College Update: Stanford Invite, Tally Classic

A lighter tournament weekend saw UNC Pleiades dominate Stanford Invite, plus upcoming action features ranked teams in every division

Tufts’ Leija Helling bids at the 2023 Stanford Invite. Photo: Rodney Chen — UltiPhotos.com

College Update, presented by Spin Ultimate, is back! Throughout the spring season, we will publish a bite-sized weekly recap of all the action across the college division. This will serve as a supplement to our standard tournament reporting and will offer a high-level look at the latest happenings and the biggest stories of the week. Please support the brands that make Ultiworld possible and shop at Spin Ultimate!

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D-I Women’s

Stanford Invite: No Fault In Their Stars – Pleiades Dominate Yet Again

If you thought Everything Everywhere All at Once had a dominant showing at the Oscars, wait til you get a load of UNC Pleiades. They crushed the competition at Stanford Invite, going undefeated at the tournament before capping the victory march off with a 13-3 dismantling of #2 in the nation Colorado Quandary. Sydney Rehder was coolly impervious for UNC’s D-Line, notching hand blocks and ruthlessly attacking off of the turn. She and the rest of the defense never took their foot off the pedal, taking half 7-0 en route to that 13-3 win. When the gap between the top two teams in the country is 10 points in a game to 13, you’re looking at something historic.

Yes, Quandary were missing arguably their two top players in Stacy Gaskill and Clil Phillips which explains some of that scoreline. But there are players on UNC who joined in fall 2020 and have never lost a game of college ultimate. That’s just silly. What are we doing.

Outside of UNC, Washington Element were one of the big winners of the weekend, recovering from their own UNC battering to upset UBC in quarterfinals and play out a nail-biter universe point loss to Colorado in semis. Give Tufts Ewo some credit too for merely losing 12-8 to UNC in semis, which by the transitive property makes them better than 2011 Fury.

And on a final positive note, the Stevinson fields that the tournament was relocated to (yet again) looked marginally greener than usual, approaching something almost grass-like.

Elsewhere in the Division

  • Chicago went down to Tally Classic and beat the hometown heroes Florida State 11-10 in the final, avenging an 8-7 loss to FSU in pool play. They also got a one-goal win over in-region opponent Notre Dame, who had a claim to being the Great Lakes favorite.
    • Also at Tally, Georgia Tech B went 2-2 in pool play. Love to see a B team pile up some Ws.
  • Most important news item of the weekend: The Metro East still hanging on to two bids!

Looking Ahead

  • Women’s Centex still stands as one of the pillars of the women’s college season, but Southerns and Meltdown mean more women’s division play across the country.

D-I Men’s

No major teams in action this weekend but some interesting wrinkles when you pull back the covers on Scorereporter.

Elsewhere in the Division

  • Maryland continues to fall from grace, losing to Liberty and (shudders) the Metro East’s Princeton Clockwork at Oak Creek Invite. Princeton went 6-0, essentially “winning” the round robin. Does this make Clockwork the favorite to advance out of the Metro East this year? Maybe, but they did play close games against D-III Metro East teams SUNY Geneseo and SUNY Cortland, so be careful about forecasting too much in that region.
  • UC Davis went 6-0 at the ironically-named-given-the news-from-the-weekend-and current-state-of-financial-solvency “Silicon Valley Rally.”
  • Notre Dame had themselves an undefeated weekend at Tally Classic, beating Tulane 13-10 in the final after a pair of universe point wins in quarters and semis. In related news, without looking it up, I’m willing to wager a large sum of money that this was the first weekend of Notre Dame’s spring break, and not the second.
  • The top four seeds went undefeated in Centex Tier 2 pool play and marched to chalky semifinals. Iowa and Iowa State faced off in a classic showdown, but ISUC smashed on the scoreboard, 15-7.
  • The five-team Palouse Open went to Washington State, who scored only wins — mostly in confident fashion — on their way to a tourney victory. They’ve won 11 straight games, although six of those wins were over the duo of Boise State and Montana State, so it is volume over diversity.
  • Huckfest was just a round robin, but Alabama-Huntsville went 3-0, beating UT Chattanooga 15-13. That’s back-to-back undefeated performances after they won Mardi Gras.

Looking Ahead

D-III Women’s

No major news.

D-III Men’s

No major news.

Looking Ahead in D-III

  • Three of the top four men’s teams – Colorado College, Middlebury, and Oklahoma Christian – will be playing at Centex, Carleton CHOP headline the handful of D-III teams competing at Southerns, Meltdown features some Great Lakes action, and Williams take the no.1 overall seed at Jersey Devil
  • Speaking of Jersey Devil, the women’s side features three of the top six teams in our Power Rankings – plus a little team called Dartmouth – and should present a clearer picture of the division’s hierarchy.
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