Frisbee sweeps season opener

The men's ultimate frisbee team practices for over nine hours every week in preparation for tournaments. Photo by Soujanya Bhat | Mercury Staff.

The UTD men’s ultimate frisbee A team competed at the 2019 Florida Warm Up in Tampa this past weekend, where it took home five wins and one loss.

The team is ranked 55th in the nation on the USA Ultimate website, with a record of 22 wins and seven losses last year. The team opened the tournament on a high note with a 13-7 victory against the University of Alabama in Huntsville followed by a 13-9 win against Kennesaw State University later that day before the team fell to Brown University that afternoon, where they lost 12-10.

Senior Neel Reddy, handler and team captain, said he was most proud of how involved the team is with the sport. In addition to the required nine hours of practice per week, the team also works outside of practice and discusses certain strategies or techniques to improve.

“We have practice nine hours per week, but I’m sure people’s involvement per week is almost double that,” Reddy said. “Add in track workouts, throwing (the frisbee) outside of practice, watching films of other teams and, in general, talking about ultimate.”

On the second day of the tournament, UTD scored three more wins against Northeastern University, the University of South Florida and Illinois State University, all of which are ranked higher than UTD, which stands at No. 28 in the tournament’s player pool. The victory against Illinois State was a close one, with a final score of 9-8.

Junior Wesley Miaw, who plays as deep for the team, said playing year-round can cause the players to experience burnout.

“We work on our bodies over nine hours per week, and it is like a relentless journey,” Miaw said. “It can be tough not only physically, but also mentally. We improve on that by having fun outside of practice and being friends off the field. Things like that balance out hard work and fun.”

Reddy said this team has been one of the fastest growing teams in UTD history and that the biggest challenge for next year would be continuing that momentum.

“When I came in as a freshman, the team was small,” Reddy said. “My freshman year kind of turned it around, and we had a big group of freshmen come in and that upward trajectory has just continued until this year. (The challenge) will be about the people next year continuing that growth.”

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