Finally, a preview of the ultra competitive Women’s Division.
Riot (NW1, Seattle)
Rohre Titcomb (Brute Squad)
Calise Cardenas (Underground)
Heidi-Marie Clemens (Underground)
Caitlin Cordell (Underground)
Emily Baecher (Slow White)
Erin Gallagher (Shazam Remains)
Claire Suver (Underground)
Karen Brimacombe (Fury)
Texas Shootout – 2nd (14-16 Fury)
World Ultimate Club Championships – 3rd (14-12 Brute Squad)
Emerald City Classic – 2nd (11-14 Fury)
Labor Day Championships – 2nd (10-15 Fury)
Washington/BC Sectionals – 1st (13-7 Traffic)
Northwest Regionals – 1st (15-12 Fury)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 14-5
As always, a top contender in the Women’s division, Riot is looking to improve upon last year’s disappointing 3rd place (yes, when you’re that good, 3rd place is disappointing) finish. All 6 (including WUCC) of their losses this year have been at the hands of Fury, but Riot also holds 3 wins over Fury, including the key one: finals at Regionals.
Not a lot of turnover from this team, other than some promotions from the feeder team, Riot is certainly going to have some great chemistry, and they will need all of it to take down Fury again when it matters.
There’s absolutely no reason to think that Riot will drop a game in pool play, and Brute Squad (2-0 this year, including the bronze medal game at WUCC) and Traffic (4-0) are the only teams standing in their way of holding seed into the championship bracket.
Fury (NW2, San Francisco)
Karen Brimacombe (Riot)
Kaela Jorgenson (Burning Skirts)
Kari Deleeuw (Mischief)
Texas Shootout – 1st (16-14 Riot)
World Ultimate Club Championships – 1st (16-15 UNO)
Emerald City Classic – 1st (14-11 Riot)
Labor Day Championships – 1st (15-10 Riot)
Northern California Sectionals – 1st (13-7 Zeitgeist)
Northwest Regionals – 2nd (12-15 Riot)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 15-3
Even a more dominant season than Riot has had (even though Riot accounts for all 3 of their losses, Riot is also the victim of 6 of their wins this year), Fury is the BMOC that no one has figured out in 4 years.
Like Riot, not much in the way of roster turnover, but one huge addition is Kaela Jorgenson of the UC-Santa Barbara Burning Skirts. She and Georgia Bosscher should help ensure Fury wins the next 4 championships as well.
Brute Squad (NE1, Boston)
Jessica Blanton (Lady Godiva)
Sarah Cook (Lady Godiva)
Maureen McCamley (Lady Godiva)
Vicky Chow (Lady Godiva)
Tracy Woo (Lady Godiva)
Rohre Titcomb (Riot)
World Ultimate Club Championships – 4th (12-14 Riot)
Emerald City Classic – 3rd
East New England Sectionals – 1st (13-2 Hatch)
Philly Fusion – 1st (14-12 Capitals)
Northeast Regionals – 1st (15-10 Bent)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 9-3
Brute Squad, coming off a fantastic silver medal performance at last year’s UPA Championships, are back and likely even better, after picking up players from the now defunct Lady Godiva (in particular, Canada’s own Vicky Chow).
Brute Squad has but one loss this year to a non-Fury/Riot squad, 12-11 to Scandal at Philly Fusion, and are looking very good in their quest to break into the big 2. Dory Ziperstein and Dominique Fontenette continue to lead the squad, but keep an eye on Tracy Woo, who, allegedly, at 6’5” (she may have grown 4 inches in the offseason, according to Score Reporter) should be a matchup nightmare for all teams in this tournament.
Capitals (NE2, Ottawa/Toronto)
Shannon Becker (Stella)
Sarah Kidd (Lotus)
Marie-Celine Alexander (Stella)
Dominique Rioux (Stella)
Philly Fusion – 2nd (12-14 Brute Squad)
Upstate New York Sectionals – 1st (15-0 Lady Spuds)
Northeast Regionals – 2nd (15-5 Bent)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 5-4
A much smaller roster than in years past, with significant names not making the trip this year (Alison Flynn and Hadiya Rodrique stand out for me), the Capitals, a mix of Lotus (3rd at CUC) and Stella (2nd at CUC), are perennial contenders at the UPA Championships.
Still lead by Alyson Walker, Anne Mercier and Carla DiFilippo, the Capitals will be looking to repeat their big upset in power pool play last year, this time taking down Fury. With the smaller roster, and the weather expected (mid 80’s and humid), I don’t think they’ll have the legs to do it this year.
Scandal (MA1, Washington)
Marie Laurenza (Loose Cannon)
Allison Maddux (Lady Condors)
Crystal Davis (Casual Encounters)
Ashley Daly (Hybrid)
Octavia Payne (Wildcard)
Trudy Philip (Wicked)
Johanna Neumann (Random Acts of Violet)
Heather Smith (Hooray for Coed, Hooray)
Maureen Hsia (Nemesis)
Jill Bingham (Axis of C’Ville)
Molly Roy (Dartmouth/Princess Layout)
Winston Cup Challenge – 2nd (13-15 Phoenix)
Chesapeake Open – 1st (13-7 Bent)
Philly Fusion – 3rd
Capital Sectionals – 1st (13-0 Georgetown)
Mid-Atlantic Regionals – 1st (14-13 Phoenix)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 10-3
Scandal, having finished 11th last year at Nationals, made a number of changes to their roster, and the difference was noticeable. Having finished no worse than 3rd in any tournament this year, and an impressive record against other finalists this year, Scandal has shown that they are worthy of the 5 seed heading into this tournament.
However, having not played any of the Northwest teams has me wondering if they may not be quite as good as their record would indicate. Much like their male counterparts on Truck Stop, they appear to be a team on the rise, and this tournament will show whether they are ready to take the next step of reaching the quarterfinals.
Traffic (NW3, Vancouver)
Ashlee Davison (Zephyr)
Jaimie Kot (Zephyr)
Beverley Porter (Zephyr)
Neilu Rishi (Zephyr)
Crystal Lok Koo
Summer Solstice – 1st (15-11 Further)
Emerald City Classic – 4th
Labor Day Championships – 5th
Washington/BC Sectionals – 2nd (7-13 Riot)
Northwest Regionals – 3rd (15-8 Zeitgeist)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 3-8
That 3-8 record against qualifying teams stands out, but a closer inspection shows that 0-7 against the top 3 finishers from last year (the one exception being a 14-12 loss to Pop at ECC).
Having picked up a number of players from Zephyr (16th at WUCC), I would imagine Traffic wants to use this tournament as a springboard for next season, and the bid to represent Canada at the 2012 World Ultimate and Guts Championships, and a breakthrough to the semi-finals would certainly send them on their way.
However, that 0-7 record against Fury, Riot and Brute Squad stands out, and despite the presence of stars Kira Frew and Sarah Bobak, it’s hard to believe that they are anything but a notch below the top teams at this point.
Phoenix (MA2, Triangle Area, NC)
New team in 2010
Sharon Tucker (Backhoe)
Juliette McNamara (TAU)
Sara Dieter (Olio)
Jessi Witt (Nemesis)
Teresa Rouse (Backhoe)
Claire Calise (Olio)
Cate Foster (Backhoe)
Leila Tunnell (Backhoe)
Nicole Chauvigne (Backhoe)
Lindsey Hack (Backhoe)
Tania Reitz (Backhoe)
Frannie Goodrich (Backhoe)
Katy Harris (Backhoe)
Lauren Gardner (Backhoe)
Kate Morrison (Backhoe)
Texas Shootout – 5th
Winston Cup Challenge – 1st (15-13 Scandal)
Chesapeake Open – t-3rd (Hot Metal)
North Carolina Sectionals – 1st (14-8 Sweet T)
Philly Fusion – 5th
Mid-Atlantic Regionals – 2nd (10-4 Showdown)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 6-9
Along with fellow long time UPA Championship qualifiers Lady Godiva and the Lady Condors, Backhoe also bid adieu to the Ultimate world this year, after a 9th place finish at WUCC. From the ashes of one team springs another, and thus Phoenix was born.
Owning 2 wins against teams seeded ahead of them at this tournament (Scandal and Capitals), Phoenix has shown they are ready to pick up where Backhoe left off, and are a dangerous team for any of the top seeds to face. A spot in the quarterfinals is certainly attainable, and a likely goal for this team.
Molly Brown (SW1, Denver/Boulder)
New team in 2010
Sara Hill (Box)
Emily Hanson (Box)
Yelena Onnen (Box)
Sophie Herscu (Rare Air)
Leslie Schein (Rare Air)
Dena Slattery (Nemesis)
Shannon Waugh (Rare Air)
Kath Ratcliff (Zeitgeist)
Anne Pogoriler (Rare Air)
Anna Schott (Rare Air)
Jamie Anderson (Box)
Beth Goldstone (Box)
Kelley Kneib (Rare Air)
Stephanie Shea (Box)
Jana Krutsinger (Rare Air)
Michelle Groscost (Box)
Kelly Bolt (Rare Air)
Colorado Cup – 1st (15-7 Pop)
Labor Day Championships – 9th
Rocky Mountain Sectionals – 1st (15-9 Jack Wagon)
Southwest Regionals – 1st (15-5 Knock Out)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 4-2
Molly Brown, an amalgamation of Rare Air and Box, (A women’s team named Box isn’t as off-putting to advertisers as MethOD is? Really?) is looking to build something long term in Colorado. Early results have been mixed (an undefeated Colorado Cup, followed by 4 losses at Labor Day), but have shown that Molly Brown is on the right track. Advancing to power pools will be a great next step for this squad.
Showdown (SO1, Austin, TX)
Lilly White (Texas A&M)
Meredith Hicks (Chewbacca Defense)
Stephanie Redfern (Dirty Birds)
Texas Shootout – 4th
World Ultimate Club Championships – 15th (17-12 Zephyr)
Chesapeake Open – 5th
Philly Fusion – 6th
Texas Sectionals – 1st (13-1 Inferno)
South Regionals – 1st (11-8 Ozone)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 6-12
Coming off a 5th place finish last year, Showdown made quite a few roster changes this year in an attempt to join the next tier of teams such as Traffic and Capitals. They certainly scheduled for it, as their 18 games against fellow USAU Championships teams are second only to Riot’s 19.
However, the victories failed to come, and only one of those victories came against a team seeded higher than them this week (12-11 over Scandal at Philly Fusion).
I do believe the more difficult schedule will help them in the long run, and this weekend, as they should be used to playing in pressure situations, and that will help them get past Molly Brown for a berth in power pools. Repeating last year’s performance, however, will be a tough challenge.
Nemesis (CN1, Chicago)
Mel Lau (Spicy Tuna)
Jessi Witt (Phoenix)
Dena Slattery (Molly Brown)
Colorado Cup – 3rd
Emerald City Classic – 6th
Chicago Heavyweight Championships – 1st (15-9 Pop)
Central Plains Sectionals – 1st (15-3 Spicy Tuna)
Central Regionals – 1st (13-5 Pop)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 7-3
Nemesis is riding a 16 game winning streak coming into Nationals, but only 5 of those wins are against Nationals calibre teams, and all of those 5 are against teams seeded below them. They’ve shown they can beat up on inferior teams, but having not played a tight game since August, will they be able to turn it on now?
Pop (CN2, Minneapolis)
Sarah Solarz (Chad Larson Experience)
Christine Rosen (Chad Larson Experience)
MUDI – 1st (6-0)
Colorado Cup – 2nd (7-15 Molly Brown)
Emerald City Classic – 7th
Chicago Heavyweight Championships – 2nd (9-15 Nemesis)
Northwest Plains Sectionals – 1st (15-1 Surly Women)
Central Regionals – 2nd (5-13 Nemesis)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 4-7
Pop is making their 3rd consecutive appearance at Nationals, but have yet to breakthrough to the quarterfinals. Key pickups Sarah Solarz and Christine Rosen (both from CLX) provide a great boost in talent (Rosen had 14 goals at WUCC for CLX).
4 wins against Nationals teams is a nice building block, but they appear to still be a ways behind regional rival Nemesis (0-3, average margin of defeat: 7 points), and they need to clear that hurdle before they can tackle quarters.
Bent (NE3, New York City)
Amanda Lobel (Bashing Pinatas)
June Bae (Bashing Pinatas)
Whitney Viets (AMP)
White Mountain Open – 1st (Win over Storm)
Emerald City Classic – 8th
Chesapeake Open – 2nd (7-13 Scandal)
Philly Fusion – 4th
Metro New York Sectionals – 1st (15-5 MissCONNduct)
Northeast Regionals – 3rd (5-15 Capitals)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 6-12
A team that scheduled hard, their 6 wins include 4 against teams seeded ahead of them at Nationals, including a 12-10 upset of Capitals at Regionals (who head up Bent’s pool on Thursday). Pulling off that upset isn’t out of the question, but facing Capitals right out of the gate, it’s doubtful that Bent would be able to catch them off-guard.
Safari (SW2, San Diego)
Mary Ann Polityka
Emerald City Classic – 9th
Labor Day Championships – 8th
Southern California Sectionals – 1st (15-3 Knock Out)
Southwest Regionals – 2nd (15-9 Knock Out)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 1-9
Safari rounds out pool D and, after retooling a large portion of their roster this year, spent the summer going head to head with the best teams on the west coast. I’m of the opinion that getting beat by great teams is a greater learning experience than beating up on inferior teams are, and Safari should be able to use this experience to their advantage against Bent to try and get out to a strong start in the bottom pools on Friday.
Unfortunately for Safari, Bent has done the exact same thing, going head to head all year with the best teams on the east coast, and I think Bent’s better record against the top competition is a better indicator for success this weekend.
Ozone (SO2, Atlanta)
Winston Cup Challenge – 8th
Chesapeake Open – 6th
Shawn Adams Memorial – 1st (15-1 hot box)
East Coast Sectionals – 1st (8-7 DeSoto)
South Regionals – 2nd (13-6 Top Shelf)
Ozone, a perennial qualifier for Nationals, is shockingly coming to Nationals with only a roster of 14 AND without legend Deb Cussen. I hope that this isn’t a sign that Atlanta women’s Ultimate is coming to a close (a la Lady Godiva, Lady Condors etc.), but it sure doesn’t bode well for the team’s outlook this week. A win over Pop in pool play may set them up for a run to pre-quarters, but there’s no way they can get further than that with such a small roster during a humid week in Sarasota.
Storm (NE4, Montreal)
Jessie Tomas Grignon (Snowbirds)
Audrey St-Arnaud (Snowbirds)
White Mountain Open – 2nd (loss to Bent)
World Ultimate Club Championships – 13th (17-14 Leeds, Leeds, Leeds Women)
West New England Sectionals – 1st (15-4 Mystik)
Northeast Regionals – 4th (15-4 Hatch)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 0-4
Reigning Canadian Women’s champions Storm make their 1st ever appearance in Sarasota, thanks to the Northeast region receiving 4 bids this year. Genevieve Dufresne and Rachel Moens lead the Storm attack, and with a favourable pool (Phoenix, Fury, Nemesis) could see themselves in power pool play on Friday. Anything beyond that would have to be considered a Cinderella run.
Revoloution (CN3, St. Louis)
New team in 2010
Abby Stephens (One Trick Pony)
Britt Gott (One Trick Pony)
MUDI – 2nd (5-1)
Cooler Classic – 1st (14-9 Dish)
Chicago Heavyweight Championships – 3rd
West Plains Sectionals – 1st (15-7 Filthy Gorgeous)
Central Regionals – 3rd (Dish)
Record vs USAU Championship teams: 0-4
I’ve always wondered why a large city such as St. Louis doesn’t have consistent good club teams, and here’s hoping that Revoloution is able to take advantage of the flux that is the middle of the women’s division and make themselves a perennial participant in Sarasota. Enjoy the moment ladies, may it be the 1st of many.
I think the Women’s division is going to be fairly “boring”, in that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and I don’t see anyone knocking out Fury or Riot, or preventing Brute Squad from getting to the semi-finals.
The intrigue is going to be in the middle portions of this tournament. With so many teams having folded, or merged/started anew, there is a lot of opportunity for some new women’s teams to stake the claim as being the next dominant program over the next few years.
Champion – Fury (boring! But until somebody beats them…)
Finalist – Riot
Semi-finalists – Brute Squad and Traffic
Quarterfinalists (straight from power pools) – Capitals and Scandal
Quarterfinalists (from pre-quarters play) – Storm and Showdown
Pre-quarters participants – Phoenix and Molly Brown