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Virginia Tech, Eckerd Secure Nat’l 7s Spots

  • 27 Mar 2019

Photos: Kirstyn Paynter (see full albums)

The Queens Cup 7s named four champions over two days last weekend, and two of those victors have guaranteed spots in their respective national championships. Both victors are also active spring 15s clubs, and will progress through 15s playoffs before transitioning fully to 7s.

Virginia Tech retained the DI title and thus heads to the USA Rugby DI College 7s National Championship on Memorial Day Weekend in Tucson, Ariz. The Hokies posted two shutouts against UNC and a Barbarian side in pool, and battled out a 14-7 win over Navy. The team then edged UVA 14-10 in the semifinals, and in a rematch of 2018, beat host Queens 17-5 for the trophy.

It was a busy weekend for Virginia Tech, which also hosted its Knock Out ALS 15s fundraising tournament in Blacksburg, Va., on Saturday. The squad split up and so there was plenty of field time to go around.

“It was very exciting to compete against those teams this weekend,” enthused Virginia Tech president Kirn Kaur. “Whether we win in 7s or 15s, in the end it’s about Virginia Tech rugby as a whole. We’re one team and we play both, so if one does well it speaks to the other team just as much.”

Photo: Kirstyn Paynter (see more)

This weekend is the Mason-Dixon conference crossover quarterfinals, but NC State declined to challenge Virginia Tech, and so the Hokies will automatically advance to semifinals likely with teams present at the Queens Cup 7s.

Eckerd College landed the NSCRO title and thus takes the South seed to the NSCRO 7s National Championship (April 27-28, Pittsburgh). The Sirens topped pool play opponents 97-7, shut out a combined Queens/Alderson Broaddus 42-0 in the semifinals, and then took home the trophy with a 26-5 final win over Lee.

Kat Scheerer led the way on points scored, dotting down 10 tries and kicking 14/21 conversions, while Emerson Allen followed with five.

Photo: Kirstyn Paynter (see more)

“Sophomore Emerson Allen had a breakout tournament, scoring 5 tries, several of which included strong fends using her long arms to create space,” Eckerd head coach Mike Geibel praised. “She was also influential on defense, poaching balls and creating turnovers, she even stole a few lineouts. She was a player that we hoped would come out strong, as she has been battling a shoulder injury for a lot of the semester and is just now getting back into the full swing. We couldn’t be happier with how she played.”

Geibel was happy with the team defense overall, allowing just two tries against all tournament. The team did well to make adjustments on the fly, communicated well and maintained its structure in a season-highlighting outing.

Photo: Kirstyn Paynter (see more)

“This gives us a big boost for 15s I think,” Geibel looked toward the 15s spring regional championships occuring on April 20-21 at East Carolina University. “A 7s tournament really pushes players to focus on the more individual skills because they’re under such a microscope with so much space on the pitch. One missed tackle or blown assignment turns into a try the other way. I think our players have gained some confidence in their own skills with the ball and also making tackles.

“We had a great time at the tournament and I think the experience really built some stronger bonds and friendships between the players,” the coach added. “I’m excited to see how they all work together on the 15s pitch now that they’ve had this experience.”

Photo: Kirstyn Paynter (see more)

The Queens Cup also hosted a men’s college division as well as a girls’ high school bracket. South Mecklenburg took home the high school title. 

#VirginiaTech Eckerd #QueensCup

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