Monday, March 31, 2008

Easterns

Saturday: Pool Play
vs. UNCW: 9-12
vs. NYU: 7-11
vs. Emory: 11-10
vs. App State: 13-0

Sunday: Bracket Play
vs. Duke: 9-10
vs. UVA: 8-9

During our first game we learned how to play with our "outdoor legs" on real grass. It was kinda like learning how to play real ultimate all over again. It was windy, but we focused on man defense and flow during our first game. We dropped the first half 2-7 pretty quickly; we kept getting beat to the open side and things just weren't clicking for us. Then things started coming together during the second half: Rosa made a lot of great cuts and catches; zone O was looking a lot better. We upped our intensity, and took the second half 7-5, but it still wasn't enough to win the game. Final score: 9-12.

UNCW's giant 4-man cup is no match for Daphne!


video
sMITe zone O working the disc up the field

video
Nice cut from Rosa, several passes later,
I/O break from Daphne to Smeri for the score.


Then we played NYU, which was a really fun, intense game. We tried clam, which worked really well because they had no idea what was going on. They kept yelling at each other to make cuts - "There's like 3 people poached!! Someone make a cut!!!" and eventually turned the disc. It was a very upwind/downwind game with gusty wind, which made throwing frustrating for some, fun for others. We also put on some zone, and they played with three handlers back, so it was basically man downfield. Our dumps - mainly me, had a hard time getting open. I think I get intimidated by bigger/faster people covering me as a dump. During this game we also had a lot of good dump-swing-break progressions and nice I/O breaks. We won the last two points, but not enough to win the game because it was time-capped. Final score: 7-11.

Our game against Emory was pretty intense. The wind had picked up, so we traded downwind points, each got an upwind break, and we lost the first half (6-7). We had several huck plays downwind (me to Smeri or Jenny) with the purpose of setting a zone, but many of those huck plays worked so we didn't even have to put on zone. But when we did, we put on a lot of trap, which was pretty effective. Then we won a key upwind point which tied the score and then we won 11-10 on universe point. :)

video

Against Emory, Jenny catches the swill, throws to Doris for the score!

Against App State we practiced trap zone and spread. It took a while to get people to cut in spread, but eventually Shan, Jenn, and Chenxia and some other people made some really good cuts (not all at the same time of course) and we had some good looks downfield. Chenxia made a few really awesome low catches and in general she's really aggressive on the field, which is really exciting to see :) Jenn is also really good at getting open and solid with her claw-catching. Final score: 13-0.

More efficient way of massaging... :)

Sunday was much colder and rainier than Saturday, but there was much less wind. During our first game against Duke there were a lot of drops because of wetness. Erika and Daphne had a lot of run-through Ds. And we also boxed one girl - their main handler and receiver ("funny how that works" says Daphne). At the beginning of the game, they put on zone and I kept dropping it within the first few passes or throwing hammers unnecessarily. :( There also wasn't much movement downfield on zone O, which made it hard to move the disc upfield. Duke took half at 5-7.

There was one instance where Daphne threw a hammer to Smeri, which came up short and was caught by Rosa, who was then trapped in a four-man cup on the sideline and because handlers weren't crashing for her, she threw a stall-9 hammer which went almost straight up in the air, which Catherine caught(!!!), and a few passes later, Rosa cut in the endzone for the score! There was another point where Daphne threw a nice I/O pass in the endzone to Erika for the score. Anyway, the second half looked a lot better; we had much better throw and fewer drops, but we lost the game because of not defending deep throws. Shan was cutting really well and getting open at will - always 10-feet from her defender, and making lots of nice catches. We battled back to tie it 9-9 but lost on universe point 9-10.

Our last game against UVA was played on the world's crappiest field; I think there were more non-grass patches than grass patches. And there were no cones and a big mud puddle in the middle of the field. This was the only game where I scored - and I scored twice! Once going deep for Daphne and another sliding catch when I was a dump going up the line for Veena. Smeri decides she can't let me have all the fun in the mud, so the next point she also lays out to score. UVA threw 1-3-3 defense, which confused us, but Daphne, Catherine, and Erika had a lot of nice up-the-line passes. We won the first half 7-6. During the second half, we kept getting beat deep (again), and we lost on universe point (again) 8-9.

What looked good: clam - maybe because a lot of teams haven't seen it?, quick handler movement, flow, cutter movement and getting open improved immensely over the tournament

Things we need to improve on: defending against deep cuts, transitioning between zone D and man D and clam, defending dump cuts, being heads up in the cup (constantly being aware of where the other team is), clearing WIDE... we know what we're doing for the next couple practices...

Does anyone else get post-tournament depression?

Quote of the day:

"I wish I were good enough to play professional ultimate. And then I wish professional ultimate would pay me." - NG

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Introducing... Veena


Name: Veena

Year:
Junior

Major: Chemistry and Physics

Height: 5' 6"

Favorite Position: deep / mid / the stack in general (man)...and popping (zone) :)

Personal strength: ...being crab-like?

Personal goal: cut harder and faster, and run through (on O and D!!)

Interests: tennis, gossip girl (it's a phase...), climbing, chocolate, long-ish runs, volunteering!

One of the things I love most about Veena is her intensity and enthusiasm for ultimate. School and research have kept her pretty busy in the fall but whenever she does make it to practice, she runs her hardest with a huge smile on her face. :)

Well, that's everyone. I'm pretty sure there are a few who never filled out the survey, but I'll hunt them down when I have time. Easterns is tomorrow!!! I'm actually really nervous about logistics. I got two phone calls today: one of the girls said they couldn't make it due to a lot of work/pressure from her advisor, and another girl is stuck in another country and won't make it to Raleigh until really late. Maybe it's just my nerves, but I'm really nervous that something will go wrong: like they won't give us our cars at the rental place or we won't have a place to stay on one of the nights. I really hope we all get there safely, and all get back safely. And then in between getting there and coming back, we'll have an awesome time playing ultimate in awesome weather.

Some random stats about Easterns for us:
- 16 players and one coach
- 3 freshmen
- 9 grad students
- 5 people new to sMITe (that's including the freshmen)
- 5 people's last year of ultimate (Doris, Daphne, Erika, Catherine, Jenny)
- everyone is flying (no one driving this year!)
- Our competition: Wake Forest, NYU, Davidson, Duke, UNCW, NC State, UVA, Emory, Georgia Tech, ECU, and Appalachian
- Friday - high 78, low 56
- Saturday - high 62, low 45
- Sunday - high 58, low 51

Ahhhhh Easterns here we come!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Introducing... me

Pat Bell Memorial 07

Name: Karen

Year: 2nd year Grad student

Major: Materials Science and Engineering

Height: 5' 3.5"

Favorite position/play/throw: handler (esp in zone, like in the picture above), I/O forehands, low forehands, hammer

Personal strength of yours: hucking, sometimes too far

Personal goal
: decision-making, faking effectively, to be a reliable dump, to lengthen my stride when I sprint and not run like a cartoon character =P

Interests: Baking, chocolate fondue, snowboarding, tennis, reading

Huck a Hunk 07 - Go Planeteers!

JazzFest 07 - Who's who?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

JazzFest Pictures!

So I was looking online to see when JazzFest 08 is, and I came across last year's pictures:






Does anyone know when JazzFest is this year?

Introducing... Jenny


Name: Jenny

Year:
Grad

Major: CS

Height: 5'10"-ish

Favorite Position: Rolled into a ball with my hands over my ears. But, if you mean
frisbee position, definitely long.

Personal Strength(s): I'm tall.

Personal Goal(s): Getting more comfortable with the disc and playing closer defense.

Interests: Ultimate, duh. Also, robots, contra dance, sailing/windsurfing. Preferably not all at once.

Jenny joined sMITe with her last year of eligibility after playing four years of Swarthmore ultimate. This speedy girl loves to go deep every chance she gets and is really good at reading/finding the disc. We like to see her and Smeri duke it out during the huck drill. :)

Jenny's house also has the softest carpet in the whole world. We stayed at her place when we played in Carpe Discum in the fall. She also has these crazy setups in her house like three monitors suspended from the ceiling so her dad can work sitting on the bed:


3 more days until Easterns!!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Introducing... Erika

Huck a Hunk 2007

Name:
Erika

Year: Grad

Major: EAPS (12 if you must)

Height: 5'6

Favorite position(s): popper is my favorite, then cutter, then handling in zone, then anything but wing. The more space I have to move in, the happier I am. On defense, I really like defending handlers in a force middle situation.

Personal Strength(s): My athleticism is definitely a strong point, and my defense as well.

Personal Goal(s): I need to work on staying out of the way of other people, and throwing IOs. I'll also be working on my deep throws.

Interests: climbing, hiking, nearly any athletic activity with cool people and/or in cool places

Erika is pretty much awesome at everything: being super fast, making decisive cuts, playing shut-down defense, and making smart throws. As a captain, she's a great example to the team and encourages people to work on their goals. I really love playing with Erika because she challenges me to push my limits as well. And she gives really good feedback on how to improve, particularly on my dump cuts and defense. And her enthusiasm for the game is really contagious! :)

And btw, happy birthday Erika!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Introducing... Adele

Sectionals 2007 against BU at MIT.

Name:
Adele

Year: G

Major: Architecture

Height: 5'7"

Favorite position(s): Defense: Deep; Offense: Middle, Wing; Dreams: Handler

Personal strength(s): being a big mark, jumping, throwing...usually

Personal goal(s): Be stronger mentally... Bid for D's... Don't play like a lazy OB... Shut down dumps on D...

Interests: Illustration + Graphic Design, Biking, Hiking, Baking and Cooking for my Sweet Sweet Boyfriend

I was surprised to read that Adele is 5'7" because she seems much taller on the field. And probably also because last year she was the tallest person on the team. :P But not this year!!! :) :)

Anyway, Adele is our team super artist and designed last year's sweatshirt and is in the process of designing a disc for us, and possibly new sMITe apparel? I don't know, architecture keeps her pretty busy. Anyway, Adele is pretty versatile on the field. She takes initiative and makes those first cuts and many times she's the bail-out cut, like when the stall is at 8 and I'm freaking out because there's no one cutting for me. Btw, what's an "OB"?

This week is spring break so I'll be introducing the last five players on sMITe, one per day. Then we can start talking about tournaments and the college series. :) Here's our schedule for the rest of the season:

March 29-30: Easterns (Wilmington, NC)
April 5-6: Yale Cup (New Haven, CT)
April 19-20: Sectionals (Lancaster, MA)
May 3-4: Regionals (Lancaster, MA)
May 16-18: Nationals (Boulder, CO)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Introducing... Svetlana


Name: Svetlana

Year: 2011

Course: 14 and 18.. econ and math

Height: 5' 7"

Favorite Position: so far, not a handler? anything, really..

Personal Strengths: running.. decent throws

Personal Goal(s): to always know what's going on while in the field

Interests: drawing, reading, pick-up ultimate, going for walks, meeting people

During our first fall tournament at Wellesley, the sideline decided "Svetlana" was a mouthful to say on the field so her name is now "Lana". She'd get my vote for the next beautiful one on sMITe, to take after Yelena.

Practice last night was intense, tiring, and really fun. :) We worked on man-D and started off with 5-pull where the team that doesn't score runs sprints. I think the final score was 2-3-5 so each team ran 7-8 sprints. There were a lot of drops in the first few points but by the end of the game people were starting to play better man-D and the turns were due to good defense rather than just careless drops.

The scrimmage against ourselves at the end of practice was awesome. It was Catherine, me, Daphne, Shan, Chenxia, and Natasha vs Erika, Trisha, Amy, Jenny, Smeri, Svetlana, and Jess. We were down the first half - mostly because I sucked getting open as a dump and we were a little slow on defense - but came back during the second half with some pretty good offense with some dump-swing action. The team that lost also had to do sprints. Anyway, I don't think I've ever been that tired after a practice. :P And I think I got mild whiplash from hitting the ground (Svetlana knocked me over during the two-cut drill).

Wednesday is the last indoors practice! To celebrate, we're going to have a full tournament-situation scrimmage.

Until then, this is what Dictator Daphne has been up to:

http://www.ourstage.com/video/channel/66-cmf/YCJEMEWTIIEU-une-fille-dans-une-pice

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Scrimmage against Northeastern

Scrimmages are always fun - a chance to play people besides us. We had 15 people and worked on spread, stack, hard man D, and clam. Our offense and flow look pretty good - there were several points when the disc was always moving: Doris to Daphne to Jenny for a score; or when Erika, Smeri, and another handler worked it up the entire field for a score. It was exciting to watch. :)

Our defense needs some work. We gave up many points because we were beat to the open side (something that I still need to work on), because our dump was getting beat up the line, or we just didn't match up wisely. Sometimes it was something dumb like we didn't pay attention to who we're on when we pulled, or they didn't know the force. If we just talked to our mark, telling them inside or around, it would help a lot. I also think we just need to want it more.

Our clam defense is improving a lot. Steph has great field awareness and is amazing at playing I/O lane, Doris is great at deep - as always, and Smeri chasing. It was a good learning experience to play clam against another team. Some people haven't been to practice very much in the last few weeks so at times it was difficult, but still a good learning experience... that's what scrimmages are for. :)

There were a lot of little things that made this scrimmage great: Natasha making a great cut - closing the space between her and her girl and then turning her hips sharply for an in cut. Also Kelly making a great cut and then passing it to Chenxia upfield. There were many points where our girl caught the disc, didn't freak out, held onto the disc, and flipped it back to the handler. On defense, Kelly's mark has improved a lot.

We want to bring up the intensity level in our practices: to push ourselves, set goals for ourselves, and really strive towards them. I'm excited to see what this team can do in the next few weeks. It's unreal how fast the season has gone... I can't believe we're going to North Carolina in two weeks!

Smeri: "did I tell you my dad read your blog? he was looking for my thesis online, but instead he found out about my weather controlling abilities, so then I had to explain to my whole family how I control the weather"

Friday, March 14, 2008

Introducing... Dorphne [edits added]

Dor enjoying our Pat Bell tourney winnings.

Name:
Doris


Year:
M. Eng-er


Major: EE


Height: 5'4'' and a half (and yes, that half is really really crucial)


Favorite position (or throw or play): deep in any junk D, popper

Personal strength: run through Ds

Personal goal(s)
: better mark, better hucks, better handler cuts


Interests:
kitchenware/baking, karaoke, guitar hero

Captain Planet! She's our hero! Going to take pollution down to zero! Huck a Hunk 07.

Name:
Daphne
(a.k.a. Captain Planet)

Year:
08


Major: 7 (Biology)


Height: 5'2"


Favorite position (or throw or play):
give-and-go-and-huck

Personal strength: shoulder shimmy fake

Personal goal(s)
:
regain speed/stamina, man-d, seeing the field better in zone/clam/1-3-3

Interests:
baking cookies in large quantities, Chipotle (added by Karen)

Dorphne is one entity. The coaches still get them confused sometimes. And I feel like my readers know them better than I do so I'll let you guys talk about them.

[EDIT] Ok a few words about Dorphne: Phne is way too excited about Chipotle, making movies, making dumplings, and playing sMITe hockey. Dor is way too excited about cute animals, cute robots, crossword puzzles, and rock band. I was really freaked out when I first heard Dor wheezing like her lungs were collapsing. Now I'm like, "Oh, that's normal." :/

Another fond memory of Dorphne is when Phne is helping Dor stretch her hamstring and Dor is on the ground, whole body shaking while Phne has this maniacal grin on her face as she's pushing Dor's leg over her head. And then this past fall I had Phne do it to me and it feels pretty good. :P

I actually haven't played too much with Phne because she tore her meniscus last fall (06) during Huck a Hunk and has been trying to get healthy since then. After surgery and lots of PT it seems like she's getting a lot better. And then during one practice in the the fall (07) she was like, "I threw my back out!!" and now she has back problems. You'd think that I'm talking about a 60-y.o. woman, but no, she's only 22. But anyway, when she does play, she has amazing movement and command on the field (I guess that's where the Dictator part comes into play - I actually didn't know about Dictator Daphne until last week when Liver told me). She's very good at the hucking part of the "give-and-go-and-huck" and Dor is usually catching it on the other end. I've heard Phne is also a very good deep deep but I unfortunately haven't seen her play that position very much.

Dor can play anything on the field. When we split up into handlers and cutters to work more on individual skills, she has an identity crisis and doesn't know which group to join. But she's a cutter at heart and is a good sport about handling when we're short on handlers. She's an amazing short deep and deep deep. She's just come out of nowhere and get the D. And when she doesn't get the D she gets really frustrated and does a little "dang-it-what-was-I-thinking??" dance, flailing her arms and jumping up and down. :P She also has amazing acceleration and field sense, which is where many of her run-through Ds come from. She's clutch as a popper, catching many of my hammers and throws through the cup.

Speaking of throwing hammers to Doris, so earlier today I was taking a nap, and I was sleeping on my stomach (does anyone else do that?) with my left arm underneath me and my right arm over my head. And I was dreaming about ultimate - that I was handling in zone O (we worked on zone yesterday in practice) and wanted to throw a hammer to Doris and I remember thinking the cup was huge (Kari: 6'0", Shan: 5'6", Jenny: 5'10", Smeri: 5'4" as my mark - she's little but has a big mark). Anyway I threw the hammer to Doris, and apparently I threw it in real life too because I woke up with a pain in my right hand - I had hit my right hand on the board on top of the bed.

Finally, one last picture of Nancy Sun guarding Captain Planet:

Monday, March 10, 2008

Introducing... Stephanie

Name: Stephanie

Year: 2nd Year Grad

Major: Architecture

Height: 5'-6"

Favorite position (or throw or play): i've been having fun as a popper

Personal strength: field positioning

Personal goal(s): get better at throwing the disc

Interests: Surfing, hiking, cycling, lacrosse, photography, and traveling

I don't have any pics of Steph because she joined sMITe in the spring but we're very glad she did. I remember teaching her how to throw during her first practice and she picked up forehands and backhands before we started our warm-up run. She's also very heads-up on the field and is really good at catching. Even though she's architecture and has a crazy busy schedule (she went to Thailand last week!) she still makes time for practice and asks good questions about the game. :)

So last night Doris and I worked on hotel and rental car stuff for Easterns. I called this hotel called "Baymont Inn" in Wilmington and I talked to the receptionist who was named "Darlene":

me: Do you have 4 double rooms from Mar 28-30?

Darlene clicks away on her computer...


Darlene (in a super cheerful Southern accent): We sure do! Is this for a sports team?

me: Yes!

Darlene: Is it high school girls soccer? Because I'm coordinating hotel reservations for a high school girls tournament that weekend and all the teams get a discount!

me: Um... yes, we're a women's sports team... it's kinda like soccer...

Darlene: Ok! We'll give you the discount too!

me: Sweet!

Darlene clicks some more...

Darlene: What team name is this reservation under?

me: MIT Women's Ultimate

Darlene: Like, Ultimate Frisbee?! That's so neat!!! Yes, it's a $15-off discount.

me: OMG you're the most awesomest hotel receptionist EVER!!!!

Ok I didn't really say that last part, but she is pretty cool. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Introducing... Trisha & Shan

With new video feature!!!

video

This video is from Pat Bell Memorial in the fall where Natasha dumps it to Trisha, who swings it to Catherine, when Trish's D falls in front of her. Then Catherine throws to Shan for a score!!!

Name:
Trisha

Year:
Grad

C
ourse: MSE

Height:
5'1"

Favorite position:
somewhere far away from my defender

Personal Strength:
(written by Karen): always running hard, always excited to play ultimate, consistent throws and constantly trying to improve her throws like low throws and hucks

Personal Goal: improve throws to away cuts

Interests: aside from ultimate, noodling at a piano and baking cookies

---

Name: Shan

Year: G

Major: Biological Engineering

Height: 5-6

Favorite position: going deep! (and wing on ZoneD)

Personal strength of yours: I can fall asleep just about anywhere (was this supposed to be ultimate related, too?) and Karen adds: sweet layouts, ability to catch almost everything, and great cup defense

Personal goal: thro' like a pro

Interests: cookies (making & eating)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Would you rather...

A. Be able to run at twice as fast as your top speed (and be able to maintain that speed) but have calves that are twice as large,

OR

B. Be able to throw any throw (with precise accuracy, speed, spin, and distance for forehands, backhands, hammers, pulls, etc in any weather condition) but have arms that are twice as large. (Note: "arms" include biceps, triceps, delts, both L and R side).