Last weekend, both of Kenyon’s ultimate frisbee teams — Blu-Ray and SERF — competed in the Ohio Valley regional tournament in Columbus. The teams were tasked with competing against the top teams from three conferences and playing through 10 mph winds and snowfall. Despite the grueling conditions, Blu-Ray and SERF both succeeded with flying colors and qualified for the collegiate national championship in Norco, Calif.
Blu-Ray had to play four pool-play matches at the start of their tournament to advance to the next round. They faced Lehigh University (Pa.) to kick things off. While the weather conditions made competition difficult, Lehigh turned out to be a formidable opponent regardless and ran away with a 10-4 victory. Still, Kenyon did not let an early loss hinder their abilities in the slightest. Blu-Ray went on to defeat The College of Wooster 7-3, just minutes after the conclusion of their prior match against Lehigh. Now with the momentum on their side, Blu-Ray had no issue conquering rival Oberlin College 5-2.
Looking to start Sunday in the winner’s bracket, the team handily won their match against Swarthmore College (Pa.) 10-4. Their 4-0 finish in the pool meant they would face off in a rematch against Lehigh for a berth in the championship tournament. Despite Blu-Ray gaining heavy momentum, Lehigh defeated Kenyon again by a score of 10-4. Fortunately, the team still had a chance to qualify for nationals in the second-place match against Swarthmore, whom they had also defeated the day before. While the contest was closer than the previous matchup, Candela de Amorrortu ’23 secured Blu-Ray’s spot in the national championship by making a timely cut across the endzone to win the game 8-4.
SERF began their tournament with three pool-play matches. First, they competed against Messiah College (Pa.). The frigid morning air and wind made the contest an ugly one, but Kenyon’s strong start gave them a 8-6 victory. Grove City College (Pa.) was SERF’s next opponent and ultimately proved troublesome. While the game stayed close until the end, Grove City handed SERF their first and only loss of the tournament with a 12-8 final score. SERF finished off their pool matches against Xavier University, whom they had no trouble defeating, winning 15-4.
Despite a 2-1 finish in their pool, Kenyon was relegated to the loser’s bracket, meaning they had to win four games in a row in order to advance to the national championship. SERF’s first bracket match was against Cedarville University. The game was tied at 9-9 after time had expired. SERF would win after scoring the universe point in an overtime period on a brilliant catch from Michael Gleason ’22.
The next day, SERF’s rematch against Messiah proved to be as riveting as their last game. After a tight game, Logan Reimbold-Thomas ’22 threaded a pass to Jackson Killea ’23, scoring another universe point to secure a 9-8 victory. Grove City was Kenyon’s third opponent of the tournament stage, and unlike the first time, they won 8-7. Finally, SERF lined up to face Oberlin College, with the winner earning a trip to the national championship. The competition was tied at the start, but Kenyon eventually pulled ahead. As the final horn rang through the snowy air, Kenyon rejoiced: With a 9-6 victory, they had secured their spot in the championship.