These rankings and the 2014 College Tour are presented by Spin Ultimate.
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Top 5 Unchanged
Despite a tumultuous two weekends of ultimate, Ohio State and Central Florida maintain their #3 and #4 ranking, respectively, behind the two west coast powerhouses #1 Oregon and #2 Washington. Central Florida beat Ohio State twice at Florida Winter Classic, but Ohio State righted the ship with a dominant performance at Queen City Tune Up, beating Central Florida in the semifinals before pounding surprise finalist #6 Northeastern 15-4. Oregon played local competition at Colluvium, handily winning the tournament but being challenged by a feisty #17 Western Washington team. For now, Oregon and Washington are the class of the west coast, but they could be dethroned this weekend at Pres Day in San Diego. Virginia hangs on to the #5 spot despite two losses to Central Florida and a loss to Northeastern in the semifinals of Queen City – we anticipate them bouncing back behind junior Alika Johnston and her host of athletic receivers.
Valkyries Ride to Queen City Finals
The talk of Queen City was the surprising run to the finals by the #6 Northeastern Valkyries. Along the way they defeated last year’s finalist #15 Carleton, longtime rival #12 Tufts, and #5 Virginia. This is a tall and athletic team with a lot of veteran players who have gotten valuable club experience – whether playing together on Vice or getting elite experience with The Ghosts (Mei Brust and Kate Flood). Their upset of Tufts and run to the finals of Queen City will definitely shake things up in the Northeast, and this may have been enough to secure a second bid for the region again.
Burning Skirts and Stanford Rise Up
Thanks to the parity on display at Queen City Tune Up and a dominating Santa Barbara Invite where Santa Barbara and Stanford proved that they were a class above the rest of the Southwest Region, both teams have risen a few spots in the rankings. Not much separates these two teams, even without Michela Meister, and rookie-heavy Stanford looked incredibly sharp at the January tournament. They’re going to be a tough out all year, with a strong core of seniors and some very experienced freshmen contributing immediately. That said, it was still Santa Barbara and Lisa Pitcaithley who came away with the victory, proving that the Southwest will be a battle all year. Both teams hope to hold off UCLA, as it looks like another two-bid year for the Southwest.
Dethroned at Queen City
Carleton fell the most after Queen City, but Tufts and North Carolina both took hits to their ranking as well. Michigan and Colorado did some damage at the tournament but not much separated these five teams. Julia Snyder was MIA this weekend, contributing to Carleton’s rough weekend, and her return may help propel Carleton back up the rankings in a few weeks. North Carolina was hurt by Lisa Couper’s season-ending injury, but Shellie Cohen put the team on her back to keep UNC in the championship bracket at their home tournament. Michigan and Colorado both proved that they can beat the teams below them, but neither really had a statement victory either.
Lurking at the Bottom
Western Washington played Oregon close at Colluvium but also had tight games with UC-Davis and UCSD at Stanford Open on their way to tournament victory and bid to Stanford Invite. We’ll see what Western is really made of when they take on an elite field in seven games at Stanford. Kansas Betty proved that they belonged in the top 20 with a strong weekend at Queen City, and right now they’re a threat to Texas’s chances to return to Nationals – bumping Melee out of the rankings this week. Last but certainly not least is a mysterious Victoria team that just might earn the Northwest a sixth bid to Nationals this year. We hope to see them take the field soon and give us a strength check for the whole region.