Section: Sports

SERF-ing ahead: men’s Ultimate advances to regionals

Co-Captain Max Dugan '14, above, helped lead SERF to a 6-0 finish at their conference tournament over the weekend. (Photo by Cora Markowitz)
Co-Captain Max Dugan ’14, above, helped lead SERF to a 6-0 finish at their conference tournament over the weekend. (Photo by Cora Markowitz)

By Esteban Bachelet | Sports Assistant

“My arms are really tired from giving high-fives. My left arm really hurts; I was hitting people’s hands so hard,” Co-Captain Max Dugan ’14 said after the Kenyon College Men’s Ultimate Team, also known as SERF, demolished the competition at the Division III Conference Championships in Columbus and earned a spot at Regionals.

SERF came into the tournament with a chip on their shoulder, after Ultimate journalists and writers predicted Kenyon might fall off its dominating perch.

Sweeping the tournament with a perfect 6-0 record, SERF safely reestablished its dominance and won its fourth straight conference tournament.

“This was us basically telling people we’re actually still the best team,” Dugan said. “Every year we’ve been the best; we were really dominant this year.”

SERF scored a combined 89 points against the competition while only ceding a total of 20 points.

The team made short work of Franciscan University of Steubenville, winning 15-6, and Ohio Northern University, freezing them 15-5.

SERF even established clear distance between the next best team at the tournament, Oberlin College, by dominating their rival 15-5. SERF entered the Oberlin match with increased adrenaline and intensity.

“They are very good this year, with a very good mentality, and they keep coming back even when you know they’re down,” Dugan said of Oberlin. “We really just white-washed them. We beat them mentally, bringing more intensity each time.”

SERF then beat Xavier University 15-5, Denison University 14-7, and Franciscan again in the final, 15-7. Kenyon’s squad played so well that the opposition used mostly secondary lines to rest its starting players.

SERF relied on its top two handlers, Sam Ross ’14 and Dugan, to lead them.

A general sense of positivity also buoyed the team. With each point, SERF grew in confidence. This confidence showed on the field as players demonstrated few, if any, technical mistakes.

“Technically we’re great, but we’ve had that in past years; this year mentally we’re just way better than any team we’ve played,” Dugan said.

SERF will now shoot for first place at Regionals before potentially heading to Division III Nationals.

In the past, SERF opted to play in Division I Nationals, after winning Regionals, in order to face tougher competition. This year, SERF will play DIII Nationals if they win at Regionals.

“It’ll just be more fun to go to DIII Regionals and Nationals, than to go to a tournament where you know at the end of the day we don’t have that good of a chance of getting to nationals,” Dugan said. “If we get to DIII Nationals that will just be fun.”

SERF’s winning mentality is founded on camaraderie, because the players’ care for one another shows on the field.

“The team has made a really good effort as a group, as a collective, to be positive and fun and to support your teammates,” Dugan said.


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