The Trinity women’s club ultimate frisbee team, Altitude, continued their outstanding season with another solid performance at the Centex Tournament in Austin over the past weekend.
On Saturday, March 23, Altitude played three games during the first day of the Centex tournament. “We won all of our games the first day against University of Miami Florida, [University of Texas at San Antonio] and Oklahoma, making us first in our pool,” said senior and captain Caitlin O’Shei.
Altitude immediately came back the following day on Sunday, March 24, where they competed in an additional four games. They lost to Colorado College and Louisiana State University (LSU) in the first two games of the day. Exhaustion was a big reason for the struggles in the second day as everyone had gone all out on the previous day.
“We had some mental and physical barriers that were really our biggest obstacles on day two. We had a really intense game against Colorado where we basically left everything we had out on the field, so we didn’t have too much energy for the next game against LSU. In fact, Caitlin played so hard that she got heat exhaustion,” said senior Mia Loseff.
Luckily for Altitude, they immediately bounced back from the losses as they finished off the day with two wins by beating Texas State University and Boston College. They were able to bounce back due to strong team chemistry.
“We trusted each other on the field and let our chemistry and friendship allow us to make some awesome plays. All of the trust on the field leads to lots of wins, and we are just out there having a blast,” Loseff said.
The losses to Colorado College and LSU were the first and second of the year for Altitude. This most recent tournament in Austin was Altitude’s second tournament of the spring semester, and they finished the tournament with a 5–2 record. In the first tournament on the year, Altitude won all of their games, finishing with an undefeated record of 7–0, and ultimately won the tournament.
“This is the best season the team has ever had. We are currently 12–2 on the year, and we have beat teams we’ve never beat before,” said sophomore Rebecca Kroger.
A lot of that success has been attributed to both the 12 new first-years on the team, three of whom played in high school, and the team’s two new coaches, Jake Johnson and Jaycee Jones.
“We’ve brought in two coaches who have pushed us farther than we’ve ever been pushed,” Kroger said.
At one point during the year, Altitude was ranked No. 21 in the nation between both DI and DIII schools.
They were also ranked No 2. in the nation when compared only to DIII schools. Due to the two losses at Centex, the team has slightly fallen in the rankings and now sit at No. 25 for DIII schools.
Clubs sports are unique when it comes to competing in tournaments because teams get to compete against both DI and DIII schools, which is why Altitude is able to compete against schools like Texas State University, LSU and UTSA. DI schools usually have an advantage over DIII schools because their teams have larger numbers.
“We’ve struggled with a lack of depth in our lines. We have a relatively small starting line, and we’ve had a hard time matching the endurance of bigger teams,” O’Shei said.
A small pool of players has not stopped Altitude from having success against larger DI schools. According to O’Shei, a big reason for Altitude’s success is due to the team’s strong defensive effort.
“Our zone defense has been really successful this year, and it worked well in the wind this weekend. I think we have some of the best defensive players in the region that we can rely upon to consistently get impressive layout defensive plays and win battles for the disc in deep space,” O’Shei said.
According to Loseff, despite the successful season so far, there are still many things that the team needs to improve on if they hope to make a run in the national tournament — including the team’s mental toughness.
“We need to work on picking ourselves up and mentally recovering after tough, hard-fought losses. I think we have the skills to make it really far this year, but what’s going to be our biggest challenge will be staying positive and focused,” Loseff said.
Altitude’s next tournament will be the regional tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The tournament will take place on April 13-14. In order to qualify for the national tournament, the team needs to place first in Oklahoma.