Ave Maria University
The Ave Maria University (AMU) Ultimate Frisbee team has had a fantastic season so far, with several impressive victories under their belt. Their perfect 9-0 record took them to the B-Team Brodown Tournament, where they played six games, winning five and placing second overall.
One of their most significant wins was against Penn State University, where the Gyrenes fought in difficult weather conditions to come away with an 11-9 victory. They also faced Ohio State University in the quarter finals. The team nearly had a perfect game, beating their opponents 15-1.
The frisbee team then advanced to the finals with a season rematch against 22nd ranked (nationally) Franciscan University. The Gyrenes put up a good fight, but they fell to Franciscan 9-10. This was the Gyrene’s first loss of the season.
Reflecting on the team’s performance, captain senior Nicholas Fitzgerald is proud of where the team is at this point of the season. “This tournament was instrumental in proving that the team can compete nationally at a top level,” said Fitzgerald. “This was a statement weekend, announcing our presence on the national frisbee stage. The tournament also showed us what we need to work on as we get ready to compete at Regionals.”
At the end of the season, the AMU Ultimate Frisbee team earned a hard-fought victory against Franciscan University of Steubenville, battling for a 10-9 win over their opponents. Franciscan is currently ranked 22nd in the nation for Division III schools.
Coach Michael Middendorf praised the team’s ability to push through adversity and always offer everything for God’s glory. “This win shows that the team can compete with the best teams in the country. We gave everything in that game to God, to him be the glory,” said Middendorf.
Asked about how the team prepares for games against big universities, Middendorf affirmed: “We know the other teams, and we prepare for that.” He said that—as a team—they dedicate everything to God, and that they are consecrated to Our Lady. He explained that for the games, preparing spiritually is what is most important. “We give it up to God.”
Coach Middendorf recounted that the team prayed together before every game, and that in some of those games, they were ridiculed by other teams for being Catholic. He shared that the frisbee team is not only a place where men can have fun and grow athletically, but it is also a place where they can grow spiritually as Catholic men.
While he acknowledges that many seniors on the frisbee team are graduating, Middendorf is sure that their legacy as a strong class will live on. Michael thinks that—thanks to the support from AMU athletics—there is a bright future ahead for the AMU frisbee team, and he is excited to see the team grow. “We are so blessed that the athletics department has stood behind us,” he said.
On April 22, in Decatur, Alabama, the Gyrenes will compete in the USA Ultimate Division III Southeast Regionals for a chance to earn a bid to compete at Nationals later in May.
Follow all our athletic department updates and teams on avemariagyrenes.com.