Last weekend 60 ultimate teams converged on Rockford, IL to compete at one of the biggest tournaments during the fall in the Midwest called Glory Days. Glory Days has a tradition of spirit, meaning the feel of the tournament is about growing, learning, and enjoying the sport as opposed to intense competition that other tournaments strive. Each team is given three ‘spirit-discs’ to give to a spirited player on each of the teams that are in your initial pool play. This is to foster a sense of friendship and community when playing that can be lost when we only worry about beating the other team. The Ultimate Buzz and the Queen Beez—the Kalamazoo College ultimate frisbee teams—set out Friday evening driving four hours to get Rockford in time for a good night’s sleep before games start Saturday. We woke up to a colder than average day, and to top it off it started snowing before we had even reached the fields.
The snow quickly faded and was replaced by 15 mph winds (not that bad, but in Frisbee terms awful) and a slight rain. Despite the terrible conditions, the Buzz and Beez both ended Saturday 1-3, which cemented the teams’ place as not quite the worst teams of the tournament.
The Buzz took a universe point win—meaning during a tie they scored the last point— to beat Bradley 11-10 in the first game Saturday. They took a close defeat to regional rivals Valpariso, and, at the end of the day, they lost to a Washington University (out of St. Louis) team. For the record, this team made cuts two weeks prior, whereas the Kalamazoo teams don’t make cuts until after fall season to encourage everyone to play.
The Queen Beez lost to Illinois State, but won in a match against University of Missouri, scoring 8-6. The next day the sun made a return and the Beez took advantage in their first game, beating Missouri S&T. The following game was against the home team University of Rockford and the Buzz barely lost, which cemented their place in as 26.
The Queen Beez started a little later in the day Sunday and competed in some very close loses to Olivete Nazerene University and DePaul. Both teams showed great potential, both in the top core of their team as well as all the rookies that came out to their first College tournament.
For the Beez, captains Alissa Neff K’15 and Drea Gutierrez K’15 dominated with their athleticism and throwing abilities. Shannon Haupt K’16 led the team with her strong defense. Beez rookies also showed their quick learning by helping a Beez team with only six returning players from last year.
The Buzz standout players were Zach Rummery K’17, who highlighted his athleticism with huge skies; Liam Lundy K’17, who ran his butt off; and Austin Sroczynski K’17, who showed he can throw the disc as well as anyone else on the team.
The Kalamazoo teams may have not scored as many wins at the Glory Days tournament as they wanted, but the learning experience was invaluable as both teams look to improve on their abilities this next weekend at Oberlin College’s annual fall tournament.