Banshee, the Brandeis Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, made history this fall by making it to nationals, which were held in Norco, California from Dec. 17 to Dec. 20. Adding to the sweetness of this feat, they placed 10th at the competition. The team was led by captains Eve “Echo” Robinson ’22 and Allie “Fresca” Mundis ’22.
“It was awesome to get to experience the highest level of frisbee for our division,” said Mundis in a Zoom interview with The Brandeis Hoot. This accomplishment came during a special fall semester of play. Mundis explained that typically Ultimate is only played in the spring, but since competitors lost time during the COVID-19 pandemic, players were given the chance to make up for lost time with a one-time-only fall season. “Usually the fall is completely developmental for us, which is nice, especially for newer players. I think that this season was a little bit different just because it wasn’t an expectation [to win competitions] at all,” she said.
Even though it took away time for practice and training before competitions, Mundis enjoyed this extra season. “It was definitely a wacky season, and honestly nobody was expecting it, so I think that made it like so much more special,” she said.
Though competitions did not happen for a while during the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Mundis revealed that Banshee still practiced, which she thinks helped them do as well as they did this season. Also contributing to their success was “a number of really outstanding players,” according to Mundis. She explained that every member of Banshee gets to play at competitions they’re present at, with no one benched the entire time.
Mundis stressed the importance of community in frisbee on campus. Tron, the Brandeis Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team, also made it to nationals, so the two teams supported each other heavily, said Mundis. Banshee started a GoFundMe to help fundraise for their trip to nationals, and she says she was amazed at the support. According to Mundis, many alumni donated, including Banshee founders.
Also new this year was the introduction of new coaches: Head Coach Elana Schwam, as well as Aaron Freedman and Hunter Lang. Mundis acknowledged their part in the success of Banshee, but also made sure to credit the work of herself and her fellow captain. She revealed that none of the coaches were able to support Banshee on their trip to California for personal reasons, so it was up to Robinson and Mundis to “call plays” and oversee the team.
The women worked together to ultimately rank higher than expected. Tron had no such luck, losing all of their first-round games, and ended the fall season in 16th place.
Going into the competition, Banshee was ranked 14th out of 16, but they ended 10th. Banshee lost to Rice University, 13-10, and Carleton College-Eclipse, 11-4. They beat Richmond, 10-13. This win buoyed them into the championship bracket, where their run was cut short.
Though Banshee ended in 10th, there was an opportunity for higher rankings. Unfortunately due to a COVID-19 outbreak, they were unable to play later games, as the women on the team were close contacts. Mundis was, of course, disappointed, but she is also hopeful for the future now.
“We’ve definitely seen what’s possible and every year we do better than the last,” she said. “We made it once to nationals in the fall, and I’m so happy with that—like, that is already so unbelievable and surreal! But I think we’ve seen what the team can do, and we’ve seen what’s possible, so I’m hopeful for the spring.”