[stextbox id=”alert” color=”050505″ bcolor=”6cc3f8″ bgcolor=”ffffff” big=”true” image=”null”]School Name: Occidental College
Team Name: Women’s Air Corps
Captains: Alex Wheeler, Caitlin Ruppel, Nicole Copti
Coaches: Mark Hartford, Ben Potash
Jersey Colors: Green and White
2010 Record: 9-10
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with Ultimate at your school?
Nicole Copti: I became involved with Ultimate my freshman year. I had played basketball for most of my life and I missed playing competitive sports. However, I did not want to play varsity basketball at my school and instead decided to join Ultimate because it was much less of a time commitment and it seemed like fun.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Nicole: Until last year our team has never had more than 5 dedicated players on the team at any given time. This meant that we would go to tournaments with anywhere from 8 to 10 girls. It was difficult for us to do well at tournaments when we were close to savage. Also, our ability to get better at practices was hindered by the fact that we would only have enough to play 4 on 4 (and that was when we had a good turnout at practice). However, last year we worked very hard to recruit and managed to have a team of 18 players. That in itself was a huge accomplishment for our team. We were also then able to have better practices which meant that we did significantly better at tournaments than we had in the past.
Who is your favorite team to play against?
Nicole: I like playing against UC Irvine. Since we are similar skill levels we play them a lot and because of that I have become friends with many people on the team. It is always a hard-fought, but good-spirited game when we play them.
Tell us about your coaches/captains. What do they bring to your team?
Nicole: Our coaches are key in teaching us how to play. Almost all of the players on our team have never played Ultimate until they came to Oxy. So our coaches have to start from scratch and teach them everything. Our captains’ roles are to be positive role models on the field and to take care of the logistics of the team. Since Ultimate is a club sport, it is on the students to take care of everything. So our captains also have to do all the logistics including getting funding, signing up for tournaments, transportation, etc.
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?
Nicole: Leah Glowacki is one of our most solid cutters. She is always cutting hard to right where she needs to be. She makes great continuation cuts which helps us with our offensive flow.
How does your team bring new players up to speed?
Nicole: We start by just working on the fundamentals. Our first few practices of the year work almost solely on throwing, catching, and cutting. We mix our returners and new players so that the new people can learn from the more experienced players. Also, we do small scrimmages with 4 on 4 or 5 on 5 with only a couple returners on each team so that way the new players can touch the disc a lot. In a larger scrimmage the returning players might tend to dominate the disc more.
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Nicole: We are going to a couple tournaments and hosting some scrimmages at our campus in order to prepare for next season.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Nicole: We always attend the Stanford Qualifier and Sectionals as well as a couple others. However this year we are looking to add some more tournaments. We are currently fundraising so we can go to Kaimana in Hawaii in February.