MUNCIE, INDIANA --- It is quite possible that nobody welcomed the arrival of spring more than the Ball State Ultimate Frisbee Club Team. The start of the new season equinox-wise meant one on the turf as well.
Over the weekend, the Cardinals opened their season at the Old Capitol Open in Iowa. The team picked up three wins against programs that included the likes of Iowa State, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Third year team captain Trey Koch was very impressed with the depth of the team’s roster as well as the performance of some of the squad’s rookies.
“This might be the best group of throwers and cutters that I’ve seen just all together,” said Koch. “That came from just recruiting and I just don’t think we’ve seen a better class up until this point.”
Although the Cardinals also dropped four games combined on Saturday and Sunday, captain Nathan Stippler believes that past iterations of the team wouldn’t have put up as much of a fight as the current group of guys.
“We showed our endurance all the way through, everybody gave one hundred and ten percent on every point. In the past, if we had a 2- or 3-point deficit, it would always be exaggerated, and we would never be able to close the gap,” said Stippler. “But with this team, we are always fighting back.”
With not much turnaround time before its next action, the team is eager to begin outdoor practice after spending months preparing offenses and schemes indoors.
“We have gotten used to having no different conditions. Wind affects our throws so much and this weekend it was very windy so we could not do a lot of our deep attacks which is usually what we are used to within our offense,” captain Kelsen Bartley said..
Even though future practices will likely have the Cardinals making adjustments, one thing the squad does not need to worry about is its chemistry. Over Spring Break, 11 members of the team took a trip to the Smoky Mountains together. The team rented an Airbnb, went hiking, and even found time to toss the frisbee.
“I can’t really put into words how much this team means to me,” Bartley said. “It takes a lot to be in a confined space with those guys for a whole week, but man was it great.”
The next action for the Cardinals is this weekend at the Illinois Invitational in Champaign. Koch hopes that the team will continue to make improvements but believes they can capitalize on some of their momentum from Iowa.
“I think the energy was really high and I think everyone was excited to be back on the field again,” Koch said. “Something about being back on the field with some of your friends and teammates I think has us going in really excited for next weekend.”
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