This weekend the men’s ultimate frisbee team, SERF, hosted their annual “Learnament,” a tournament designed to give teams the opportunity to allow their new players to gain experience early in the season. The Learnament brought in 11 teams from around the region, including Case Western Reserve University, Denison University, Franciscan University and The Ohio State University.
Although the team finished 1-5, while OSU won th tournament, their new players were able to work on their skills and learn the game – a priority that is reflected in Kenyon’s record.
Jackson Furbee ’20 joined SERF this year. He was excited to gain a better understanding of the game. “As a rookie, I know I might not get a lot of playing time later in the year, but I learned a lot and had fun,” he said.
One of the closer games of the weekend was against Oberlin University. Although Kenyon lost, they were able to put many new players in the game. “It is fun to play a team that is as good-spirited as they are competitive” Matt Carney ’18 said.
Ultimate tournaments are split into two days; day one is a round robin that determines bracket seeds for day two. Day two provided a highlight of the tournament for SERF during a game against Franciscan University (Ohio). Franciscan, the 2016 Division III national champions and a top five-ranked team in 2017, led SERF 12-7 in a game to 13 points. SERF then went on a 5-0 run to bring the score to 12-12 and set up a universe point, or sudden death. SERF had a number of opportunities to score, but were unable to convert.
Captain Burke Irwin ’19 was impressed by his team’s play at the end of the game, “I’ve never seen the team band together and come back from such a deficit against a high caliber team.” he said.
Irwin emphasized the team’s strong defense during the run. In ultimate, once a team scores, they “pull” to the other team and start the point on defense, meaning during their run, SERF had to force a turnover and win the disc back on each point. Irwin said that Ryan Muzzio ’18 played particularly strong defense during those points.
In the end, Franciscan won, but the 5-0 run demonstrated the potential of the team.
Irwin said the new players “looked good and [making] improvements, some have never played ultimate previously but made huge strides this weekend.” As for the rest of the season, Irwin hopes to qualify for regionals to extend their season.