The following rankings are assembled by way of stepping back and looking at the season as a whole – and assessing who we think will be the 20 teams we see in Boulder. At Skyd, we have been fortunate enough to have had at least one correspondent at pretty much all the top tournaments. We’ve heard a lot of “well Team X beat Team Y by this point margin but you have Y over X?” Well, tough. We’re the experts, so noodle on these, ulti-world.
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1. Iowa State – How about this? These girls have proved time and time again that they can win when it matters. Sure, they’ve had some close games, but overall, they win them, do they not? This speaks highly to the mental fortitude that Womens Scorned boast; add in their deep roster of highly talented women and you’ve got our current top pick in the nation.
2. Washington – Okay, so they didn’t do as well as they’d like at Conference. Yet, these girls have been on top all season. Does this speak more to Oregon’s domination? Or did UW just have a bad weekend? We’re going with the latter – expect Element to be back in full force at Regionals. HOWEVER…
3. Oregon – Like we said before, one bad day doesn’t tell how a season will end, but it does speak to inconsistency. It’s hard to say Oregon is improving – have they just been good enough to win their conference (one of the most competitive in the country) all along? Regionals will tell all for these Northwestern teams.
4. Michigan – cruising through their CC defeating Michigan State 15-1 to take first place, Flywheel is proving why they dominate the Great Lakes. No doubt we’ll see them in Boulder this season. Flywheel has yet to place at the very top of any of the most competitive tournaments they attended (note 1-3 have all won competitive tournaments this season), but no doubt they have the capability to take down any team.
5. UCLA – BLU has proved their near the top of the Southwest all season, consistently placing well at this season’s most competitive tournaments. Winning the SoCal CC is icing on the cake, setting them up to perform well at Regionals this weekend.
6. Sonoma State – Their fifth place finish at Nor Cal CC is intriguing, but D’Vine has been down before and come back stronger than ever this season – at the end of the day, they’re the best coached and have one of the best players in the Southwest.
7. UNC – Their talented roster takes Carolina, putting them back on top after their poor Centex performance. Their consistent finishes leads us to expect them to take the Atlantic Coast, though might have a tough time proving they deserve to be on top.
8. UBC – They put up great games against top teams all season, and their finish above Washington at their CC shows their improvement across the season. It may not be enough to take down UW and Oregon at Regionals, but they’re likely to make it to Boulder.
9. Cal – Cal’s got one of the deepest rosters of the top teams, and function effectively as an integrated unit – even when their top players are suffering some injuries, they still excel. Yet when all their players are healthy, they’re a serious force to reckon with. Their roster will likely play a factor in determining placement, but there is no doubt the Pie Queens will be at Nationals this year.
10. Santa Barbara – These girls put up a solid performance against UCLA at the SoCal CC. Their questionable performance at the beginning of the season is no longer a consideration – they proved they can play with the best and have earned their spot