UCSB women’s ultimate frisbee team will take on 19 other collegiate teams at the USA Ultimate College Championships in Boulder, Colo. this weekend.The Burning Skirts are first seed at the national tournament and will face the University of Michigan, Tufts University, Northwestern University and Iowa State University before competing in bracket rounds on Sunday. The team took first place at several major tournaments this year, including the Stanford Invitational, Southern California Sectionals and Southwest Regionals.
According to Burning Skirts member Shannon Bubb, a fourth-year psychology and linguistics major, the squad will enter the tournament with several injured starters.
“I would say that our biggest competitors are [University of] Oregon and Stanford, but there are a lot of good teams this season,” Bubb said. “Our biggest obstacle going into nationals is injuries. Right now four of our starting line — [which consists of] seven girls — are injured.”
In spite of the setbacks, team captain Marie Madaras, a fourth-year who will be representing the U.S. in the World Flying Disc Federation World Championships Beach Ultimate 2011 in August, said the players have successfully competed under similar circumstances all season.
“The biggest surprise is that we have won four out of our six tournaments this season with a smaller team than we are used to,” Madaras said in an e-mail. “We have really come together as a team with a competitive edge and have proven it on the field.”
The team lost one game to the defending national champions Oregon earlier this year, but came back to defeat them the following day for their first lost in nearly a year.
The victory boosted the players’ assurance for the upcoming competition according to Bubb.
“It was a turning point for our team and gave everyone a lot of confidence,” Bubb said. “We plan on giving it everything we’ve got to bring a national championship back to UCSB. Once the adrenaline kicks in, I’m counting on our team pulling through.”
Bubb said the lineup exceeded this year’s expectations after several key players graduated last season.
“This season has been an amazing experience,” said Bubb. “Our young team has really come together and won some of the biggest tournaments of the season including the Stanford Invite, Centex in Austin, Texas and Southwest Regionals.”
For more information on the Nationals schedule of events, visit http://scores.usaultimate.org/scores/#college-womens/tournament/8931.