Team writeups provided by the NCDA Power Ranking Panel
For the first time in team history, my Cincinnati Bearcats, your Cincinnati Bearcats, OUR Cincinnati Bearcats are ranked #1 in the NCDA’s power rankings. Having only played one tournament, there are still plenty of unanswered questions about this team, but boy did they look dominant in their only appearance thus far. Expect many of those outstanding questions to be answered next weekend at Ohio when the Bearcats face off against GVSU, Ohio, and JMU. Go Cats!
At their home tournament Towson showed once again that their still the top dogs (or I guess Tigers) in the East. They picked up convincing wins against PSU, JMU, and UMD to help propel them to #1 in the Gonzalez Standings. As a team with national championship aspirations, they are off to a solid start.
3) Grand Valley State
Grand Valley State falls to #3 in the November rankings due to their inactivity in the early season. The Lakers are set to compete in Ohio on the 13th, so we should know much more about this historic powerhouse school in the very near future. Can the Lakers continue their dominance over non-Michigan schools, or did the last few years off change things?
4) Penn State
PSU has been the biggest pleasant surprise in recent memory. After picking up wins against UVA, UMD, and a come from behind win against JMU, they have shaken up the hierarchy of the East Coast. Now the question is was their last tournament a fluke or a precursor of more to come? Time will tell, but for now they’ve earned their high placement on this list.
5) Ohio State
In their only outing of the season thus far, the Buckeyes defeated the Akron Zips and took a loss to the UC Bearcats. The future of this predominantly young team is heavily reliant on their rookie class to step up and support their veteran players. Unable to make a tournament during the month of October, will this team have enough experience to prove their place as #5 in the power rankings? Time will tell as they approach their next appearance at OU in a few weeks. There is a bright future ahead of this team, but how long must we wait before the future becomes now?
6) James Madison
The Dukes still have solid athletes at their disposal which is something they’ve been able to rely on throughout their history. However, it appears a lot of their East Coast counterparts have been able to catch up to that talent. JMU is still a very good team, but will need to pick up a signature win to move further up the list.
Despite the slow start to their season, the Zips are rolling now late in the first half of the season. Three dominant victories at their home tournament are cementing them as a top tier Ohio team this season. The veterans are operating at a high level, and the younger players are stepping up to keep pace. Clay Egleston and Brandon Snyder’s young squad keep turning heads, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. This is a sneaky team to keep an eye on from here on out.
8) Michigan State
Michigan State has yet to play a match this season, but are likely attending the SVSU hosted tournament on 11/20. We should get a good look at the return of the Spartans then. This team will have plenty to prove after falling to 8 in the rankings.
9) Bowling Green State
The Falcons had every excuse to have an off weekend in Akron. 13 rookies, all in their first tournament, as well as their first tournament in almost 2 years. Still, this team went 2-1 on the day, and had some pretty dominant victories against CSU and Miami. Despite the lone loss, there are many high points to their squad, including a strong rookie showing. Cole Wilson and Gabe Carrington can make it waves in the league if they keep up their level of play they displayed in Akron.
10) Saginaw Valley State
Saginaw Valley State University will make their season debut next weekend at Ohio on November 13th. Look for a lot of youth to be on display for the Cardinals as they try and return this historically great program to its winning ways.
11) Central Michigan
We haven’t heard much from the Chips at all this season, and aren’t sure when to expect them to play. They should return a fair number of players but hopefully they are able to get their feet wet with some matches come spring.
12) Wisconsin Platteville
We anticipate UWP to make their season debut on the 13th at their home tournament, the Pioneer Classic. They’ll be hosting UNL and hopefully SIUE. This is a team returning a lot of players, so we expect them to play well.
This is arguably UVA’s most talented team in their program’s history and it showed in their tournament at Towson. While on paper going 1-2 is not great, they held strong against Towson and PSU, and picked up a decisive win against UMD. Ultimately, UVA has a ways to go before they reach the top of their conference, but it’s clear they’re making strides in the right direction.
It’s fair to say that UMD had a rough showing at Towson. They have some solid players on their team like Max Xuan and Daniel Fernald, however they will need to get more help from the supporting cast if they want to avoid future 0-3 tournaments. They are hosting an event this upcoming weekend, and it should be a good opportunity to get back on course.
Ohio finally makes their return on the 13th, hosting the 2nd annual John Betters Bobcat Bonanza. Expect this team to be young overall, but competitive.
16) Cleveland State
Cleveland State might not have gotten off to the start they wanted to, going 1-2 this past weekend, but there’s a lot to be happy about for Vikings fans. Will Frazier is going to be a household name in the Ohio region this season if he keeps that same level of play up that he displayed in Akron. Despite their record, this young squad will be able to compete and hang with some good teams this year.
The Cornhuskers will make their debut against UWP and possibly SIUE at the Pioneer Classic. They’re another team returning a lot of players, so it’ll be exciting to see how they look, playing their first matches in nearly two years.
18) Virginia Commonwealth
The Rams traveled with 7 to the Virginia Classic and got those players some valuable experience that could help them get their first win of the season this weekend as they travel to Maryland. Expect a much better showing this time around from VCU.
The Wildcats have yet to play a match this season, but we expect to see them make some noise come spring. Another team taking their time returning from COVID, hopefully bolstering their numbers.
20) North Georgia
UNG has been a historically strong program in the South region, but appear to be struggling coming out of COVID with retention. We expect them to figure things out by Nationals, however.