbee team has advanced that far.
“For the women’s team, our next tournament is sectional-regionals where only the first placed team will go to Nationals. The women’s team has never made it to Nationals, we have always fallen short and gotten second place from what I remember,” said senior captain Keara Crook in an email.
The women’s team have had back-to-back tournaments, so that doesn’t leave a lot of time for rest. Through the fatigue, the team has to keep pushing.
“Our players will have to be focused and dedicated, as they already are, in learning from our flaws and learning about our strengths as a team and adjusting accordingly,” Crook said.
Sectionals are on the horizon and the women’s team have a great chance at making history. “With two weeks before the big tournament, our skillset and spirit are there and I can not wait to see what we can accomplish,” Crook said.