Brandeis Ultimate Disc club teams qualify for nationals

TRON in action
TRON in action

UPDATE, Dec. 20: Both the men (seeded 13th) and women (seeded 14th) went 1-2 in preliminary pool play. The women placed 10th, defeating Lehigh, 12-10 in the consolation semifinals. They were unable to compete against Rice in the 9th-place match. Based on scoring differential, the men finished in 16th place. 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: At separate locations on the same Sunday, November 17, the men's and women's Club Ultimate Disc teams together qualified for Nationals in Norco, California, as both squads survived early defeats to reach the championships. Playing at Williams College, the women rebounded from early-tournament jitters to win their final three games, while the men had a strong Saturday, only to lose Sunday's first game, before rebounding in their last match to ensure of one of the top two spots in the region.

The women's team, known as BANSHEE, entered the tournament ranked #25 in Division III, lost their first two openers against #4 Middlebury and hosts #9 Williams by identical 9-5 sores.  With the season on the line, they rebounded in their last game on Saturday with a 10-4 victory over #20 Stonehill College.  On Sunday they were perfect.  Avenging their earlier loss they dominated Williams, 11-6, and followed that up with a stunning, come-from-behind 9-4 victory over #5 Amherst in their final match.

"In past experiences, changing the team energy is a bit of a force," Brandeis senior co-captain captain Eve Robinson told "But as soon as the coach mentioned it, everyone got back in the zone. Heads up, cheers ready."

Senior co-captain Allie Mundis agreed. "The energy on the sideline was empowering and mobilizing," she told "We fought for every point like it was universe point. You could feel the momentum building."

Sophomore Xihu Arfa, and senior leaders Robinson and sisters Jackie and Allie Mundis were the top performers for Brandeis as BANSHEE qualified for Nationals for the first time in team history.  Brandeis opens up action on Friday, December 17, in Norco, at 10:15 AM (PST) against #7 seed Rice University.

Unlike their counterparts, the men's team, a/k/a TRON, opened up the regional tournament at Stonehill College with back-to-back wins putting them in a great spot to advance.  Trailing early to Bates College the 12th-ranked men rallied for a 10-9 win, then rolled to a 10-7 win over Roger Williams in a game that was not as close as the score indicated.  After losing to top and nationally seeded Middlebury College, the final game of the day against #11 Bryant University was proverbially for all the marbles with the winner advancing to the winner's bracket and the losers' season being over.  Trailing 5-1 the men rallied to stun Bryant, 11-9, with first-year Jessie Levisohn and senior Matt Kolk instrumental in the win.

On Sunday, the men were again beaten by Middlebury, setting up a winner-take-all match against Amherst College with the winner grabbing the second nationals berth from the Northeast. Jumping out to a big lead from the start, Brandeis cruised to their first Nationals appearance since 2016 – when they were national runners-up – with a 13-6 victory.  On the weekend, the team was led by Levisohn and senior Jake Smith with eight goals each and an astounding 16 assists from junior Matt Sehgal. Brandeis will play on the national stage for the 5th time in team history, taking the field Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. in Norco against overall top seed Richmond University.

--By Derek Jenesky, Club Sports Coordinator