This preview is part of the 2014 Skyd College Tour, presented by Spin Ultimate.
This coming weekend, the Midwest ultimate community comes together to celebrate the blustery winter and take on the anticipated wind and flurries with a disc in hand. This 34 team tournament has enticed several out-of-region programs and promises to showcase both large and small programs as they duke it out in less than ideal weather conditions. Being Skyd’s D-III Women’s correspondent, this coverage will be primarily focused upon the D-III contenders attending the tournament. Meet me in St. Louis on @Skyd_Zoe for live tweets of game scores and the biggest plays of the throwdown.
Pool D: Valparaiso // Drake // Mississippi
With only two games of pool play deciding the crossover games for pools C- J, teams will need to bring immediate energy to their Saturday games. In pool play, Nationals veterans Valparaiso “Chicks Hucking Discs” will meet the new kid on block, Drake “iBex” for an athletic face-off at noon on Saturday. With fresh legs on both sides after only facing Mississippi “Hotty Toddies” earlier in the day, deep looks and aggressive bids will probably be plentiful. Particularly watch for standout athletisicm from iBex captain and Heist player Lauren Perucco, as well as Valpo senior Ellen Guisfredi – who was a huge part of CHD’s impressive 3rd place showing at last year’s Championships. This matchup has the potential to be a close and exciting game, but is likely to go to seed as long as Valpo can come back focused after their second round bye.
Pool F: Carleton Eclipse // Marquette // Bradley
Carleton “Eclipse” will likely be in their element at Midwest Throwdown and keep their first seed in pool play to head to crossovers against the top seed of Pool I–likely Truman State. One of the most developed programs in the region, Eclipse brings knowledge of many of these Great Lakes and North Central teams with them. Additionally, after struggling somewhat with fatigue at D-III Warmup several weeks ago, this small-bracket format will probably suit them well. The pool’s third seed Bradley “Darkside” may have an opportunity to stir things up in their second game of the day against Marquette University, a Division I team. Since both Bradley and Marquette have had similar fall results against teams like Loyola Chicago and Michigan State, keep on the lookout for an upset by Darkside, headed by captain Alyssa DiCosola.
Pool I: Truman State // Grinnell // Northwestern B
The D-III match-up in Pool I is Truman State “TSUnami” versus Grinnell “Sticky Tongue Frogs.” Both historically strong teams, these two teams have already met this fall at two weekends ago at HUX, where TSUnami got the win over the Stickies 14-6. While we expect Truman State to maintain their seeding here and head to the crossovers (likely against Carleton), this game will be a good indicator of Grinnell’s progress and prospects in the competitive North Central region. An exciting player matchup to watch for in this game is reliable TSU handler Jen May against Grinnell defensive threat Kirsten Nelson.
Pool E: Claremont // Missouri // Kansas State
Meanwhile, the Claremont “Greenshirts” are seeded first in Pool E and will face up against D-I teams Kansas State and Missouri in Throwdown’s short pool play. The defining question here is whether the Greenshirts will be able to hold their own against larger programs…and we’re predicting a resounding yes over here. While their first spring tournament of 2014 was only for D-III teams, Claremont almost exclusively played large California Division I schools in the fall and will likely find their fast-paced groove against these big-league competitors. Claremont’s first two games could serve as a good warmup and developmental time for newer players before the Greenshirts head to pool crossovers later in the day.
The time has come to throw it all down on the field, so stay tuned for more coverage and tweets on 2014 Midwest Throwdown.