We are attempting to get as much coverage posted as possible, but Robyn is getting focused on playing this weekend, and I have my hands full with trying to help run this event. We will still be posting stories as we receive them, but there will be significantly less commentary from us, and for that we apologize. We also have a D-I podcast coming your way and we have high hopes for getting that posted tomorrow. Thank you for understanding, and we hope you are enjoying our coverage!
Our next feature is about the Iowa State University (of Science and Technology!) Woman Scorned. This team has been a great team to watch develop over the years. Their depth is phenomenal, and the foundation for a great program has truly been laid. Getting the opportunity to play against/alongside these players over the years has been fantastic--a true reward. Grad Student handler, Lindsey Gapstur, answered some questions about the team and her experiences with Scorned. For a more detailed look at the team, PLEASE check out their awesome blog. Gapstur, is a pivotal contributor to the blog and to the Twitter role. Woman Scorned Blog
What are 3 unique things that make WS special?
1. Scorned’s field personality- If you have ever played us or played on a field near us, I think you can attest to the field personality of Scorned. Whether it is our unique cheers and our sideline dance parties or our team-wide involvement in the game (on the field or sidelines), Scorned has fun in every aspect of the game.
2. Individuality and diversity- Let’s just say you don’t have to fit a mold to play on this team. We have every sort of person on Woman Scorned. We embrace all people no matter if they are skirt wearers or short wears, fast or slow, partier or not… every one of us has our place in this family. Usually this shows through our field uniforms, so the national’s uniform rules are definitely going to force us to conform a bit more than usual out in Boulder.
3. Team unity- Obviously this is usually present with any successful team, but the unity of Scorned is like nothing I have ever experienced before. This unity is evident on the field by our style of play involving all 7 players and the sidelines, rather than just a few big players, but this togetherness goes so much further than games with Scorned. From library study parties during the week, to just hanging out every single day with each other, Scorned has a bond that is stronger than anything I can describe. Our unity comes from a devotion to each other, to hold ourselves as well as our teammates accountable for their attendance, decisions, and hard work. We push each other to reach our individual and team goals, and throughout this season we have truly grown to be a remarkable team of friends.
How does WS approach development of new players?
Although we hope to have one soon, we have never had a B team in this program. We also don’t make cuts because we believe ultimate is a sport that everyone should have the opportunity to play. This means that we usually have a fairly high number of inexperienced players in the fall, but in reality new players can start at any point in the year. This past fall we attended 4 tournaments and played very open lines in each of them. This allowed everyone to get a lot of playing experience and built some serious depth to our roster for spring.
Describe the relationship WS has with the ultimate community.
The local ultimate community around Iowa isn’t huge but it is very close. Woman Scorned is heavily involved in the summer league, pickup, and club scene in the area. In Ames especially, the community is very much like a family, integrating everyone from the founders of The Chad Larson Experience (a world champion mixed club team from Ames) to the rookies of the college teams into almost any ultimate activity that goes on. It really makes everyone feel at home and helps with the growth of the game in the area.
In reference to the bigger college ultimate community, Woman Scorned is relatively young team. While the North Central is a very competitive region, the unity between teams is very strong. The rivalries always bring intense competition on the field, but off the field there are many friendships between teams. Woman Scorned is a big fan of getting to know other teams, and we will never turn down a chance to boat race another team or have a dance off at tournaments.
Explain the role that social media (fbook, twitter, and the blog) has played in fostering your relationship with other teams/players.
Honestly, I started the blog because Wisconsin-Eau Claire told us that we should, and I had the easiest class load possible my senior year of undergrad. I had no idea people would actually end up reading it. The blog is a great tool to get our name out there for people to read about us. Most people outside of Central Region probably don’t know much about Woman Scorned, but with the blog, we get a chance to highlight our team a little bit and in the way we would like to be portrayed. Probably the best part of having a blog/facebook/twitter is the way we can use it as a tool for recruiting. When incoming freshmen or transfer students are interested in the ultimate team at Iowa State, they have a source of accurate information. Twitter and Facebook are fun ones that have interestingly enough built up some relationships with other teams in the nation. After Michelle Ng forced me to FB friend a few of the girls on UNC-W, Woman Scorned actually ended up hanging out with them after Easterns and then later cheered each other on during games at Centex. (Editor's Note: Bringing people together has earned me the nickname "Tool" but I love seeing my friends become friends.)
How did Regionals go? Anything special or noteworthy?
Well, we made nationals… that was pretty noteworthy. It was a really good tournament for us as a team. We had a rough go of it in the semi’s game versus Carleton, but Scorned pulled it back together and started working as a unit again to take the next two wins and grab the last bid to nationals. This will be our second appearance at the College National Championships, and we are hoping to make a bigger impact than in 2009.
What can we expect at nationals? Making any adjustments? (no need to describe specific x’s and o’s)
Look for us to perform as a team. We don’t have the biggest roster, but we are deep. There are definitely some names that people will be looking at on the field, but Scorned plays a team game and that is when we really do damage. You can also expect us to have a janky yellow flag and a boom box on our sideline.
How are practices going with it being the semester wrapping/wrapped up?
Practices are going great. Most of the girls have been in town the entire time (we had finals the week following regionals). The intensity level has definitely picked up, but we are really focusing on working out the kinks. It is also extremely helpful that all of us have the opportunity to play pickup with CLX on our non-practice days.
Any injuries sustained at Regionals? Any personnel losses or gains?
We had a couple injuries at Regionals, but nothing that we weren’t able to tape the crap out of or smother in Icy Hot. We lost people for a few points or a game or two, but we were sitting at full squad (mostly healthy) in the last game. We are much healthier this year than last, and you can count on us being in shape in Colorado!
Taking any precautions or special preparations for nationals?
We have a very carefully planned schedule that involves some working out, a significant amount of ultimate, lots of group activities, and then just a TON of other time spent together with each other. Many of us don’t have jobs but are in Ames until Nationals, so that leaves us with a lot of bonding time. In fact, we even had to appoint a new team position-Activities Director. Basically we are all hanging out and enjoying our last couple of weeks together as a team. It is absolutely amazing!
We are looking forward to have Warhead contests out in Boulder with anyone who is willing to challenge us.
Also, check out their sick Easterns Highlight Video! http://vimeo.com/21588144