This year, over 300 Yalies from 35 Bulldog teams will take to the fields, courts and pools to compete for Eli glory at the club level.
Here are brief updates on four of the fall club teams:
Men’s Ultimate Frisbee
The men’s ultimate team, Superfly, is a completely student-run program coached and captained by seniors Blake Greene, Matt Prince and Ameet Talwalkar. The team practices three hours a day three to four times a week and competes in weekend long tournaments nearly twice a month.
Last weekend, the squad lost three games at the New England Regionals, including a 15-2 loss at the hands of the independent club team Death and Glory. But prior to these recent setbacks, Yale had been on a roll. The team won four of six games at the Metro N.Y. Championships Sept. 22-23.
Superfly (4-6) still has high hopes to advance to the national club tournament this spring.
“This year is our most promising since 1998,” Greene said.
“We have our sights set on reaching nationals,” he said. “We lost only two seniors to graduation and return a squad of roughly 15 experienced players.”
Sunday, Superfly will test its stuff on its home turf during the Yale Coffe Cup, a one-day, 8-team tournament at the intramural fields.
The men’s rugby team is arguably the pre-eminent club on Yale’s sporting scene. After finishing second to Providence College in the Northeast championship last fall, the Bulldogs have dominated in each of their three early-season matches this fall.
The squad — fifty players deep — practices three afternoons a week and is entirely student-run and -coached. Captain Collin May ’02 and President Micah Block ’03 lead the team, and Clayt Lauter, a forestry student and former U.S. Marine Corps player, has helped as a fitness coach.
As the team moves into the heart of the season, they will focus on preparing for the upcoming New England Championships.
“We’re very excited about our prospects this season,” Block said. “It’s looking to be a banner year for Yale Rugby.”
The team’s main opponent again looks to be Providence, but the Bulldogs are confident they can rise above last year’s performance.
“What really sets this team apart from past Yale squads is our depth,” Block said. “This is what we hope will carry us to our goal of a Northeast championship and a berth at Nationals.”
The Bulldogs will try to stay undefeated this Saturday when they host Trinity.
Founded in 1977, the women’s rugby team is one of the oldest women’s collegiate rugby clubs in the nation.
This year, the student-run team has 21 returning players and is benefitting from the help of volunteer coaches Sally Spatafora and Alison Reilly. Captains Brooke Rosonke ’02 and Kristi Loui ’02 lead the team on the playing field and in practices.
Despite its early season woes — the squad has struggled to a 1-5 record — the team still has playoff hopes.
“So far we have struggled against a series of experienced, high-caliber teams,” President Miriam Seifter ’03 said. “But we could still do well in the league and go on to post-season play. A win against [Boston University] this weekend is very important to our playoff hopes.”
The Bulldogs play Boston at home Saturday.
Men’s Water Polo
The men’s water polo team boasts a number of experienced players and ex-varsity swimmers.
With five days of practices a week and games almost every weekend, the commitment level necessary to be a member of the water polo team rivals that of some varsity squads. The team swims for the first hour of each practice and plays polo for the last hour and half.
Coached by Alexander Dean ’02, the team has gotten off to a lightning fast start in the 2001 season. The Bulldogs currently have a perfect 8-0 record, which has boosted them to a No. 20 ranking in the men’s national collegiate club poll.
Much of the team’s success can be attributed to its depth — a mix of 20 undergraduate and graduate players travel with the club.
Andrew Lewandowski SOM ’02 has helped the squad as an assistant coach. Also, the addition of swimmers Chris Peckover ’04, Doug Hausladen ’04, Henry Tibensky ’03, Quinn Fitzgerald ’05 and Daniel Conner ’05 has been key to the team’s early season success.
Dean said that he believes the Bulldogs chances are better than ever for regional and national success.
“The team is a lot faster this year,” Dean said. “The last three years we have gotten second place in the New England Championship, last year losing by two in the final, and I feel the team has a very good shot at winning this year.”
After a series of scrimmages over the next two weeks, the Bulldogs will travel to Williams College to compete in the New England Championships October 27-28.