2024 D-I College Preseason Power Rankings: #16-25

We reveal our preseason Top 25 for the 2024 D-I college season, starting with #16-25!

 

Ultiworld’s College Power Rankings, presented by the National Ultimate Training Camp!

We are excited to present the 2024 preseason College Power Rankings! As we head into a new season, we’ve looked at past performance, roster changes, preseason results, and more to figure out how we think the team could stack up this season. Take a look at our first rankings set of the spring college season and read up about each Top 25 team.

We will be counting down our rankings in three parts:

The #25 to #16
The #15 to #6
The Top 5


D-I Women’s

16. Georgia Athena

2023 Finish: #22 in Power Rankings, T-17th at Nationals, 19-10 record

No beating around the bush here. Georgia returns both Quincy Booth and Fiona Cashin, who put up a combined 20G/43A/24B statline in Cincinnati last year. With a year of college, club (Ozone), and PUL (Atlanta Soul) together, they are ready to power Georgia to another Southeast regional title and the bracket of Nationals. And word on the street is the depth around them has increased considerably.

– Grace Conerly

17. UT Dallas Whiplash

2023 Finish: #23 in Power Rankings, T-19th at Nationals, 25-8 record

Center handler and deep defender Kimmy Wilson is gone, but Whiplash otherwise return the heart of the roster that propelled them to 18 straight wins to kick off the 2023 season. After playing together on Public Enemy this summer, Allison Chang, Elissa Balke, Rebecca Jackson, and Elyssa Ducret are ready to earn Whiplash another chance at Nationals supported by the further development of their huge (nine-strong) 2023 rookie class.

– Scott Dunham

18.  Northeastern Valkyries

2023 Finish: #12 in Power Rankings, T-9th at Nationals, 34-7 record

In the past two seasons the Valkyries have graduated two massively important players: Duschia Bodet and Clara Stewart. Do they have enough firepower to play their way back to Nationals again this year? While that’s a difficult question to answer with any certainty for the time being, they’re still in pretty good shape: Elise Freedman, Brittany DeRoehn, and Elyse Hall all have the talent to spearhead the 2024 effort.

– Edward Stephens

19. Yale Ramona

2023 Finish: #18 in Power Rankings, 2nd at Metro East Regionals, 19-3 record

Solid fall season results indicate that this Metro East crew are ready to run it back for another shot at Nationals – last year’s attempt ended in a thrilling, controversial Metro East final. Wilhelmina Graff is back for her fourth year powering the Yale offense with her spectacular throwing arsenal and the team returns a large part of their roster. However, the majority of their top line from last season has graduated. Yale’s strength come spring will depend heavily on whether they can put the pieces together and build off of their 2023 experience.

– Felicia Zheng

20. Pittsburgh Danger

2023 Finish: #24 in Power Rankings, 2nd at Ohio Valley Regionals, 21-5 record

Pittsburgh had a strong 2023 season and dominated most of their region, but fell to neighbors Carnegie Mellon in the game-to-go. They seem poised to repeat their previous success this year after a terrific showing at Blue Ridge Finale, where they came second only to the reigning national champions, UNC. With these fall results, it’s clear Pittsburgh, anchored by veterans like Celeste Picone, Madison Pisone, and Helen Wu, will be the team to watch in the Ohio Valley Region and the favorites to take the bid to Nationals.

 – Felicia Zheng

21. Virginia Hydra

2023 Finish: #13 in Power Rankings, T-13th at Nationals, 34-9 record

After tying for 13th at the 2023 D-I College Championships, Virginia Hydra come into the season hungry for more. Expect Aviva Kosto to be a pillar of a player, while Sydney Mannion and Dori Gaines grow into bigger offensive roles. One of UVA’s strengths has always been their player development over the course of a whole season, they will need to lean on that to earn a second bid for the Atlantic Coast.

– Grace Conerly

22. SUNY Binghamton Big Bear

2023 Finish: #16 in Power Rankings, T-17th at Nationals, 24-6 record

SUNY Binghamton Big Bear’s all-everything superstar Jolie Krebs is coming off of a BPOTY podium-worthy season in mixed club, but can even Krebs carry Binghamton on her own? She may have to after Big Bear sustained the losses of a number of their other top contributors over the offseason, but if there’s one player who can lead her team to a fourth straight regional title, it’s Krebs.

– Jenna Weiner

23. NC State Jaga

2023 Finish: Unranked in Power Rankings, 3rd at Atlantic Coast Regionals, 18-9 record

After losing Sarah McKee, Ellie Cubrilovic, and Jen Wang, NC State face an uphill climb to either earn a bid for the Atlantic Coast or claw their way past Virginia. But there is hope: Sarah Spall is coming off of a season on Phoenix and Noah Cole is getting better every year. Expect those two to have their hands all over Jaga’s success this year.

– Grace Conerly

24. UC Davis Rogue

2023 Finish: Unranked in Power Rankings, 7th at Southwest Regionals, 15-16 record

This might be a hot take, but UC Davis Rogue are on the path to stage an upset or two this season. Yes, they lost their most valuable asset in Margo Donahue, but this will allow several players to step up and take her place, including incoming U20 player Lucy Mertz. Combined with a new all-star line-up of coaches, including Dena Elimelech and Robyn Fennig, it may not come as a surprise if and when Rogue turn some heads this season.

– Laura Osterlund

25. Notre Dame Echo

2023 Finish: #25 in Power Rankings, 2nd at Great Lakes Regionals, 25-6 record

With no repeat champion since 2011-12, the Great Lakes has been one of the division’s great mysteries for over a decade now. For now, Notre Dame Echo slot in as early preseason favorites and the region’s only top 25 representative, with Liliana Hobday, Emma Baran, and captains Claire Hackl and Elena Dansdill among the names to keep an eye on as Echo try to take down their first regional title since 2017.

– Jenna Weiner

D-I Men’s

 

16. Washington Sundodgers

2023 Finish: #16 in Power Rankings, T-15th at Nationals, 25-18 record

The jury is out on Washington this year, but they are likely to improve on their rocky 2023 season. They lose Jasper Dean and Soren Dahl, but reload nicely with some really strong freshmen pieces. Micah Glickman Flora and Vincent Nguyen both had really solid team USA U20 tryouts and should be major players right away. They also add 6’4 Canadian U20 National Team member Carter Bayer, who should slot in to replace Jasper Dean fairly well. But the returns of Jack Brown, Martin Le, Delano Muongchan, and potentially injured Assaf Golan and Max Ramstad, are compelling reasons to bet on them.

– Jake Thorne

17. UCLA Smaug

2023 Finish: #18 in Power Rankings, 4th at Southwest Regionals, 25-10 record

This is it. This is the year for UCLA. Riley Kirkman-Davis, Marshall Wildmann, and Matthew Barcellos have built to this moment since their first years on the team, growing more and more competitive each year. With the Southwest controversially losing out on an earned bid last season, Smaug were the odd team out in a very competitive region. Aside from the stars, second year players like Loic Billaut and Luca Adams and returning veterans like Luca Spycher, Sam Hirschhorn, Zack Hirschhorn, and Jackson Jewitt raise the ceiling of the team. Adding Pawel Janas as the team’s new offensive coordinator doesn’t hurt, either.

– Alex Rubin

Zion Curtain logo

18. Utah Zion Curtain

2023 Finish: Unranked in Power Rankings,  T-5th at Northwest Regionals, 18-10 record

The Utah youth pipeline is starting to really bear fruit for Zion Curtain this year. They’ve got solid depth and Will Selfridge – making his college debut as a sophomore after missing his freshman year with an injury – who is a top 25 caliber player this year. They also pick up two Team USA u20 kids, Oscar Brown and Grayson Rettberg. Brown is a savvy offensive handler and Rettberg is a speedy prospect who some project to lead Team USA U20 Mixed in goals later this year. In another season of a bloody Northwest, they’ve got a shot to make it to the big show.

– Jake Thorne

19. NC State Alpha

2023 Finish: #20 in Power Rankings, T-19th at Nationals, 24-18 record

The talent goldmine in North Carolina youth ultimate has taken NC State from regionals flameout to perennial Nationals qualifier, but it hasn’t enriched them to nearly the same success as their rivals in Chapel Hill. Alpha haven’t done much in their recent appearances at Nationals, going 0-5 last year, and it’s hard to envision them doing much more this season than finishing second in the Atlantic Coast and regretting that they let Tobias Brooks go to school out-of-state.

– Patrick Stegemoeller

20. Northeastern Huskies

 

2023 Finish: #22 in Power Rankings, 3rd at New England Regionals, 15-18 record

Two clear facts: Northeastern had Nationals-caliber teams in both 2022 and 2023. Northeastern did not make Nationals in either 2022 or 2023. Is this the year they break back into the field? Peter Boerth will challenge Leo Gordon for best downfield option in New England, and Sam Freedman should be poised to take control of the offense with a year of experience now under his belt.

– Edward Stephens

21. Tufts Elephant Men

2023 Finish: #17 in Power Rankings,  T-17th at Nationals, 22-14 record

Tufts will have to fight tooth and nail to not take a step back this year. After squeaking into Nationals last year on the backs of a thrilling universe point game-to-go victory over Northeastern, the E-men lose two star Zachs (Singer and Burpee) who both played key roles on their O-line. They have some firepower in reserve though, as sixth year veteran Ben Kass-Mullet and young star Oscar Graff will look to keep Tufts swinging in the gauntlet that is the New England region.

– Jacob Cowan

22. Michigan MagnUM

2023 Finish: #23 in Power Rankings, T-15th at Nationals, 15-15 record

Michigan return many key players and with them the expectation of retaining the Great Lakes regional crown. Sixth year Theo Shapinsky returns after leading Ann Arbor Hybrid to the club national final. Aaron Bartlett did one better, winning a title with Washington DC Truck Stop. Chris Doehring, Tobey Chang, and Gabe Scheck are other notable returners who should step up and keep MagnUM competitive on a national level.

– Alex Rubin

23. UC Santa Cruz Slugs

2023 Finish: #15 in Power Rankings, T-13th at Nationals, 32-8 record

We might not be giving Santa Cruz enough respect here after a breakout Nationals-qualifying year. But that’s how it will have to start given the roster turnover from a year ago: they lose Aidan Curry, Liam Jay, Dylan Burns, and unfortunately, their sophomore captain Selim Jones will be out for the year with a knee injury. They should still be capable of competing with the best in the country as they’ve got high quality coaching and Toby Warren, who is an all-region caliber player.

– Jake Thorne

24. Washington University Contra

2023 Finish: #21 in Power Rankings, 3rd at South Central Regionals, 22-6 record

 

Wash U return captain Nic Sprague, ace defender Seth Fisher-Olvera, quarterback Joel Brown, and receivers Noah Stovitz and Cam Freeman. That’s as good a core as you’ve probably never heard of, and it is certainly enough to keep Contra in the conversation for a strength bid to Nationals. They’ll face tough competition in the South Central to steal a bid from Texas or Colorado, but with high level tournaments like Florida Warm Up and Stanford Invite on the calendar, Wash U could earn the right combination of results to get back to Nationals for the first time since 2022.

– Alex Rubin

25. South Carolina Gamecock Ultimate

2023 Finish: Unranked in Power Rankings, 5th at Atlantic Coast Regionals, 26-14 record

South Carolina have been bubbling up to just outside Nationals range frequently over the last several years – so that’s where we start them. They lose major weapons in Bobby Gunshefski and Trip Crowley, but they may have enough in Tyler Catton, Jaida King, and Gavin Russell to push them back within legitimate striking distance for Atlantic Coast Regionals.

– Edward Stephens

  1. Edward Stephens
    Edward Stephens

    Edward Stephens has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. He writes and plays ultimate in Athens, Georgia.

  2. Patrick Stegemoeller
    Avatar

    Patrick Stegemoeller is a Senior Staff Writer for Ultiworld, co-host of the Sin The Fields podcast, and also a lawyer who lives in Brooklyn.

  3. Alex Rubin
    Alex Rubin

    Alex Rubin started writing for Ultiworld in 2018. He is a graduate of Northwestern University where he played for four years. After a stint in Los Angeles coaching high school and college teams, they moved to Chicago to experience real seasons and eat deep dish pizza. You can reach Alex through e-mail ([email protected]) or Twitter (@arubes14).

  4. 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.

  5. Jake Thorne
    Jake Thorne

    Jake Thorne is a staff writer for Ultiworld with a focus on the college division. He is a graduate of Cal Poly SLO, where he played for four years. He now lives and works full-time in sales for a fintech company in San Francisco.

  6. Felicia Zheng
    Felicia Zheng

    Felicia Zheng is a D-I College Women’s reporter for Ultiworld. Originally from Wisconsin, she is currently on the East Coast playing with her beloved college team, Yale Ramona Quimby. In her free time, she enjoys talking about all things ultimate with teammates, friends, and strangers alike. You can reach her by email at [email protected].

  7. Grace Conerly
    Grace Conerly

    Grace has played frisbee for 9+ years. She's won some stuff and lost some stuff at various levels. Her most notable accomplishment is winning Triangle Ultimate’s indoor recreational winter league, 2019.

  8. Laura Osterlund
    Laura Osterlund

    Laura picked up a disc her senior year of high school and hasn't put it down since. She played on the mixed/open team at Bethel University where she graduated with a journalism degree. Based out of the Twin Cities, MN, you can find her engaging in all levels of Ultimate: working with Minnesota Strike, playing mixed club, and grinding at local ultimate and goalty leagues. Her ultimate accomplishment - besides helping start a women's league (coming spring 2024) - is winning Z league with Big Blue.

  9. Scott Dunham
    Avatar

    Scott Dunham (also known as @Hallies_Dad) is a professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle. He recalls playing a game that resembled ultimate on the Stanford CroMem lawn in the early 80's and took it up again around 2001 after moving to Seattle. These days, he plays pick-up around town and cheers on his daughter's teams (and those of her former teammates)

  10. Jacob Cowan
    Jacob Cowan

    Jacob Cowan began playing ultimate in New York City in high school. After a couple of club seasons with Brooklyn Blueprint and following a college career playing with and captaining the Grinnell Grinnellephants, he is now searching for the best cheap meal in Madrid.

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