Defending Champs UVA Women Lead Scored Midseason Psych Sheets

Last week we released a hypothetical midseason NCAA invite list, with Tennessee and Cal leading the way with 17 projected individual qualifiers. Today, we score out those invite lists to get a look at how those programs stack up at a hypothetical NCAA meet. Despite having the third largest team, it is the defending champion Virginia Cavaliers who sit atop the projected standings. 

Last year, Virginia won the program’s first-ever national championship in dominant fashion, scoring 491 points, 137 points clear of their ACC rival and NCAA-runner up NC State. Virginia was led by now-graduated Paige Madden, who won all three of her individual races and swam on the Cavaliers’ NCAA Champion 800 free relay and runner-up 400 free relay. The third place trophy went to the Texas Longhorns, who scored 344.5 points, while the fourth place trophy went to Cal with 290. 

If this year’s midseason points projections are any indication of how NCAA’s will pan out, the Cavaliers will be challenged more for the title than last season. UVA tops the rankings with 395 points, but three other programs also project above 300 points, with Alabama, Stanford and NC State close on the Cavaliers’ heels. 

The big surprise is the Alabama Crimson Tide sitting with the second-most projected NCAA points with 333 points. One of the big storylines of the NCAA offseason was how Margo Geer would fare in her first season as head coach at Alabama after being hired with limited coaching experience. Thus far, Geer and her staff, which includes US Short Course Worlds assistant coach Ozzie Quevedo, seem to be quieting the critics. 

Scored “Psych Sheet Points”

Note: score projections include swimming only and do not account for potential diving points. 

Place School Score
1 Virginia 395
2 Alabama 333
3 Stanford 320.5
4 NC State 308
5 Texas 284
6 Tennessee 251
7 Michigan 238
8 California 231
9 Southern Cali 175
10 Ohio St 144
11 Wisconsin 104
12 Georgia 100.5
13 Kentucky 94.5
14 Indiana 90.5
15 Missouri 84.5
16 Louisville 74
17 Arizona St 58
18 Penn 53
19 Arizona 38
20 Arkansas 30.5
21 Florida 30
22 Northwestern 26
23 Auburn 22
24 Minnesota 21
25 William & Mary 11
26 Duke 7
27 San Diego St 6.5
28 Notre Dame 5
29 Denver 4.5
30 Missouri St (W) 3.5
31 Washington St. 3.5
32 Virginia Tech 3
33 Florida Int’l 3
34 Florida St 3
35 New Hampshire 3
36 UCLA 2
37 CSUB 2
38 U.S. Navy 1
39 Akron 1
40 Texas A&M 1

List of individual qualifiers by team

A few interesting notes:

  • Despite only having nine projected individual qualifiers, Stanford is clearly back in the title hunt. The Cardinal check in with the third most projected points, with 320.5. A reloaded roster dotted with Olympians has returned to Palo Alto and the Card seem determined to prove that last year’s 9th place showing was a fluke. How much better is this team? Last year at this time Stanford was projected to score only 66.5 points at NCAAs, making them the “most improved” (in terms of projected points added) team year over year. 
  • Cal and Tennessee, who we revealed yesterday are tied for the most projected qualifiers with 17, both sit outside of the top 4. Tennessee sits in 6th with 249 projected points and Cal sits in 8th with 229 projected points. The projections have markedly different meanings for each program, however. At last year’s NCAAs Tennessee finished in 10th, so a 6th place projection is a huge step in the right direction, while Cal finished in 4th last season. 
  • USC seems poised for a massive rebound year. At last season’s NCAAs the Trojans finished just 22nd with 51 points. They currently project 9th with 173 points, a huge improvement over last season, especially considering the drama surrounding head coach Jeremy Kipp’s mysterious status on administrative leave. 
  • The Florida Gators, in their first season under head coach Anthony Nesty after Florida combined the programs in the spring, project to score only 30 points and finish in 21st. That is down from last year’s actual NCAA finish of 17th with 84.5 points. In the long term, however, the tide will certainly begin to turn in the Gators’ favor after Nesty has secured what is likely the top women’s recruiting class in the country for the high school class of 2023.

For more detailed analysis, check out the SwimSwam Swimulator.

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11 months ago

Don’t sleep on CAL!!!!!!

11 months ago

I really get the feeling Emma Nordin is going to crush it this season. She will win the 200/500/1650, and will make the Worlds Team come April in the 4×200 Free-Relay. Maybe the 400 too, (I think Bella Sims will probably be there), but still Nordin is magical. Her trials were a bit of a fluke, and once she has more experience tapering, she will be a monster at the international level.

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  TeamRegan
11 months ago

I agree!!!

Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
11 months ago

I think Lia Thomas disagrees.

11 months ago

UVA doesn’t have a 800 free relay in the database, and Gretchen Walsh missing the mid season invite definitely impacts their relay times/places, and to a lesser extent her own scoring. I’d estimate all of that at about 50 points conservatively.

Looking at the stimulator results, I didn’t see any other top 5 team missing a relay or one of their primary swimmers at their mdseason invite, unless I missed something?

Reply to  Greg
11 months ago

What’s wring with missing an invite?

Last edited 11 months ago by Fleur
Joel Lin
Reply to  Fleur
11 months ago

I think he makes a fair point that no doubt Gretchen Walsh will score significantly above these sheets imply & that UVa will have a A final 4×200 free relay at NCAAs this year. Both seem like valid points & this psyche sheet papers up light for the Hoos…they could easily be in the 420-450 point range at NCAAs in March. Like the Texas men this year, UVa women are just too deep & each are a meet for second.

Reply to  Joel Lin
11 months ago

The swapped out Paige Madden and got Gretchen Walsh and Emma Wyant so they had 491 last year and this year they should beat that.

Reply to  Taa
11 months ago

except this is a zero sum game

Last edited 11 months ago by jeff
Reply to  jeff
11 months ago

On paper the additions of Weyant and GWalsh are a net positive over the loss of Paige Madden and other graduates. With everyone else returning and relays stronger than ever (mostly because of GWalsh), you’d think 500 points is easily within reach. But yeah, the competition will be significantly stronger than last year. I’ll guess they’ll be in 460-480 point area, barring injury or illness, and that will be comfortably ahead of 2nd place.

11 months ago

I need my confidence in USC to actually perform at NCAAs to be come back this year

Reply to  CanSwim13
11 months ago

Anyone happen to know where USC stands as far as a head coach?

Reply to  Bttrfly
11 months ago

I’m sure Lea will finish the season as interim coach. After that may depend on how long Kipp’s initial contract was.

ACC fan
11 months ago

OH no! Is the NC State “4th” curse starting for the women?

Reply to  ACC fan
11 months ago

Um, NCST women got 2nd place just last March. So there’s no 4th place thing to discuss.

11 months ago

from top 5 , TX has divers to go up but don’t think anyone can touch UVA

Reply to  Wlw
11 months ago

I think diving could get it close for Texas. Looking at USADiving winter nationals, last years NCAAs, and a few of the invitationals, one can assume that Virginia, Alabama, and NC State will get no or very minimal points.

Stanford has Lenz and added Sculti this year, both who may get 20-40 points combined.

Texas has Pineda who scored 42, with a final finishes on all 3 boards and has looked good this year and O’Neil who should be good for a or b finals on both springboards. They added Hailey Hernandez who is an Olympian and should certainly a final on both springboards. Skilken or Boyle should final in tower. I could see 45 for Pineda, 30 for… Read more »

11 months ago

Wonder if bama losing their diving coach will make any negative impact

Reply to  Diving
11 months ago

They weren’t going to score any points from Women’s diving with the exception of a small amount from Tanesha Lucoe on platform. I don’t think that change really impacts anything

11 months ago

Lia Thomas single handedly outscoring the majority of teams from Power 5 conferences.

Stoked 2 b vaccinated
Reply to  Jimbob
11 months ago

She is abiding by the NCAA guidelines!

Right now her projected points has Penn in 18th…. I highly doubt that she is the first person in NCAA history to be a school’s solo rep & crack the top 20.

Further, plenty of times in swimming history an unsuspecting talent will blossom at a school outside of the top 10… a few that come to mind are Brooks Curry LSU & Shane Ryan PSU

Reply to  Jimbob
11 months ago

Four other women are scoring the same or more than her: Kate Douglass, Regan Smith, Torri Huske, Maggie MacNeil. This article is also about the team standings, which Penn is nowhere near the top 10. But you decided to ignore all the other women and just focus on her.

Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
Reply to  ACC
11 months ago

Yeah no I swear if keyboard warriors make the entirety of womens ncaa about attacking lia Thomas it would be a shame for the amazing competition

Stoked 2 b vaccinated
Reply to  Ledecky will go 3:55 in Paris
11 months ago

As well as (beyond) hurtful for the LGBTQ swimming community

Reply to  Stoked 2 b vaccinated
11 months ago

Lack of fairness is (beyond) hurtful to anyone participating from every part of the swimming community. Unfortunately, the rules can’t be looked at without singling out and discussing the case they impact so shutting people down from making observations isn’t going to help us address this and heal the clear divides.

Those four other women listed by ACC are all medal winning Olympians – that is the company Lia is keeping these days when discussing her times and impact. Considering that in her previous years, competing with men, she did not have an invite time means there is no ignoring that her comparison now is with the best ever in the world.

Last edited 11 months ago by lol
Reply to  Stoked 2 b vaccinated
11 months ago

LOL….. sigh

TeamRegan TeamRegan
Reply to  Jimbob
11 months ago

If you have any problems with Lia swimming, talk to the NCAA. Don’t bring her into it because she is a human bean just like you and me. Grow up

Reply to  Jimbob
11 months ago

Jimbob literally out here making a statement, no bias from what I can see, and he gets trashed for it. Nuts world we live in.

Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
11 months ago

These people don’t understand that by complaining about the rule you have state the obvious reason the rule is unfair. Hence LIa Thomas is going to be mentioned every time the unfairness of the current rule is discussed. Thats just the way it is. To those complaining do you want us to invent a code word for her like they did for Biden?

katie's gator cap :)
Reply to  Taa
10 months ago

How about stop bringing up her name in an article that has nothing to do with her. My god she lives rent free inside of you guys’s heads lmao.