Captains & Coaches
Vortex strives to find the perfect combination of competition, fun, community, grit and love of each other and the game. We compete at the Division III level and have been extremely successful the past several years, winning the DIII title in 2018 and placing 3rd in 2019. Vortex practices as a team 3 times a week and lifts twice a week outside of practice. Vortexers are involved in many activities across campus, but our team is a priority for all of us and we give 100% at practices and tournaments. We are committed to making Vortex a team in which everyone feels comfortable and welcome and we make sure finances are never an obstacle to anyone participating. St. Olaf has a women’s B team as well, Tempest, and we love to socialize with the entire Ultimate program. Our coaches, Biz and Reebs play for Minneapolis POP and current and past Vortexers play club (and recently in the PUL!) in Minnesota and across the US. Some Vortex players come in with high school and YCC experience while many have never thrown a frisbee before but bring their skills from soccer, volleyball, track etc to the field. Vortex is more than a competitive ultimate team, we’re a support system, a community, and according to a player's grandma “a gift”, and we’d love for you to join us!
"My favorite part about playing on Vortex is the team atmosphere on and off the field. On the field, we are determined, hard-working, competitive, and always enthusiastic, no matter the score. We've had people ask us who was winning during a game we were losing because they couldn't tell from our body language. I think that the mental toughness we strive for is hard to find on a team and crucial to our success. We also have a lot of fun! At halftime, you'll find us dancing, doing the worm, and laughing a lot. Everyone on Vortex is so friendly and supportive. This was my first year on the team (and first-year playing frisbee!) and I immediately felt welcome by everybody. I found a place on the team both socially and athletically. Players who have more experience are always willing to give tips on throwing, cutting, and strategy, leading to a collaborative atmosphere. It is so great to have a community to share meals with, hang out with between classes, and lean on each other when you need support. Having such a close-knit team also makes the early morning practices and long car rides to tournaments SO worth it! What I love most about ultimate frisbee is that it is self-officiated. Learning to advocate for myself on the field has helped me do the same in classes and other situations off the field."
- Julia Himmelberger, sophomore
"Before starting school at St. Olaf I had absolutely no idea what ultimate frisbee was. I went to tryouts on a whim and little did I know, frisbee and Vortex would become one of the most defining parts of my college experience. From the moment I arrived at Old Main Fields for the first open tryout I felt an overwhelming amount of love and support from the team. My teammates are constantly pushing me to be a better person and player both on and off the field, they are my role models, my biggest cheerleaders, and my best friends. My favorite part of this team is our ability to be goofy, dancing, singing, and laughing on the sidelines, while at the same time working hard and giving 100% at every practice and tournament. Vortex is gritty and competitive, but also compassionate and supportive!! Vortex loves the grind and Vortex loves each other."
- Olivia Peer, Class of 2021 (Handler) - Julia Himmelberger, sophomore
"On my way to the first day of Vortex tryouts I fully almost turned around because I was so nervous. I had barely ever thrown a frisbee, let alone played ultimate. However, I immediately felt so welcomed on the team. Not only did I eventually learn how to throw a frisbee (!!!), I also found an incredible community.
Throughout the past three years my teammates have consistently been my greatest supporters, teachers, and sources of motivation. I learned how to flush my mistakes, ask questions, and be an intentional teammate. Vortex is unlike any other team I’ve been a part of. Every player is committed to making the team the best it can be, both in terms of skill and team culture. We openly discuss issues of team environment and expectations. Everyone’s contributions are valued.
Vortex loves high fives, the grind, and, most importantly, one another! I feel so fortunate to have found not only this sport, but this community."
- Emma Purcell (junior/cutter)
"Alright, my job is to tell you what Vortex is all about, and to be honest, that is really tough to do without having you experience it yourself, but I’ll do my best. Before my college career, I had never had a team that focused so much on enjoying the process, time together and just having fun playing with their teammates, and the idea of a team that did that was truly foreign to me, but that is exactly what we do! Yes, we are competitive, many of us are naturally competitive people, but we also play for our teammates and have a blast on the field and on the sidelines. Now, I came into the ultimate frisbee world knowing very little about the sport, and that, I think, is the beauty of Vortex. We have people from all different backgrounds, and all different sports coming together through a sport that we come to love. There are so many different personalities that have found a home on Vortex, that anybody can find someone that they truly connect with on the team, but at the same time, everyone is accepted for who they are and what they bring."
- Madeline Sorenson, Sophomore, Cutter