Who are the best players in the North Central region? This is an open thread to discuss All-Region nominations, All-Freshman nominations, coaching awards, and more. Stay positive and keep it civil.
Not in any particular order, here are
some players who are on my list of “sucks to guard”
Lo Guerin (Wisconsin)
Anna Hrovat-Staedter (Robot) (Wisconsin)
Liz Diffey (Nebraska)
Nadine Rowen (Nebraska) (Formerly Kansas)
Liz Gronert (Iowa)
Sara Stuedemann (Stu) (Iowa State)
Brittnee Grimshaw (Iowa State)
Not familiar with specific Minnesota
and Carleton players
Some great people listed randomly…
All Region nominations:
Linda Behrer - Iowa State
Brittnee Grimshaw - Iowa State
Amanda Borders - Nebraska
Anna Hrovat-Staedter - Wisconsin
Lo Guerin - Wisconsin
Sarah Anciaux - Minnesota
Nicole Johnson - Iowa
Nicole Havel - Iowa
*All of these girls are amazing athletes with great spirit.
Brooke O’Hollearn - Iowa
*Phenomenal player and work ethic. Started working hard at the first practice and hasn’t let up despite injuries holding her back. Advanced throws, intense defense and always wants the disc. Can’t wait to see what she accomplishes these next couple years.
Patrick Lansdon - Iowa
Emily Langland - Nebraska
Robyn Wiseman - Wisconsin
There are many players in our Region that deserve reconition for their grit, effort, and ability to uphold to the Spirit of the Game. I have the opportunity to highlight some of the players.
Amanda “Coffee Black” Borders- I have had the opportunity to play with Coffee when she was a freshman. Coffee has made some of the most significant gains as a player throughout her college career. She has been able to improve because of her passion for the sport, her teammates, and her commitment to putting herself in successful situations to grow. She is extremely self-less. A lot can be said of Coffee as a teammate. She has and will always be there for her team on and off the field. She is the first one to celebrate someone’s success whether it be her teammate or an opponent. She loves the community and the game. She takes time to get to know the teams in the region and support their success. Coffee not elevates the Spirit of the Game in competition but she pushes her teammates and opponents with her large toolbox of throws. She also is able to put it all in with a ton of heart on D. She is an amazing representation of the game and our region. Nebraska will be losing a big chunk of their heart when Miss Black graduates.
Liz Diffey-I have nominated Liz every year she has played with the Cuddle Raptors and for good reason. Liz not only showcases her talents on the field with her athleticism, field awareness, and throwing ability but also demonstrates a unique ability to drive the team’s energy in a positive manner. Liz can continue to grind even with a target on her back and having to be responsible with some of the most difficult match-ups.
Nadine Rowen-Although every other word she says is “Betty’s or Fools Fest” this implant has made an impact on Nebraska. Nadine came with us with experience and grit. She is the squirrely handler that is going to find the disc whether that’s with her feet or with a big bid. It’s clear why she came to us with such a love for her team. It’s because she has a huge love of the competition of the game and her is fiercely loyal to her teammates and will grind for them.
Liz Gronert-you know what it issss, Liz. Liz is a fierce competitor. You can tell she is a passionate about winning and pushing herself in the game. She has a large arsenal of throws and uses it with the confidence to be dangerous.
Anna Hrovat-Staedter/Lo Guerin-Jeez, what a mouthful of a last name but what she really is a handful for any team. (Man, now I’m having fun with these nominations) In all seriousness Robot is a definition of a grinder. She puts her heart into Bella and it shows with her passionate play. She’s awful to guard and the list of ways she can mess you up would cause me to have carpal tunnel. Her and Lo Guerin (that athletic beast) combo to make one of the most devastating duos in the region.
Iowa State continues to showcase a driving athletic force but still maintaining a high standard of respectful play. They are committed to engaging with every team in a positive manner and we are lucky to have a positive force in the region. Brittnee Grimshaw, Sara Stuedemann, and Linda Behrer continue to show case the ability to balance athletism and sheer joy of the community and game.
I have not had the opportunity to see much of Minnesota this season but they breed ballers. Sarah Anciaux is no exception to this. Her athleticism is hard to match and her field sense and demeanor are impressive to watch as a coach and player.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Coach
So clearly I don’t really belong in this thread, but I just wanted to say that I fear for my life when I have to match up on Brittnee Grimshaw (Iowa State). Dat speed doe.
I can’t say much about anyone else since we just haven’t crossed paths, but I’m sure you’re all top notch.
I’m fairly familiar with Minnesota, so here’s a few of their standout players:
Sarah Anciaux- Already been said, but probably the best player in the region. Fast, athletic, and catches everything.
Greta Regan- Center handler, great breaks, runs the show when she has to
Makella Daley- Smart, speedy cutter. Broke her ankle at conferences though, so you might have to take my word for it if you were planning on watching the Ninjas at Regionals.
They have a buncha good freshman too, and Kayla Blanek, Hannah Cowan, and Jessica Kostecki would all be great choices for All-Freshman.
Megan Halverson should also absolutely be in the FOTY conversation. She has had a breakout year for ISU, and she’s been such a big part of their success this year.
Also, I second the recognition for Grimshaw and Stuedemann - both are so fast. I’ve also seen Blair Holck play well this season for ISU!
Bias: Former Iowa player and current Madison resident. Only mentioning teams I know well this year.
Lo and Anna “Robot” are clear 1st-Team nominees, but I’d like to add Anneke Vermaak to the 2nd-Team discussion. I only recently got to know Anneke as a player, and as a Junior on Bella, she is one of the most dominant players after Lo and Robot. She’s a poised thrower who can break the mark and throw deep at will. I saw her get a layout D in the Regional Final and then run up-field to score. She showcased her throwing skills in the Final with (smart) downwind and upwind hucks for scores (in strong wind). She’s a rock for her team and is part of the solid handling core that swings the disc effectively and gets open on any reset. Look out for her next year.
Liz Gronert is a 1st-Team pick no question. Nicole Havel and Nicole Johnson are fast, athletic, smart cutters who are dominant on offense and defense for Saucy. Iowa didn’t finish as strongly this year as in prior years, but don’t let that overshadow the talent that both Nicole’s (Havel and Johnson) bring to the team and region.
Liz Diffey, Nadine Rowen, and Amanda Borders (“Coffee Black”). Amanda “Coffee” is a versatile, skilled thrower who also gets layout D’s and handblocks on the reg. Cuddle’s handling core in a zone offense is very strong with any of these ladies in the mix.
Obviously there is a ton of talent in our region but these are the ladies I’m most familiar with and that I think are deserving of either 1st or 2nd team All Region.
Nadine Rowen (Nebraska)
Nadine came to us this year after playing four years with the Kansas Betty’s. Personally, I know I wouldn’t have been nearly as successful this year without Nadine pushing me to get better at every practice. She has incredible throws when her elbow isn’t acting up and she will put her body (and face) on the line every time she steps on the field. Although she claims to be a cutter, her smart and quick handler movement helped Cuddle score plenty of upwind points at our spring tournaments. She was a difference maker for Cuddle and I know every single member of our team looked up to her for guidance and motivation. Also I don’t know if I will ever meet anyone who loves ultimate as much as Nadine does.
Coffee Black (Amanda Borders I guess) (Nebraska)
I would be willing to say that Coffee will probably be the nicest person I will ever meet. I can personally say that her kindness and welcoming attitude is one of the reasons I kept coming back to practice my first year. Not only is Coffee incredibly helpful and supportive of her teammates, but I have also never seen her get even the slightest bit irritated with any player from another team. She is like spirit GOALS. Coffee also has leveled up in her play the past few years. You’ll see her laying out for everything…even if it means breaking her nose.
Anna Hrovat-Staedter (Robot) and Lorraine Guerin (Wisconsin)
I’ve only ever played against Robot a couple times but as she wrote about me last year “I believe they hype.” I played against her this weekend at regionals and she had huge throws and was laying out for literally everything.
Lorraine is also very intimidating on the field. She gets big in the air and has some hefty throws. Not going to lie, I’ll think once or twice about going deep when she’s down there on defense. Two of the best players in our region in my opinion.
Sara Stuedemann (Iowa State)
Not only is Stu a scrappy player on the field, but she is also one of the nicest players I’ve encountered since playing ultimate. She’s got great throws, huge layouts, and tremendous spirit. Color me impressed.
Brittnee Grimshaw (Iowa State)
Incredibly kind and spirited…not to mention quick and speedy with throws to match.
Liz Gronert (Iowa)
Liz is speedy and can put the disc pretty much anywhere on the field for her cutters. She was also kind enough to house our team at Old Capital Open! Other great qualities include cute dog and excellent name.
Coaching Awards - I have to nominate our incredible coach Emily Langland. Emily is beloved not only by the Cuddle Raptors but by the Nebraska ultimate community as a whole and by many players in our region. I would not be nearly the player I am without Emily’s guidance and knowledge of the game. In all of my years of athletics, even and especially including my D1 college track coaches, I have never had a smarter, more committed, or inspiring coach. Emily has an amazing ability to lift Cuddle up even in the most frustrating games. I’ve never seen anything like it before…it’s seriously like the kind of stuff you see in movies. Emily is also willing to support us off the field. When I came to Emily this semester full of stress and anxiety about playing ultimate while student-teaching, she was completely understanding, flexible, and encouraging. She is willing to help and support every single member of Cuddle - regardless of if it’s ultimate related or not. Emily embodies the characteristics of a great coach for any sport and I believe she deserves to be recognized for her service to the ultimate community.
I’ll try to mention a few names that haven’t been mentioned much, but first I want to hype some of my teammates who have received well deserved praise.
Liz Diffey: Not just a tall deep receiver, although she is great at that. She has good throws, even handled most upwind points all year and can be relied on to get open under as well. Also a great defender, with a suffocating mark it was wonderful to play beside her mark in a cup.
Coffee Black (Amanda Borders) - I guarded coffee back when we were both rookies, and remember noticing a few years later that she was a decent handler and being impressed because at that point handling was something i was struggling trying to learn how to do. Playing with her this year I was even more impressed by her play, hard work, desire to learn, film editing skills, and most importantly her spirit. It seems like Coffee knows someone on every team and she is so incredibly nice all the time i wasn’t even that mad at her when she (accidentally) hucked a disc into my face.
Both these player would have made great Bettys! (KU for grad school Liz?)
Christa Fisher (Nebraska): seems to always score the crucial upwind point when we desperately need it. Sick layout grabs, sick layout D’s, always working hard, solid throws. A great competitor who gets the team fired up and is also a really nice person.
Nicole Johnson (iowa): good handler defender who made my life a little harder at regionals. Also some good grabs and found space against our zone if i remember right.
Liz (iowa), stu (ISU) Robot and Lo (Wisco) as mentioned previously, are great. I have a terrible memory while playing so I’m sure there are other people I’m missing.
Abbie Lechinsky (nebraska)
She’s the girl that always barrel rolls upon catching the disc. Obviously not afraid to put her body on the line, fun to watch. Spirited yet competitive player, helps get the team excited with big palys and cheering. Can probably lift more than anyone else at regionals, for sure more than anyone on our team. Has done a great job learning how to cut this year and is always eager to learn more about the sport.
Emily Langland (Nebraska)
A really great coach, and the reason women’s ultimate exists at Nebraska. She ensures that every single player grows and learns how to play the game with spirit. She will be missed next year
Also just a shout out to all the teams at regionals - even though the weather wasn’t great, most everyone was happy, playing hard, spirited ultimate. I heard lots of congratulations and compliments between players on different teams and that was great to see. Thanks for the great season.
(Late to the party) Minnesota has to have one of the best freshman classes in the region, if not country, right? Lindsay Hoeppner was a Worlds tryout as well, though I haven’t seen her play this season. Excited to see what comes next year.
Is it too late for this?? Just want to send some shout-outs to some stellar ladies in the region!
Liz DIffey --> A lot has been said about Liz. Yeah, we get it. She’s tall. But she’s a heck of a lot more than that. She is an incredibly hard worker that brings leadership, a competitive edge, and supa skillz to Cuddle.
Amanda Borders (Coffee) -->She’s the heart of Cuddle and is a great ambassador for the sport. She has some of the best spirit around and constantly works to better herself…She’s pretty much a super star and is a rock on the Cuddle handler line.
Nadine Rowen --> Cuddle Raptors rarely have the pleasure of adding baller grad students to the team, so they’re grateful to have Nadine!..Her experience, knowledge, and athleticism were important contributions to the team’s season.
I didn’t get to see them play much this year, but I know that Brittnee and Stu were out there tearin it up. Speedy and spirited they are
Iowa: Liz Gronert and those throws…yep.
Wisconsin: Anna Hrovat-Staedter and Lorraine Guerin deserve the hype. They are great leaders and competitors for Bella. Can we also talk a bit about Sabrina Hoffman and Anneke Vermak? I had the chance to watch them play at sectionals and it was great. They both were consistent players that surely were a part of Bella’s success this season.
Minnesota: Sarah Anciaux. I have a hard time understanding how she still has eligibility…it’s probably because she has been a stand-out player for the Ninjas that’s been dominating for as long as I can remember. She is definitely deserving of all-region recognition.
COTY: I don’t think enough can be said about Emily Langland from the Cuddle Raptors. She founded the team and is responsible for its success over the years. She happily wears the “Coach” nametag and has taken every opportunity to help grow women’s ultimate in Nebraska. She is a natural leader that has brought Cuddle to new heights through her support, knowledge, and guidance.