The Michigan State men’s ultimate frisbee team, better known as The Burning Couch traveled to Charlotte, N.C., last weekend to play in their first tournament of the spring semester. While MSU hoped the tournament would prove a prime opportunity to face the nation’s top competition in ultimate frisbee, the injury-ridden team faced many roadblocks along the way and along the way back too.
Twenty schools from all over the country gathered for the The Queen City Tune Up. For The Burning Couch, there was a lot of excitement leading into the first tournament of the new year. Unfortunately, with several players injured and others unable to travel, only 13 players suited up for The Burning Couch out of a potential 27-man roster.
After starting strong with wins over Tennessee and Penn, the highlight of the tournament for MSU came in their third game against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After trailing late in the game, The Burning Couch stormed back to force a universe point. Freshman Braeden Emrick was able to pull down a spectacular catch to seal the deal for MSU.
The Wisconsin-Milwaukee game was the last victory of the weekend for Michigan State. Next on the agenda for MSU was the No. 1 team in the country, North Carolina. MSU would go on to lose their first of the weekend to UNC, who went on to win the tournament.
MSU captain Max Bommarito knew the game would be a challenge but was excited about the chance to play against No. 1.
“It was very frustrating to the entire team,” Bommarito said. “If we had all of our players I would have loved the opportunity to test ourselves against the No. 1 team in the country because that is the level of competition we want to play at.”
The Burning Couch would drop their remaining games to Appalachian State, North Carolina State and Iowa.
“We showed that we can play with the rest of the country even with only 12-14 players. I was very proud of our team,” Bommarito said.
Difficulty seemed to follow the men’s ultimate team on their drive back to East Lansing from Charlotte.
Two cars filled with MSU players hit a boulder in the middle of the highway in West Virginia. What was originally planned to be a late Sunday evening arrival, turned into a two-day extended vacation in West Virginia.
Nobody was injured, and all of the players made it home safe Tuesday evening.
— Michigan State (@burning_couch) February 10, 2014
Bradley Allen is the host of Secret Society for Impact Sports.
Photo: Michigan State University Ultimate