April 14, 2014 by Jesse Moskowitz in News, Recap with 27 comments
Here are results from and analysis of Men’s Division III Conference tournaments around the country:
Carolina DIII (AC): In a one day round robin in perhaps the toughest CC in the DIII country, Elon Big Fat Bomb (4-0) prevailed. Wake Forest (3-1) finished in second after falling to Elon 14-13 in a game that Wake led for much of the way. UNC-A (2-2) beat Davidson (1-3) 14-13 to claim third. North Greenville rounded out the group. Any of the top four finishers can reasonably make Nationals, but this CC was a good indication of the serious contenders.
East Penn DIII (OV): Lehigh, Haverford, and Franklin and Marshall all qualified for Ohio Valley regionals. Lehigh didn’t see a ton of resistance outside of a 13-9 win against Haverford. They’re still the favorite in the OV.
East Plains DIII (GL): Indiana Wesleyan, Rose Hulman, and Valparaiso qualify for Regionals. IWU beat Valparaiso in the finals 15-14. A tired Valpo, having playing 58 points in their last two games, fell to Rose Hulman and took third. The Great Lakes is very winnable for any of these teams. Travis Carpenter’s Wesleyan group has the highest ceiling to take down North Park and Knox.
Illinois DIII (GL): North Park, Knox, Wheaton (Ill), Olivet Nazarene, and Calvin qualify in that order. North Park and a surprising Bradley team won their pools by going 3-0. The Lost Boys were down 4-7 before closing the game on a 6-1 run to beat Knox in pool play. It was a similar story when the two met in the finals. Knox opened up the game with a 6-2 advantage but a 6-0 run from North Park saw the Lost Boys take half 8-6. They never looked back, winning 12-9. There’s still no question that Knox can beat Park at regionals.
Lake Superior DIII (NC): UW-Parkside and Carthage make regionals. The appearance is the first for Carthage in school history. Parkside can be a wildcard in a tough North Central region.
Metro New York DIII (ME): Stevens Tech and The College of New Jersey qualify. Stevens only took down TCNJ by a score of 11-9. They just don’t look as dominant as they have in past seasons. That said, they’ll certainly be playing deep into Sunday for a shot at Nationals.
North New England DIII (NE): Bowdoin, Middlebury, and Bates qualify for regionals. Middlebury took down Bowdoin in pool play 13-8 but Bowdoin would exact revenge in the finals, winning 15-11. Oddly, Middlebury fell to 5th place Colby in pool play 13-9 but still finished first in the pool. Bates fought off Keene State for the final bid to regionals. Bowdoin is emerging as a serious contender to qualify for Nationals with WPI showing signs of weakness. Of course, Middlebury has a reasonable shot as well.
Northern Atlantic Coast DIII (AC): Richmond looked good, finishing 6-0 and only trailing for a single point on the weekend. Saint Mary’s went 5-1 in pool-play and Navy finished 4-2. The three teams qualified for regionals in that order. SMUT and Navy are capable of beating the region’s top teams, so depth will be critical in AC.
Northwest DIII (NW): What a tournament. Although Puget Sound already declared that they would forego DIII Nationals, no one took it easy on them. In the Postmen’s first game of the day, they needed double game point to beat Pacific Lutheran. In the second round, they found themselves down 9-12 to Lewis and Clark before storming back and scoring five straight to win 14-12. Bacchus would fall to UPS by a large margin in the finals but take down PLU to make Nationals. It makes you wonder why PLU would burn their legs playing almost 30 points again Puget Sound, when they know they have one game that matters. Lewis and Clark will be a real threat at Nationals.
Northwoods DIII (NC): GOP upset St. Olaf in the finals 13-11. GOP led 10-6 and Olaf made it as close as 12-11. Coming off of their loss to GOP, the Berzerkers fell to St. John’s in the 2nd place game. All three teams qualified for Nationals along with South Dakota Mines. It’s unclear who earned the 5th bid. St. John’s looks to be playing BAM ultimate again with a win over St. Olaf and a 10-12 loss to GOP. It should be these three teams going toe to toe at regionals for two bids. With a similar backdoor game likely at regionals, expect some strategizing late on Sunday.
Ohio DIII (OV): Some strange results came out of one of the deeper conferences in the country. Here are the seven teams to qualify for regionals:
1 – Kenyon
2 – Franciscan
3 – Cedarville
4 – Denison
5 – Ohio Wesleyan
6 – Oberlin
7 – Xavier
Kenyon finally reminded the country that they’re a serious national contender, Franciscan reminded the country that they exist, and a couple of top teams need a reminder that it’s the series.
After a pedestrian season by their standards, Kenyon SERF came to play, finishing 6-0 with convincing wins over all of their opponents. Franciscan Ultimate, who only played at Snow Pants/No Pants this season, took down Xavier, Oberlin, and Cedarville on their way to a second place finish. While I don’t see them playing consistently enough to make Nationals, they will serve as another tough game in a really good region. Cedarville’s loss to Franciscan had them finish in 3rd while OWU and Oberlin fell to 5th and 6th respectively.
South New England DIII (NE): Amherst, Bryant, and WPI qualify. Amherst made a statement with a 7-0 finish this weekend. Their 13-6 stomping of WPI established that Army of Darkness is for real and that the USA Ultimate algorithm isn’t always accurate. Bryant would also beat WPI 12-11 before losing to Amherst in the finals. There’s no question that WPI is a good team, but third in their section seems a lot more accurate than the third in the nation where the USA Ultimate algorithm spit them out. All three of these teams will seriously compete for the region’s three bids.
Southeast DIII (SE): Georgia College Disconnected qualified for Nationals but not without resistance. Belmont and Union both played tough games against GC and their emergence as regional contenders is a great thing for DIII ultimate. Disconnected isn’t a favorite going into Nationals but as they’ve displayed in years past, they are far from a pushover at the big show. In the right pool, they can be playing meaningful games on Sunday.
Southwest DIII (SW): Occidental gave it their all but Claremont emerged victorious and is headed to Nationals. Claremont started the game-to-go up 2-0 but fierce play from the Detox D-line took Occidental into half leading 8-4. As Oxy’s top players fatigued and the Claremont home crowd got involved, the Braineaters reestablished the momentum of the game late in the second half. Down 9-12, Claremont rattled off six straight points and won the game 15-12. Alex Cloud, Jimmy Bright-Dumm, and Stephan Kim played integral parts in the Braineaters comeback. The Claremont comeback is impressive but they can’t fall into early holes against the nation’s top teams.
West Penn DIII (OV): Dickson and Messiah advance. The Dickinson Jive Turkeys upset Messiah twice on their way to regionals. Their other opponents weren’t especially challenging, but two wins against the 13th ranked team in the nation is an impressive feat. Known for their physical zone, big hucks, and questionable spirit, Jive has the upside to beat some good teams at regionals. Working hard for unders instead of taking risky hucks and fighting through adversity will be two keys for the Turkeys. Messiah will need to play better to defend their strength bid and make Nationals.
West Plains DIII (NC): Sunday’s results are not posted on USA Ultimate, however on Saturday Grinnell finished 3-0, Drake 2-1, Loras 1-2, and Luther B 0-3. It is likely that Grinnell earned one bid, however the other two bids are unclear at this time.
Western NY DIII (ME): Geneseo, Fredonia, Hamilton, Oneonta, and Colgate qualify for regionals. In the finals, down 3-6 Geneseo’s D-line made a strong push to win the game 9-7. These two teams will likely see each other down the road at regionals with even more on the line.