[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: Colorado State University
Team Name: Hell’s Belles
Captains: Sam Applegate, Emily Stege, Natalie Kallhoff
Coach: Charles Stone
Year Founded: 1988
Colors: Red, White, Black
2010 Record: 16-8
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with ultimate at your school?
Sam Applegate: I played on my high school team my senior year and loved it. When I came to CSU, one of my teammates and I joined Belles and I’ve been heavily involved ever since.
Emily Stege: I played a little pick up on my high school cross country team and thought it was cool. I came to CSU looking to play club basketball, but since there isn’t a club team I decided to check out Frisbee. I was searching for a competitive sport to continue playing in college.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Sam: Last year was the best year for Belles to date. We finished 5th in the Southwest Region and lost the game to go at the very end. The tournament was on our campus and we had a huge ultimate community supporting us at every game, and I think that was a really great experience for our team to have. So I guess I’d have to say that whole tournament.
Emily: My highlight of last season was our game against University of California San Diego the Sunday of Regionals. Our team really came together and every person left everything they had on the field that game. Girls were in tears by the end.
Charles Stone: My highlight would be seeing girls grow into themselves as players. The main thing was watching them gain confidence and see them change from a player just figuring it out to a player dominating the game.
Who is your favorite team to play against? Tell me about a memorable game.
Emily: I like playing against CU because our teams know each other so well and it creates a great match-up game. They challenge us in all phases of our game individually and as a team.
Sam: My favorite is Santa Barbara. They are so good and I feel like I learn about twenty things every time I play against them. We also play to a higher level against them because they are laying out all over the place and playing super aggressively. Also, they are really nice.
Tell me about your coach(es)/captain(s). What do they bring to your team?
Sam: Charles is a really positive influence on the sideline. Any time we find ourselves getting overwhelmed or frustrated he is always there to bring us back in and remember that we are playing ultimate to have fun.
Emily: A great thing about Charles is his way of explaining concepts and skills to our players, especially to the newer players. His explanations are always clear and simple and make it easy to understand what he wants from our team and individual players.
Charles: Sam is a captain with a great attitude toward younger players and her play backs up her suggestions with great play. She is a level headed leader that has the ability deliver the disc to players to elevate their game. She sees the field better than any other player on our team.
Emily brings an amazing competitive spirit to the leadership. Her focus is extremely sharp and she expects her teammates to bring the same intensity. She as come into her own as a player and is now demonstrating the confidence that inspires other girls.
Natalie has been constantly fighting injuries much of her time on Belles. She is incredibly dedicated to the team and always refuses to stay on the sidelines. Other players pick up on this and they look up to her for her fortitude. When Natalie is on, she is the best dump defender I have coached and plays havoc with opposing teams because she shuts down their resets.
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Sam: I think we have multiple candidates for All-Region. Emily Stege and Natalie Kallhoff (my co-captains) are two that come to mind, but I would also put Anna Updyke and Taryn Doud in the running as well.
Charles: Callahan: Sam Applegate is a player with the skills, athletic ability, and Spirit of the Game to be considered for this award. Because of the depth of our team, she carries a huge burden to play a lot of points in big games. However, she will be the person running through her Ds, stretching the field on huge hucks, and elevating the play of all the players on the team.
Emily: We have a couple of Freshmen this year that have stood out in our fall season as players with amazing potential. Paige Applegate, Sam’s little sister, is a natural athlete with no fear. She has already established herself as one of our best deep looks on the team this year and is extremely coach-able. She immediately incorporates any tip or suggestion into her game. Another potential candidate would be Rachel Acker. She joined our team with a lot of experience playing in Seattle and is already a player we can count on at handler. Rachel shows a lot of potential and I think we will see her really come into her own in the spring season.
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Sam: Roz Reynolds and Liz Boehm are two players willing to bid for any disc as a receiver. Amy Bratschie is our fastest player so she’s always open, and Kelsey Salvo is a very reliable in cut who can throw upfield. And Kristen Hosek is sure to sky somebody multiple times a game. Defensively Emily and Natalie are two top notch dump defenders, and Jill Fairchild sets herself apart as a fantastic deep defender.
Emily: Sam Applegate is the player that stands out most on our team as a down-field defender. She is always our go-to girl when an opposing player is beating at cutter. Grace Canlas has a shut down mark and rarely lets any player break her.
Charles: Sam Applegate improved her throws tremendously in the last year and every cutter knows that when she has the disc a deep cut is always an option. Amelie Kasting has the smoothest hucks on the team. Emily Stege is developing into a thrower, particularly from the cutting position. Jill Fairchild has the ability to send it deep, and her biggest challenge will be re-integrating herself after a semester abroad. One of our team philosophies is that all players should have the ability to throw up-field and even huck it. So any player can be a player to make a huge play as a thrower.
It’s easy to see when someone throws a huge huck or gets a layout D. Who’s a player you have to watch more carefully to see how valuable they are to your team?
Sam: Traci Carlson is a huge impact player that no one on other teams seem to recognize. She is constantly getting poached, and she has an amazing ability to gain huge yards and punish her defenders. Mackenzie Cartin is another girl that comes to mind; she is very quiet player who has recently come into her own making impact plays on both sides of the disc.
How does your team bring new players up to speed?
Charles: This year we have had a good crop of players with previous experience. But with new players try to teach higher level concepts along with the basic terms and tactics. For example, we try to teach the marking triangle at our first mark practice, even though this concept is something that experienced players value as a tool. We get some players without any field experience and their feedback has led us to have strict definitions of terms, such as “cut,” “mark,” or “huck.” There is always a learning curve that happens with young players, so we are always looking forward to the point at which a player’s game “clicks” and she breaks out.
Without giving too much away, what does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Emily: Defense: Score. Offense: Score efficiently.
Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?
Sam: Among our individual and practice goals that are constantly in flux, our goal is to win our Region this year.
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Emily: We’ve been scrimmaging local ultimate women almost every week which gives us the chance to play someone other than ourselves. We give our players all the tools they need to be good ultimate players and give them the freedom to make mistakes.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Charles: Trouble in Vegas (if it happens), High Tide, Centex (bid pending), Fools Fest, and the Series. We are most excited about the prospect of playing in Centex.
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Sam: Dancing is always a good alternative to warming up. But seriously, we tend to relax and then increase our intensity as it gets closer to game time. By game day, we are all very focused and ready to perform.
What do you think about the USA Ultimate College restructuring?
Emily: It’s weird to not think about playing the CA teams and we will miss that competition. But we look forward to playing in a new Region against teams that we have not traditionally seen in the past.
Which team has the best shot at winning the 2011 USA Ultimate Women’s College Championships?
Sam: Santa Barbara. They’ve built this team up for so many years and been to finals so many times that I think they have the stuff.
Emily: I’m going to go against Sam on this one and go with Oregon. Their talent, and mainly there competitive but fun-loving approach to the game is what will carry them this season. I am definitely expecting them to go all the way.