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LORI VAN HOLMES

Inducted: 2015 - Player

Current Home: Minneapolis, Minn.

 

Lori started her competitive Ultimate career on open teams in the early ‘80’s, founded and captained women’s ultimate in Minneapolis, (Repo Women). With the skills to play any position, Lori has always been a key team member and continued her winning ways with 11 Women’s Nationals Championship appearances (3 finals, 5 semi-finals): Chicago’s Nemesis semi’s ‘87, Boston’s Lady Godiva semis ‘90, Seattle’s Women on the Verge (WOTV) finals ‘92, ‘95, ’98, and semis, ‘97, ‘99 and ‘94, with two more semi-finals in the Mixed division with Seattle’s Shazam, ’02, 03. She competed in three WFDF World Championships, earning the gold in Vancouver with WOTV in 1997. 

Lori was a driving force in the growth of ultimate in the Northwest and captained WOTV through their glory years, demonstrating her commitment as a leader and stellar athlete.  Lori was a two-way starter, a defensive standout, and prolific receiver; one of the strongest runners in the sport. In addition to her ultimate play, Lori displayed a true commitment to giving back to Ultimate by serving as West Region Coordinator, coaching college and high school ultimate teams, as well as running tournaments and clinics. She mentored and inspired scores of women who have promoted our sport with passion and excellence.

         


Playing Career | US Nationals | WFDF Worlds | Interview

Playing Career   

  Years   Team   Division  
  1980-1982   Cloud State   Open  
  1982-1984   Flying Terrapins   Open  
  1984   Nemesis   Women's  
  1985-1987   Repo Women   Women's  
  1987-1988   Nemesis   Women's  
  1989   AWOL   Women's  
  1989-1991   Barbie in a Bucket   Women's  
  1990   Windy City   Open  
  1990   Lady Godiva   Women's  
  1991-1999   Women on the Verge   Women's  
  2000   Posse   Women's  
  2001-2003   Shazam (Mixed)   Mixed  
  2004   Bait   Women's  
  2009   Mint   Women's Masters  

LVH 1989Nats (Hyslop)
Lori Van Holmes at 1989 Nationals with AWOL
PHOTO CREDIT: Dan Hyslop


 

 

     

  

US National Championship Tournaments

Name Division    Year    Placement
Nemesis Women's   1987   6
Nemesis Women's   1988   5
AWOL Women's   1989   7
Lady Godiva Women's   1990   3T
Women on the Verge Women's   1992   5T
Women on the Verge Women's   1994   3
Women on the Verge Women's   1995   2
Women on the Verge Women's   1997   3T
Women on the Verge Women's   1998   2
Shazam Mixed   2002   3T
Mint Women's Masters   2009   3T

 

WFDF World Ultimate Championship Tournaments

Name   Division    Year   Placement
Women on the Verge   Women's   1993   3

 

LVH NancyGlass 1990Nats (Hyslop)
Lori Van Holmes with Nancy Glass at 1990 Nationals
PHOTO CREDIT: Dan Hyslop

 

 

Interview

Q: What position(s) (e.g., handler, deep cutter, middle-middle) did you usually play?

A: I have played all positions and have the ability to play all positions well. Up until my retirement, was on the ‘A’ squad for both offense and defense. On offense, my speciality was getting open anywhere on the field. If my role was handler, usually cut as the 2nd or 3rd person in a string to receive the pass. Had the ability and penchant to huck it long and deep. Backhand was extremely quick and could put it to space for a teammate to run down. As a receiver in the end zone, was one of the primary scorers on any team I played on. There have been a few games that out of 17 points I scored 12. Of course it helps to have throwers who can get it to you, but the art is setting up your cut to make sure you are the obvious choice and that is what I specialized in, timing my cuts and setting them up to be that choice.

On defense, played strong person-on-person, fronting defense. In the zone could play anything, but primarily Deep Deep or Middle Middle. Was on the A squad for Defense and if there was a crucial point; was on the field doing whatever it took to shut my person down. 

Q: Describe your major accomplishments – both as a teammate and an individual player?

A: • Starting the women’s team in Minnesota

• Being competitive on 3 different men’s teams

• Captaining and being a go to playmaker for one of the winningest teams in Ultimate: Women on the Verge

• Introduced a performance management system to Seattle Women’s team (still used today) - captains spend quality one on one time reviewing a players strengths and opportunities. This is also an opportunity for goal setting with the individual and chance for them to tell the captain in an individual setting how the captain or the team could help them get better.

• Being able to have two kids, a career, continued to captain, lead, and be a major contributor on the field both on offense and defense

• Coach of University of Washington - moving their ranking from 80th to 15th in twelve months

• Winning worlds of 97 was one of the most amazing experiences I have been apart of. WOTV had not qualified for the tournament despite being the current World champ. After extreme hardship to gain entry and only finding out the night before the tournament began that we could participate; we ended up in Vancouver, playing our hearts out to make to the finals. In the games leading up to qualifying, I had gotten numerous hand blocks, made defensive plays and got things moving on offense. I had a game changing layout block against England Red Lights to take us to the finals. Once the finals began – almost immediately there was a severe injury to Sarah GR, who needed to leave the field on a stretcher and stop the game for over 30 minutes. When play resumed, Verge went down by 4 points. I called a time out and gave an extremely emotional motivational speech to the team about how the best way to honor Sarah would be to win the game, not too feel sad and lose. The team came together in the most incredible fashion, each person contributing in some way. I played a huge factor in that game, scoring numerous points and making several offensive layouts.

• Individual Spirit of the Game Winner worlds Hawaii – given by Prime Canada

• Receiving calls or cards from players I have played with or coached, telling me how much I made a difference for them in the sport of Ultimate

• Despite moving or changing teams, have forged many deep long-lasting friendships with people from all over the world.

Q: Why did you stand out among the elite players of your time?  What was it that you did best, or were known for? 

A: GRRRRRRRR = Competitive drive, never quit –always gave it my all, for any team I played on. On offense - was a driving force; both catching and throwing goals. On defense, consistently shut down the top players in the sport, by fronting defense, hand blocks, layout d’s and deep poaching. My speed provided the ability to cover a lot of ground, track down deep hucks for defense and scoring goals on offense. I was well respected by my teammates. With competitors like in anything - some liked me and some didn’t. Had a very aggressive and competitive bent on the field, but also the type of person at the end of the day, no matter what the situation could sit down and share a beer after the game. 

In addition to play and athleticism, I was known for my leadership and motivational encouragement to others. No matter what; always gave teammate’s positive feedback, skills coaching and was a vocal contributor from the sideline, (when not playing). If hurt – would not give up, contributed in any way possible - by playing a modified role if needed. For example at Tune Up in Chicago, 1998, sprained my throwing hand on a layout in the semi-finals. This injury did not allow me to throw further than five yards, during the finals; became the deep target, scoring numerous goals to win the tournament. Injuries or maladies could not keep me down; have played with a cracked rib, separated shoulder, fractured foot, wires in my hand after reconstructive thumb surgery, pregnant, and plantar factious. Have torn my calf completely and rehabbed within 6 weeks to play. It took a lot to keep me off the field, I am extremely dedicated and was known for no matter what the situation, a person who always gave it her all.

Last but not least, on the field I was known for scoring goals and getting defense. During tough situations or critical points, was a player that the team wanted on the field. Women on the Verge had a website - teammates were asked to provide a synopsis or pithy quote about each other. The quote that they had for me, "I’m glad she’s on my team!" Meaning: "Would hate to play against her."

Q: What role did you play on the best (or most overachieving team) that you played on?

A: My primary role(s) for Women on the Verge was starter for both offense and defense. I always had some type of leadership role, either as, Captain, or sub caller. On offense, played all positions; handler, deep, middle. My sweet spot was scoring goals, either as the receiver or a deep backhand huck. On defense, was know for stopping handler cuts by fronting, was blessed with great field awareness and if the disc was in my area whether it was my person or not, there was a chance I would get it. In the zone, could play all positions, my speciality was deep- deep or middle-middle  in the cup. Teammates and opponents alike ave let me know that I was a great role model for both my team and other teams as a woman who could have children and still continue to play at the highest level.
 

Q: What year was the peak of your career? During which years were you playing as the "stud" of your team? If you continued playing after your peak years, how did your role change? In what year did you stop playing at the top competitive level?

A: Peak is an interesting concept…if there had to be one period of time it was 1993-2001. During this time period I was on the ‘A’ squad for offense and defense. Rarely was there a game where I didn’t score at least 5 goals. Part of my job was to cover some of the toughest people for the competition and consequently, those same people covered me. For example Molly Goodwin, Gloria Lust, Nicole from Fury, Annie Kremil, Nancy Glass, Sarah Savage, Molly Barnes, Kathy Porter, Chris O’Cleary, etc. My team counted on me, athletically and as a leader, running strategy and providing inspiration. During the time frame of 1995-1999, WOTV won just about every tournament we attended except first place at Nationals.

On a side note, during this time frame, had the good fortune to be ‘in action shots’ for two catalogues Patagonia and KAVU as well as UPA Newsletter, Ultimate calendar and Nike video shoot. After Verge and playing on Posse and Shazam at age 40 + I was still making things happen on offense and defense; playing a lead role and one of the go to players for these teams. Officially, stopped playing in 2003, with a brief stint (during the beginning of retirement after moving from Seattle back to Minnesota), with Bait – helping the team out in 2004, for the tail end of the season. At age 43, during regionals, was the oldest person on the team by a long shot and scored over half the goals. Played at Potlatch in 2006, over 90% of the team was over age 40. We were in a tough pool (the winners of the whole tournament, were in our pool) we made it to the back door semis of the b pool and I scored about a third of our overall points. So while older……was still able to get open and make things happen – it just hurts a lot more! 

I have been playing for over 24 years and feel extremely proud and lucky to be able to contribute at this level for so long. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been a great and incredible ride. 

Q: Why do you believe you are worthy of being inducted into the Ultimate Hall of Fame?

A: Performance and longevity, I have been able to play longer than most still competing at the top of my game. Despite having a career, two kids, and a husband who played competitively, I was able to participate at the highest level. My daughters were both raised on the Ultimate Field and are better people because of it. Carli was one month old at her first tournament at Solstice and Madison was ten days old at Santa Cruz in 1994. Any team I have been on has become better by both because of my athleticism and leadership. During my tenure with WOTV, I introduced a Performance Management approach that carried over to Riot.

I have made contributions at the Women’s level, mixed, coaching a college team and coaching high school players. My career with WOTV was long and decorated. Contributions with Shazam over the age of 40 were equally impressive, being one of the primary point getters for the team. The University of Washington’s women’s team is better today because of the work that my role as a coach. I feel honored and lucky that I have been able to contribute to the sport of Ultimate for over twenty-four years!

  

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