By: Chase Gardiner/GCU Staff
In dominant fashion, the Grand Canyon University Club Ultimate Frisbee team won all 5 matches at the SoCal Mixer Tournament in Claremont, California. The Lopes breezed through the competition in historic fashion to win their first-ever tournament title.
With regional competition only a month away, a strong outing couldn’t have come at a better time. According to Co-Head Coach Rudy Jimenez, such an impressive showing is just what the Lopes needed.
“Winning this tournament is a huge accomplishment for the team, and to do so without a loss really served to show the importance of our hard work up to this point,” explained Jimenez. “Our team is really motivated to push ourselves so that we can compete with the best teams in Arizona and across the region, and this performance just helped to further our confidence in those goals.”
Of course, another huge confidence booster came from the fact that the Lopes achieved such success, despite having to face off against the top seeded team from Occidental College.
“One thing that both coaches were impressed with was the team’s relentlessness,” said Jimenez. “In our two games against Occidental, we found ourselves pulling the disc to Oxy for double game point. Both times our defense came through and our offense patiently worked the disc up for the winning point.”
Perhaps one of the greatest components of the Lopes weekend success was their healthy blend of teamwork and individual performance.
“The whole team had a great weekend, thanks in large part to Captains Adam Barth and Micah Gross, along with veteran Grant Goodman, who all did an excellent job of directing the team and making sure that everyone was locked in,” said Jimenez. “Also, Jacob Vangerpen was able to use his speed and excellent decision making to wreak havoc on both offense and defense all day.”
Such a weekend of success couldn’t have come at a better time for the Lopes, who are preparing for Sectional and Regional competition in the upcoming month. Rather than remain comfortable after their historic outing, the Lopes plan to continue their improvement and learn from the few mistakes that they exhibited.
“Some of the defensive sets that we saw over the weekend caused us some issues, especially in the semi-finals and finals,” noted Jimenez. “Our goal for the next month is to fine tune our offensive sets and make sure that everyone is committed to reducing team turnovers for the next two tournaments. Another top priority will be making sure that the team is all in for the duration of the tournament, especially since sideline communication for our players on the field will be critical to success.”
With a clear plan for improvement, and a historic spring board of success, the Lopes are more than confident that they have what it takes to continue their run of dominance into post season play. The Lopes take the field again Saturday, April 13 at the Desert D 1 College Sectionals, right here in Phoenix, Arizona.
Want to support the GCU Club Ultimate Frisbee team? Make sure to check out their schedule!