D-III College Championships 2024: Day One Centering Pass (Men’s Div.)

Close games abound as much as chalky results through pool play at the D-III Men's College Championships, with half the games decided by four or fewer points

Davenport soar for the layout block in their universe point game against Lewis & Clark at the 2024 D-III men's College ultimate frisbee Championships. Photo: Rudy Desort - UltiPhotos.com
Davenport soar for the layout block in their universe point game against Lewis & Clark at the 2024 D-III College Championships. Photo: Rudy Desort – UltiPhotos.com

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Welcome to Centering Pass, Ultiworld’s articles covering tournament news and event stories you need to know.

Despite a chalkier-than-perhaps-expected set of results, pool play action on Day One of the D-III College Championships offered up plenty of intrigue along the way. Three of the four pools in D-III men’s saw decisive universe point games, while the final universe point-less grouping still put on a show, including a huge top-seed blowout upset. Read on for the top level stories from pool play and stay tuned to our 2024 D-III College National Championships event page for updates, as well as streaming links for all live games!

Narrow Margins Galore

With a bevy of contenders ready to step up to the plate after Colorado College Wasabi failed to qualify to defend their title, the division was primed for a host of close matchups at Nationals. Between the aforementioned three universe point games and fully half of today’s games being decided by four points or fewer, pool play certainly delivered on that promise.

It was thrilling from the start in Pool C as Bates Orange Whip pushed top-seeds St. Olaf Bezerkers to the brink in the opening round of the day, only to fall short as they lost 15-14. Both teams’ field generals were on point throughout, Daniel Snider slinging nine assists for Bates and Will Brandt throwing an octet of assists of his own as St. Olaf survived. Though their first game didn’t result in a stunning upset, Orange Whip were able to do just enough to make the bracket in the end — each of their three games finished with one- or two-point margins, including a final round bracket-clincher over Missouri S&T 13-11.

Following Pool C’s close shave, the second round of the day then presented the other two universe point games of the day, including arguably the game of the tournament so far. The Richmond Spidermonkeys took on the Berry Bucks in a Pool B battle, and after Richmond took an 8-6 lead at half, Berry fought back to claim a 13-11 advantage. Led by the likes of Maxwell Caputo and Calvin Ciorba, though, Richmond were not deterred, and the Spidermonkeys rattled off a final 4-1 run punctuated by a Ciorba pass to Matthew Timoney for the Richmond win. After Berry made a run to semis in 2022, there was hope the Southeast stalwarts could make regular deep bracket runs, but with a trio of close losses, the Bucks bow out with a point difference of only -7, while Richmond moves on to a prequarters matchup against Bates.

The third and final universe point came courtesy of Pool A, as Davenport squeaked by Lewis & Clark 13-12. In their first ever season, the Panthers not only secured a place at Nationals but in the bracket as well, in large part due to their win over Bacchus. Against their Northwest opponents, the Great Lakes champs took an 8-5 halftime lead before Lewis & Clark clawed their way back into the game in the second half. Max Zwerin was a monster on defense for Bacchus as they took a late 12-11 edge, racking up six blocks over the course of the game, but in the end it was an offensive mistake that doomed Lewis & Clark. Receiving the pull on universe point, Bacchus dropped the centering pass and from there it took one final Jacob Felton (5G/4A) flying grab to seal it for the Panthers and send Davenport through to the bracket.

Notes From Around the Complex

  • Williams WUFO dominated all comers en route to an undefeated Day One and a bye to quarters as the top team out of pool D. They won all three of their games in decisive manner, with no opponent managing to get within seven goals of the New England qualifiers as they cruised into the bracket.
  • Middlebury, Oklahoma Christian, and St. Olaf advanced as pool winners alongside Williams, with Middlebury and OC having far more comfortable days than the Bezerkers. The trio of Middlebury, OC, and St. Olaf account for nearly all of the national finalists of the last three seasons, with the lone exception being last year’s winners, Colorado College.
  • Day Two will open with prequarters action as Franciscan face Rochester, Whitman and Lewis & Clark go head-to-head in a Northwest showdown, upstarts Davenport take on division veterans Carleton, and Richmond battle Bates in the lone men’s streamed game in the opening round on Sunday.
  1. 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.

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