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All Region 2016: Great Lakes (D-I Women's)

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Who are the best players in the Great Lakes region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.

All Region:
Michigan: Tracey Lo, Hannah Henkin, Simmons(?)
Notre Dame: Julia Butterfield
Northwestern: Alex Hu, Jen Evans, Phoebe Evans
Illinois: Joline Chang, Vivian Chu, Mikayla Anderson(?)
Indiana: Rachel “Patrice” Enyeart

All Freshmen:
Northwestern #16 (didn’t catch a name, but super athletic and can throw- only noticed she was a freshmen because she was righty compared to the Nemesis girl who had that number last year and was lefty)
Phoebe Hopp (Michigan)
It’s not always easy to tell who the freshmen are from the sidelines, so I’m sure I’m missing people who are good candidates

Coaching: Walden Nelson (Northwestern). I’m still shocked he didn’t get this award last year. You could maybe make an argument for Flywheel’s or Chicago’s coaches, but I don’t think it’s as strong as what Nelson has been doing for Northwestern this year and last year.

Jean Huang graduated last year. I think you mean Joline Chang?

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After a quick look at their roster, you’re correct. My bad- I’ll edit that post.

So I haven’t gotten a chance to face the Eastern Great Lakes section, so pardon my omission of big names on big teams.

One gal I need to give props to is Alex Hu on Northwestern. She consistently is matched up on the most dangerous players on opposing team and holds her own on them. She attacks every disc and plays with heart, often becoming the saving grace of their offense by catching discs that didn’t fly the way they were intended to. Another big Northwestern player is Phoebe Evans, who literally is just big. She’s tall, she steps around her mark, and she gets enough hand blocks to warrant the idea of investing in wrist guards.

The name that should stand out on the Illinois roster is Joline Chang. This is a woman who plays with heart. She has extraordinary defense and phenomenal throws. The fight she puts on the field is admirable. Hot on Joline’s heels is Vivian Chu who helps anchor lines and adds an extra punch. Some names that shouldn’t be forgotten Kelsey Thompson, Cora Wessman, and Mikayla Anderson. These women are a terror on defense and reliable as downfield cutters, especially in the endzone. If Kelsey and Cora don’t make the All-Region list this year, expect them to be there for the two years after this - they’re just sophomores.

Chicago Super Snatch has one spirited handler, Hani Pajela. She has slippery IO flick breaks and doesn’t give up when the going gets tough. She’s a handler who you can just tell keeps pushing and keeps playing hard as points draw on longer.

Molly Schulman from DePaul University deserves consideration as one of the top players in the Great Lakes region. She is a product of the youth powerhouse that is Amherst Regional High School and is one of the main reasons the DePaul women were in the game-to-go at the Illinois conference tournament this year. She has the ability to take over any point with massive hucks and pinpoint breaks on offense. Her defensive instincts and an insatiable appetite to get horizontal make her a constant nuisance for anyone marked up against her. She is a true competitor at heart, but also understands and embodies the spirit of the game whenever she plays.

Hannah Henkin (Michigan): A shoe-in. She has the dirtiest throws, and she’s incredibly impactful despite being, let’s face it, very short.

Tracey Lo (Michigan): One of the best all-around players in the region - her plays on defense are a driving force for Michigan, and her upwind hucks are ridiculous.

Joline Chang: She’s become a better player every year that I’ve watched her, and she’s a big part of Illinois’ success this year.

Carol Li and Walden Nelson: I’m biased on this one, but only because I’ve seen the level of dedication and hard work both coaches put into this team. Gungho’s playing style shows how well-coached they are, and the team has developed more depth over the past few years because of their coaching.

Ben Murphy: I’ve been really impressed this year with how Michigan has adapted to their players’ strengths, and at Centex the team played smarter in the wind than any other team. I think a lot of this comes from Murphy, and I’m pumped to watch them at Regionals.

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Post-regionals thoughts:

All Region
Illinois: Joline Chang, Vivian Chu
Joline will layout D you, handblock you, posterize you in the air, then throw a dime into the end zone. She’s got an engine that never quits. Vivian is excellent on both sides of the disc. Her upwind hucks are buttery, her defense is lockdown.

Northwestern: Alex Hu
Hu is just a beast. I envy her tenacity. Other teams often tailor their defenses to try to contain her because she has such a huge presence on the field.

Indiana: Rachel Enyeart
She can do it all for Indiana. Plays almost every point, never looks tired, always very spirited.

Michigan: Hannah Henkin, TLo
No question that they should be all region. I watched them make sick play after sick play last weekend on both sides of the disc.

Notre Dame: Julia Butterfield, Sarah Lipscomb
These girls are ridiculously athletic. They’ll catch anything that comes remotely their way. ND lives and dies by the huck, but their system works because they’ve got monster athletes that will win in the air and will bid for everything.

Didn’t catch real names, but Skim and Ducky on Northwestern made some big plays for their team.

Michigan is a great team and obviously well coached, but I gotta give props to ND’s coach and leadership core for really turning around their reputation. They were really fun to play against last weekend.

didn’t realize skim was a freshman, but if she is, she played awesome. athletic and made great plays on d. i’m excited to watch her in the future

I want to plug Walden Nelson and Carol Li for Coach of the Year. Under their leadership GungHo has steadily improved going from 5th in 2014, and 3rd in 2015, to 2nd in 2016.

Walden and Carol preach playing with heart and playing as a team. Their squads are extremely unselfish, they run very hard, and they play with a lot of passion. What I envy most about their squad is that across the board their roster has a strong foundation of disc skills, every member is expected (and allowed) to make throws downfield.

It is incredibly fun to watch them play because their effort and passion is entirely independent of the score. If GungHo goes down early, there will be no change in their demeanor as a team and I believe this is the engine that drove so many of their great comebacks this season.


Disclaimer: My responses make it pretty obvious that I am from Northwestern. Go Cats!

All Region:

I agree with all the Northwestern players already mentioned and would also add Katie George she was a big handler for GungHo and was a huge part of running the O-line.

Michigan: TLo’s backhand hucks are a force to be reckoned with. Hannah Henkin had some amazing defense and was instrumental in their wins. They were both super fun to play and brought great competition and attitudes to our games.

Illinois: Joline is always incredible to watch play and has great spirit.

Indiana: Patrice (Rachel Enyeart) ran Indiana’s offense and required the other team’s best defenders to be on her every point. She also had really awesome spirit.

UChicago: Hani was super quick and aggressive and made big plays.

The freshman #16 on Northwestern is Skim (Sarah Kim). She didn’t even played in high school and was new to ultimate this year!!! Her athleticism and attitude were a HUGE benefit to GungHo this year and she (as well as a few other Northwestern rookies) spent so many hours outside of practice on their throws so that she could catch up to the returners and be more effective for the team. I am so excited to see her grow as an ultimate player and I think she is a great candidate for freshman of the year.

I agree with everything that has been said about Northwestern coaches.

I can only comment on people I’ve seen play. Almost all of them have already been mentioned, but here’s a couple standouts I’ll be voting for.

Henkin and TLo.Unreal throws and give and gos. +1 to everything said. Goodluck at nattys!

There was a cutter that played particularly well, but I didn’t catch her name. She is quick, great in the air, and comes down with nasty grabs. I’m not sure this helps, but she had face paint on Sunday…?

Patrice essentially provides whatever her team needs. She’s always fun to watch and play against.

Hu has great defense, throws, and awareness. Idk. She’s good at frisbee.

I was extremely impressed with Skim. I actually didn’t realize she was a freshman until after Regionals. Her athleticism and sportsmanship are undeniable – definite All-Freshman in my book.

Walden and Carol are well-deserving of COTY. Northwestern had a great season, and they are continually developing more and more solid players.

Joline Chang is easily one of the best players in the region. She has an arsenal of throws, stellar defense, ups, and sick lays.

Molly Schulman is very spirited (ty for stretching my calf after I started cramping) and basically carried her team to several upsets at Sectionals.

Admittedly, I might be a bit biased since I go here, but I really think these girls should be in the mix.

In all honesty, I just now made an Ultiworld account mostly so that I could talk about Gabby Skifstad on this thread. Saying that she has been invaluable to Supersnatch this year would be an understatement. After graduating half of our team last year, Gabby really stepped up. She’s an absolute monster on defense. She gives basically any matchup a rough time and comes up with huge ds. On offense, she gets open at will and has extremely reliable hands, scoring the most points on our team. Gab’s the kind of cutter that can make a fake handler (read: Hani) feel more comfortable behind the disc.

As most of our rookies battled injuries over the course of the season, I thought I’d mention two who have made especially significant contributions: Jessie Hanlon and Madison Moore. With a name weirdly similar to Jesse Handler (rest in post-college), Jessie has a deadly combination of speed and field awareness. She is consistently in the right place at the right time. Madison had seemingly endless legs in our cup and held her own in tough match ups. Please consider them for the All-Freshman Team.