This weekend’s Ohio Valley D3 Regionals will take place on the campus of Ohio State University but will have a slightly different feel than last year’s.
Gone from last year’s regional is Kenyon Serf who took home the championship last year and was one of the top ranked teams in D3 all season this year. They elected to go to D1 Regionals this year because of D3 Nationals conflicting with their graduation. With Kenyon electing to go D1 they take the D3 Nationals bid they earned in the regular season with them, leaving only 1 bid for the 12 teams competing this weekend in Columbus. With only 1 bid available the competition this weekend will be intense and it is anyone’s game.
Date: April 27-28
Location: Columbus, Ohio
# Bids: 1
Note: Xavier’s Section was contributed by Jordan Rhyne of Kenyon Serf.
Xavier B.L.O.B. (1st Seed in Pool A)
Key Wins: St.Johns Minnesota (5-0), Eastern Michigan (10-7), Tennessee (8-6)
Key Players: Michael (DJ MOCHA MIKE) Lopez, John Cassidy, Brandon Cannell
Xavier finds itself in a new position for a program that has been on the rise the last few years. Coming in as the coveted one seed at Regionals, it is their tournament to lose. Xavier had a strong regular season, benefiting from attending three tournaments that featured quality competition: T-Town Throwdown, Huck Finn, and Chicago Invite. Picking up key out of region wins meant they finished the season ranked #9 and were the only Ohio Valley team to earn a bid to Nationals (other than Kenyon who gave up their bid when they decided to go D-I). With excellent field spacing and a deep roster featuring some excellent athletes Xavier is a tough team to beat when their horizontal stack is clicking. Their depth means they have the legs to carry them through the eight games the eventual champion will have to play. With low winds expected both days at Regionals it will be a challenge for other teams to slow them down. Look for them to keep the disc moving quickly and take aggressive shots down field even early in the point
Denison DFUC (1st Seed in Pool B)
Key Wins: Ohio Wesleyan (11-5), Oberlin (13-12)
Key Players: Jared Gibson, Drew Sorenson, Makenzie Shaw, Ian McNamara
Denison had a historic season last year, reaching regionals for the first time in club history. From this team Denison lost 6 players but is still a talented team, led by its handler core. Even with the losses Denison has had a successful season, winning 11 straight games at one time. The only problem is when the competition level has risen Denison has struggled. Denison is only 2-4 against other Top 25 D3 teams in the country, with both of their wins coming against Oberlin. Denison has the potential to take the Nationals bid home this weekend but they will have to step up their level of play when they face off with the top teams.
Oberlin Flying Horsecows (2nd Seed in Pool A)
Key Wins: UNC Ashville (12-9), St.Olaf (11-10), Georgia State (13-11)
Key Players: Aaron Krupp, Alex Kapiamba, Jacob Gilbert
After a very successful regular season with many high quality victories, Oberlin comes into regionals confident they can take the crown. They had a great Southerns taking down successful D3 teams such as UNC Ashville and St.Olaf. Also they played close with D1 programs such as Rutgers and Princeton. This bodes well for success at regionals having tested themselves against all types of competition. Oberlin’s athletic style of play could give teams fits this weekend.
Lehigh (2nd Seed in Pool B)
Conference: East Penn
Key Wins: Shippensburg (13-9), Messiah (13-8), Yale (10-8)
After breezing through conferences Lehigh is considered by some to be the favorite this weekend despite their seeding. Lehigh has tested themselves throughout the regular season, playing at several high quality tournaments and should be ready for the teams that lie ahead at regionals. Also another thing not to be overlooked is Lehigh has played in two straight games to go to Nationals. If they are to reach the finals they know what it takes to win it.
Haverford (3rd Seed in Pool A)
Conference: East Penn
Key Wins: St.Josephs (15-5), Swarthmore (15-6)
Key Players: Danny Siegel, Elias Borne, Jan Vanous
Haverford comes into regionals having finished 2nd during East Penn Conferences. Having lost to Swarthmore on Saturday, they were not able to see themselves face off with Lehigh in the finals. They were able to come back on Sunday and beat Swarthmore handily in the backdoor game for second place. With two impressive victories over St.Josephs in hand Haverford has shown the ability to play high level ultimate and could pull an upset or two this weekend.
Messiah Mammoth Rebellion (3rd Seed in Pool B)
Conference: West Penn
Key Wins: Navy (13-9), Temple (15-13)
Messiah is a team that has been on the rise as of late. They started the spring off slowly but picked it up in their last two regular season tournaments, winning the Hucktastic Invitational and placing third at Big Moose Disc. Messiah is a team that considers itself a “faceless army” and relies on team play to beat its opponents. With losing 10 seniors from last year many would have expected Messiah to have a rebuilding year but they have grown throughout the semester and are a dangerous team to lookout for this weekend.
Other Teams to Watch For:
Dickinson Jive Turkeys: Dickinson only finished 3rd in their conference but has shown the ability to play with anyone all season. They own victories over regional contenders Lehigh and Messiah and it would not be surprising to see them make a run to the semis or finals.
Pittsburgh-Johnstown Flood: Pitt-Johnstown had somewhat disappointing results at their two regular season tournaments but picked it up at conferences to finish second beating Dickinson twice to do so. Any team overlooking them this weekend could be in for a surprise.
Ohio Wesleyan Firedogs: The Firedogs had some trouble at conferences but have the athleticism and ability to give teams trouble. With their combination of handles and deep threats, if the weather is not too windy OWU could pull some upsets in pool play.
Games to Watch:
Xavier vs. Oberlin (Pool A)
These teams faced off in the semis of the Ohio Conferences and it was Oberlin who came out swinging, taking a 7-6 halftime lead. Xavier fought back with a 7-1 run to win 13-8 but with these teams facing off with possibly 1st in the pool up for grabs expect an intense battle.
Denison vs. Messiah (Pool B):
Saturday in Pool B begins with a huge match-up between Denison and Messiah. Each team has been playing well of late and the winner of this match up will set themselves up for a good run in Pool B. The loser will have an uphill battle ahead Lehigh still to play.