Last weekend, the University of Dallas’ Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team, Vortex, hosted their fourth annual tournament, Greatest Crusade. Held at both the McNabb rugby pitch and Cistercian Preparatory School, the tournament drew in 14 teams from Ark., Okla. and Texas.
This was the largest home tournament for the university’s Ultimate club in its history, posing both logistical complications and hope for the future. Junior Madie Hoelscher, the club’s president, said that preparations for the tournament began in August, with final confirmation of permission to use Cistercian’s fields arriving only in January from Cistercian athletic director Andre Bruce. With the help of men’s captain Sterling Daniels, Hoelscher then contacted numerous teams as a recruitment measure and secured a first-place prize from the club’s sponsor. Hoelscher emphasized the importance of “team work, networking, and luck,” communicating with athletic staff at Cistercian, the various teams, designing the bracket, and delegating tasks to women’s captain Aspen Daniels and vice president Abby Thorpe.
Both Hoelscher and Daniels view the tournament as a victory for the club.
“We’ve gotten our name out there as a club that runs organized, fun tournaments,” Hoelscher said. Hoelscher also views the tournament as personal victory. “I had planned for a big tournament like this for three years down the road and had no idea it would happen only my second year I was running it [sic].”
Daniels noted the influx of funds stemming from the tournament’s high participation will help stabilize the club, allowing it to move beyond its chronic shortage of funding in order to compete more frequently and at a higher level. “It also helps us and other teams take ourselves seriously,” said Daniels.
Despite high spirits, Daniels said that injuries and scheduling conflicts prevented the team from winning “several games we had expected to win,” ending the weekend in a 1-5 record. Despite a strong start to Saturday’s first game, they lost 12-11 against Abilene Christian University, going on to face defeat against Harding University and Baylor University. On Sunday they also started strong, overcoming a lack of substitutes and minimal warm-up to defeat Texas State University 13-5. They later lost to University of Tulsa and University of Texas-Dallas, coming in 12th place overall.
Based on this weekend’s performance, Daniels’ top priority is to “improve physical and mental fitness.” However, he remains confident that the team can “recover and have a stronger showing” at sectionals in April.
Texas Christian University took first place, beating Baylor University 15-9.