The NC State women’s club ultimate team, JagaMonsta, finishes up its fall semester this weekend in a round-robin tournament at Method Fields, wrapping up a great start to the 2019-20 school year.
On Sunday, Dec. 8, the team will face Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and the Tourists, a high school team NC State has played a couple of times this year. Senior captain Rowan Jaynes wants the tournament to help her team have some fun and de-stress before exams start.
“We have one more set of games, a little round-robin with Duke, UNC and the Tourists,” Jaynes said. “So, we still have some things we can work on. We just implemented a new zone this weekend, so we’re working through that more at practice.”
Overall, the young team seems pleased with the start of the year, and the captains say the players are trending upward, especially with the number of seniors it had to replace.
“So far this fall semester, the team has surpassed my expectations of what I thought we were going to be,” said sophomore captain Allison Church. “We’ve been able to learn really quickly. Our rookies have been able to learn really quickly, but also our veterans are learning new systems, and they’ve also been able to pick up new systems quickly.”
The first big tournament this semester was the 10-team Brickyard Brawl on Method Fields on Oct. 19-20, neighboring the men’s 16-team tournament on Miller Fields. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate, as the second day was rained out.
“We played four games, I think we went 2-2,” Jaynes said. “We lost to the Tourists, which is a high school team, but they were actually at Fall Easterns this past weekend and we crushed them. And then we lost to South Carolina, who ran a zone against us. We won against ECU and UNC-Charlotte.”
Next was the Fall Easterns tournaments at UNC-Wilmington on Nov. 16-17. In the 10-team tournament, JagaMonsta finished in third place. It lost to UNC-W on Saturday before entering the brackets on Sunday. In quarterfinals, it beat the Tourists, getting revenge from the Brickyard Brawl, but lost to the UNC-W alumni team in semifinals.
“We only came in with 12 people, so a really small roster, and we were kind of nervous for that, but everyone did really well,” Jaynes said. “Everyone played really hard, got a lot of good reps, and overall, it was kind of an advantage for us to have too few people, so everyone could get a lot of touches in early tournament.”
JagaMonsta shut out UNC-W in the third-place game to finish out a successful weekend.
”It was very windy, so that presented a challenge for us,” Church said. “At first, we were really struggling in the wind, but I think as the weekend progressed, we learned how to play better.”
The fall was a great start to the season, and while Jaynes is happy about that, she understands the spring is when it really matters, and there is still a lot to work on. Both on the field and off the field, the team has to be sharp to be able to compete and reach its goals in 2020.
“So far, our difficulties this season have been when teams run zone against us,” Jaynes said. “We haven’t had the chance to really go into that in practice, and we probably won’t until January.”
After the tournament Sunday, JagaMonsta will be done for the semester and will wait to pick up in the spring, when the true season starts.