February 18, 2014 by Keith Raynor in Analysis, Rankings with 0 comments
Many of the best D-I Women’s teams took to the field this weekend in San Diego at the President’s Day Invite. Considering the strength of teams up and down the West Coast, that’s no surprise.
Here is a look at the Week 4 Power Rankings in Women’s Division I.
1. Oregon: If you had any doubts about Fugue — and there’s nobody who did — Monday at Pres Day silenced them. Not only did they avenge their double game point loss to UC Santa Barbara, but they obliterated the then-#2 ranked Washington squad they faced in the semifinals.
2. UC-Santa Barbara: Beat the #1 ranked team? Check. Beat the only team that has beaten you this season? Check. Have only one loss to the aforementioned #1 ranked team? Check! It is rarely pretty, but the Burning Skirts keep winning.
3. Ohio State: Fever was simply dominant at QCTU, only challenged by UCF on their way to an undefeated weekend. Fever is a legitimate title threat, especially with Paige Soper back on the field and more depth than ever.
4. Central Florida: The Sirens’ stock is rising right now, and I’d say buy buy buy. Since Nationals, they’ve lost just two games: both close games against Ohio State. They’re a threat to win every tournament they attend.
5. Washington: There’s an argument dropping UW this low is harsh, after an 8-1 Pres Day showing. Their only loss was to Oregon, but it was a brutal shellacking. Washington played some tight games against lower ranked teams, but they round out a dangerous elite top 5.
6. Virginia: They added high margin wins over Kansas and Iowa State at Queen City, while edging fellow AC squad UNC for a marquee victory and a berth into semis. Seemed to run out of gas once they got there, however.
7. Tufts: Clearly, Ewo was knocking off the rust in Charlotte, especially for Saturday’s stumbles. Their 12-10 loss to Northeastern in quarters is unnerving, however. Wins over Colorado and North Carolina demonstrate Tufts’ potential.
8. Northeastern: At this point, the Valkyries are on fire. Their only losses this season are to OSU and UCF. Tufts may have the higher ceiling, but Northeastern has shown they won’t take a backseat in the NE Region.
9. Carleton: Uninspiring weekend from Carleton, whose four wins all came over teams that missed prequarters, including barely surviving Iowa State. It’s very early for Syzygy, but they started much stronger last season. Getting Julia Snyder back should drastically improve Carleton.
10. Colorado: Kali didn’t break out in the way they hoped, laying an egg against OSU and falling to Tufts Sunday at QCTU, but they leveled JMU and also topped Carleton. This young squad is capable of a lot of growth.
11. British Columbia: Closing out the fall in impressive fashion, UBC has the horses to scare any team in a single game. If there can keep the pieces together and healthy, look out. However, there does seem to be some fragility to their makeup.
12. Stanford: Their performance at Santa Barbara Invite looks even better as the tournament’s field looks stronger following Pres Day. A double game point loss to #2 UCSB looks especially shiny now.
13. Victoria: Last year, Victoria turned some win-heavy weekends into a Northwest Strength bid. This year, they are
already exceeding those results. Wins over Michigan and Texas at Pres Day give them the banner wins they were looking for in a 4th place finish.
14. Texas: An impressive performance for Melee at Pres Day, adding nice wins over UCLA and North Carolina. The battle in the South Central region is going to be fierce…unless they bag some strength bids.
15. Whitman: A young and impressive Whitman team could wind up a top 10 squad, and they have victories over UCSD and Victoria to back that up; their loss to Michigan came without young playmaker Claire Revere.
16. North Carolina: QCTU started off with a scary loss to FSU – a worrisome start to the post-Couper era – but they rebounded. By the time the weekend concluded, they’d have W’s over Tufts and Michigan, with their three losses by 4 total points. Then came Pres Day, where their depth and fortitude was challenged and they’d wind up with close losses to UCLA and Michigan while failing to make quarters.
17. Iowa: Inactive. While the rest of the country is getting in quality competition, Iowa has yet to take the field competitively. Liza Minor and the Saucy Nancy returners do have the talent to return to the show, even in a potentially one bid North Central.
18. Western Washington: Quietly, but as expected, won Stanford Open, getting a nice win over a UCSD team that impressed at Pres Day and worked their own way into the top 25.
19. UCLA: Continuing to rise, UCLA is part of the Southwest’s push to demonstrate depth. And they did just that, beating UNC and getting 5th place revenge against Texas, while competing tightly with some higher ranked squads.
20. Ottawa: The returner heavy squad from the Metro East looks to be in sole control of the region, with NYU struggling at QCTU. Ottawa hasn’t taken the field yet (played an indoor style tournament), but will be in the field at Women’s Centex this year.
21. Michigan: Flywheel played a lot of tight games at QCTU, but came out on top of most, including twice against Tufts. They struggled with the back-to-back at Pres Day, but losses to Victoria and UCSD are tempered by wins over Whitman and North Carolina.
22. Kansas: QCTU was, on the surface, rough for Betty, who went 3-5. However, they beat Carleton and won handily in their other victories. There’s room for improvement, but Kansas doesn’t appear to be in a flash in the pan.
23. UC San Diego: Breaking into the top 25 with a big win over a good looking Michigan team, UCSD is a very intelligent and competitive group. The question is what they can do against the powers of the Southwest.
24. Iowa State: It was an underwhelming weekend at Queen City for a Woman Scorned team with something to prove. Notched a win over JMU and was a point away from upsetting Carleton, but was in close games with weaker teams all weekend long.
25. Wisconsin: Word of Sara Scott’s return and strong scrimmage results make this leap of faith easier to take. Could be swapped with Minnesota, but, in reality, both need to show they are ready to compete in the suddenly open North Central Region.