Updated Fri, Apr 11, 2014 10:20 am
The Ohio University Ultimate team is looking to hit its stride toward the end of the season to turn a rocky year around.
The Bobcats (6-9) are headed to the Division I Ohio Sectionals April 12-13 in Columbus, where they will face only Ohio teams to see who will rise to the top of the state.
"This weekend we're looking to defend our conference championship by focusing on playing our best every single point," team captain Connor Hunt said.
In 2013, the 'Cats went undefeated in the conference tournament, going 4-0 in pool play before advancing to the championship bracket. Ohio defeated Ohio State in the semifinals and then beat Cincinnati in the finals.
The Bobcats have had a few weeks of rest and are looking forward to returning to action.
"We're excited to see the fruition of our hard work at practice as well as some solid competition, especially from Cincinnati, Case Western and Ohio State," Hunt said.
Ohio, along with the three aforementioned teams, finished in the top four spots in the 2013 tournament.
The top teams in each conference across the nation will advance to the regional tournaments later in the season, and the teams who do not advance will see their seasons end sooner than expected. In 2013, the top seven teams in the Ohio Sectionals advanced to the regional tournament.
"From here on out there's always a chance of our next tournament being our last so we're really playing to win and focusing on results," Hunt said. "We'll still grow from it but we're really focused on doing well and trying to cement ourselves as the best team in the conference."
The team has been working on improving the things that held it back this season, and it hopes to have no problem moving forward.
"We've just been trying to be a little more well-rounded and we've been working on our depth so hopefully that will come through for us down the stretch," Hunt said.
The Bobcat's depth has been an issue all season. The team forfeited their final game at the Eastern Qualifiers against Ohio State due to a lack of depth. The team also withdrew from the College Terminus tournament in March due to nagging injuries and other commitments. Ohio hopes to not have this problem going into this weekend's tournament.
"With such a small team, any injury really makes a difference," Hunt said. "We've got a few nagging injuries but we're hoping that everything goes smoothly so that we can all stay healthy and put up some W's."