D-I Women’s Div. 2024 All-American First Team

Recognizing the top seven performers of the 2024 season.

Each year, Ultiworld presents our annual College Awards. Our staff evaluates the individual performances of players from throughout the season, talking to folks around college ultimate, watching film, and look at statistics, voting upon the awards to decide those to be honored. The regular season and the college Series are both considered, with extra emphasis for performances in the competitive and high-stakes environment at Nationals.

Our All-American teams recognize the top performers across the division. While in the past Player of the Year has been awarded first, this year we open our Awards with our First Team All-Americans, displaying the top seven players who had the best seasons. Listed in alphabetical order, the First Team now serves as a finalist list for the Player of the Year Award, which will be announced live tomorrow on Deep Look.


D-I Women’s All-American First Team

 

UNC’s Dawn Culton in Pleiades’ alternate “ransom” jerseys at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Sam Hotaling – UltiPhotos.com

Dawn Culton (North Carolina)

Dawn Culton is such a regular presence on All-American lists – 2024 makes her fourth, and she was our 2022 Player of the Year – at this point that we forget how rare it is for an off-disc player to have such an outsize effect on any given game. Even by her skyscraping standards, though, the catch to cap the semifinal come-from-behind win against Colorado was a high point. That unbelievable play, and the ensuing win in the final to capture the unprecedented championship four-peat, are the finishing touches on a masterful season and career.

 

Carleton Syzygy’s Tori Gray at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Sam Hotaling – UltiPhotos.com

Tori Gray (Carleton)

There are few players in the college game as decisive as Tori Gray. Not only does she have the wherewithal to call her shots and make them, but she also always seems to find the right spaces to cut to in the downfield. She doesn’t wait; she simply takes. Her prowess as a physical, opportunistic defender is, at this point, legendary. Gray has been on our radar for years, for good reason. Even on a team with as much depth as Syzygy, Gray’s confident and steady presence on the field has leveled up her team time and time again.

 

Tufts EWO’s Emily Kemp at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Sam Hotaling – UltiPhotos.com

Emily Kemp (Tufts)

The first big shock in a tournament full of shocks was EWO’s universe point upset of UBC in pool play. Not coincidentally, Emily Kemp posted a preposterous 9G/2A/3B line in that game. It was the introduction to one of the boldest cutting performances at Nationals. Kemp led the tournament with a staggering 22 goals, relying on an S-tier sense of timing to get open and virtually peerless determination to bring down goals through blanketing coverage. She gave Colorado fits for most of their tight quarterfinal battle. Even in an abbreviated bracket run, it was an All-American effort through and through.

 

SUNY Binghamton Big Bear’s Jolie Krebs at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Rudy DeSort – UltiPhotos.com

Jolie Krebs (SUNY-Binghamton)

It’s hard to summarize how impactful Jolie Krebs is to any team she plays on. We can try, with words like: “Krebs put Big Bear on her back throughout the season with superheroic plays, playing almost every point, and going virtually every-other as the star distributor.” We can also provide numbers and statistics, with her 5G/38A/15D line at Nationals. (She had a hand in 43 of the 47 goals that Big Bear scored at Nationals.) But even still, those words can’t quite encapsulate the gargantuan footprint left in the wake of 2024’s Krebs Cycle.1 I guess you’ll just have to take our word for it.2

 

Kennedy McCarthy (Vermont)

Vermont’s Kennedy McCarthy tries to make the grab inbounds at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Sam Hotaling – UltiPhotos.com

Kennedy McCarthy has consistently been the class of the division over the past five years. Even on a team as deep and talented as Vermont, McCarthy still shone, leading Ruckus in both goals and assists at Nationals. Few receivers have the gumption and skill to make the grabs under pressure consistently like McCarthy, and even fewer have McCarthy’s full complement of throws. She’s an A+ defender too, capable of generating turnovers with furious downfield energy or swatting away any thrower’s best look with a point block. McCarthy is a walking highlight reel who has once again claimed a spot on our All-American list.

 

Colorado’s Clil Phillips is amped at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Sam Hotaling – UltiPhotos.com

Clil Phillips (Colorado)

Colorado relied on an exceptionally balanced attack in their push to semis – a fact reflected in several players’ relatively even stat lines. Watching them, though, there was no mistaking Phillips as anything other than the beating heart that kept the whole organism in motion. Phillips by nature takes on a huge burden; this year she shouldered even more, directing the tempo of offense and the intensity of the defense while taking the toughest matchups, hitting the toughest throws, and cutting through the toughest coverage.

 

Stanford Superfly’s Macy Vollbrecht at the 2024 D-I College Championships. Photo: Sam Hotaling – UltiPhotos.com

Macy Vollbrecht (Stanford)

Vollbrecht is the rare player that has that ever-so-elusive takeover quality, and she showed it in full force in Madison this year. During the semifinal in particular, her skill and dynamic playmaking willed Stanford back from a four point deficit to defeat a Vermont team that had seemed unbeatable up to that point. She rose to the occasion and completely turned the tide of that game. In the semifinal alone, Vollbrecht posted 7 assists and 5 blocks, leading Superfly in both categories. Vollbrecht’s exemplary and versatile performance – not just in that semi, but throughout the season – made her a clear choice for All-American.


  1. A term that has quickly and fondly become a part of our vernacular at Ultiworld to describe how much she balls out 

  2. Or just watch her Callahan video, that works too 

  1. Laura Osterlund
    Laura Osterlund

    Laura picked up a disc her senior year of high school and hasn't put it down since. She played on the mixed/open team at Bethel University where she graduated with a journalism degree. Based out of the Twin Cities, MN, you can find her engaging in all levels of Ultimate: working with Minnesota Strike, playing mixed club, and grinding at local ultimate and goalty leagues. Her ultimate accomplishment - besides helping start a women's league (coming spring 2024) - is winning Z league with Big Blue.

  2. Felicia Zheng
    Felicia Zheng

    Felicia Zheng is a D-I College Women’s reporter for Ultiworld. Originally from Wisconsin, she is currently on the East Coast playing with her beloved college team, Yale Ramona Quimby. In her free time, she enjoys talking about all things ultimate with teammates, friends, and strangers alike. You can reach her by email at [email protected].

  3. Edward Stephens
    Edward Stephens

    Edward Stephens has an MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. He writes and plays ultimate in Athens, Georgia.

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