Queen City Tune Up 2013: Women’s Preview

by | February 7, 2013, 11:21am 0

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

This weekend, twenty teams meet in Charlotte, North Carolina in hopes of starting their seasons off with the first big tournament win of the 2013 Women’s College Women’s Division Regular Season.  In the 14th year of the tournament, Without Limits and the University of North Carolina have attracted teams from seven different regions for the first real clash of the top contenders east of the Rocky Mountains.

Pool A: Tufts, Iowa, Georgia, Delaware, Northwestern

Pool A has no shortage of talent. Each team has standout players, and each team has a chance at a strong season.

Tufts, Iowa, and Georgia should give each other good games. Tufts demonstrated dynamic offensive ability in the semis at the 2012 College Championships. Claudia Tajima showed that she can run the show and that no one can stop her throws. Mia Greenwald, Hailey Alm, Hannah Garfield, and Qxhna Titcomb dominated both sides of the disc, and all return for another run at a title. This team is primed for a victory this weekend, but not if Saucy Nancy and Dawgma can help it.

Iowa and Georgia return a lot of their rosters from 2012. Their top end talent has gained elite women’s club division experience, and both teams boast a strong supporting cast. Be sure to catch at least part of the games where the top three teams match up:

10:30 am: Tufts vs. Georgia [Field 5A]

1:30 pm: Iowa vs. Georgia [Field 5B]

3:00 pm: Tufts vs.Iowa[Field 5A]

Finally, Delaware and Northwestern are two teams that should not be discounted.  Northwestern’s Lien Hoffman has been out of action since tearing her ACL at 2012 Chicago Invite, but expect her to touch the disc all the time for Gung Ho. Her throws and athleticism will be back in top form with a few reps. Though Delaware’s star thrower Nikki Ross is out with a torn ACL, their younger players reap the rewards of getting experience against top-notch competition at the 2012 College Championships.

Pool B: Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Washington University, Central Florida

Pool B promises to be the most exciting in terms of who will win the pool. North Carolina, Michigan and Wisconsin are all wildcards heading into the regular season; all teams experienced turnover in key personnel, yet, all three still have strong programs from which to build upon.

My pick of the day includes the North Carolina vs. Wisconsin game in the 4th round. Alex Snyder and Lindsey Hack return as coaches for Wisconsin and North Carolina, respectively, as two of the greatest minds in women’s Ultimate.North Carolina has become one of the top programs in the country, with a constant influx of top-level rookie talent.Wisconsin has a roster that is younger than it has been in years, but they have a lot of raw athleticism. This game promises to be extremely exciting.

Flywheel graduated 2012 Callahan Award Winner Paula Seville, co-captain Kelsey DeLave, and handling standout Vicki Chang. Becky Moore and Theresa Zettner have potential to do some damage against teams this spring; however, we have yet to see how deep they really can be this season. The team lost to Florida State in quarters of CCC, a tournament that they have dominated in the past.

WashU and Central Florida have high hopes for 2013. After falling short in 2012, these teams are hungry to get a shot at the 2013 College Championships. Both teams have talented players (see Danielle Blatt of WashU and Mariel Hammond of UCF) and smart coaches. With strong performances, they could help earn more regional strength for the South and Southeast.

Pool C: Iowa State, North Carolina-Wilmington, Pittsburgh, Florida, Maryland

Iowa State and North Carolina-Wilmington have a history of trading wins in the past few seasons. The teams met only once in 2012, resulting in a universe point win for the Seaweed. Based on the solid roster Iowa State returns, including Becca Miller, Magon Liu, Sarah Pesch, and Cami Nelson, Woman Scorned is poised to take the win in pool play.

North Carolina-Wilmington has Claire Chastain for another season. Chastain, one of the most complete players in the women’s college division this year, helped lead her team to a strong fall performance as well. Seaweed made it all the way to semi finals at Classic City Classic, earning a decisive win over Pool C contender from the Southeast, Florida.

Maryland, led by Scandal’s Sasha Bulger, is looking to give Iowa State a good first round game. Helpful Corn will be looking to build off of the upswing that started late in the fall pre-season, which ended with a solid performed at Carrollton Clash.

Florida and Pittsburgh have the opportunity to help score their regions some regional strength points, if they are able to perform well in pool play. The Southeast looks stronger than it has in the past few seasons, and FUEL will be playing to help earn another bid for the region. What better way to start off the day than by avenging the fall loss to North Carolina-Wilmington in the first round of pool play? Pitt comes off of a strong pre-season with wins over all of their out-of-region fall opponents, which can be attributed to a gritty, physical play style.

Pool D: Ohio State, Virginia, Florida State, Carleton College, Northeastern

Pool D features 2012’s College Championships Cinderella story from Columbus: Ohio State Fever. QCTU will be the first time since summer that OSU stud Cassie Swafford cleats up for a game in a while, since sustaining an injury that has kept her sidelined since July. It won’t be long until Swafford and Paige “Diddy” Soper find their stride as one of the most dominant duos in the women’s division. Fever returns many of their veterans who have benefited from two consecutive trips to the Division 1 College Championships, like Katie Backus and Catelen Ramsey.

Ohio State must beat Virginia, who is coming off of a solid win at their home tournament, Winta Binta Vinta Fest, which featured teams from the Ohio Valley, Atlantic Coast, and Metro East. Hydra did not allow a team in bracket play to score more than 4 points, despite graduating Devon Erickson, the team’s go-to gunslinger in 2012. Mary Kelly and Alika Johnston dominate on both sides of the disc, and have the potential to carry Hydra far this season.

Carleton and Florida State round out the pool. Florida State has only lost to Georgia thus far in the season, and has also had the chance to play outdoors already. Carleton should be the wildcard to keep an eye on in the pool. With an experienced roster and solid, athletic talent, Anna Reed and Julia Snyder should lead Syzygy to some upsets this weekend. If they can catch Virginia off guard in the first round, they have a shot at a good bracket play matchup. Northeastern tied for third in the New England Region in 2012, but hasn’t played a tournament since  November. The Valkyries have a history of being tough competitors and will be eager to play some top competition again.

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