MWTD Pools are up. I think seedings are final? I hope so, because I'm going to write anyways.
I look for Wisconsin to come out on top here, with no surprise. I did like the match up between Iowa State and Wisco at the Iowa Indoor. They had some good even match ups. No one on Wisco could cover Jasmine "Jazz" Draper. From what I saw, the Gapstur/Jazz connection was pretty strong. I pick ISU in the 2 spot over Colorado. Talking to some of the Woman Scorned players, they are ready to go and looking good. As this tourney is practically in their backyards, I assume a full roster. I am predicting a universe point win for Bella. Colorado, from what I heard, brought a smaller roster to MLC in fall, and played a tight rotation. If the weather is as bad as they forecast, I predict some long points. ISU has the legs to overcome Kali, I think. I haven't seen much from Kansas this year.
Prediction: Wisco, ISU, Colorado, Kansas
It could be my bias towards Saucy, but I'm predicting an upset here as well. Knowing a good deal about the ladies of Gung Ho, I know that they are a handler reliant team. Lien Hoffman is their go-to player. I feel that Saucy has too many "one-ups" in the 1v1 match up. Granted, I would look for Iowa, UWEC, and SLU's earlier games to be a little sloppier...as they are the first outdoor games of the season. I think UWEC will have a stronger showing, as their roster was lacking vets in the Iowa Indoor. Adding Melissa "George" Jordan and Emily Karoblis (former UW-Stevens Point standout) into the mix will bring up their level of play. However, their lack of experienced handlers works a bit against them.
Prediction: Iowa, Northwestern, UWEC, SLU
Wash U should take this pool, pretty handily. I think that their depth and handler power really give them the competitive edge. OSU and Notre Dame, having some outdoor experience already this season at Queen City Tune Up should have a slight edge over Colorado College. I have never seen Colorado College play, and really look forward to it!
Prediction: WashU, Colorado College, OSU, Notre Dame
Missouri and TSUnami look like the favorites here. I haven't seen Oberlin play in a few years...
Minnesota is an easy pick here. Lefty junior-worlds handler Depalma leads a great squad, and really anchors the offense.
This pool will be a little more hard fought. The ladies of the North Central Region will be battling it out. St. Olaf, led by Brittany Faust, vs. Wisconsin-Atropa, led by Anna Shanedling, vs. a well-rounded Carelton Eclipse team. I think that St. Olaf will pull it off.
Luther should be the standout team, but don't count out Grinnell. Two of my favorite D-III teams squaring off against each other. This could easily be the semis or finals of the North Central D-III Conference/Regional Championships. My prediction is Luther, FTW.
Personally, I am looking forward to the skills clinics. If you're working on "Big Pulls" with Mikey, make sure you say hi to me, as I will be his fabulous assistant :-)