Clare Ballor & Adam Davis, News Editor & Contributing Writer
The University of Dallas’ co-ed intramural Ultimate Frisbee club is adding a women’s team for the first time in its history. An increase in new players and a growing interest in a women’s team prompted the new addition.
“The idea had been there for a while, but we never had enough girls to form a team. It’s really the freshman participation and excitement in showing up regularly that made this possible,” said Bridget Weisenberger, a junior and the representative of the new women’s frisbee team.
A key challenge that occurs every fall is filling in the gaps that graduating veteran players leave, and this year will be no exception, particularly with the addition of a women’s team.
In the past, the University of Dallas Ultimate team (UDU) did not have the numbers to fill its own women’s team. According to Weisenberger, open pickup games have consistently drawn in many of their intramural players. This year, the pickup games drew in a large number of new players.
“At the beginning of the year, UDU hosts several pickup games to promote the team. The freshmen who come often make up a large part of our team each year,” said Weisenberger. “This is great, but we would like to encourage students who are interested to come to practice any time of the year.”
Since it first became a club, UDU has been a significant presence on campus. Last year, UDU was voted the most involved campus club.
Senior player Will Teller believes it shows UDU is “a legitimate program which promotes service and competitiveness.”
Christian Walker, a senior handler and cutter on the men’s Ultimate team, said that much will ride on the freshmen this year to build up both teams.
“Freshmen will have to step up and take on leadership roles, while having fun. Ultimate is a difficult game to enjoy if you’re not having fun,” Walker said.
Weisenberger said that the transition from co-ed to a separate all-women’s team will showcase players and the sport in a new way.
“It’s a different dynamic. Girls are no longer fans, but the … center of attention. That’s exciting,” said Weisenberger.
Recruitment to the women’s team is drawing every kind of student. The team’s breadth of age and class makes for a unique social experience.
“Over the past two years, the team has become a unique community,” said Teller.
Whether the team will prove itself this semester has yet to be seen. However, one thing is clear: The university welcomes the team wholeheartedly and wishes it luck this semester.
When asked for the biggest difference an all-women’s team would bring, Weisenberger paused for a moment, smiled wryly and then predicted, “better attitudes on the pitch and more turnovers.”
Expectations are that the newly founded women’s team will compete in local games, in sectionals this spring and the Harvest Moon Tournament in Fayetteville, AR this November.