With the winter invitational ending, we have a fairly accurate representation of the strengths of the teams. While some powerhouses dropped out of the tournament surprisingly early, many teams should be very happy with their performance in the tournament. With playoffs right around the corner, it’s a perfect time to look back and give a list of the top JV teams in the country.
There were a few teams I considered for this spot, notably Ryerson University, UCLA and UC Davis. I picked Missouri because they dropped out of the tournament early due to a defeat by Johns Hopkins, the number 1 team that destroyed everyone. I don’t think we’ve seen all of what MSU can do because they went against the brick wall of Johns Hopkins. I’m not expecting a miracle from this team, but they do have the possibility of beating some of these top teams, which Ryerson, UCLA, and UC Davis have not been able to beat.
Like Oregon, this team had a completely flawless regular season and got me on the WA hype train. I rated them extremely highly, and seeing them out of the tournament so soon was a big disappointment. With all that being said, I would watch out for Washington. They are hungry after a tragic loss in the playoffs early, and I think if they gave it their all they could be one of the best teams in JV.
A flawless regular season with a strong roster made me pick Oregon as my dark horse to take the tournament. Tragically, I was wrong, but that doesn’t make them a bad team. Their regular season wasn’t the hardest schedule, but going undefeated is still noteworthy. Dropping out of the playoffs in round 3 should be considered a defeat for this team, and I think they should be looking for a better placement in the spring playoffs.
Like Berkeley, this team had a very good regular season, even beating out RMU 2-1. They went through the playoffs against a fairly easy bracket, and went out without much of a fight to New York. Like most of the middle teams in the top 10, I have high expectations for them, and I do believe they can fight for the top spot.
Berkeley had a very good regular season, only dropping one game. Their clean regular season is surprisingly more convincing than some of the other teams at the top, but their short playoff run makes them drop off at 6th. They did end up losing to Johns Hopkins, who were determined to go undefeated. I do believe Berkeley is a consistent, respectable team who will make a play for the top, but they’re going to have to prove to me they can overcome some challenges if I am to rank them higher.
Kind of a rocky season for RMU. RMU fields some of the best teams in collegiate, and RMU JV is no exception. They played well and performed admirably, but my high expectations left me fairly disappointed with RMU. Their loss to MB stopped their run in the quarterfinals, which I did not expect from this team. However, there is still time to improve and work, and this team can still make it all the way in the spring playoffs. I have high expectations for this team, and we are going to have to wait and see what happens.
This team had some stumbles, both in the regular season and the winter invitational, but they still climbed their way up through playoffs. UCF had a fairly hard bracket, not as hard as Manitoba who ranked 3rd, but the teams they faced were very good. Both Montreal and Oregon were taken down by UCF. Their loss to New York ended their season just short of the finals, but they still made it quite a long way.
My eyes were not on this team at all, and I think many people had the same sentiment. I hadn’t heard much of the team, and their loss in the regular season made it certain in my mind that they would succumb to their tough playoff bracket. Their tough series against CSU made me certain they would fall to the Mcgill team that took out Simon Fraser, yet they passed by with flying colors. Then, I was certain they would fall to the powerhouse RMU team, but they continued onwards. They eventually fell to the number 1 team in JV, Johns Hopkins, but their run made an incredible impact on the tournament. All in all, MB should be proud of their 3rd place standing.
I had some difficulty placing this team at number 2 despite placing second in the tournament. UB was trounced by Johns Hopkins, but Johns Hopkins is a bit of an outlier right now. UB had some trouble in the regular season, losing a set to Rutgers, and they also lost 3 more games with 2 close series coming in the winter invitational. With all of that being said, they proved they could continue fighting and rise to achieve greatness. Their close series proves how clutch this team is, and although they didn’t run over everyone like Johns Hopkins, they fought and clawed their way to a very respectable second place.
The undisputed best team in JV LOL. Zero games lost in the regular season, zero games lost in the playoffs: a complete perfect season. They tore up their division, and didn’t stop there. They went through the entire winter invitational without a loss, and they truly deserve the title of number 1. Heading into playoffs, the Bluejays are obvious favorites to take the entire tournament.