Queen City Tune Up 2024: How to Watch, Tournament Preview

Could we finally see UNC take a loss?

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Queen City Tune Up is one of the most important early season college tournaments, and with a heavy dose of top 25 teams in the women’s division and a large group of bid-earning hopefuls in the men’s division, that’s more true than ever. This will be the first real test for both of the back-to-back-to-back collegiate champs from the University of North Carolina, but Pleiades will have the much tougher battles with two other top five teams — Vermont and Carleton — hoping to be the first to knock off the title favorites in more than four years.

Two games will be livestreamed every round from just south of the Queen City proper, so you can follow along with all the action!

Tournament Profile

  • Date: February 10-11
  • Location: Rock Hill, SC
  • Weather: Low 50s to 60s with mild wind Saturday and a good chance of showers on Sunday
  • Top 25 teams: 11 women’s division, 5 men’s division
  • Schedules & Results

Streaming Schedule

All Ultiworld Standard and All-Access subscribers will have access to watch the live broadcasts from this year’s Queen City Tune Up, where we will have two games in each broadcasting round.

The broadcast schedule can be found below:

All times are ET.

Saturday, February 10

8:30 AM: Northeastern vs. Minnesota [W] | UNC Wilmington vs. McGill [M]
10:15 AM: Michigan vs. Ohio State [W] | Ohio State vs. James Madison [M]
12:00 PM: Notre Dame vs. Washington University [W] | William & Mary vs. Case Western [M]
1:45 PM: Georgia vs. Pennsylvania [W] | Alabama-Huntsville vs. South Carolina [M]

Sunday, February 11

8:00 AM: Prequarterfinal [W] | Prequarterfinal [M]
9:50 AM: Quarterfinal [W] | Men’s Div. Quarterfinal [M]
11:40 AM: Semifinal [W] | Men’s Div. Semifinal [M]
1:30 PM: Final [W] | Final [M]

Tournament Preview

Women’s Division

UNC Pleiades vs. Vermont Ruckus at Queen City Tune Up 2023. Photo: Katie Cooper – UltiPhotos.com

Can Pleiades Stay Undefeated?

After rolling their competition at Carolina Kick-Off, #1 UNC Pleiades will attempt to keep their record clean in their first real test this spring. Callahan winner Dawn Culton will lead the charge along with Erica Birdsong, Theresa Yu, Emily Przykucki, and Caroline Spencer (Culton’s club teammates on Raleigh Phoenix), plus U20 selection Bella Russell and grad student Macy Hudson. All that to say, they have talent and depth… but perhaps less so than in previous years.1 The target on Pleiades’ back grows ever bigger with each win — will someone finally notch a bullseye this weekend?

Contender First Looks: Vermont, Tufts

Good things come to those who wait. That’s what we’re hoping, anyway. Fans of good ultimate should be eager to get a first glimpse of #3 Vermont Ruckus and #11 Tufts EWO, who have yet to see any action this spring but who could vie for a national title come May.

2023 semifinalists Ruckus are coming off a banner offseason, picking up coach Liz Leon and adding a crop of hungry YCCers to the already-fearsome combo of Caroline Stone, Kennedy McCarthy, Emily Pozzy, and Mae Browning. Tufts, on the other hand, will attempt to navigate the losses of Hazel Ostrowski, Olivia Goss, and Leija Helling — the duo of Lia Schwartz and Emily Kemp will probably have something to say about that. A win against each other, UNC, or Carleton will help establish the pecking order going into the heart of the season.

Carleton Seeks to Build on a Strong SBI

The question for #5 Carleton Syzygy this weekend is — as in so many years — how deep can they continue their early-season success into the spring? It’s still just February, but another look never hurt anyone. Aria Kischner, Tori Gray, and Naomi Fina have been tearing up the cutting lanes for Syzygy, while Mia Beeman-Weber and Chagall Gelfand anchor the backfield. Their 5-1 record at SBI2 is impressive, but they’ll need to do more to break into title contender conversation, and a victory over Ruckus or Pleiades would certainly do the trick.

Winta Binta Sanity Check: Ohio State and Virginia

Coming off a win over Virginia Hydra to take the Winta Binta Vinta crown, #23 Ohio State Fever are showing signs of life after having trouble getting out of the Ohio Valley region in the last handful of years. Virginia, on the other hand, have been Nationals mainstays of late but fell out of our top-25 with that loss. It’s still early, but in order to make their postseason lives easier, both squads would love to win games against good teams this weekend. Notching wins over the likes of Michigan or #16 Georgia Athena3 would solidify OSU as a top-25 team; pool two-seed UVA will aim to make a bracket run and return to form in a post-Kira Flores universe.

Men’s Division

NC State Alpha vs. Tufts EMen at 2023 Queen City Tune Up. Photo: Katie Cooper – UltiPhotos.com

Like the women’s division, #1 UNC Darkside are the heavy favorites to take home the men’s division title. Following their dominant performance at Carolina Kickoff last month, Darkside should have no trouble making it through the tournament unscathed. The contest might be for second place, but the battle to be the next-best team is actually quite exciting as Nationals hopefuls from multiple regions vie for prime algorithm results and positive momentum on the field.

Following their successes at Carolina Kickoff, #16 NC State Alpha and #25 Penn State Spank are top seeds in their pools. Both experienced disappointment at this tournament last season (NC State missed the final they were expected to play in and Penn State didn’t make it out of pool play), and expect to do better this time around. Challengers like #18 Alabama-Huntsville Nightmares, who are fresh off of a quarterfinals appearance at Florida Warm Up; #24 South Carolina Gamecock Ultimate, who used this tournament as their breakout last season; and UNC-Charlotte Skyrise, last season’s controversial bid earners, are all pushing to be considered with NC State and UNC in that Nationals tier. The game between UAH and South Carolina is one of the streamed games on Saturday and will show which team has the inside track on a semifinal appearance…and perhaps whether a strength bid ends up in the Southeast or the Atlantic Coast.

Beyond the top tier, there is still plenty of intrigue. Are McGill MUT once again a legitimate challenger in the deep New England region? Has UNC Wilmington Seamen’s sophomore class developed the kind of consistency needed to lead the team back to at least a top spot at Regionals? How far can Langston Lee and Ben Greenberg carry William & Mary Merry Men?

With many Regionals level teams making their season debut, QCTU will be the moment when an offseason full of hard work, speculation, and excitement becomes real, on-field results.

  1. The departures of Alex Barnett, Ella Juengst, and Grace Conerly sting a little. 

  2. only losing to the tournament winners, UBC 

  3. their higher ranked pool play opponents 

  1. Bridget Mizener
    Bridget Mizener

    Bridget Mizener is a Midwesterner by birth, but a product of the North Carolina ultimate machine. She thinks women’s college ultimate coverage is important, so she’s taking it into her own hands. She lives, plays, coaches, etc. in Durham. Tell her everything she got wrong about your team at [email protected].

  2. 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.

  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).

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