Southwest Regionals 2012: Women’s Preview

by | April 27, 2012, 12:25am 0

The region with 5 bids is going to see a crazy tournament this weekend. One of the season’s top teams Sonoma State didn’t fare well at their Conference Championships, letting Humboldt State, a newcomer to the Nationals discussion, take the top spot. UCLA asserted their dominance over the South, claiming their title as the top team in SoCal. A fifth bid brings hope to teams like UCSD and Davis, hoping for a little luck and some great games to go their way. Top it off with some 90 degree weather over the weekend and there’s no question that the competition will be hot as hell at the Southwest Regionals.

Location: Scottsdale, AZ
# of Bids:
Full Schedule

The Season’s Regional Toppers

UCLA has been trying to prove it deserves to be considered the top team in the Southwest, and it seems as if they have finally done so. Their loss to Santa Barbara at Centex was a wakeup call, but they revenged the win at the SoCal CC. Not much more to say about BLU: their consistency poises them to take the first bid out of the Southwest and their games are sure to be great ones to watch.

Sonoma State was guaranteed to be at the top until the NorCal CC, when they turned out some poor results. Unfortunately, contrary to our many peoples’ impressions over the season, this means that Sonoma has their weaknesses and now other regional competitors know it. The competition will be gunning for them in Arizona, and the weather will prove a real challenge for a team used to their top players being in for a whole tournament. Sonoma is the team to beat this weekend, but they’re still set to finish high enough to make it to Nationals.

California has consistently placed near the top, third in the NorCal CC. They have some of the best players in the nation, and we’ve watched them secure some impressive wins. However, we’ve also seen them lose more than enough times to their Regional competition; winning the top spot might prove elusive but it’s likely the Pie Queens will drop out of the top 5.

The Season’s Improvers

Santa Barbara has all but forgotten their early season results. Taking second at Centex and also at SoCal CC shows they’re gunning for a top spot. This team has survived a difficult season and proved they could come out on top, and if they put their minds to it and play their game, they’ll have a hard time not qualifying for Nationals this year.

Humboldt State surprised everyone by winning NorCal CC. They hadn’t placed well in the top tournaments, but also had a hard time pulling together a full roster at tournaments where they faced the best teams (e.g. Pres Day) So where did they come from? The large roster in hot weather definitely played a factor; that being said, they’ll have the same advantage in Arizona, and earn themselves the title of Most Likely to Play Spoiler.

Stanford started the season with only a few returners, but this team has coalesced to become remeniscient of the Superfly of previous years. Their superb second place finish in NorCal CC gives them confidence going in to Regionals, setting them up to take down the Region’s season long top teams.

The Fifth Place Potentials

UC Davis – Davis is plagued by being a good team in an incredibly competitive region. They’ve got some great players but likely have a hard time breaking in to the top 5. Still, they could put up a good game against other top teams.

UCSD – the Psychos’ record doesn’t say it all. When they put their minds to it they pull out convincing wins (note: a revenge beatdown of USC at SoCal CC). They’d love the chance to fight for a fifth bid, and will put up a tough fight to get it.

Games to Watch

Humboldt State vs UCSB – I’m looking forward to see what NorCal’s surprise winner can do against perennial national competitors the Burning Skirts

Sonoma State vs UCLA – starting off the weekend right with what are considered to be the top teams in the Region, and possible the hardest game. The winning team will gain the confidence to ride through the weekend on a much easier path.

Stanford vs. Davis and Stanford vs. UCSD – This is Davis’ and UCSD’s biggest game. A win here is necessary for the Pleiades and Psychos to prove they could make it to a fifth spot, before battling each other. UCSD does have the slight advantage having their matchup Saturday morning where they can play fresh, whereas Davis gets to face Superfly Sunday morning.

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