2014 D-III College Championships - Women's Division Preview

Posted: May 15, 2014 03:15 PM


2013DIIICollegeLogo 500x500  

Only 16 teams still have a shot at the 2014 D-III College Championship title. Corinne Murphy dissects the upcoming competition in the women’s division.

Related Links:


Pool A

  2014CollegeLogos Rice W   2014CollegeLogos StBenedict W   2014CollegeLogos Elon W   2014CollegeLogos GeorgiaCollege W  
  St. Benedict
  Georgia College


Considering Rice’s unwavering offense, with deadly hucks and consistent break throws from handlers, coupled with their fierce defense, Rice should win this pool. However, don’t expect St. Benedict to go down without putting up a proper fight. St. Benedict’s dynamic handler movement, dogged determination and admirable ability to pull themselves up from a tight game will serve them well this weekend. Georgia College may raise a few eyebrows as well, since their season revealed some close games against D-I opponents, as well as pulling ahead of several D-III teams at Southerns. But prepare for a battle royal between Georgia College and Elon for the chance to play in pre-quarters; the latter’s potential to break zones may be in their favor, with winds predicted to reach up to about 10 miles per hour this weekend.

Pool B

  2014CollegeLogos TrumanState W   2014CollegeLogos Valparaiso W   2012CollegeLogo CarletonEclipse W   2014CollegeLogos Hamilton W  
  Truman State
  Carleton College-Eclipse


Truman State’s tough bids and notable layouts, combined with their accurate throws in the wind, flowing execution on offense and aggressive zone defense will make them a force to reckon with at the Championships. Though Truman State should triumph in this pool, they should face some tough opposition from Valparaiso. Valparaiso’s youthful roster makes up for their slight shortage of experience with their gutsiness, which results in impressive grabs and effective deep looks. Valparaiso, largely composed of capable rookies, will have to contend with the strong handler throws of Carleton Eclipse. Eclipse struggled earlier in the season with their endurance and mental game, and Hamilton’s natural athleticism may give them a run for their money. This weekend’s results will show if Eclipse can successfully adapt to other teams’ playing strategies and ultimately overshadow them.

Pool C

  2014CollegeLogos WakeForest W   2012CollegeLogo Claremont W   2014CollegeLogos Bowdoin W   2014CollegeLogos Wooster W  
  Wake Forest


Wake Forest missed a bid to the Championships last year by a hair, and now they are out for redemption. Their powerful leaders on the field will contend with Claremont’s fast-paced game full of gritty bids, extensive defense and game-changing hucks. On the other hand, Claremont’s occasional tendency to become a bit stagnant, turning the disc over on high stalls, may curb their offensive flow. Ever since their first-place snag at last year’s Championships, Bowdoin has been majorly impacted by key players graduating or traveling abroad. Nonetheless, the team has shown resiliency, specifically in an impressive rematch at Bring the Huckus, pulling out a 13-7 finals win over Columbia after a tough loss of 7-8 against the same team in pool play. The players left on the Bowdoin squad have spent the season strengthening their skills, determined to make a stamp on this year’s Nationals. Also, expect to see developed play from Wooster, who has refined their performance throughout the season.

Pool D

  2012CollegeLogo Haverford W   2014CollegeLogos Harding W   2014CollegeLogos Williams W   2014CollegeLogos StOlaf W  
  St Olaf


Haverford finished in third place at the 2012 D-III Championships and was able to hitch a fifth-place finish in this year’s regular-season rankings. The Sneetches have the history and the potential to hold their own, but they will have to make it happen regardless of whether Harding performs well. Used to playing outside of their comfort zone, the Skybisons had a surprising winning streak at Midwest Throwdown, going undefeated on the first and only day of the tournament, which included a significant victory over Claremont. Finishing sixth in the regular-season rankings with their best team record to date, the Skybisons may make more of a wave at Nationals. Williams College has the ability to make a comeback, but their roster may lack the initial intensity they would need to overtake Harding, even though Williams finished second at Nationals in 2013. St. Olaf’s close games with higher-ranked teams, i.e., their tough 7-9 loss against St. Benedict, shows that St. Olaf has potential for this weekend, though they will have to bring their best in bracket play.


Seven to Watch

  • Ericka Danckers (Rice Torque): Expect to find her in the end zone time after time, with hand-blocks galore on the way.

  • Stephanie Sherman (Truman State TSUnami): Sherman, an aggressive receiver, has an uncanny ability to find the disc in the end zone.

  • Meredith Whitman (Harding Skybisons): A top player on this team, Whitman has successfully heightened the whole team’s playing dynamic, helping them make team history with their best season yet.

  • Tasha "Lefty" Arvanitis (Claremont Greenshirts): A rock-solid defender, Arvanitis dictates on the field, even when shutting down dump throws. Additionally, she has the quick ability to box out an opponent in the air.

  • Ellen Guisfredi (Valparaiso Chicks Hucking Discs): A cutter who tears up the field, receiving deep looks from one of Valparaiso’s handlers.

  • Erynn Shroeder (St. Benedict Bad Habits): This Callahan nominee constantly stands out on offense with impressive handler action, frequently dishing out valuable hucks and break throws.

  • Claire Leichter (Carleton College Eclipse): Leichter’s precise and effective throws tend to dominate the field.



2014CollegeLogos Harding W  

This determined team has qualified for their first ever D-III Championships, with their best-ever season record under their belts. But will this newcomer actually make some noise at Nationals against top teams like Rice and Truman? The Skybisons have confidence in their teammates that they can play well against these teams from their region. They only have to make it past other teams, like Wake Forest and Haverford, who could stand in their way.



Games to Watch

2012CollegeLogo Haverford W  2014CollegeLogos Williams W  

Haverford Sneetches v. Williams La WUFA. Saturday, 9:00AM. Field 12

Haverford has history and experience on their side, but can Williams rev up their intensity to take them on?

2014CollegeLogos Valparaiso W 2012CollegeLogo CarletonEclipse W  

Valparaiso Chicks Hucking Discs v. Carleton College Eclipse. Saturday, 10:45AM. Field 7

Are Valparaiso’s gutsy but effective plays on the field enough to hold off Carleton Eclipse, who may be prone to fatigue but harnesses the abilities to dominate with calm offense?

2012CollegeLogo Haverford W 2014CollegeLogos Harding W  

Haverford Sneetches v. Harding Skybisons. Saturday, 1:00PM. Field 12

Will Haverford’s impressive rankings from past tournaments make the newcomers from Harding skittish, or will this budding team thrive in the face of adversity?

2014CollegeLogos WakeForest W 2012CollegeLogo Claremont W  

Wake Forest Ruckus v. Claremont Greenshirts. Saturday, 2:45PM. Field 12

Close to being able to compete last year, will Wake Forest succeed when given a second chance to compete at Nationals? Or will Claremont’s spirited efforts snatch it away before Ruckus has a chance to make a commotion?


Inside Look

  • Teams from the South Central region have been shocking in their performances this year. Rice, Truman State and Harding have all climbed their way up the rankings.

  • This year will be Valparaiso’s fifth consecutive National’s appearance. Valparaiso has been in the semifinals three times, only once finishing below third.

  • Bowdoin are the reigning champions.

  • Carleton Eclipse, currently the 11th seed, was ranked second in some preseason rankings.

  • Wake Forest was close to receiving a bid to last year’s D-III Nationals, and they now stand as the number three seed, ready for their chance at victory.

Have any questions or comments? We welcome community feedback and discussion made in a respectful manner. Please refrain from profanity or personal attacks, as such public comments negatively reflect on our sport and community.