Q&A With Martha Gregory and Stazi Tangherlini

by Moi Li

Player Spotlight Q&A: Pride’s Martha Gregory and Gridlock’s Stazi Tangherlini

Martha Gregory #41 plays for Columbus Pride, the New York women’s club team Bent, and is a resident of Gambier, Ohio where she teaches at Kenyon college. She answered post-game questions from PUL sportswriter Moi Li after the Columbus Pride game against New York Gridlock on Saturday, May 4.

Q: How was playing here in front of the New York crowd tonight?

A: It was super fun to play in front of this crowd. I was sort of terrified because I have to play against all my friends, in front of all my friends, with a group of people who I love so much but we haven’t played together. I can’t believe we had such a good crowd. It’s awesome the support people have been showing for the PUL.

Q: How did you feel after getting hand blocked from Stazi [Nastasia Tangherlini] the first point?

A: Getting hand blocked immediately by the captain of my club team was possibly the worst-case scenario on the first point. But it happened and I was like, whatever, I am going to play really hard defense. And now some of the pressure is off because of this ridiculous thing. I just got owned and now I have to play really hard. And that helped me get over my nervousness.

Q: What do you hope for the rest of the season?

A: I just hope to have a full roster the next game we play. Now that we’ve had two games to sort some stuff out and work on our handler movement, get to know what each other really likes and what kind of players we are. I think we, Columbus Pride, have a really high ceiling. I think we are nowhere close to how good we are going to be.

Nastasia “Stazi” Tangherlini #4 plays for NY Gridlock, is captain of the New York women’s club team Bent, and is a teacher in New York City. She also answered post-game questions from PUL sportswriter Moi Li.

Q: Your hand block on Martha [Gregory] in the first point of the game

A: Yeah, it was really funny. I had this internal monologue… As I was running down, I knew I was going to get the center handler. And then I looked up and ‘Oh no! It’s Marty on the first point.’ She’s considerably taller than me and we’ve matched up at [Bent] practice. But when you’ve played with someone for five years, you know their release points, you know what they want to do… I had my hand in the place where I know she likes to release her flick…And I think that’s a testament to our sport and this league, we are all here to push each other. That kind of competition is what makes us all better and we respect that in each other. And, you know, she balled out for the rest of the game.

Q: In the second quarter, you had a throw intended for Cassie Wong that Tulsa Douglas tried to save, levitating for an amazing sky…

A: That was a trust throw. When Dre [Andrea DeSabado] hit me with the swing and I saw from the corner of my eye who was cutting to the break side... I knew it was upwind so I tried to sit on it a bit more. And it popped up as [Wong] was jumping for it, which was unfortunate. The wind will happen. That was a ridiculous sky [by Douglas] that our team has been sending gifs of on our GroupMe…I think her knees were next the to Pride player’s face. I was standing there with my mouth on the floor. I wish I had thrown that a little bit better.

Q: In the third quarter, there was a point where after a Pride turn, you picked up the disc and waved a few people off, then put it to Cassie Wong who came down with a sky. What was going through your head?

A: I think they had put on a backhand force. I’ve been challenging myself to not throw my around flick and instead work on my backhand. I had hesitated when I saw our reset handler up the line. And then I just saw Cassie streaking in the end zone and I was like ‘Help!’ and threw a bad hospital pass. But she came down with it. She came off and was like ‘Yeah, it was totally fine.’ [I said] ‘You were double covered. That was not a good decision. But thanks.’  I think Cassie saves my butt and makes me look good. That’s a good captain.

Q: How was it playing in front of such an engaged crowd of fans?

A: I love it. I think I probably play the best in front of crowds. It’s amazing and humbling to feel your community supporting you and knowing who’s in the crowd. My Columbia players, I coach the Columbia women’s team, I could see them in the front row. I knew my mom and my stepdad were there somewhere. It’s a great feeling seeing people I’ve played in leagues with, my teammates, my former teammates, my former players, my current players, my family… That’s one of the amazing things PUL has given us, an opportunity to showcase what we can do and what our community has given us.

About the writer: Moi Li has played ultimate in the NYC community for the past five years. While not playing ultimate, she works as a dentist in Brooklyn and New Jersey.

Tim Kepner