2016 D-I College Championships - Women's Division Preview

Posted: May 26, 2016 10:50 AM


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The seeds have been set, and 20 teams will play for a chance to take home the Division I College Championship in Raleigh, N.C. May 27-30.

Every team has a chance to make waves this weekend in Raleigh.

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Pool A

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  Colorado College


Oregon once again tops the rankings at Nationals as the number one seed, and they will be looking for a repeat of last year’s championship. They plowed through the 2016 season without much opposition, except for a few close games with Whitman and UCLA, along with a tough loss to the British Columbia Thunderbirds at the Stanford Invite. In pool play, they will meet Colorado Kali for the first time this season, which should be an exciting match up. Kali had a slow start to their season, but finished with an impressive 13 wins in a row, including a double-game point finish against Texas at South Central Regionals. Virginia enters the stage after a strong finish at regionals and will be looking to cause some upsets right away. The California Pie Queens and Colorado College Lysistrata's Tools both claimed the last bids in their respective regions, however, they will most certainly be contenders here at Nationals. Colorado College is known to bring positive energy which will serve them well in this competitive pool. The Pie Queens are making their first appearance at Nationals since 2012, and will most certainly be a fun team to watch. While Oregon is definitely the favorite, they will face some opposition on the road to the championship, beginning in pool play. 

Pool B

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British Columbia


After finishing in third place last year, British Columbia will be looking to battle their way to the semifinals again in Raleigh and hoping to earn another chance at the finals. The Thunderbirds are coming into Nationals with a solid 23-5 record for the season, although they scraped the second place bid at Northwest Regionals after losing to Whitman early on Sunday. UCLA BLU has been a strong team historically and will be looking to use their depth to advance through pool play. Despite being seeded 11th, Pittsburgh Danger has had a strong season, with multiple close games against top-seeded teams. Chaos will be a wild card at this year’s tournament. They snagged the last bid away from Victoria 15-8 in the historically competitive Northwest, and will be looking to match up against some of the east coast teams for the first time this year. Dartmouth began the 2016 season ranked fourth but are coming into Nationals seeded 18th. It will be interesting to see if they can continue the momentum from Regionals to cause some upsets here in Pool B. 

Pool C

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  Ohio State
  Southern California


Stanford Superfly enters the tournament with an impressive 33-6 record for the 2016 season, and will be looking to take care of business right away in pool play. However, while they have been successful against Washington Element so far this season, they have been close games. Superfly will most certainly see some opposition on Friday morning. Element had close finishes with top contenders all season and will be seeking some revenge, beginning with Superfly. Michigan Flywheel tore through Great Lakes Regionals but will face some tougher competition with Stanford and Washington. Ohio State Fever had a rough start to the season but may still be a possible contender for some upsets early in pool play. The Southern California Hellions of Troy sit at the bottom of the pool, but with many close games throughout the season, don’t count them out just yet. Overall, we can expect many close games coming from Pool C, as well as some possible upsets. 

Pool D

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Central Florida


Central Florida leads "the pool of death" with an impressive 37-6 record on the season. The Whitman Sweets also have an impressive record at 26-7, and both teams have beaten two of the top three seeded teams during the season. Whitman and Central Florida have each beaten each other once this year, so their Friday afternoon match up will be a competitive one for sure. Texas Melee took second place at regionals, behind Colorado, but have had an otherwise impressive season, including a win against Central Florida at Centex. Wisconsin Bella Donna breezed through North Central Regionals but will face stronger opponents, starting in pool play. However, you can count on them giving the other teams in Pool D a fight to the end. The Ottawa GeeGees have not had a chance to match up against any of the other teams this season, and are therefore at a major disadvantage, as well as being the bottom seed. They will have to assert themselves right away in order to be a major contender.  

Players to Watch

Marisa Rafter – California 

California’s Callahan nominee has proven herself to be quick on her feet as well as quick in the air. As a handler, she is in full control of the disc and is able to put it anywhere on the field. 

Jesse Shofner – Oregon 

As Oregon’s Callahan nominee, Shofner will be sure to take control of the field on offense and defense, demonstrating her athleticism and aggressiveness. 

Mira Donaldson – British Columbia 

Donaldson has proven to be tough to defend and nearly impossible to stop when it comes to her huge hucks and scores. The Thunderbirds will be looking to get her the disc early and often. 

Jaclyn Verzuh – Dartmouth 

Verzuh has already dominated the world stage at both the U-19 and U-23 levels, and she will most certainly be continuing this trend at Nationals. Coming off of an injury, it will be interesting to see how she integrates herself back into the team. 

Kristin Pojunis – UCLA 

Watch for Pojunis’ aggressive cutting and throwing that made her the UCLA Callahan nominee.  


Upset Alert

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Pool B is potentially dangerous for the British Columbia Thunderbirds. While UCLA and Pittsburgh may seem harmless as the seventh and 11th seeds, respectively, they have been fierce contenders for the top seeds throughout the season. The Thunderbirds might need to watch their backs if they want to secure a favorable position in bracket play.  

Dark Horse


Although Dartmouth had a rough start to their season, they have the opportunity to create some upsets in Pool B. Although they lost to Chaos earlier in the season, with Verzuh returning to their roster, they will be putting forth an even stronger team. 


Games to Watch

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Oregon v. Colorado (Friday, 10:30 a.m.)

While Oregon is the heavy favorite, Colorado had a strong finish to their season, beating Texas on double-game point at South Central Regionals. These two teams have not faced each other this season, so this should be a new and exciting match up. 

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Stanford  v. Washington (Friday, 2:30 p.m.)

These two teams have already met three times this season, with Stanford coming out on top each time. However, these wins did not come without a fight from Washington, and the same fight can be expected in pool play on Friday. Washington will have a chance to get revenge for the previous losses as well as upset the overall three seed. 

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Central Florida v. Whitman (Friday, 4:30 p.m.)

Each with a win and a loss, Central Florida and Whitman will have to battle out the ultimate tiebreaker in order to determine who will come out on top of the infamous Pool D. 

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UCLA v. Pittsburgh (Saturday, 2:30 p.m.)

Both of these teams have shown that they can play to the level of many of the top teams at Nationals. BLU and Danger have not faced off this season, so this collision of east and west is sure to be a tight game. This game will also play a large part in determining the final rankings of Pool B. 


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