2024 D-III College Preseason Power Rankings: #6-15

Continuing our preseason Top 25 for the 2024 D-III college season, it's time for #6-15!

 

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-III Women’s

6. Whitman Sweets

2023 Finish: #10 in Power Rankings, 10th at Nationals, 17-6 record

The Northwest has always been a strong division in D-III, with Portland taking the lead as the clear number one team over the past three years. Along with some of the other top teams on this list, Whitman is benefitting from minimal turnover due to graduation. With standout players like Gemma Munck and Gabbie Campbell, Whitman looks to improve on their disappointing prequarters bracket exit to Colorado College. With their 2024 roster, Whitman’s rise seems increasingly likely.

– Anna Browne

7. Colorado College Zenith

2023 Finish: #6 in Power Rankings, T-5th at Nationals, 20-11 record

The highest non-bid earning team on this list from 2023, Colorado College stood out by pulling out close victories against Trinity and Rice in South Central ConfRegionals. While they had some Nationals jitters on Saturday, going 1-2 with big losses to Carleton Eclipse and a tighter loss to Williams, they tightened up to close out the tournament, winning against Whitman and Mount Holyoke en route to 5th place tie. While Zenith are losing four seniors, including two captains to graduation, Colorado College is set to return to 2023 form with key players like Casey Shaw-Merrigan, Sophie Roback, and Kelsey Viadro stepping up to help the South Central claim a strength bid.

– Anna Browne

8. Wellesley Whiptails

2023 Finish: #4 in Power Rankings, T-3rd at Nationals, 24-3 record

For a team that made the semifinal at D-III Nationals last year and only lost three games on the season – two to D-III Nationals finalists, and one to a D-I program by one point – Wellesley’s ranking had a surprising amount of volatility in initial discussions, dropping as far as #10 and rising as high as #6 before splitting the difference. The reason for the knock? Wellesley graduated eight players from their 18-person 2023 Nationals roster, none more notable than Donovan winner and POTY runner-up Tess Dolan. Maybe we should put more respect on the Whiptails name considering their semis appearance streak and returning players like Bella Steedly, but until first pull, safe to say the jury’s out on Wellesley.

– Theresa Diffendal

9. Haverford/Bryn Mawr Sneetches

2023 Finish: #9 in Power Rankings, 9th at Nationals, 29-6 record

Zoe Costanza recorded a triple double – 17G/22A/12D – at Nationals last year and will be returning to play for the Sneetches to once again run the Ohio Valley. Not that she was a one woman show either – Clara Morton, who had 24 assists herself, as well as Julia Smeltzer, who racked up 17 Ds, will both be back for the 2024 season. The Sneetches are primed to at least repeat last year and are a dark horse to make semis at Nationals.

– Zack Davis

10. Mount Holyoke Daisy Chain

2023 Finish: #7 in Power Rankings, T-7th at Nationals, 21-9 record

Can anyone sling it like 2023 All American Gigi Downey? Who’s going to replace Gabbi Perry’s production, as she put up an absurd triple double (14G/10A/17D) at 2023 Nationals? These are the questions surrounding Daisy Chain, but despite some turnover in touch-heavy roles, they’ve got capable players waiting to step into the spotlight. ROTY second runner-up Charlotte Moynihan will cause fits for opposing teams on either side of the disc, and Jamie Eldridge seems poised to take over the dime-dropping role after recording 15 assists last Nationals. Daisy Chain only graduated five players and is set to clash with the best the New England region has to offer over the course of the season; the combo is practically a blueprint for success in D-III.

 – Theresa Diffendal

11. Michigan Tech Superior Ma’s

2023 Finish: #14 in Power Rankings, 13th at Nationals, 14-9 record

Michigan Tech was challenged on Saturday at 2023 Nationals. Missing both of their captains, two individuals part of the team’s founding back in 2018, this young team put its trust in the 2024 leaders. While the team was not able to win games until both captains returned on Sunday, being tested without graduating leadership hardens a team. With rising stars like Haniya Frayer and Emma Elliot, Michigan Tech looks set to push for a third bid for the North Central.

– Anna Browne

12. Bates Cold Front

2023 Finish: #17 in Power Rankings, 5th at New England Regionals, 12-11 record

Bates Cold Front made the national final two years straight, 2018-2019. Then the pandemic hit, and they’ve been on the outside looking in ever since, finishing fifth in the gauntlet that is the NE Region after losing to Williams but just two in the game to go. Bates are out ahead of many teams, already having played two tournaments this fall, but their 1-7-1 record doesn’t inspire heaps of confidence, particularly their losses to fellow in-region teams: they fell 8-3 to #23 Brandeis and 7-6 loss to unranked Bowdoin. So why haven’t we given Cold Front the cold shoulder? For one, fall is rarely representative of a team’s full strength, and Bates was missing six juniors to study abroad. The NE region carries an immense amount of cadre in D-III, and once the season starts in earnest, iron will sharpen iron. With early season1 skepticism surrounding Wellesley, this year could mark Bates’ return to the big dance.

– Theresa Diffendal

13. Lewis & Clark Artemis

2023 Finish: #16 in Power Rankings, 3rd at Northwest Regionals, 10-9 Record

Falling just short of making Nationals in 2023, Artemis will once again be battling it out in a tough Northwest Region. With Whitman and Portland looking strong this year, it’s going to be a difficult path to Milwaukee, but not out of reach for Lewis & Clark: Artemis may be hunting for bids this season and looking to earn their own way.

– Zack Davis

14. Union Jillz

2023 Finish: #12 in Power Rankings, 11th at Nationals, 10-14 record

Despite only making Nationals last year due to Berry having to drop out, Union made the bracket, scoring one of the few upsets over Occidental in pool play. They only just missed out on a top-8 finish, losing to Williams on universe point in their prequarter match. Tori Green is returning to the team to lead the charge for the Jillz, as well as their new captain Claire Ward. Look for the Jillz to make some noise in the Southeast this year and another Cinderella run at Nationals.

– Zack Davis

15. Lehigh Gravity 

2023 Finish: #24 in Power Rankings, 2nd at Ohio Valley Regionals, 18-12 record

Finishing second in the Ohio Valley last year, Gravity seemed to take care of business against everyone in the region other than Haverford/Bryn Mawr. They had a tough showing at Shady Encounters, but managed to get it together by April for the Series, only losing to the aforementioned Sneetches while notching eight wins. Lehigh is no stranger to the national stage, being only one year removed from their 2022 quarterfinal appearance. Expect Lehigh to make some waves and find a way to earn a second bid for the region.

– Zack Davis

 

D-III Men’s

6. Oklahoma Christian Eagles

2023 Finish: #6 in Power Rankings, 6th at South Central Regionals, 21-7 record

There was perhaps no greater surprise in all of college ultimate last year than Oklahoma Christian not qualifying for Nationals. After back-to-back titles in their first two full seasons of existence, the 2023 iteration of the Eagles spent most of the season at the top of our Power Rankings and had an incredibly successful regular season, including a win over Wisconsin and a universe point loss to Carleton CUT. And then, at Regionals, they lost in back to back games-to-go to Colorado College and John Brown. Looking to make up for their disappointing finish to last season, the Eagles return a deep and talented roster – led by 2022 Coach of the Year Garrett Taylor – which is likely to be able to compete with the division’s best.

– Jacob Cowan

7. Missouri S&T Miner Threat

2023 Finish: #5 in Power Rankings, T-7th at Nationals, 23-13 record

A couple years of grinding for a bid in a highly competitive South Central region has done wonders for Missouri S&T. They’ve gotten reps against some of the best teams in the division (including Colorado College and Oklahoma Christian) and held their own. Last year’s stacked senior class may be gone, but the valuable experience that comes with a Nationals appearance isn’t. Sam Papin, Wesley Fransen, and the rest of Miner Threat take advantage of that experience. Not to mention, S&T’s roster is one of the deepest in terms of raw athleticism in the division. They return with a lot of potential this season.

– Bix Weissberg

8. Bowdoin Clown

2023 Finish: #14 in Power Rankings,  3rd at New England Regionals, 17-3 record

Bowdoin went out swinging at the tail end of last season, snagging a strength bid in unbeatable fashion and narrowly losing in the game-to-go. For most teams in the division, Bowdoin is a force to be reckoned with this spring. But Middlebury and Williams, their regional nemeses, aren’t “most teams.” They won’t give Bowdoin anything easy when the time comes to run the NE Regionals gauntlet. What Bowdoin could use is more experience against teams above their caliber, teams that will push them to be the best version of themselves come Regionals. Even if it costs them the chance of another undefeated regular season.

– Bix Weissberg

9. Whitman Sweets

2023 Finish: #13 in Power Rankings, 15th at Nationals, 12-10 record

Whitman’s season will be what they make of it. They have the athletes and the disc skills to run with just about any team in the division and a sideline that knows how to bring the energy when they need it most. It is worth noting that 2023 season standout, Kai Kirsch, will not be with the team this season as he is currently studying abroad. Thankfully for Whitman, they have an outstanding player in Leo Duncan-Seaver ready to step up. With him leading the charge, the Whitman Sweets will be sure to make some noise and turn some heads in this fast-approaching 2024 college season.

– Matt Fazzalaro

10. Lewis & Clark Bacchus

2023 Finish: #12 in Power Rankings, 11th at Nationals, 15-9 record

Lewis & Clark are in a position to be one of the best-prepared teams come nationals in May. Their attendance at FCS D-III Tune-Up and hosting their own D-III Grand Prix ensures they’ll be getting quality reps against some of the best teams the division has to offer. A challenging regular season is the difference maker when it comes to making the bracket at Nationals, and with how serious they’re taking their tournament planning, you can count on Lewis & Clark to be in the mix.

Matt Fazzalaro

11. Berry Bucks

2023 Finish: #11 in Power Rankings, 9th at  Nationals, 12-12 record

In his senior season at Berry, Collin Hill will strive to lead his team to the mountaintop  – and maybe even bring home the Donovan Award for himself, too. After breaking seed and finishing in 9th place at the last College Nationals, Berry will be looking to take that success, build upon it, and make a run deeper than they ever have. It will all come down to how they prepare themselves in the regular season, but with Hill at the helm and a promising rookie class entering the fray, all eyes will be on Berry come spring.

– Matt Fazzalaro

12. Elon Big Fat Bomb

2023 Finish: #23 in Power Rankings, 3rd at Atlantic Coast Regionals, 12-5 record

The famous Carolina youth scene has finally trickled into the D-III division, as multiple talented Triangle-Area youth players decided to take their talents to Elon in the past two years. Big Fat Bomb love to use their size and throwing prowess for a huck-heavy offense titled by Reed Burkert and Kalen Morrison. Losing back-to-back games to go last spring will surely fuel their 2024 campaign.

– Calvin Ciorba

13. Oberlin Flying Horsecows

2023 Finish: #21 in Power Rankings, 3rd at Ohio Valley Regionals, 18-4 record

It is tricky to know where to place Oberlin in the Power Rankings this year with how their season played out last spring. The Horsecows looked like one of the best teams in the division, defeating three teams that ended up making Nationals at FCS, but their season came crashing down in their Regional’s semifinals to Scranton in a 15-4 drubbing. But Oberlin faces one of the lowest roster turnovers in the division, and appears to be the Ohio Valley favorites once again. Expect Ben Fuguet and company to make moves up the board as the season goes on.

– Calvin Ciorba

14. Colorado School of Mines Entropy

2023 Finish: #15 in Power Rankings, 14th at Nationals, 21-11 record

College ultimate is, if anything, entropic. Just as the seasons change, so does the bid picture, the algorithm, and the rosters themselves. In our recent D-III questionnaire, CSM attributed their success to an outstandingly dedicated coaching staff composed of AJ Abraham and Allen “Boots” Boitz. The good news for CSM: coaches can remain present with a team indefinitely; they’ll never run out of eligibility. If Abes and Boitz can keep pushing this team to new heights, CSM could very well follow in the footsteps of Richmond and Willliams: a team propelled to the spotlight as a result of collective buy-in and a committed coaching unit.

– Bix Weissberg

15. Grinnell Grinnellephants

2023 Finish: #10 in Power Rankings, 10th at Nationals, 17-9 record

Grinnell quietly earned themselves a strength bid last year and got as far as a brief glimpse of bracket play. An unceremonious end to their season at the hands of Navy indicates the Grinnelephants need to improve their depth before they can pose a serious threat to the division’s best teams. Jacob Cowan’s absence is going to make the process of building that depth difficult. But if the team can rally around the talent that remains, including Will Norry, Jack Connelly, and Solomon Golden, it’s certainly doable. Their ability to recoup from Cowan’s departure is going to define Grinnell’s season.

– Bix Weissberg


  1. Potentially unwarranted 

  1. Anna Browne
    Anna Browne

    Anna Browne is a writer for the D-III Women's Division. She has been playing competitive ultimate since 2019, spending her college years at Michigan Tech. Anna is based in Detroit, Michigan where she plays in the Women's Club Division and coaches the Michigan Tech Superior Ma's.

  2. Zack Davis
    Zack Davis

    Former D-III player for Spring Hill College, poached on the breakside.

  3. Calvin Ciorba
    Calvin Ciorba

    Calvin Ciorba is a D-III Men's writer currently studying Leadership and Economics in his junior year at the University of Richmond. He started his ultimate career in St. Louis, MO playing ultimate at Ladue High School and St. Louis Storm YCC, when he also created the popular frisbee Instagram account Discmemes. Now he has sold the account and plays for the UR Spidermonkeys. You can find him on twitter @calvin_ciorba for passionate takes on the "People's Division."

  4. Theresa Diffendal
    Theresa Diffendal

    Theresa began playing frisbee in 2014 at Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh. Having lived all over Pennsylvania, she’s settled at the moment in Harrisburg with her partner and plays with the mixed club team Farm Show. She received her BA from Bryn Mawr where she played with the Sneetches and her Master’s from the University of Maryland.

  5. Bix Weissberg
    Bix Weissberg

    Bix Weissberg plays O-line on the Oberlin Flying Horsecows. He has a love for disc and enjoys writing about DIII college frisbee. In his free time he can be found eating something tasty and smiling. You can reach him at [email protected]

  6. 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.

  7. Matt Fazzalaro
    Matt Fazzalaro

    Matt began playing ultimate in 2017 at Lambert High school in Forsyth County, Georgia. In his college career he played one year with the Samford Dogma and three years with the Georgia Jojah. Matt cites the Athens, GA ultimate community as the best he has ever experienced and also fell in love with goalty there. Matt now lives, works, and plays ultimate in Atlanta, GA.

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