QCTU: 2012 Women’s Preview

by | February 9, 2012, 3:15pm 0

This article and the 2012 Skyd College Tour are brought to you by Spin Ultimate

Queen City Tune Up promises to be the most competitive college women’s tournament in February, with 20 top teams in the Atlantic Coast, South Central, Ohio Valley, and Southeast, making the trip to Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Teams

Pool A: North Carolina (A1), Florida State (A2), Northwestern (A3), Northeastern (A4), Charleston (A5)

Top seeded North Carolina looks to have Pool A locked down. Led this year by Lindsay Lang, Shellie Cohen, and Lisa Couper, the Pleiades have some fire power in their ranks. The Pleiades have a dangerous offense, where everyone is a deep threat, including their handlers. Offensively, North Carolina should give some problems to the rest of Pool A. Florida State is coming off of a semi-finals appearance at Florida Winter Classic two weeks ago. Megan Reeves, Tiffany Clarkson, Sarah Clark, and Jacki Jerrems are huge for the Seminole Ladies Ultimate Team, and have the potential to match up well with Lang, Cohen and Couper.

Northwestern, Northeastern, and Charleston all have relatively young rosters this season, but all have the ability to put up big games when it counts. Northwestern’s Lien Hoffmann  will give all teams in Pool A some trouble, as shutting her down is extremely difficult to do. Can Gung Ho use the performance at Michigan Indoor as fuel to the fire to bring their game to the next level this spring?

Courtney Moores, coach of the Northeastern Valkyries says, “We feel that we were still able to get ourselves into a good position for the season and try and fill those gaps left by the seniors.  We have taken a couple rookies onto the team this year, both very athletic, and one having played in high school in Pittsburgh.” This tournament will be a good indication if the youngsters are willing and able to step up their game against some top-notch out of region teams.

Pool B: Central Florida (B1), Pittsburgh (B2), Georgia (B3), NC State (B4), Delaware (B5)

Central Florida is the clear favorite to take Pool B. The Sirens outscored the rest of the Southeast 101-10 at Florida Winter Classic, and have established some great team rapport. Pitt is a talented team, with some players gaining experience with Hot Metal in the club season; however, it is unknown whether or not Danger has anyone who can contain Ashley Schmerhorn’s height and huge throws for Central Florida. Given Pitt’s loss to Ohio State (sans Cassie Swafford) in the Michigan Indoor, Danger needs to come up with an answer to the big players on UCF.

Georgia gets a rematch against Central Florida to start the tournament off. If Georgia is able to put up more points this time around, it may help them down the line in securing a better seed at Southeast Regionals.

In the fourth round in NC State vs. Central Florida, look forward to the Jessi Jones/Schmerhorn match up.  Both players are extremely talented, and huge for their respective teams. Jones has some elite club experience with Phoenix under her belt. The rest of the roster of both the Sirens and Jäga will have to step up.

Delaware finished sixth at Winta Binta Vinta Fest, Sideshow’s first tournament of the year. Nikki Ross, Hannah Volpert and Sam Peletier have been putting in the work to bring their team to the next level. After working out some kinks, Sideshow has the potential to break seed in this tournament.

Pool C: Virginia (C1), North Carolina-Wimington (C2), Penn State (C3), Swarthmore (C4), Emory (C5)

Pool C promises to be a rematch of the Winta Binta Vinta Fest top three, where Virginia, UNC-W, and Penn State finished first, second, and third, respectively. Virginia’s Devon Ericksen and Shannon McVey have great chemistry, and work the disc well. One of the best pool play games on Saturday promises to be in the last round of Saturday, where Hydra squares off against Claire Chastain and the rest of Seaweed. This game should prove to be a defensive showdown, with huge plays by both teams.

Thus far, Penn State has yet to lose to anyone but the top two teams in this pool. Isis has played both teams, and may be able to make some adjustments to close the point differential this weekend.

Swarthmore and Emory have the disadvantage, having not played any of the other three teams in the pool. Both teams are scrappy and can make plays.

Pool D: WashU (D1), Ohio State (D2), Penn (D3), Maryland (D4), QCTU Qualifier (D5)

Pool D has the best match up of the whole tournament, featuring WashU and Ohio State. OSU finished second in the Michigan Indoor even without their baller captain Cassie Swafford. If she is healthy and competing at QCTU, the game will be interesting. Both teams feature some “dynamic duos” that match up quite well against each other. To see the Swafford/Kami Groom (WashU) and Paige Soper(OSU)/Danielle Blatt (WashU)matchups  will be an opportunity you will not want to miss. If OSU can keep Groom under and shut down her low-release break throws, the Swafford/Paige Soper combination might be too much for WashU, as Swafford and Soper have height on their side. When the two teams last met at the 2011 College Championships, WashU prevailed 13-10. With some roster turnover on both sides, this game remains quite evenly matched.

Penn, Maryland have yet to face any competition this spring. Both teams have had rollercoaster seasons in the past few years, but can put up points and upset good teams if they are given a window. Maryland’s Sasha Bugler is a high impact players for her team, and is a player to watch this weekend as she makes her Spring 2012 debut.

Duke qualified last weekend at the Queen City Tune Up, prevailing over all the competition except for UNC. Duke could upset some of the lower teams in the pool, or at least give them some good, hard-fought games.

Games to Watch:

First Round (9:00 am):

Florida State vs. Northeastern, Field 5A: Florida State knows how to get it done in their early morning games. Northeastern is hungry to win its first inter-regional play game. This game could prove important later in the season, when regions are fighting over those RRI points.

Second Round (10:30 am):

Virginia vs. Penn State, Field 6A: Rematch of Winta Binta Vinta Fest semi-finals. Can Penn State make the adjustments to contain Devon Ericksen and Shannon McVey to close the point differential?

Third Round (12:00 pm):

Pennsylvania vs. Maryland, Field 8B: Penn and Maryland have yet to face competition this season. Maryland’s Sasha Bugler squares off against Penn’s Shannon Tsai.

Fourth Round (1:30 pm):

Pittsburgh vs. Georgia, Field 6B: This inter-region matchup between two top teams in the Ohio Valley and Southeast, could help allocate some RRI points one way or the other. Pitt and Georgia have yet to face each other, and should prove to be an exciting match-up.

Central Florida vs. NC State, Field 6A: I’d pay just to see the Jessi Jones (NC State) vs. Ashley Schmerhorn (Central Florida) matchup.

Fifth Round (3:00 pm):

WashU vs. Ohio State, Field 8A: Rematch from the 2011 College Championships. Both teams rely on their dynamic duos, who just happen to match up well against each other to make plays on both sides of the disc. This game promises to showcase athleticism, huge plays, and ridiculous layout galore.

North Carolina vs. Florida State, Field 5A: Florida State has the best potential to match up with North Carolina in their pool. If FSU can make some big defensive plays and shut down UNC’s deep game, it could be a close one.

Virginia vs. North Carolina-Wimington, Field 7A: Rematch of the Winta Binta Vinta Fest finals, both teams know each other well. The team that makes the most adjustments and plays better defense, will win.

Georgia vs. Delaware, Field 6B: A good matchup between two teams committed to building their depth. Delaware has a larger returning core, while Georgia has a young, athletic team. Will young athleticism come out on top?

Players to Watch

  • Ashley Schmerhorn (Central Florida)
  • Kami Groom (WashU)
  • Claire Chastain (UNC-Wilmington)
  • Devon Erickson (Virginia)
  • Sasha Bulger (Maryland)
  • Shellie Cohen (UNC)
  • Paige Soper (Ohio State)
  • Lien Hoffmann (Northwestern)

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