[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: Mississippi State University
Team Name: Night Mare
Captain: Diana Link
Coach: Brian Dean
Year Founded: 2009
Jersey Colors: Maroon and White
2010 Record: 4-6
How did you get involved with Ultimate at Mississippi State?
Diana Link: I came to Mississippi State as a graduate student, and before I even moved here I made contacts to find out if there was a women’s ultimate team. When I found out there was no team, I started recruiting and trying to put together a few girls. Once I got here we had a handful of girls who were hooked pretty quickly. We attended our first tournament (Midwest Throwdown – Roundup division) with only 8 girls and went 4-2!
What is Ultimate at MSU all about?
Diana: I grew up in the Northeast where there is a bit more college ultimate. When I came to Mississippi for graduate school I quickly realized that everyone “played frisbee” which meant everyone played pickup. For a lot of students here pickup is all they know about ultimate. It’s been really fun to transform girls who played co-ed pickup into players that look, think, and play more like an ultimate player. After their first tournament and then sectionals I think it started to become more clear to the girls how amazing this sport is, and how it goes so much deeper than throwing a Frisbee around on the college green. I have definitely seen that it builds self esteem and teaches honestly (from self officiating) and teamwork.
How did Night Mare do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Diana: We didn’t win any games in the college series, but we all learned that we had to work much harder and be much more focused if we were to get out of our section the following year. The highlight of our season was definitely driving 14 hours round trip to play our first tournament with only one sub. We played very cohesively and it formed the core of our team.
What player is most likely to make a huge play?
Diana: One of our juniors, Nancy Oaks is just an all around amazing player. She is super intense and focused on the field. I know when I need to look to her she’ll always be there, and she’s my favorite person to look deep to because I can always count on her to push herself as hard as she can to get the disc.
How does your team bring new players to Ultimate up to speed?
Diana: We do a lot of throwing on days we don’t have official practice. Even if a few girls can get together and toss a disc around for 2 hours it helps tremendously. Those who throw on their free time have become much better throwers and they know it and it makes them want to throw even more. We also scrimmage for the second half of practice and video tape these scrimmages. Myself and the coach watch these and write up advice for each player based on what we see them doing right or wrong to help them out. We’re working on getting these on DVD for the girls so they can watch themselves play. Personally, I can be told I’m doing something wrong over and over, but once I see what I’m doing wrong on video that’s when it really makes me realize that I need to change and improve.
Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?
Diana: We really want to make it to Regionals, and it is possible with how much improvement we have seen just this semester so far. We have also doubled in size since last fall which will help us out when trying to get enough girls together to participate in more spring tournaments.
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Diana: We practice twice a week and condition once a week. Most of us throw on our free time.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring?
Diana: Mudbowl, Mardi Gras, College Series
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Diana: Well, we adopted Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” en route to our first ever tournament…so that’s our theme song anyway
Bear, ninja or cowboy?
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