Coming off their best season in the past decade, the Tech women’s ultimate team, “Wreck,” is prepared to take the next step towards success.
Wreck competes in the Southeast region where they play against teams such as Georgia, Florida, Emory and Alabama.
For those who are unfamilar, ultimate is played with two teams of seven, and the goal is to get the disc into the endzone to score a point. Ultimate has concepts very similar to basketball such as zone offense and defense. The two primary roles are handlers and cutters. Cutters are very similar to wide receivers, and a handler is like the quarterback of the offense.
The team has seen recent success due to the outstanding leadership from the coaches and past captains. Fourth year captains, Cate Woodhurst and Donnya Ajdari are prepared to leave a lasting impression on the team and have the goals set high for this season.
When Ajdari and Woodhurst arrived on campus, the team hadn’t made the regionals in 5 years. Both Ajdari and Woodhurst were fairly new to competitive ultimate, but they picked up the game quickly. Ajdari was named to the all-region freshman team.
The following season, many important newcomers joined the season including third year CS major Julia Ting. In the 2012-2013 season, Wreck began to show signs of improvement including a win in the Southeast regional, their first in seven years.
“I saw [Wreck] at FASET, and then I was hooked,” said Ajdari. “Ultimate Frisbee allows you to still play a competitive sport and go play other schools without being on the official Tech team.”
The team has been steadily improving, according to Ajdari.
“We’ve gotten better every year at regionals. We went from losing all our games…and last year we tied for fifth with UGA,” Ajdari said.
During these years, a bond began to form within the team. Wreck does not believe there is another organization with more love for eachother than Wreck.
“I love seeing new players coming in and just getting thrown into this new environment and seeing them adapt and learn the game and seeing how far they come by end of the season. I love playing with my friends. Everyone on the team is my friend and they’re my family away from home,” Woodhurst said.
Their passion for ultimate and each other has been a big recruiting tool for them these past years. It has helped turn Wreck into a very competitive program in the Southeast region.
“We say that Wreck is FIERCE…an acronym for ‘Fun, Intense, Energetic, Reflective, Competitive, and Eager’ to describe our values,” said former Wreck captain Leah Tsinajinnie.
Wreck is coached by Allison Douglas and Maddy Frey; the two of them have passed along their knowledge of the game of ultimate. Douglas and Frey both play competitive club ultimate in Atlanta (Ozone and Outbreak) which has become very popular, and many members of Wreck have joined club teams.
Wreck has been practicing all Fall semester, and they have been very impressed with their rookie class.
“A couple of the rookies were here for the summer semester, and they throw all the time, and they are into it. They already caught the bug, and once you catch the bug, it’s only a matter of time until you get really good,” Ting said.
Woodhurst plays for Ozone, the top women’s ultimate club in the Southeast, and they recently qualified for Nationals after winning their region. Nationals will be hosted in Orlando, FL, on October 16-19 Six other members of Wreck play for the newly formed club, Outbreak.
“I tried out in May. I went through all the rounds, and I’ve been playing all summer. We went to four tournaments and won the Shawn Adams Memorial and regionals. We’re going into nationals ranked seventh in the country,” Woodhurst said.
Big news arrived on October 1, when Ajdari, Ting and Woodhurst along with third year Taylor Hartman found out that they had been invited to try out for the U-23 USA Ultimate teams. The tryouts will take place November 22-23 in Orlando, and they have the possibility of being one of 33 women selected to compete in the 2015 World Ultimate championships.
It had been a dream for many of them upon hearing about Tsinajinnie trying out for the 2013 games.
“I talked to one of the coaches that went last year, and she said regardless of who made the team and who didn’t, she just thought that everyone was trying their hardest,” Ajdari said. “You’re playing with top talent, so you’re going to learn a lot from tryouts,”
Wreck’s major rivals are the teams in Georgia, but they have great relations with all teams in their section and region.
“We are the most spirited team in our region, and I really believe that. Other teams recognize that, and we get along well with every team. Of course it’s always fun to beat UGA, and we also get picky about Emory because we want to be city champions,” Woodhurst said.
Most recently the team competed in a scrimmage against fellow in-state foes Georgia, Kennesaw State, GCSU and Emory. Wreck finished 3-1, with their only loss to Georgia on universe point. The captains were very pleased with their performance, but all agree the team has yet to reach its apex.
Wreck will compete next in Classic City Classic on October 25 and 26 in Athens, Georgia. CCC is one of the biggest tournaments of the year, and it will be a big test for the team.
Then they will be going to the Gulf Coast Warm Up. There, Wreck will get to see other teams, such as LSU and Auburn.