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DII Spring Colleges Plot Out Regional 15s Post-Season

  • 14 Mar 2023
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Since the previous round-up, a couple of key updates have surfaced for the Collegiate Rugby Association of America (CRAA) women’s teams competing toward the DII spring 15s championship. For one, western regionals now has a location: Stanford University’s Steuber Rugby Stadium in Palo Alto, Calif. Note that it’s a Friday-Saturday affair on April 21-22. Eastern regionals are Saturday-Sunday, April 22-23, in Gastonia, N.C.

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Nothing has changed with the three conferences sending teams to the eastern regional playoffs, but details have been confirmed. The previous update supposed that the Carolinas conference would send two teams to regionals, since it’s being hosted in North Carolina, and that supposition has since been verified (link). Appalachian State (read interview with Mountaineers head coach Paige Bramblett) and UNC Charlotte will determine the Carolinas champ on April 1, and that game will seed both teams into the April 22-23 regional tournament.



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The Carolinas champion will play Florida champion Eckerd College in the first round of regionals (April 22). As previously mentioned, the Sirens are the only DII team in the state playing a 15s matrix, and they recently beat DI Florida State 20-19. Not bad! Since beating Maryland on Feb. 19, Capital rep Howard had its game against William & Mary canceled, and several players attended PR 7s Open Trials last weekend. The Herd will be back on the pitch this Saturday with games against NOVA’s and UVA’s B sides.

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The western half of the competition now knows that it’s heading to Stanford Univ. for its regional championship. Steuber Rugby Stadium has long been the go-to for women’s college playoffs in the West, and it’s a great venue with a rugby-dedicated pitch, stadium seating, locker rooms, close public bathrooms, etc. The location isn’t such a big deal for DII, as all off its playoff-vying teams are in California and Nevada. But DI covers more territory – from Washington to Arizona – and might benefit from a second hosting option, just to give teams a financial break every once in a while.

So who’s heading to Palo Alto? Standings name the Pacific Desert champion and runner-up, and they’ll advance to western regionals. Claremont Colleges is currently undefeated and has two social games after spring break. The Foxes need to reschedule its match against CSU Long Beach, which would be the more competitive tune-up before regionals. The 49ers play San Diego State this weekend, and that match-up draws attention, as one of those teams will likely be the second rep to regionals.

The West Coast conference is interesting for a multitude of reasons. The league will decide its two representatives to regionals at its conference semifinals/championship on April 15-16 in San Jose, Calif. Sacramento State finished 7-1 (read more from Hornets head coach Wayne Koi) and currently sits atop the standings. Cal Poly and San Jose State both went 6-2 and will feature in the semifinals as well. And UC Santa Cruz (5-1) is the front-runner for the fourth spot, although it will likely take a seed higher than #4.

The Slugs’ only loss so far is a five-point decision to Sacramento State, and since then, the team has added wins against San Jose State (15-5) and USF (45-0). A victory against Santa Clara (3-3) this weekend would guarantee a semifinal berth, and if UCSC can make up its weather-canceled game against UN Reno (4-3), then that would be a useful match, especially now that the conference championship has been pushed from April 8-9 to April 15-16.

The date move isn’t insignificant. Some teams will go a month-plus without a competitive 15s game (due to spring breaks and forfeits) before its first double-header, and then the conference champion and runner-up will have five days before a second double-header in Palo Alto.

The interesting bit is the West Coast just announced a conference 7s championship on April 8 at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. It’ll be interesting to see how teams with 7s and 15s ambitions participate in these two sets of playoffs.

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