The all-male ultimate Frisbee team, lovingly named Nietzsch Factor, has been one of the more storied club teams with a history of success. This year has been no exception, as Nietzsch is going to participate in the DIII college championships in Milwaukee, Win., which take place on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19. There, the men will compete against other club teams from across the country to see who will be crowned the best small-college ultimate squad.
Nietzsch has played in three major tournaments this year, with results varying wildly depending on the quality of the competition.
The Factor’s first challenge was the Open New England. It did not live up to its sterling reputation, struggling to keep up as it dropped all six of its matchups. SUNY Buffalo handed Nietzsch a 13-7 loss to start things off, and the Factor fell in games against Cornell, Harvard, and University of New Hampshire by scores of 13-4, 13-5, and 13-7, respectively. That was merely the first day of the tournament. The next day brought more of the same; the team finished the tourney with a 13-8 loss to University of Vermont and a 14-9 defeat against Bowdoin.
Fortunately, Nietzsch bounced back at its next big event. Wesleyan swept the field at the USAU Hudson Valley DIII College Open, dominating play throughout. On the first day, the Factor went 5-0, beating Marist College, Hartford, Bard College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Union College by a combined score of 49-23. The finals were played the next day, when Nietzsch trounced Conn College 15-5 to secure the victory and cap off a wildly successful run.
That success carried over into the USAU Metro East DIII College Open Regionals, Nietzsch’s most recent tournament action. The Factor fared similarly well, beating SUNY Cortland, SUNY Geneseo, The College of New Jersey, and Siena College on the first day 13-11, 13-10, 13-12, and 13-9, respectively. On the second day, Nietzsch beat NESCAC foe Hamilton 13-8 before losing to Stevens Tech 15-12, though Wes was able to come through in the last game at Regionals with a 13-10 win over SUNY Fredonia.
Though Nietzsch Factor had a rough go of its first tournament, its stronger play of late has been enough to earn the team a chance to play on the national level. We shall see later this May how Wesleyan’s club athletes hold up against DIII’s best.