2024 D-III College Preseason Power Rankings: #1-5

Rounding out our Top 25 for the 2024 D-III college preseason, it's time for the Top 5!

 

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

1. Middlebury Pranksters

2023 Finish: #1 in Power Rankings, 1st at Nationals, 27-0 record

The Pranksters on the hunt for a four-peat, and though they graduate at least eight players from last year’s roster, with returners like POTY Keziah Wilde, ROTY Lucy VanNewkirk, and a slew of high-impact players including Sarah Rifkin and Liz Crawford, don’t be surprised if Middlebury are crowned champions again. If a team hopes to claim the top spot in our rankings, they’ll first have to prove it by snapping Middlebury’s unbeaten streak, which dates back to March 2022. The team that beat them? #2 in our Power Rankings, Carleton Eclipse.

– Theresa Diffendal

2. Carleton Eclipse

2023 Finish: #2 in Power Rankings, 2nd at Nationals, 27-7 record

After trailing 14-8 in the final of 2023 Nationals, Carleton College Eclipse reconciled and went on a four point run before falling 15-12 to Middlebury. This team has proven they have the talent to win it all, but what really separates them from other top teams is their grit and desire to change the narrative in high-level games. With a ton of returning players including BPOTY runner-up Frankie Saraniti and Rowan Dong, Eclipse is set to remain at the top of the division.

– Anna Browne

3. Portland UPRoar

2023 Finish: #3 in Power Rankings, T-3rd at Nationals, 22-4 record

Portland UPRoar are poised to go the distance this spring and finally make it to the top of the mountain. Portland returns a lot of top talent to their roster, including the incredible player and leader Julianna Galian. Coach of the Year runners-up Elise Hollowell, Rebecca Perston, and Daniel Young will no doubt have this team running smooth as glass come May.

– Zack Davis

4. St. Olaf Vortex

2023 Finish: #8 in Power Rankings, T-7th at Nationals, 24-9 record

Turnover has a huge impact in the college division, especially in D-III Women’s. St. Olaf may be the team most shielded from turnover and is poised to push for the top of the division and a deep bracket run come May. This young team worked out Nationals jitters in 2023 and were still able to finish T-7. With standout returning players including BPOTY Leina Goto and Unni Isaksen, St. Olaf will be pushing for more than just a North Central crown in 2024.

– Anna Browne

5. Williams NOVA

2023 Finish: #5 in Power Rankings, T-5th at Nationals, 18-10 record

The Northeast will once again be a hotbed for D-III this year and Williams will be right in the thick of it. If ever there was a year for Williams to reclaim the number one spot, this is it. BPOTY second runner-up Skylar Yarter will be returning and has a case to be the best player in the region. Williams will also be looking towards Emily Stanger to make a repeat of the performance she had at Nationals. With both Middlebury and Wellesley losing a lot of talent to the graduation machine, Williams could win the NE for the first time since 2018.

 – Zack Davis

 

D-III Men’s

1. Middlebury Pranksters

2023 Finish: #2 in Power Rankings, 2nd at Nationals, 23-9 record

After coming up short in last year’s national final, the Pranksters claim the #1 spot in our first edition of this season’s power rankings as they return almost all of their top contributors from last year. Seniors Malachi Raymond and Ethan Lavallee will lead the team alongside the strongest sophomore class in the division headlined by Louis Douville Beaudoin, Geir Hartl, Peter Mans, and Nadav Melamede. Middlebury will yet again be one of the top teams in the division, and they’re not going anywhere.

– Jacob Cowan

2. St. Olaf Berzerkers

2023 Finish: #3 in Power Rankings, T-3rd at Nationals, 33-7 record

This is it folks, the finale of the Will Brandt era in Northfield. St. Olaf has now made the semifinals at Nationals three times in a row, in each of Brandt’s years on the team. The two time OPOTY, two time All-American First Team member, and returning POTY first runner-up, Brandt’s credentials speak for themselves. Behind him, players like Matt Kompelien, Eric Crosby Lehmann and Cade Ashland highlight a strong core of supporting stars and role players. There is no doubt St. Olaf will be one of the best teams in the division this year. We only have one question: can they win it all?

– Jacob Cowan

3. Colorado College Wasabi

2023 Finish: #1 in Power Rankings, 1st at Nationals, 28-5 record

The reigning Division-III college champions have all the ingredients they need to cook up another final berth and make themselves a delicious two-peat souffle. They will no doubt be relying on their not-so-secret ingredient, Oliver van Linder, as much as they can, but he also is surrounded by a masterful cast of characters who can command the field when needed. While it’s true they graduated some of the best players in the division last year, it still gives no one the right to sleep on Colorado College Wasabi this spring.

– Matt Fazzalaro

4. Richmond Spidermonkeys

2023 Finish: #4 in Power Rankings, T-3rd at Nationals, 17-11 record

In recent years, the Richmond Spidermonkeys started to prove themselves as one of the best programs in the division. Under the leadership of 2023’s Coaches of the Year, Matt Graves and Keys Pattie, Richmond will be hungrier than ever to secure a spot in the title game, which they last played in and won in 2017. Max Caputo, Matt Timoney, and Henry Groves will be the ones to step up and fill the hole left by a first-rate senior class. Be ready for Richmond to have a win-filled regular season and carry that momentum into the Series.

– Matt Fazzalaro

5. Williams WUFO

2023 Finish: #7 in Power Rankings, T-5th at Nationals, 22-7 record

There is little more Williams could ask for this season that they don’t already have. Top-tier talent? Check. A balanced roster? Check. Good coaching? Check. A dominant season is in the cards for WUFO, a team that’s been gaining momentum since their 2022 Nationals berth. It’s also one last hurrah for one of the best senior classes in the division, a class featuring the O-line powerhouse combination of Danny Klein and Reece Overholt. Expect Wade Buchheit and Charles Tantum to deliver high-quality performances all season long. It’s going to be a tough road to the semis, but if there was ever a time for WUFO to pull it off, it’s now.

– Bix Weissberg

  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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