February 17, 2015 by Keith Raynor in Rankings with 4 comments
We’re 15 games in Fugue’s season and only Stanford has cracked double digits against them (15-11 Oregon win in the Pres. Day final). The ceiling on Oregon is obviously a national title. Undefeated early on, they are on the warpath, already cranking out Ws against Stanford, UCLA, UCSB, and Western Washington.
The Superfly women have been very impressive on paper and on the field. Aggressive defensively and capable of high execution offensively, they’re off to a blazing 13-1 start, their lone loss to #1 ranked Oregon. Stanford has staked their claim as a national championship contender and the return of Michela Meister will make them that much stronger.
The early season domination continues with Virginia, who is 14-1 and has yielded more than 5 points just twice this season. Hydra has proved they can go deep into their roster and still get quality defense and disc skill. They are on a collision course with the west coast powers at Northwest Challenge, when we find out how close they are to the top.
4. British Columbia
Still look great on paper, but since they haven’t taken the field in sanctioned play, that’s all we can say for now. Their unsanctioned performances show what’s expected: tons of talent, still young, but very capable. Don’t be surprised to see them start a little slow at Stanford Invite.
Like UBC, the Lady Sweets have yet to play any official Ultimate. Even their scrimmage play was as a tryout squad, so there’s little to look at. The roster is stacked, especially when Claire Revere is healthy to add to Ari Lozano, Julia Bladin, and Nina Finley. Margo Heffron looks ready to dominate in the backfield.
Taking a step back from expectations, this is a team fresh off a nationals appearance, with some top talent, and good results. The only teams they’ve lost to are #1 and #2 in the rankings. They’ve taken down Washington, Colorado, and Texas. The early resume is solid and until they give us a reason to think otherwise, they should be considered elite.
Element is coming along at a solid clip. The new veterans are finding rhythm, the team is figuring out how their role players fit, and they are developing depth. They mostly tore up the Pres. Day competition, even without Sarah Edwards, but didn’t have the legs to conquer their elite kin in the closing rounds. They’ll be in the thick of things all season long.
8. Western Washington
It could be a bit of a mixed bag early on for WWU. They performed well at Colluvium, running into no problems with regional level competition and giving Oregon at solid run in a 14-9 loss. Tiffany Phan is blossoming on both sides of the disc.
There’s good news and bad from Kali this past weekend: the good is they’ve wrangled Molly Brown veteran Lisa Doan into joining the team as a post-grad; the bad is that they failed to make a dent against any of the other elite squads at Pres. Day. They came up short in three not-so-close losses to Stanford, Washington, and UCLA.
10. Ohio State
Fever’s reprisal at QCTU launches them back up the ladder after an underwhelming FWC to open the season. Stevie Miller is settling in to be the star she’s billed as, and Katie Backus and Jenna Galleta are powerful players in their own right. Coach DeAnna Ball will be looking to develop the depth to run with top teams.
Tough to knock Kansas with what they’ve done so far, having won Florida Winter Classic and losing only to Florida State this season. They did it without central figure Clare Frantz. That’s particularly important because she is unfortunately done for the season. Her absence drops them down a few pegs, but they early success in spite of that means they shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Ewo made their way to the semifinals at Queen City Tune Up and lost a good game to Ohio State, 12-10. That L joins one against Georgia as their shortcomings, while they’ve notched victories over Florida State and Michigan. Qxhna Titcomb is scary and their cutting corps are developing nicely.
13. Florida State
A hot start for Florida State has made them to lone team to beat either Virginia or Kansas. They have a long list of skillful players who are really starting to see the game intelligently and that makes them a threat. However, they’re 1-2 against rival Central Florida.
In just a day of action at Queen City, managed a win over Central Florida and one over Pitt. But they also lost to Carleton in a game they gave away. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get to see what Princess Layout is made out of on Sunday of QCTU.
15. Central Florida
Stings to be ranked behind an FSU team they’ve fared well against, but the resume just stacks up behind. They’ve fallen to Georgia, Dartmouth, Ohio State, and twice to Kansas. They’ve put some new players into difficult positions, and they’ve carried that burden admirably, but that’s also lead to their inconsistency.
16. UC Santa Barbara
You know the story and UCSB knows the score. They have one good win – UCSD – and a handful of losses and close calls. Lisa Pitcaithley may be good enough to carry them to Milwaukee, but if they want to be anything more than a qualifier, someone else has to step up.
When Georgia plays well, they can put exceptional offenses under the gun and run over teams. When Dawgma doesn’t, they fall flat and become listless. If they learn how to battle back, they’ll become dangerous.
Playing wait and see at Stanford with them.
Made their noise at Queen City by beating Carleton, making the bracket, and winning consolation games over Northeastern and Harvard. Handler group is intelligent, hard working, and brimming with ability. Will need another strong tournament to win the OV that elusive second bid.
No Barton is a blow and they clearly felt it at Queen City. But they also brought home a 5-2 record and a win over Dartmouth. It’s too early to write off Emily Buckner, Katie Ciaglo, and their teammates.
Up and down year for the Valkyries, who at 7-5 have both good wins and disappointing losses. They’ve yet to deliver in big games when it mattered through their first two tournaments. That’s a bad trait to carry in a highly competitive region.
Underwhelmed at Queen City, winning a messy double game point prequarter over Harvard, while falling to most good teams that matched up with and edging out teams they should beat more handily. Really need a playmaker downfield to get them going.
The reinforcements they were missing at FWC seem to have helped a Melee team that seemed overwhelmed in their early season competition. 5-3 at Pres Day, beating UCSD and UCSB, and all of those losses were against top competition.
Some decent wins at Queen City showed they are not to be taken lightly, but not quite where they’ll need to be to break into nationals.
25. UC San Diego
Have yet to beat a ranked team, and mostly got blown out by the good teams they lined up across from at Pres Day. There’s definitely higher possibilities for the team, but it hasn’t come together yet.