Not Hucking Around: Q&A with Ultimate Frisbee’s Ellie Rubinstein

Ellie Rubinstein is a Massachusetts native and second-year member of Strata, the CC women’s club ultimate frisbee team. Strata is a DI club team, competing against schools up to 30 times larger than CC, and is poised for an exciting post-season run to cap off the year, beginning in Fort Collins on April 14, where the team hopes to move on to regionals in Tulsa, Okla.

Ellie Rubinstein is a member of Strata, the CC women’s club ultimate frisbee team. The team kicks off their post-season April 14. Photo courtesy of Danny Rodriguez

Ben Hall: So let’s talk a little bit about Strata.

Ellie Rubinstein: Strata: with an “ah.”

BH: Strata with an “ah,” and Strata is short for something?

ER: It’s short for Lysistrata’s Tools.

BH: What does that mean?

ER: Lysistrata is the heroine from a Greek comedy play that takes place during the Peloponnesian War … Lysistrata is the queen, I believe, and the women are sick and tired of the war going on, because it’s some B.S., so she hatches this plan that says ‘if we get all the women to withhold sex from their husbands, we can end the war.’ And they do it, and they end the war. So, we’re her tools—as in strong, empowered women.

BH: Did you play ultimate before you got to CC?

ER: I did. I always played soccer growing up, and then the spring of my freshman year of high school I was running track, doing the two-mile to train for soccer, and I was so bored … And then realized that the ultimate community was so much fun.

BH: Who runs the Strata Twitter account?

ER: It’s a collective effort … we have a couple injured players who typically take the lead on the sideline, but pretty much whoever wants to can post.

BH: So, game updates such as, “Fran shweet deep put to yung Ada and Audrey is j chillin hella open in the end zone for 3-2?”

ER: That is junior Kiera Connelly, who is currently concussed and has a wonderful imagination and way of speaking.

BH: Was India really the starting quarterback on her high school football team [as Strata’s twitter page suggests]?

ER: That was a miscommunication between her father and one of our players. Her dad was at a tournament and said something about India … I don’t know if she played football or if she went to a game or something, if she used to play as a kid, and somehow it got translated into that.

BH: Alright. I saw that and I wasn’t quite sure. That seems like it could be true.

ER: Yeah. If you’ve met India, you know she’s a total badass.

BH: We’re gonna rewind a little bit to Dec. 7, 2013. You’re wearing a headlamp. Your friend is also wearing a headlamp and holding a trumpet. The caption on the picture is “Gorilla Hit.” What does it mean?

ER: I was a crazy band geek in high school, and we used to do this thing where we’d surprise members of the faculty at our high school. I’m not sure why it was called a gorilla hit, probably actually guerilla, like guerilla warfare. But we would just pop up as a band in random spots and start playing for them. So this was our band director in his first year, and we wanted to thank him for coming to our school. So we somehow coordinated with his girlfriend, and they were out to dinner at the Colonial Inn in Concord, Mass., and we set up outside the restaurant and just started playing. That was my friends trumpet; I played trombone. That’s the gorilla hit.

BH: Do you still play?

ER: I play in CC’s Collegium Musicum, which is our early music group here; and I play an instrument called the sackbut.

BH: *giggles*

ER: It’s the renaissance predecessor to the trombone. It wasn’t something I knew about before CC, and professor Michael Grace in the music department kind of roped me into it, saying they needed a sackbut player and I should do it. It’s awesome—great concerts.

BH: Do you have any performances coming up?

ER: Sunday, April 29! Everyone should go—really cool music. You’d think renaissance music is boring, but it’s not.

BH: What are some pros and cons of the chicken wing and the turtleneck on the field of play in ultimate frisbee?

ER: The chicken wing as in the type of the throw, and a turtleneck as in wearing a turtleneck?

BH: Exactly.

ER: I just saw my first chicken wing played in a game. Before I was always like, “It is a dad throw; it’s like a dad at the park who’s like ‘look what I can do!’” And we, in Seattle over Spring Break, watched the University of Oregon play the University of Washington, and this girl pulled out a chicken wing throw and scored. So, I think the pro of it is that the more throws you have, the scrappier you are—the more unpredictable. You never know when it’ll come in handy. The cons, if you can’t do it well, you look like an idiot for attempting it … Turtleneck: I’ve never played in a turtleneck before … Personally, I find it restricting, you can’t breathe very well. But actually, Carol Newton, one of the juniors on our team, plays in a turtleneck, and it keeps her very warm.

BH: She was the first one to recognize its value as a tactical garment.

ER: The tactical turtleneck. Yeah, I guess con: restrictive, you can’t breathe. Pro: you’re warm; it’s tactical.

Thanks for opening up Ellie! Hope you all make it to regionals!

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