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Ultimate Team Earns Nationals Wildcard

By Susan Dacy
Team Member

The women's ultimate team earned a wildcard spot for nationals by placing third at the Regional Championships this weekend. They entered seeded fifth but lost only one game and finished the weekend 41. The top 12 teams in the nation qualify for nationals.

MIT started the weekend with a 131 win over Middlebury. MIT had previously beaten Middlebury 159 at the Albany tournament. The second game was a hard fought match against fourth seed Tufts, whom the Engineers own a 31 record against. Barbara Cutler G shut down their star player on defense while Karen Plaut G was key on offense, making an amazing layout for the disc to keep the game in MIT's hands. Strong zone defense by Aimee Smith G and Alicia Volpicelli '99 kept MIT on the roll to a 137 victory.

MIT advanced in the winners bracket to play top seeded Yale in the semi-finals. MIT came out to a 20 lead, but Yale's offense dominated the match and handed MIT a 155 loss. Highlights of the game included great playing by rookies Lindee Goh G, Dana Scott '01, Natalie Neginsky '99, and Megan Cooney '99.

On Sunday, MIT started the morning with a tough game against third seeded Brown. The game began with awesome layouts on defense and offense by Tessa Warren G. Brown's star player was shut down by Jennifer Fujii G. Great cuts in the endzone by Etchell Cordero G kept MIT scoring. Strong cuts and throws by Rebecca Thomas G led MIT to a 136 victory.

In the Engineers' final match, they faced sixth seed Dartmouth for the last place in the nationals. After trading points for several minutes in the beginning of the match, MIT pulled away to an 8-4 lead by halftime. Susan Dacy G inspired the team at the start of the second half with two layout catches in the endzone. After a bloody facial injury, Jessica Young G came back with amazing catches and blocks to stop Dartmouth's come back attempt. Olivera Kesler G laid out with a defender on her back to score the game winning point that sent MIT to nationals.

Coach James Sarvis G promised in a pre-game inspirational speech that he would wear a dress if the team made nationals. He will make good on that promise when the women's ultimate team heads to Baline, Minnesota at the end of May to compete for the national title.