WUL/PUL Update: Two Division Winners Decided in PUL, WUL Championship Weekend Up Next

We're recapping weeks 8 and 9 in the PUL! Plus, WUL Championship Weekend is right around the corner!

Gridlock’s Jenny De Jesus catches the disc past a bidding Allison Maddux. Photo: Sandy Canetti – UltiPhotos.com

Welcome to the WUL/PUL Update, Ultiworld’s bi-weekly women’s semi-pro roundup from Jenna Weiner! We’ve got action from Weeks Eight and Nine in the Premier Ultimate League to recap, plus updates to PUL power rankings.

PUL Week Eight and Nine

Gridlock Come Good; DC, Raleigh Division Winners

Across two weeks of action in the PUL, two division winners were decided as some clarity was brought to the postseason picture. Even with their 19-17 loss to New York Gridlock, DC Shadow claimed the East Division title on tiebreak, while Raleigh Radiance beat Nashville Nightshade 21-18 to secure their spot at the top of the South Division. In Midwest Division action, Minnesota Strike beat the Columbus Pride 16-10 in week eight to continue their undefeated season, while the Milwaukee Monarchs fell to Portland Rising 17-8 and Indy Red took down Nashville Nightshade 16-9 in week nine. Philadelphia Surge also topped Portland in week eight and Austin Torch stomped the Atlanta Soul 24-11 to end Torch’s winless run.

With the debut of the PUL power rankings looming and Gridlock already facing an uphill climb in the East division, New York knew they had to overcome the previously undefeated Shadow. Indeed, they did just that and with a nearly full-strength side toppled the 2022 finalists. While the win did buoy Gridlock’s chances of winning over the selection committee, it wasn’t enough to keep them in the race for the East Division title. Instead, with all divisional games played, it was DC who eventually won out on the fourth tiebreaker to earn their return to Championship Weekend.

In the Midwest Division, the picture still remains murky ahead of week ten play with two in-division games still to play as Minnesota takes on Milwaukee and Indy takes on Columbus. Any of the trio of Strike, Red, and the Monarchs could still find themselves representing the division at Championship Weekend, even as Milwaukee sits at a 1-4 record with a -54 point differential through nine weeks. It sets up an exciting final weekend, though with Milwaukee taking on Minnesota on Friday night, the division may well be wrapped heading into the weekend if Strike can close out their undefeated regular season.

Looking Ahead in the PUL

The busiest week of the PUL season is here! Eleven of the league’s twelve teams are in action over the course of six games in three days that will decide which final two teams will join DC and Raleigh at Championship Weekend. Shadow and Radiance will face off on Saturday in a potential preview of a Championship Weekend matchup, while the Midwest Division winner will be set after the pair of aforementioned divisional showdowns. Meanwhile, Austin’s trip east to face both New York and Philly could have huge implications for which team the selection committee picks for the wild-card spot, and Nashville travels to Atlanta in the closing action for the South division.

PUL Power Rankings

  • With only two games this past weekend, Indy is the only riser, moving past Nashville and Austin on the credit of Red’s decisive win over Nightshade.

WUL

The Western Ultimate League has been off the past two weeks ahead of Championship Weekend, but the 2023 crown will be decided this weekend! San Diego Super Bloom take on the Utah Wild in the first semifinal, while Seattle Tempest host the San Francisco Falcons in the nightcap. The winners of those two games will face off in the final on Sunday afternoon, while the losers will battle for third in the morning matinee matchup.

WUL Power Rankings

  • No games until WUL Championship Weekend, so no movement in the Power Rankings.
  1. Jenna Weiner
    Jenna Weiner

    Jenna Weiner is a Senior Staff Writer, a co-host of Ultiworld's Double Overtime podcast, and considers herself a purveyor of all levels of ultimate. She's played mostly on the west coast but you're likely to find her at the nearest ultimate game available.

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