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School Name: St. Olaf College
Team Name: Durga
Captains: Brittany Faust, Erin Curme, Ann Raiho
Year Founded: sometime in the 90s
Jersey Colors: Red and White
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get involved with Ultimate at St. Olaf?
Ann Raiho: I’d heard about Ultimate in high school. My roommate Emma Hill convinced me to go the first Durga practice, and I haven’t stopped since.
Brittany Faust: I played in high school and got in contact with someone on the team the summer before my freshman year.
Erin Curme: I played all through high school. I transferred to St. Olaf my sophomore year and found Durga through a friend of mine from high school.
How did your team do last year? What was the highlight of your season?
Durga Captains: We got ninth in our region last year. It was a little bit of a disappointment because we’d gotten fifth the past two years. The highlight of the season was definitely playing the University of Minnesota and scoring five points on Carleton at sectionals.
Who is your favorite team to play against? Tell me about a memorable game.
Ann Raiho: The University of Minnesota. My sophomore year we played them twice at Regionals. Both games were really close. They were really fun games because both teams were really excited to be there and super competitive. We won twice, but they beat us twice in that body-climbing game.
Tell me about your captains. What do they bring to your team?
Durga Captains: Brittany Faust and Erin Curme have both been playing Ultimate since their freshmen years of high school. They are very knowledgeable about the game and incredible teachers. Curme is really intense and makes sure everyone has a competitive spirit about Ultimate. Brittany loves the game, and our team really enjoys spending time together because of her initiative. Ann Raiho started her freshmen year of college but was easily the quickest to learn the game and the most intent about getting better. As a captain she brings camaraderie and passion.
Are there players on your team who deserve consideration for Callahan, All-Region, or Freshman of the Year? Tell me about them.
Durga Captains: We have a lot of really good, fast freshmen this year. Once they get their throws down they will all deserve Freshman of the Year. Particularly, freshmen Lauren Hagan (Mad-Dawg) from Madison has been a big asset to Durga this fall. Her layouts are sick too!
What player is most likely to make a huge play as a thrower? As a receiver? On D?
Durga Captains: Ann Raiho and Brittany Faust are key huckers on Durga. As a receiver, Erin O’Neill plays a huge role. She’s pretty tricky and reliable. On D, we have a consistent bidder Lexi Gurtcheff who won’t let any player beat her under.
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?
Emma Hill doesn’t play as much as she should because she wants to give everyone the opportunity, but she’s an incredible primary cutter because she’s fast, has a good continuation throw, and great field sense. She’ll surprise you with her big ups for a 5’ 4” woman.
How does your team bring new players up to speed?
Durga Captains: We took four freshmen on Durga this fall. We used to go through every fundamental with our newbs, but this year we’re just trying to get them to have awesome throws because their field sense is pretty much already there. We’ve had to spend a lot of time explaining stacking to them, but playing in tournaments has really helped them figure it out.
Without giving too much away, what does your team like to do on offense and on defense?
Durga Captains: Split stack and run fast.
Has your team set any goals for this season? What are they?
Durga Captains: Be good at throwing and play hard.
What has your team been doing this fall to prepare for the spring season?
Durga Captains: We have big fitness and tournament plans. Last season we didn’t go to very many spring tournaments besides the series, so this season we’re going to make sure we get to some good ones before it really counts.
What tournaments do you plan to attend in the spring? Which one are you most looking forward to?
Durga Captains: We’re thinking of trying to get a bid to DIII Centex or the Chicago Invite and going to Southerns, Midwest Throwdown and Mardis Gras.
What does your team do to get pumped up for a big game?
Durga Captains: We love to dance and yell. Our most recent favorite is body rolls.
What song would you pick for the soundtrack to your team’s 2011 highlight video?
What do you think about the USA Ultimate College restructuring?
Durga Captains: We love that there is DIII Nationals.
Which team has the best shot at winning the 2011 USA Ultimate Women’s College Championships?
Durga Captains: Carleton College.