Women’s End Of Season Power Rankings Update

The Ultiworld Power Rankings.Following Women’s Centex and the Northwest Challenge, there has been a lot of movement in the Power Rankings. Let’s take a look at how each team arrived at their current ranking, as the Series lurks just beyond our line of sight.

  1. Ohio State: Fever’s undefeated run means they’ve won their last 21 and haven’t lost since mid-January. They decimated most competition at the Northwest Challenge and their performances against Washington and Oregon spoke for themselves. They look like a complete team with all the tools needed to win the title.
  2. Oregon: Continued to play their game for most of the Northwest Challenge weekend, only stifled by Ohio State. Their pressure and second half strengths give opponents fits and they are deep and intelligent. Probably the strongest set of role players in the country.
  3. Central Florida: The Siren train keeps on rolling, making a stop in Austin to pick up seven more wins and the Centex title. Harris and Hammond are as good a duo as anywhere, but the team is deeper and more cohesive than ever.
  4. Northeastern: As a non-power program, it is surprising to see them this high, but their resume is solid. Their only losses this season are to OSU and UCF* and they’ve made it to the final of their past two elite tournaments; the worst they’ve done is semis at Florida Winter Classic. (*mystery round robin loss to Middlebury)
  5. UC-Santa Barbara: The Burning Skirts are as dangerous as they are mercurial. Their win over Oregon may no longer be unique, and their Centex is ugly, but Stanford and Pres Day results indicate their single ceiling is very high. Can the series instill the urgency that this team has lacked all season?
  6. British Columbia: The only squad to approach Ohio State and Oregon’s level of play at the Northwest Challenge was this young, but skilled, UBC team. Their rookie filled roster is also chock full of strong youth players and is anchored by star sophomore Mira Donaldson.
  7. Stanford: It is a real shame we didn’t get to see how Stanford really stacks up at the Northwest Challenge. No Hoster, no Lummis, no Vance, no Go at the tournament, so their shows should be taken with some very talented grains of salt. A complete Stanford is one of the nation’s best teams.
  8. Texas: An okay President’s Day Invite has given way to a stronger Melee, who since has beaten UCSB, Michigan, Virginia, and Wisconsin (twice). Since that first tournament, their only losses are to Ohio State (twice) and Central Florida in the Centex semis.
  9. Western Washington: WWU showed, while they are still capable, their lack of depth can be exposed. The demand they place on Abbie Abramovich and Callie Mah is extreme, and Mah’s condition is up in the air. With those two, however, they are a dangerous draw and extremely scrappy.
  10. Michigan: Flywheel’s Centex was critical in showing Pres Day’s bad results were mostly based on travel and injuries. Trouncing UCSB looks good and was supported by wins over North Carolina and Kansas. Their improved cutting makes their offense a much more credible threat.
  11. Washington: UW’s pattern of failing to beat elite teams continued at NW Challenge: at current, they’re 2-6 against top 10 teams, with both wins over #9 and #10 when those teams were shorthanded. Another embarrassing blowout – 15-2 at the hands of OSU – and a loss to Whitman don’t help shake concerns about the gap between Element’s obvious talent and their level of execution.
  12. Carleton: Carleton’s – and Julia Snyder’s – return to action resulted in the same 4-3 record as QCTU, but with stronger opponents. A 3-0 Saturday showed some fight after a rusty Syzygy struggled with a very hard Friday slate.
  13. Colorado: Like Washington, Colorado has had struggles against higher ranked teams, in spite of their talent. They were beaten soundly in all four Northwest Challenge losses. Their wins were also in close games, but currently, their offensive cleanliness isn’t living up to their intensity and grit.
  14. Victoria: UVic started NW Challenge with a huge upset over Western Washington, but then proceeded to play tight game after tight game. Finally, they were able to knock off Tufts for a second win. Their Pres Day Texas win looks better than ever.
  15. Whitman: The NW Challenge didn’t start great, taking a close loss to a piecemeal Stanford roster and then dropping a game to Colorado, before being completely obliterated by UBC. Maybe it lit a fire, because it was the last time they’d lose that weekend. They beat Tufts, Victoria, Washington, and UCLA going away.
  16. North Carolina: 3-4 at Centex isn’t impressive at first blush, but they beat Virginia and all of their losses were very close. They will need to find the consistency that’s eluded them all season soon, because AC Regionals will no cake walk.
  17. Virginia: Concerns about Virginia’s lack of firepower were confirmed at Centex, where they went 4-3 and were again almost felled by Maryland. All of their losses, however, were good losses. Some polish could make them a dangerous threat again.
  18. Tufts: If you watched Ultiworld’s Northwest Challenge coverage for Tufts games, you likely heard me and Charlie musing over why Tufts isn’t…better. They lost some close ones, lost some big, and won just a single game over UCLA. The talent is there, but it seems like everything else is missing. If this team gels, they are going to be very good, but they are running out of time.
  19. UCLA: The waning regional strength of the Southwest has coincided with the struggles of UCLA. Their only NW Challenge win was over a beaten and gassed Western Washington team; otherwise, this is their second straight tournament without a good win.
  20. UC-San Diego: UC-San Diego potentially bumped up against their ceiling at Centex, losing to every top 25 team they faced (and honorable mention Maryland). Is a 13-15 loss to UCSB a sign they can compete in region or bad since they couldn’t beat the Skirts on a bad day? Anything could happen at SW Regionals.
  21. Kansas: This is the strongest Betty team in a long time, but it just seems they are still trying to break into the elite. They’ve gone to tough tournaments and their record reflects it. South Central Regionals will be full of potential traps, so they’ll hope their experience can carry them through.
  22. Wisconsin: It was a 5-2 Centex for Wisconsin in Division-II, highlighted by a wins over Florida State and Illinois. Not exactly heavy hitters, but they gave Texas a good game. The one bid North Central means it only takes one upset to make nationals.
  23. Harvard: The strongest team Quasar has faced since February is probably Alabama, who they beat 11-5. However, they’ve only lost three games this year and they are all to top 15 teams, and they’ve yet to be blown out. Can they catch up to Tufts or Northeastern?
  24. Colorado State: Getting through Centex (from Division-III) undefeated moves Hell’s Belle’s record to 15-1, with wins over Michigan and Illinois. Rebecca Miller is one of the country’s best players and may make CSU capable of ruining someone’s day at Regionals.
  25. Florida State: FSU is consistent in their uneven play, going 5-2 at Centex, beating Wisconsin and Kansas, but losing to that same Wisconsin team. Now without Kristin Lloyd, the Seminole Ladies will have to pull together to make a run at very familiar UCF team at regionals.
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