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We’re excited to kick off our regular power rankings. Check back every other week for our updated look at who’s topping the charts, and why. Each week we will include some teams we want to call out as noteworthy, and look forward to the ensuing discussion.
Despite finishing second at the 2012 College Championships, Oregon grabs the top spot in our inaugural 2013 rankings. Sophie Darch, one of the biggest throwers in college ultimate, returns to lead Oregon back to the top. With a year of experience and a lot of playing time in the college final, Fugue’s strong 2012 rookie class looks like any other team’s seniors by now. Sophomores Jesse Shofner, Bethany Kaylor, and Alex Ode should easily step up this year, and juniors Anna Almy and Liz Jones will provide big scoring targets downfield for Oregon. All preseason signs point to a repeat of 2010 for Fugue.
Last year’s champions fall a spot in our initial rankings, mainly due to graduation and the loss of head coach Danny Karlinsky. But returner Sarah Davis was one of the stars of last year’s College Championships, anchoring Element’s defense, and she is joined by Barbara Hoover and Alysia Letourneau. This is a team that will fight to stay on top, but they lost a lot of experience.
EWO is returning a deep and strong roster that was a stone’s throw away from making the finals in 2012, and the addition of experienced rookies can only help this talented team. Claudia Tajima and Hailey Alm both played with Brute Squad this club season, and they’re hoping to lead Tufts back to the semifinals and beyond. They’ve got a great chance of being the first east coast champion since Georgia in 2001.
Iowa Saucy Nancy
Their top players got extra reps in the off season playing with Heist in the women’s division and PanIC in the mixed division. Saucy returns a high percentage of their roster. Their dominant zone defense will be sure to give some teams trouble at QCTU.
Santa Barbara Burning Skirts
Difference-makers Alicia Thompson and Lisa Pithcaitley (Polar Bears) missed the Santa Barbara Invite for U-23 Worlds tryouts, so their results there should be taken with a grain of salt. We’re interested to see how Thompson, a solid handler on UCSB’s 2011 championship team, can link up with transfer student Pithcaitley, who will be playing her first college women’s ultimate season.
Dominant Senior Sharon Tsao returns for another season with Melee. Coming off a strong performance at Houston Antifreeze, Melee shows why they will be the team to beat out of the South Central.
Last year’s Atlantic Coast champions started off their 2013 season strong with a victory at their home tournament, Winta Binta Vinta Fest. Despite losing star thrower Devon Ericksen, Hydra retains defensive superstar Mary Kelly (Phoenix) and 2012 FOTY, Alika Johnston (Scandal). Manu Argilli, formerly of Fury, signs on to replace David Allison as coach.
Dawgma fell short in 2012, but the return a great lineup this season. Lane Siedor gained even more experience with Ozone during the club season. Julia Fuster is a defensive machine. Georgia starts its season by proving why they want to be the top team out of the Southeast this season with a big win at Florida Winter Classic.
After failing to qualify for the 2012 College Championships for only the second time in the existence of the college women’s division, Syzygy is back with a vengance. Julia Snyder, Anna Reed, and Grace Quintana lead the Carleton high powered offense. We’ll see Syzygy in action at QCTU, with some intense zone defense dominated by tall athletes, like Marlena Hartman-Filson and Flannery McArdle.
Notes by regular Women’s Division contributors Robyn Fennig and Ryan Thompson.