-First published in The Mooring Mast –
The PLU Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team placed second at the Northwest Conference Division III Championships this past weekend in Puyallup.
Now they are headed to Division I Regionals at the University of Oregon in Eugene to compete against the top ranked Division I and Division III schools from the Northwest and Canada.
In order to move on to DI Regionals, the women of PLU Reign competed with five teams from Washington and Oregon for the Conference Championships on April 20-21.
Whitman, Puget Sound, Lewis and Clark, Reed, and Portland were the schools vying for a bid to Division III Nationals or Division I Regionals last weekend.
Reign started out day one of Conferences with a statement 13-0 win over Reed, who was down a few members from the start.
The biggest point deficit from Reign over the weekend was in a game against longtime competitor, the Walla Walla Sweets of Whitman College. Reign lost their only game on Saturday to the number one seeded Whitman with a score of 4-13.
But despite the loss Reign came back even stronger and finished day one of Conferences with a strong start, going 3-1 on the day.
Day two was a high stakes day for Reign, as their placement in the top two was necessary to advance to Regionals in Eugene.
Again they came out with high energy game and came out over Lewis and Clark with a 13-4 win.
However, the challenging game that nearly cut their season short was game two on Sunday April 21, against the University of Puget Sound.
Although PLU won the first match up against their cross-town rivals on Saturday 11-9, the two teams were fairly evenly matched the second day of the tournament.
With winds and rain clearly impacting the level of play for both teams, the game came down to a time cap with the score tied 9-9.
With a long point full of back and forth play and near scores for both teams, Reign came out victorious.
A pass from senior Captain Maggie Mickleson, ‘13 to Kiersten Dahms, ’13 in the endzone culminated the hardest fought game of the weekend.
The team rushed their teammates and swarmed the field after the grueling point that became the deciding factor for the rest of Reign’s season.
Although the road to Nationals was cut short for Women’s Reign this year due to various hardships with funding and not enough commitment to justify the journey to Milwaukee, Reign hopes for a strong showing at Division I Regionals in Eugene this year.
The PLU Women’s Reign coach Marissa Lyons has high hopes for this weekend. Lyons’ goal for the team is to attend Division I Regionals and upset as many teams as possible.
Playing against higher level teams like the University of Washington and the University of Oregon is only something that is going to make the team better in the years to come.
Although Division I schools are traditionally very highly athletic and competitive, both Lyons and the PLU women’s Reign team believes that they have the potential to keep up with some of the top notch competitors if they play their best game.
The trip down to Eugene also gives the team one last tournament to play alongside the seniors who have been an integral part of the Reign Ultimate Frisbee program over the years.
Division I Regionals takes place May 4-5 in Eugene, Oregon. Check usaultimate.org to see up to date scores from the weekend.
*Editor’s note: Coulter is a member of the PLU Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team.