Artemis Ultimate Frisbee is more than just a club sport that students may encounter when walking near the quad by JR Howard Hall. While the team does often practice throws by the Howard steps, members of the team are doing so in order to hone their frisbee skills for upcoming tournaments in addition to having fun. In the past few years, the team has been increasing in competitive ability which was reflected in their performance at the first tournament of the season Beaver Brawl.
On Oct. 7 and 8, both Artemis and Bacchus, Lewis & Clark’s women’s and men’s matching ultimate frisbee teams, traveled to Corvallis, Oregon in order to compete against Oregon State University (OSU) and the University of Portland (UP) at Beaver Brawl. Because 32 players attended the tournament, the captains split Artemis into two separate teams of equal playing ability.
These teams, nicknamed “Heartemis” and “Fartemis,” played six games each over the course of the weekend including two games in which they played against each other. Heartemis and Fartemis ended up winning first and second place respectively against OSU and the University of Portland. Artemis Captain Alix Abrahams ’23, described with pride that the team performed better than she had expected.
“We have never done this well in the first tournament of the season before. Every year we start off a little wobbly, a little rocky, because a lot of people are coming into this sport just learning how to play it and then we hone in and do really well in the spring. But the fact that we are doing really well right off the bat is incredibly exciting,” Abrahams said.
The team was pleasantly surprised by the win, especially considering that so many players had only picked up a frisbee for the first time just a month ago. Artemis ultimate frisbee is a club sport, meaning that anybody of any skill and experience level may join. This often results in tournaments acting as a learning opportunity for first time players rather than being centered around winning. However, based on the outcome of the tournament in Corvallis, the future of this season is looking a lot better than it has in the past.
“Artemis is on the up and up since the time that I joined, which was in the fall of 2021. Artemis has done nothing but increase in skill and achievement. The team just looks better and better,” Abrahams said.
This growth is especially exciting when considering how hard COVID-19 hit the team, resulting in a significant drop in both returning and new players. For instance, there are only two seniors who play for Artemis, likely due to the restrictions in playing that existed during the entirety of the 2020 season. However, Artemis has clearly made a comeback. For instance, in the spring of 2022, Artemis competed in the D-III national championship in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and walked away ranked as #15 in the nation for D-III women’s ultimate frisbee.
Other than being competitively successful in the past few years, Artemis also fosters a welcoming playing environment centered around “love and trust.” Scarlett Deveno ’27 began playing ultimate frisbee this year and greatly anticipated playing on Artemis. She reflected that her takeaway from the tournament was not only about playing competitively, but also about finding community.
“I went to an Artie practice last year when I was touring the school and, not going to lie, it was the reason I went to LC. And so I’ve been waiting for this first tournament for a really long time. It’s my first time ever playing in a group sport. I feel like the team community on Artemis really blossomed at this tournament and everyone came together really well. I’m super proud of all of us and I had such a great time,” Deveno said.
Anna Ryan ’27, who is a first year Artemis player, but has played ultimate frisbee in the past, echoed Deveno’s statement.
“The team was fantastic,” Ryan said. “We were so strong and I am so proud of that.”
Overall, a sense of pride was felt by the entire team regardless of playing experience. Players also reflected on high hopes for the future considering their past success. Ryan shared that the freshmen in particular are looking forward to the team’s competitive future.
“We were joking, all the freshmen, of how this is our senior pic. We are moving all the way up. The freshmen are really lovely and we are really passionate about Artemis and we want to do this. So I’m definitely looking forward to the coming season and the coming tournament,” Ryan said. Deveno was also equally dedicated to this goal.
“I think that all the freshmen have put so much time and energy into this. I have seen so many people out of practice practicing their throws for hours. And really putting so much energy and time into taking care of their bodies so they can play this game with the team and I’m so excited for that to carry on for the years,” Deveno said.
From a captain’s perspective, Abrahams pictures the future of the team achieving many great things that extend beyond just one playing season.
“When I picture the future of the team, I picture my senior year where it’s finally four years post COVID, like full season Artemis, where we have a large experienced senior class and a large, experienced junior class,” Abrahams said. “We are building that sophomore class right now and then next year we will hopefully get a lot of skill and talent. It’s going to be the pinnacle of what this team can be, and we are going to go to nationals and … crush it. That’s my vision, just a really well built program.”
Even though the team is moving towards more competitive success at tournaments and setting up larger goals for the team in general, that culture of “love and trust” which is so pertinent to the Artemis community will not be lost. Abrahams expressed the importance of maintaining a welcoming environment in the face of increasing intensity and competitiveness.
“I think our overarching goal for this year is to be competitively successful without sacrificing the very unique culture of love and trust and individual buy-in that adds to the whole team spirit,” Abrahams said. “I am confident that we will achieve that goal because that’s what we have done in the past, it’s always been a collective decision that does not come from the top down, that we want to go really far and do really well and we want to work together.”