NUT traveled to Fair Oaks, Indiana as the 4th seed for the Great Lakes Regionals Tournament. As usual, the Great Lakes region only held one bid to Nationals, so in order for NUT to continue their season, they would have to win the tournament.
Saturday at Fair Oaks Farms was familiarly accustomed to poor weather. The Saturday of Regionals 2016 had blustering winds and constant rains. This year, the rain was replaced with the smell of grazing cows nearby, but the winds persisted with 20-30 mph throughout the day. Accounts of the Women’s Regional competition (also in Fair Oaks) reported one point lasting somewhere from 60 to 80 minutes. With two pools of six teams each, NUT played 5 games to 11 points on Saturday. NUT went 4-1 with wins over Michigan State, Grand Valley State, Indiana, and Illinois, and the only loss to Notre Dame. NUT claimed 2nd place in the pool going into Sunday.
At 9 am Sunday morning, NUT played Purdue in the Quarterfinal round. Though still present, the wind was noticeably tamer. Both teams were hungry to fight their way to the semifinals. Energy was high and NUT had a great showing of support on the sidelines from NUT alums, Bolt, Gung-ho, and NUT friends and family. The game was a true defensive effort and offensive shootout with 6 breaks from each team! One moment, Purdue would rattle off breaks, and then NUT would recover the breaks and strike back with breaks of their own. Eventually, the score was tied up 12-12 on universe point In the end, Purdue came out on top, but NUT gave a valiant and incredible effort. Unfortunately, with this loss, NUT was out of the running for bid contention. NUT finished the day with wins over Michigan State and Illinois to collect 5th place at Great Lakes Regionals.
It was an emotional and exciting weekend for coaches, players, and fans alike, being the last time the 2017 NUT squad suited up to play together. Be on the lookout for the full NUT 2017 season recap as we transition into preparation for the off season and NUT 2018!