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College Spring 15s: DII Regionals Update

  • 21 Feb 2023
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On the heels of the DI update, the following reviews the leagues and teams that are building toward the College Rugby Association of America (CRAA) Women’s DII Spring Championship. Regional playoffs are April 22-23, held in two locations on opposite coasts, and they’ll produce two finalists that feature in the May 6 final in Houston, Texas.

RELATED: Feb. 5 College Update

The 2023 iteration of the DII spring 15s post-season is already an improvement on last year, when the regional playoffs were omitted and four teams were sent directly to the semifinal/championship weekend. More participation is absolutely a function of the covid era and also an additional conference aligning with CRAA. That said, there are still potential potholes awaiting if teams are not properly informed of the post-season that lies ahead.

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The DII (and DI) eastern regional championship will take place April 22-23 in Gastonia, N.C. There are three conferences that should populate the four eastern regional spots. The team that goes 2-0 will advance to the spring final against the western champ.

The CAPITAL conference contests its 15s season and championship in the fall, but delays its participation in regionals until the spring. (Capital teams used confusing terminology last fall, calling conference playoffs “regionals,” but regionals are cross-conference playoffs. Capital does not compete in the CRAA DII fall regional playoffs.)

In the 2022-23 Capital conference final, American University defended its title with a 34-29 win against Northern Virginia Community College. Neither team has made any reference to spring 15s regionals. However, Howard University, which played a mix of 7s, 10s and 15s games in the fall, was presented with the opportunity to compete and is running with the invitation. (Last year, conference semifinalist William & Mary took Capital’s seed to the spring championship weekend).


The Herd has built out its spring schedule and coach Kat Aversano indicated that recruitment numbers are solid. Howard kicked off the spring last Saturday with a 34-15 win against Univ. Maryland and put in an even 80-minute performance.

Just south of Capital, the CAROLINAS conference already knows its finalists: #1 Appalachian State vs. #2 UNC Charlotte. The title match will occur on April 1 in Gibsonville, N.C., and the victor (maybe both?) will head to Gastonia three weeks later.

Appalachian State took the conference’s seed to last year’s spring championship semifinals, and when it faced UNCC in the fall, it won 29-0. Last Saturday, the Boone, N.C., team beat Western Carolina 33-0, and this weekend will play some 7s at East Carolina. A big challenge awaits in DI UNC on March 4, and then a March 25 matrix game against UNC Greensboro precedes the league final.



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UNCC had its Feb. 11 game against WCU canceled, and so it won’t take the pitch until March 18 for the Warren Wilson tournament. The team will play Elon on March 25 and then ready for Appalachian State and the Carolinas final. Since at least one conference will need to send two teams to eastern regionals, logistically, it makes the most sense for the Carolinas to be that contributor. But that detail has not yet been confirmed.

FLORIDA has one DII team playing 15s: Eckerd College. So the Sirens have been playing Division I colleges and a senior women’s club to stay busy. It’s a tough schedule for a young team, but the game knowledge tank is filling. Former Tampa Bay Krewe coach James Woollcombe-Clarke is the Sirens’ head coach, and he indicated that regionals weren’t off the table. Hopefully CRAA and Florida Rugby Union are talking to Eckerd and letting them know the opportunities ahead, and what it’ll take resources wise to get to North Carolina, and potentially beyond.


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The western half of the competition is more straight-forward, as there are two conferences in play, and both get two seeds to regionals. What is a little complicated is that CRAA has not announced any information on western regionals yet.

As mentioned previously, PACIFIC DESERT has nine teams that are divided into competitive (5) and social (4) pools this year. The cross-pool games are friendlies. The game circled on the calendar was last weekend’s Claremont vs. San Diego State match. Both teams represented the conference at the spring championships last year. SDSU had won the teams’ regular season match in 2022, and then the rematch occurred in the spring title match, which Claremont won 22-7. On Saturday, the Foxes dominated in a 67-22 decision. Read more from Claremont head coach Roger Light.

Claremont plays CSU Long Beach this weekend, so we’ll get a good look at the 49ers there. The Aztecs won’t play its next competitive match until March 11 against UC Irvine (UC Riverside is slated for March 4, but that’s a friendly). Standings will name the conference’s two reps to western regionals.


The WEST COAST doesn’t have an official division of competitive and social teams, but that’s how it’s worked out. A handful of teams cannot field 15s sides, so it’s 7s or combination squads on game day. We’re watching San Jose State, UC Santa Cruz, Sacramento State, Cal Poly, Santa Clara and UN Reno.

It’s a long season with league games that begin in the fall, pick up after winter break, and then stagger around varying spring breaks – the result being some ebbs and flows in momentum. As previously mentioned, Sacramento State has really come on and has a highly anticipated match against Cal Poly this weekend. The Mustangs beat San Jose State 45-14 last weekend, a week after UC Santa Cruz beat the Spartans 15-5. Really looking forward to seeing teams at their best at conference playoffs, which occur April 8-9 at a TBA location. [Update: Conference 7s championship occurs April 8-9; 15s championships is held April 15-16.]

The West Coast conference was not a CRAA member last year and so western regionals were not possible. Here’s looking forward to seeing these NorCal (+ Reno) and SoCal teams crossing over again. Stay tuned.


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