Usually only having a spring season, USA Ultimate hosted a fall championship to accommodate the lost playing seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic. SERF and Blu-Ray, Kenyon’s ultimate frisbee teams, traveled to Norco, Calif. to compete in the 2021 College National Championships as Kenyon students were wrapping up their fall semester.
Following a difficult tournament with the best schools in Division III, SERF placed 11th in the nation out of the 16 teams. SERF also won the D-III men’s Spirit Award, which was given to the D-III team who were deemed to have most honored the spirit of ultimate frisbee. Blu-Ray placed 15th with the same number of competitors.
Both Blu-Ray and SERF struggled at the beginning of the tournament during the pool play stage. SERF ended the first day 1-2 and Blu-Ray ended 0-3. SERF’s win against Brandeis University (Mass.) allowed them to advance to the championship bracket, and Blu-Ray went on to play in the 13th-place round robin.
The next day, SERF played against Carleton College (Minn.) in what was considered one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament. Despite 90 minutes of high-level play, Kenyon suffered another defeat, 15-13, and was knocked out of the championship bracket. SERF lost one more game following the Carleton defeat and then won their final match against University of Rochester (N.Y.), finishing 11th.
As Blu-Ray advanced to the round robin stage of the tournament, they continued to face tough opponents, suffering losses to University of Puget Sound (Ore.) and University of Richmond (Va.) on the second day. Despite the continued adversity, Blu-Ray did not back down and continued to compete at a high level in their final match, winning 11-10 against Wheaton College (Ill.). The victory was much needed due to their early tournament struggles.
Now, with a fresh taste of national-level play, both teams will be looking to make another national championship appearance later this spring.