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All-Region 2023: Ohio Valley (D-III Women’s)

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

Hello, my name is Anna and I play on Sneetch Ultimate from Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. In terms of All Freshman Nominations I would like to suggest Clara Shapiro-Morton. Her frisbee IQ as well as her inherent leadership on the team has shined through this year, and I could not picture the team without her. Despite it being her first year on the team, Clara has one of the highest number of assists on the team, and remains calm in the face of defensive pressure.
As the Sneetches head to Nationals for the second year in a row one can look to the success of Coach Jason Oswald. Joining the team in the fall of 2020 Jason has acted as mentor, and coach for all players. His knowledge of the game and support of our players is visible through the team’s success and increased roster size. I encourage you all to consider Jason as a candidate for coach of the year.

Hi! My name is Ella and I play for the Bryn Mawr/Haverford Sneetches. I would like to nominate Clara Shapiro Morton for the All-Freshman nomination for Ohio Valley. Clara is an amazing player who supports her teammates on and off the field. She has a deep and thorough understanding of ultimate and is excited to help her teammates and opponents talk through the rules when calls are made on the field. She is great at patiently moving the disc up the field, hucking it into the end zone, and isn’t afraid to bid for both possessions and Ds. She is a natural leader and helps everyone on the field to improve their playing abilities. She is responsible for almost half of the assists or goals during every tournament and is adept thinking smartly about completing plays.
I would like to nominate Catherine (#7) from Lehigh as an All-Region candidate. She is a fearless player on the field and knows exactly what moves to make to score a point. Her hucking ability is phenomenal and she can swiftly move through defense to cut up the field. I would also like to nominate Juna from Swarthmore as an All-Region candidate. Juna has an innate field sense that makes her cutting and handling abilities incredible and she is a true leader for the Warmoms. I think that #97 from Oberlin as well as Zoe Costanza, Phoebe Hulbert, and Julia Smeltzer from Haverford/Bryn-Mawr deserve to be nominated as All-Region players. All of these players are super speedy on the field and can accurately read a disc and sky other players in their quest to maintain possession.
Additionally, the Sneetch coach, Jason Oswald, deserves Coach of the Year for 2022-2023 season. He is amazing at encouraging his players on and off the field and skillfully helps them improve their playing abilities. He has led this team to DIII Nationals for both 2022 and 2023. Without Jason mentoring the Sneetches, we would not be in the place we are today. His calm demeanor and positive outlook keeps the energy of the team up and propel the Sneetch players to push themselves on the field.

Hello! Sneetch player here.
Based on my experience at Regionals and Conferences, I have a couple suggestions for All-Region.
From Lehigh, #5 (tall cutter) and #7 (Rosie?) are both super athletic, make great grabs, and #7 has a huge backhand huck. We played Lehigh so many times this season and it was always a challenge to try to shut them down when they have such strong players.
At Regionals, #8 and #97 on Oberlin both made a big impact. They were both super fast, made smart upline and handler cuts, and were really tough to guard.
On Cedarville #12 (?) (tall, blond, braids) was huge on defense and a super chilly handler on O.
Kenyon had a strong core, #28 was a great handler and made smart decisions.
Swat is always a super fun team to play, special shoutouts to Juna and Isabel who have developed so much over the past year and are becoming even stronger handlers and can really direct traffic on the field.
From my own team, Clara (#33) is a clear choice for All-Freshman. It’s their first year on Sneetches and they have already made a huge impact on our team. She brings a wealth of ultimate knowledge and passion to everything she does.
For All-Region from Bryn Mawr/Haverford, I’d like to suggest Lindsey Hua, Sharon Wang, Julia Smeltzer, Amy Tse, and Phoebe Hulbert. All five are incredibly good players and people, and have only improved their skills over the past year. They bring so much passion and enthusiasm to the Sneetches, and have made our team so much better. Lindsey, Sharon, and Julia are all seniors, and their contributions to Sneetches over the past four years have been immeasurable.
I’d also like to nominate Jason Oswald for Coach of the Year. Jason brings a calming yet enthusiastic energy to Sneetches, and his knowledge and encouragement have had huge effects on the Sneetches. Without his coaching, we would not have made it to Nationals last year or this year. It is clear that Jason loves ultimate and gives back so much to the community. He is at all of our practices, rain or shine, and was even ready to come to Ohio when we thought Regionals was going to be switched to there. Jason is the most encouraging, positive coach I’ve had in any sport, and his influence shows in the culture of our team. Jason is incredibly deserving of Coach of the Year.

Hi, I’m a player for Lehigh University and I wanted to nominate Haverford Sneetch player Zoey (#45) for All-Region. She’s an amazing player and reads the game like a pro. She’s fast, and seems to bid with absolutely no fear. I also wanted to nominate our own player, Catherine “Rosie” Spellman (#7). Not only did she lead a team as captain that was essentially new (with over half the roster being comprised of rookies) to second place at regionals, but she never seemed to have a bad game. She can huck it deep, catch the disc no matter how bad the throw, is incredibly fast, and is all around just an incredible player. We owe a lot of our success to Rosie.
For All-Freshman, I want to nominate Jessica “Sauzy” Fiske (#5) from Lehigh. There was never a game where we didn’t hear “who is on number 5!” because she could easily break away from her mark with her incredible footwork. Our coach always joked that she doesn’t need to jump when going up for a deep huck because her ability to read the disc was just that good (she is also very tall…). She is all around one of the best players I’ve had the chance to watch, and she’s only a freshman.
For Coaches, I wanted to nominate our coaching duo, Emily and Matt Lubitz. Our coaches work so well together that they’re married. They can seamlessly transition from critiquing our playing to hyping us up without killing morale. They’re supportive on and off the field, and are always around to help players get better. There’s been multiple times I’ve asked for help with a certain throw and sent them videos late and night, and I always get a swift response with how to improve. I learned to play zone with them talking in my ear, and I’m not sure what I’d do without them. They also have a REALLY cute dog that they bring to practices.
This has been an amazing first season for me, and I’m so glad I got to meet so many great teams.

Giving Ohio some love here— The Kenyon x Cedarville matchups are some of the best frisbee I’ve seen in the region. For Kenyon: Janie Keenan (#28) has some of the best disc skills in the region fs and was tearing defenses apart left and right. Lucy Gibbs (#80) led Kenyon’s killer defensive front and must’ve gotten 10 Ds in the Cedarville games alone at sectionals. She pulled a lot of difficult matchups and regularly shut them down. Soren Shapiro (#14) was also doing it all for Kenyon. It seems like she was thriving in every roll Kenyon put her in. Lastly, Gwyn Kelley (#43) is one of the strongest cutters I’ve seen out there. She’s got speed, agility, and a real sense for the field that let’s her get open on just about everyone.
On Cedarville: Eden Ogren (#27) was an absolute beast in the handler space and was nearly impossible to gaurd. Magalie Chapman (#4) was another handler threat, and had some of the most beautiful deep shots I’ve seen, even when playing in less than ideal conditions. Chelsea Baker (#12) also had excellent throws and all three of these shooters would regularly find Anna Armani (#15) in the endzone. Overall it seemed like both of these teams had a really solid bases that makes it hard to talk about candidates for all-region— but demonstrates some exciting overall talent coming out of this state, alongside some star folks at Oberlin.

While it might look like the Penn teams outmatched the Ohio teams at regionals, these games were close fought— often feeling a lot closer than the scores indicated, not to mention Cedarville’s close loss to the Sneetches. They have some star-quality players that should be in the discussion here.

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Kenyon player here— I agree w everything said above about the Ohio teams and the Cedarville and Kenyon players that were mentioned in the previous comment. And I’d like to extra emphasize that Janie Keenan (28) is definitely stand out in the handler space and her high release backhand was giving teams headaches during every game. I’ll also add in 6 and 60 on Oberlin as two players who played with a lot of intensity that definitely challenged us. 7 in Lehigh also deserves a shout out, they were definitely a stand out in our game against them. As for the Sneetches it’s harder for me to pick out a couple players… it seemed more like they had a system that worked and that they could run well.

I’ll also add that Janie Keenan (28) and Lucy Gibbs (80) are Kenyon’s captains/ player-coaches. Kenyon has no official coaches (can’t get a lot of folks to come out to rural Gambier, Ohio for free). But Janie and Lucy put in countless hours a week planning and leading practices and doing incredible amounts of organizational work on top of their schoolwork, senior theses, and other responsibilities. They coached a roster of nearly 40 (Kenyon’s A and B teams) including 17 players who had never played ultimate before this year. Janie and Lucy for coaches of the year!