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Fury is coming off a silver medal at Worlds: now they’ve got no Georgia, no Alicia, and no losses. Riot already has some losses to Fury, Traffic, and Scandal this season, but are looking pretty strong. Their finals game against Scandal at the US Open showed excellent promise for the season to come, which they capitalized on at ECC where they lost to Traffic and Fury. We’re looking forward to see these two battle it out as usual throughout the season.
Scandal and Phoenix: They’ve played each other twice with one win each and a combined score of 22 – 22. Scandal’s got one more tournament and the more recent win and put up solid wins against Brute Squad, Showdown and Traffic at ECC (41-25 over those three games). Phoenix has only lost to Riot and Scandal so far, so they come in fourth.
The next five get really tricky. Just looking at the wins and losses doesn’t really help much, though it is interesting.
|Scandal, Molly Brown, Brute Squad, Nemesis
|Riot, Showdown, Nemesis
|Nemesis, Phoenix, Scandal (x2), Showdown, Riot (x2), Fury
|Ozone, Scandal, Riot
Showdown, Phoenix, Scandal, Riot (x2), Heist, Fury, Bent
|Fury, Brute Squad, Scandal, Molly Brown
So let’s just look at these five for a second. Basically, Ozone has beaten Molly Brown and Brute Squad, and other than the teams ranked 1-4 has lost to Nemesis and Showdown. But Ozone has since avenged the loss to Nemesis 15-5 and Showdown 14-13 both at ECC. Then Heist is a bit tricky. Their roster boasts some of the strongest women in the midwest and some really top tier college talent (seriously, look at their roster), so though they don’t have many games, they also have yet to lose. Plus they have Georgia Bosscher who we just mentioned left the second best team in the world to play for Heist. We’ll give them #6, but expect them to shoot up in these rankings as the season progresses. Then it gets even more tricky. Brute Squad and Molly Brown both beat Traffic, so Traffic will be 9th. Molly Brown simply has more losses than Brute Squad. Sure, Brute Squad has played less, but they’ve only lost to teams above them. Molly Brown has losses to Bent and Showdown as well.
Both Molly Brown and Traffic beat Nemesis so they come in a close 10th. A nice early season win over Ozone plus close games with Traffic and Riot at ECC are promising but still can’t put ‘em higher quite yet. Hopefully they’ll match up with Heist at Heavyweights.
Beware of Nightlock
Next comes one of the teams I am most excited to watch this season, Nightlock. It is incredibly hard to form a strong second Women’s team in the Bay Area, as you’ve got Fury dominating and many talented women choosing the competitive Mixed scene over a second Women’s team. But Nightlock is gunning to prove they deserve to be feared. They already have wins over Showdown, Underground, Safari and Bent. They are traveling a lot and are getting tons of experience against great teams. This team is young, comprised mostly of players a year or two out of college. If you followed the College Women’s coverage, it’s definitely worth looking at their roster to see some familiar faces. This is a first year team that has already beaten frequent Nationals attendee Safari, so will be very dangerous come the Series.
Showdown got wins over Molly Brown and Ozone at the US Open, but had a really tough ECC. That loss to Nightlock puts them close behind.
Under the Radar
We round out our list with Underground, Safari and Bent. The ladies from Seattle are looking alright early in the season. They revenged a Colorado Cup loss to Pop at ECC which shows some improvement. They’ve also lost to Brute Squad, Nightlock and Fury. Definitely not a top contender but they have the potential to break upward if they keep improving, and potentially set up a spot to Nationals. If the season were to end today the NW would secure four bids, and the last would be Underground’s (the third would actually go to Schwa as of now, but these are power rankings, not based on the USAU algorithm). Safari is one of the oldest teams in the game as far as years as a team – it’s their 25th year of existence. They’ve got some fresh faces from the UCSD College Women’s team that have yet to get into the groove of top tier Club Women’s play, but playing with their coach (Shar Stuht) means they’ll learn fast and keep Safari going with fresh legs. Safari is probably one of the regular Nationals teams hurt most by the redraw – they now find themselves losing Molly Brown as a regional competitor but picking up the likes of Fury and Nightlock, both of whom they have yet to beat. As of now, Safari comes in the USAU rankings at 16, earning themselves their bid to Nationals (if the season ended today the Southwest would get 3 bids), but they will need to rack up some wins to maintain their spot to Sarasota. They do, however, have wins over Pop and Bent. Their close win over Bent puts them just one step ahead, with Bent close on their heels.
Last but not least, our honorary mystery team: Capitals. Most of their players had a busy early season playing for Team Canada. It looks like they are taking the middle part of the season off and are going to regroup for the series. Given the talent on the team, you have to expect they’ll be really strong, but their first test since Worlds probably won’t occur until the semis of NE Regionals.
Tournaments we are looking forward to
Heavyweights: We’ll see some more soon from Heist – can they take down Nemesis and Bent?
Labor Day: All the West Coast teams show up in full force – can Phoenix hold them off on their own turf? Also NexGen Network will be streaming live games, giving everyone at home a peek into what will be some of the best matchups of the season until Nationals.