College Update: Regionals Weekend 1

Nationals spots were claimed and seasons were ended.

Alabama-Huntsville celebrates qualifying for the 2024 D-I Men's Ultimate Frisbee College Championships. Photo: Gino Mattace
Alabama-Huntsville celebrates qualifying for the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Gino Mattace

Ultiworld’s coverage of the 2024 college season is presented by Spin Ultimate; all opinions are those of the author(s). Find out how Spin can get you, and your team, looking your best this season.

Throughout the spring season, we’ll publishing a bite-sized weekly recap of the action across the college division. This will serve as a supplement to our standard tournament reporting and offer a high-level look at the latest happenings and the biggest stories of the week.

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Ring the bell! A bevy of D-I and D-III teams punched their tickets to Wisconsin this weekend as regionals ranged across the country. There were bright spots aplenty – although most of the brightness in D-I came from the white of the chalk – as the postseason flames burned hotter and hotter.

Check out our College Championships 2024 Qualifying Thread for a complete list of qualifiers and scores. Here are some of the highlights and headlines.

D-I Women’s Division

Krebs Four-peat vs Yale

For a fourth consecutive postseason, the Jolie Krebs-led SUNY-Binghamton Big Bear brought down Yale Ramona in the Metro East final. Big Bear went down a break early before coming back for a 13-10 win. This fourth consecutive title gives them the longest Metro East championship streak in the modern era.

UPenn, Michigan Return to Nationals

Both #12 Michigan Flywheel and #19 UPenn Venus last saw action at Nationals in 2021 – when their current star 5th-years were just getting their first taste of the top of the division. Now on the other ends of their college careers, Kat McGuire (Michigan) and Dagny Lott (UPenn) have cashed in bids in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley by leading the charge over respective challengers #21 Notre Dame Echo and #20 Pittsburgh Danger.

A Weekend Outlined in Chalk

There was plenty of upset potential on the docket – and none of it came to pass: the one-bid North Central and Southeast ended in blowouts by #3 Carleton Syzygy and #22 Georgia Athena. #7 Colorado Quandary and #15 Colorado State Hell’s Belles similarly won games-to-go by big margins. Even in the four-bid Southwest, the top four teams according to our power rankings finished in that order, led by #6 Stanford Superfly.

Looking Ahead

The one-bid Atlantic Coast, two-bid New England, and six-bid Evil Empire Northwest will round out the women’s division field.

D-I Men’s Division

America’s Team: Madison-bound!

Welcome to the Big Show, #12 Alabama-Huntsville Nightmares! The darlings of the 2024 college season officially cashed in the bid they earned by dismantling Tulane Tucks in the Southeast game-to-go.1 This will be the first trip to D1 Nationals for the program – although it should be noted they finished third at D-III Nationals in 2017 before they outgrew the division.

Northern Bandits Take Metro East

In a region without a team who played a regular season as if they wanted to advance to Nationals, the regional title went to a team who hardly played in the USAU regular season at all. Ottawa Gee-Gees will make the program’s first trip to Nationals after Marty Gallant, Logan Keillor, and the rest of the team smashed their way through every challenger by huge margins at Metro East Regionals.

Cal Break Hearts to Hold Seed

They didn’t make it easy on themselves, but #13 Cal Ursa Major are Nationals-bound for a third straight year. They lost to UC Santa Cruz Slugs to fall to the backdoor bracket before a wild Sunday ride that included ending the season of perennial also-rans #19 UCLA Smaug and making a huge second-half comeback for revenge on UCSC in the Southwest game-to-go.2

Michigan Closes Strong to Claim Great Lakes

While it wasn’t a sterling season for Michigan MagnUM, they left Zeeland, MI as the undisputed rulers of the Great Lakes. They conquered no.1 seed Illinois Rise handily in the final, going up 5-2 after conceding the opening break. Michigan crushed in the second half, blowing away their region’s top ranked team. Their closest contest was a 15-11 win over Northwestern, while a tough test in semifinals from Chicago may have played into Illinois fading down the stretch. It marks Michigan’s fifth straight win in the region, and they’ve won the region seven of the last eight seasons.

Looking Ahead

Nine bids spread across four regions will round out the Nationals field. New England’s three bids lead the charge. We’ll also see two-bid action in the Atlantic Coast, Northwest, and Ohio Valley.

D-III Women’s Division

Photo Finish in Metro East

A barnburner of a game ended a wild weekend in the Metro East as #18 Wesleyan Vicious Circles took down top-seeded #16 Rochester EZ Women on universe point. It marks back-to-back trips for the program.

Stars for the Sneetches

It’s double-happiness for the Haverford/Bryn Mawr Sneetches as well, returning for their third consecutive trip to Nationals. They came all the way from the fifth-seed, defeating top-seeded #24 Scranton Electric City twice en route to the Ohio Valley title. The kids book characters clearly came to play.

Looking Ahead

Only New England remains before we have a full field for Nationals. Three bids are on the line. With four teams in our Top 25, it’s sure to be one heck of a weekend.

D-III Men’s Division

South Central: National Champs to Chumps, Redux

For the second year in a row, the defending D-III National Champions failed to make it out of South Central Regionals. In 2023, it was Oklahoma Christian who lost the mandate. This year, #20 Colorado College Wasabi couldn’t make the return trip. In their place: the heavily favored #2 Oklahoma Christian Eagles easily cleared the bar, and Missouri S&T Miner Threat rallied from an uninspiring regular season to knock off both CC and #19 Colorado Mines Entropy for the second bid.

Northfield: The Per Capita Capitol of Ultimate

This is technically a crossover story with the other three divisions – but we’ll put it here: with #1 St. Olaf Berserkers and #8 Carleton CHOP emerging from the North Central, that gives the town of Northfield, Minnesota (pop. 20,790) a staggering six teams at Nationals across all divisions.3 It’s even wilder considering the two schools have a combined enrollment of only about 5,000 students. There must be HGH flowing through the Cannon River.

The Wild Ohio Valley

The wildest region in the country this weekend, D-III Ohio Valley saw a regional final between seventh-seeded #21 Oberlin Flying Horsecows and a Messiah Falcons team who had to scrape through the game-to-go just to make regionals. Oberlin took the region with a 13-9 victory in the final, then Messiah’s cinderella run ended with a loss to #10 Franciscan Fatal in the game-to-go. Top seeds #9 Cedarville Swarm had a weekend to forget, dropping two pool play games, losing by five in the game-to-go-to-the-game-to-go-to-the-game-to-go against Franciscan, and finishing sixth overall.

Around the Division:

  • The scholarship program #17 Davenport Panthers made good on their investment by rolling to a Great Lakes title and their first-ever appearance at Nationals.
  • #23 Rochester Piggies took down top-seeded Wesleyan Nietzch Factor to finish off an undefeated run through the Metro East.

Looking Ahead

New England’s haul of three bids will be the last pieces of the D-III Men’s jigsaw puzzle to fall into place next weekend.

  1. Ultiworld subscribers can watch UAH punch their ticket in our video library 

  2. Which can be viewed in Ultiworld’s video coverage of Southwest Regionals, beginning around 4:09:00 

  3. #6 Carleton Eclipse and #3 St. Olaf Vortex qualified at the ConfRegionals event earlier this month 

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