Commonwealth Cup: Women’s Preview

by | February 12, 2013, 5:00pm 0

This preview and the 2013 Skyd College Tour are brought to you by Spin Ultimate.

This weekend, 17 women’s teams will travel to Martinsville, VA for the first ever Commonwealth Cup. Organized by Without Limits, Commonwealth Cup is a response to the ever increasing demand for women’s tournaments on the East Coast. In its inaugural year, Commonwealth has attracted some strong regional competition as well as several out-of-region contenders looking to make their mark.

Pool A: MIT, Virginia Commonwealth, Richmond, Maryland-B, Saga

Finishing their fall season with a definitive win at Yale Cup Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s SMITE is looking to come out strong to start the spring. MIT has a very solid group of returners as well as one of the best rookie classes they’ve seen in years. Having spent the week digging out from under 30 inches of snow, MIT will have sore obliques, but no shortage of aggressive team defense and deep looks from senior Michelle Rybak. January indoor practices will give MIT a slight disadvantage in the outdoors, but they should re-adjust quickly and take the pool. The second seed in Pool A, VCU XX enters the spring with a new name (formerly the Biscuit Villains) and strong rookie class. Having originally hoped for a “rebuilding” season with only seven returners, VCU feels optimistic about the spring season.  Look out for their freshman cutters getting open all over the field.

The Richmond Redhots are itching to play a tournament with the return of nine juniors who studied abroad in the fall and two captains recovering from injuries. The addition of these players may be an adjustment for the team, but the Redhots should fall back into their groove quickly.  Though the focus is on the juniors, don’t discount the rookies, who stepped up and got a lot of PT in the fall.  Rounding out Pool A are Maryland-B and Saga. Maryland’s program is getting stronger every year and this growth has been reflected in success on both the A and B sides.  Though Saga is a High School team, be sure not to count them out.  The team out of Chapel Hill, formerly known as Durga, has produced some fantastic players over the years. The current ladies, who won Tidewater Tuneup in the fall, play smarter and faster than their age would suggest.

Pool B: Harvard, Mary Washington, Lehigh, UNC-B

Also traveling south for some out-of-region competition, Harvard Quasar is the team to beat in Pool B.  Look for sophomore standout India Stubbs to run the field with her precise throws, speed, and aggressive Ds. Expect a give and go, faced-paced offense from this athletic squad.  Harvard should expect some strong competition from Mary Washington Mary Massacre. With two consecutive DIII Nationals appearances under their belt, this team is ready to take on the spring season. Though this is a rebuilding year for the team, they are lucky to have a strong rookie class. Expect Fiona Curtis and Maggie Karrs to make some great defensive plays for Mary Massacre.

Lehigh and UNC-B will give their pool some good games.  Under the coaching leadership of Ozone’s Kate Leslie, UNC-B has made big strides the past few years. They have a strong group of committed returners who can move the disc and make solid plays. UNC-B warmed up their spring season with the QCTU Open and had a series of good games, losing to Liberty on universe.

Pool C: William & Mary, Georgetown, Wake Forest, Virginia-B

Pool C should have a series of great matchups. William & Mary hopes to use Commonwealth Cup as a chance to focus on re-integrating players returning from abroad and increasing the versatility of players across the board. With a series of close games at Winta Binta Vinta Fest, William & Mary should be warmed-up and ready to go this weekend.  Georgetown is a dangerous second seed. The Huckin’ Foyas pride themselves on their spirit and like to have fun.  However, their wins at Joint Summit over 2012 AC Regionals contenders Clemson and Charleston prove that they have more going for them than just raw, uncut musical talent.

Wake Forest is a wildcard in this pool. They had a very strong performance at QCTU-Open and are likely to give the one and two seeds very good games. Look for Wake Forest to play with a lot of athleticism and make a lot of viable deep shots. Rounding out the pool is Virginia-B. This spring they are looking to push themselves to new levels of competition with their very capable group of returners.

Pool D: George Washington, Rochester, Davidson, Liberty

George Washington is on the rise as a program. They are increasing their intensity and skill level with the help of their new coaches, Alicia White and Octavia Payne of Scandal. Though they are a very young team (no seniors), G-dub will fiercely defend their top seed in Pool D. Expect some sick layouts from this team. Rochester is escaping the New York winter to take the second seed in this pool. Having played mostly local tournaments in the fall, it will be interesting to see how Rochester matches up against opponents they have never seen before.

After two years of rebuilding, Davidson DUFF is back and ready to make their mark at Commonwealth Cup.  Finishing near the top at several fall tournaments, Davidson feels confident about the spring season. Look for captain Savannah Erwin to make great plays from the handler position, using her great field sense to move the disc efficiently and effectively. Last but not least, Liberty started their spring season with a 1-5 performance at the QCTU Open, where they introduced their rookies to handling. Commonwealth Cup is a chance for Liberty to show what they’ve learned on offense and force turnovers with their strong team defense.

Feature photo by Christina Schmidt –

Comments Policy: At Skyd, we value all legitimate contributions to the discussion of ultimate. However, please ensure your input is respectful. Hateful, slanderous, or disrespectful comments will be deleted. For grammatical, factual, and typographic errors, instead of leaving a comment, please e-mail our editors directly at editors [at]