Breezy may have described the weather for East Carolina University during the 2017 Fall Eastern club ultimate frisbee tournament in Wilmington, but nothing was breezy for the Pirates.
The Pirates, or “Irates” as the team goes by, competed against 10 other opponents in this tournament. The teams in attendance included the University of North Carolina, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Virginia Tech University, North Carolina State University, William and Mary University, James Madison University, Clemson University, the University of Maryland, the University of South Carolina and Appalachian State University.
The Pirates started the tournament early Saturday morning in group play against Clemson. The Irates group included UNCW, Virginia Tech, James Madison, Clemson and Appalachian State.
In the 9 a.m. Clemson matchup, ECU dropped a close game 9-7 and immediately went into its next matchup at 10:15 a.m. with Appalachian State. The Pirates lost the match 9-4.
The rest of the day would prove to be disheartening for the Irates, as they would drop all five matches on Saturday and fail to make it out of pool play losing 6-4 to James Madison, 8-3 against Virginia Tech and finally 9-5 to the host, UNCW.
Sunday showed no signs of looking up as the Pirates dropped two more losses to South Carolina (15-7) and the College of William and Mary (13-8).
Losing like this is a similar scene for the Irates, according to junior club member Zack Baldwin, but he also said the Irates are still holding their heads high however despite the poor weekend results.
“We will focus on the fundamentals of the sport which allows us to reach the full athletic potential of our team,” Baldwin said.
The Irates are not happy with their results from the weekend and don’t plan on letting this define them in their remaining matches of the year.
“We had weak results this weekend that doesn’t reflect all the work we put into this team,” Baldwin said. “I can expect to dedicate 10-15 hours of time a week between practice, team meetings, working out and throwing outside of practice.”
High-level competition was definitely a factor in the tournament as UNC and UNCW faced off in the semifinals for the national championship last year and met Sunday for the Fall Easterns title. UNC took down UNCW 15-11 to claim the championship, while the NC State Wolfpack finished third on the weekend.
“We saw some high level competition and got a lot of good exposure to high-level Ultimate teams this weekend,” Baldwin said.
The Pirates will not participate in another tournament until the spring semester and hope to see different results from this weekend. The team will also host its annual alumni scrimmage, where the Pirates will face off against past club members on Dec. 2 in Greenville, NC.
Failing to capture a win at the Fall Easterns, along with a bit of a hiatus on the horizon, puts the Irates out of commision for the remainder of the semester as they look to regroup.