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National tournament to be ultimate challenge for Ultimate team

There is more to discs than their springtime presence on Oval Beach. This year marks the first time Ohio State has a women’s Ultimate team going to the national tournament.

The team, Fever Ultimate, earned an invitation to the national USA Ultimate College Championships on May 27-30 in Boulder, Colo., after winning the 2011 USA Ultimate Ohio Valley Division 1 College Women’s Regional tournament last weekend.

The team name, which originated during the 2002-2003 school year, comes from scarlet fever, said DeAnna Ball, who has been coaching Ultimate at OSU for five years.

Last Saturday, the regional tournament held four games of pool play to determine seeding for bracket play on Sunday. In pool play, the team is seeded based on the results of games against several other teams. Fever defeated Penn State 15-10 in the finals of the regional tournament, which was held in Manheim, Pa.

“I feel honored to be a part of this; it’s a really special thing that we finally broke through and got to nationals. … It’s one of the most amazing things in the world,” said Cassie Swafford, co-captain of the team and a second-year planning to major in zoology.

Taylor Ey, a fourth-year in biomedical engineering, said right after the win against Penn State, Fever danced and sang “Up Up & Away,” by Kid Cudi. Singing and dancing is part of the team’s warm-ups.

Ball said to be successful at nationals, the team will have to keep the disc moving quickly because the defense of teams at nationals will be much better than those they have faced.

Ball said the four-day national tournament will consist of two days of pool play, one day of bracket play and the finals.

Seeding has not taken place yet, but there is a possibility Fever will play familiar schools, said Lauren Doyle, a fourth-year in architecture.

Doyle, who has been recently nicknamed “L-Diesel” for knocking opposing players down, said Michigan will be represented at nationals.

Not all the players on Fever believe Michigan will be the team’s most hated rivals.

“It would be sweet to play and beat Michigan, but I want to beat Northwestern because they’ve beaten us in the past and prevented us from going to nationals,” Ey said. 

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