[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: Stanford University
Team Name: Superfly
Year Founded: 1999
Captains: Sam Law, Sara Maatta, Jennifer Schmerling
Coaches: Robin Davis, Jamie Nuwer
2010 Record: 31-18
Score Reporter [/stextbox]
How did SUPERFLY do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Jennifer Schmerling: We tied for 13th at last year’s college championships. We’d lost our entire starting cutting line the year before, so it was pretty incredible to watch other players step up and be ready to go in high-pressure situations. We qualified for nationals in a very tight game to go that really demonstrated that preparation.
Who is your favorite team to play against?
Jennifer: As I’m sure any player in either of our schools’ programs would say, we love seeing Cal. We have an established camaraderie with them, we play a similar game, and we’ve had a lot of opportunities to develop great match-ups. Last year we also found Wisconsin (oh hey, BD!) to be a fun challenge – they got the best of us a couple times earlier in the season, but in pool play at nationals we brought it back from a 14-8 deficit to 14-13. We lost on a big huck, but the fight felt more satisfying than almost anything we’d done all season.
Tell us about your coaches and captains. What do they bring to your team?
Jennifer: Aside from our strengths on the field, our captains are all so different in personality and leadership style that hopefully everyone on the team can identify with one of us – at the very least, we’re probably entertaining. We have all played on strong club teams, in different positions, and will use that variety of experience throughout the season. Our coaches Robin Davis and Jamie Nuwer, both Stanford alumni, are two of the most recognized women in ultimate, and we are so lucky to be working with them. As a doctor (and a new coach this year), Jamie’s helped us focus on the importance of training and preventing injury. Robin has been with us for years and is nothing short of a master strategist – we fully trust her to plan our way out of any sticky situation. You can’t deny the truth!
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year?
Jennifer: We have an experienced squad this year and there are several players who should probably be considered for All-Region – like Jenny Wang, who came to us from Harvard and is one of the most well-rounded players you will ever meet. For Freshman of the Year, Michela “Mikaykay” Meister will deserve serious recognition. She was on the third-place junior worlds team this past summer and already has a huge field presence both on offense and defense.
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Jennifer: Caitlin Rugg is an immensely valuable and consistent thrower – she has quick breaks and a forehand bomb that I sometimes dream about (no, really). Look for Moira Hafer and former Stanford soccer goalie Kira Maker to make absurd “but-that-was-uncatchable” grabs. On defense, senior Brianna Griffin is an unstoppable deep-deep, and Elaine Hart is a speedy, fiery player who will always come through for us in a pinch. But honestly, I think every player on our team is capable of doing something ridiculous when the moment arises.
How does your team bring new players up to speed on Ultimate?
Jennifer: Since we are on the quarter system, we get a bit of a late start in the fall. Our A and B teams combine to spend all of fall quarter teaching the sport to newcomers; we’ve found that this helps even the most veteran players develop intuition about basic aspects of Ultimate. And having so many teachers brings the rookies up to speed quickly! As they learn the game, we ask them to focus on cut timing, seeing the field, and basic skills like dumping – accurate throws will come with time and practice.
Has your team set any goals for this season?
Jennifer: Our main goal this season is for everyone on the team to maintain a consistently positive and encouraging attitude – then we can achieve results. Also, we plan to win the party at Kaimana… all three nights.
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
Jennifer: This IS our highlight video.
What do you think about the USA Ultimate College restructuring?
Jennifer: The west coast is so competitive! Although we’re sad we won’t be seeing Oregon, UBC, and Washington at Regionals this year, we’ve picked up new and equally formidable opponents in the southern California teams.