Washington State gets the PMRC bye but six other teams are in motion this weekend. /// Photo: Jackie Finlan
*UPDATE: An earlier version of this article stated that UCLA had forfeited its seed to PMRC playoffs due to a conflicting spring break tour to Amsterdam. Dates have been moved for this particular game and UCLA is currently raising funds to travel to Washington State. See more information after the italicized text.
Many leagues are enjoying a bye during Easter weekend, but there are some important games with playoff implications occurring around the country.
The Pacific Mountain Rugby Conference (PMRC) is hosting crossover matches between the North, West and South divisions. Saturday’s four victors advance to the DI spring Round of 8 at UC Davis on April 8-10.
Cal (West #3) @ UC San Diego (South #1)
Arizona State (South #3) @ UC Davis (West #1)
Washington (North #2) @ Chico State (West #2)
UCLA (South #2) Washington State (North #1)
Washington State is getting a bye because South #2 UCLA forfeited its seed.
“It was not our intention to withdraw from post-season play, but unfortunately the circumstances seem to have worked out that way,” UCLA coach Anita Bradbury wrote. “The UCLA women have an opportunity to attend an international rugby development camp during spring break, this year in Amsterdam. This camp has been in the works for the last two years, and the majority of our UCLA players had already booked flights before the dates for this season’s playoffs were even discussed. The playoff dates were only even presented as a possibility a few months ago. We informed our league rep that we had a scheduling conflict, but were told that these were the dates and nothing could be done about it. … This is the first time the playoffs have ever overlapped with our spring break, so we didn’t realize this would be an issue.”
*UPDATE: Washington State coach Christy O’Shea contacted UCLA coach Anita Bradbury indicating that WSU was willing to reschedule the match for Friday, April 1 at 5:30 p.m.
“We at WSU did not want to go to UC Davis playoffs on a technicality but on merit,” O’Shea informed. “[Bradbury] was pleased to hear this and agreed to reschedule, which was approved by both the PMRC North and South.”
Also occurring in California, the West Coast conference is holding its two championships at the Cal Maritime Academy. DII leaders Humboldt and UN Reno face off for the third time this season, and the victor will be guaranteed a berth to UC Davis, which is one of four DII spring Round of 16 sites. Humboldt has won the first two match-ups convincingly.
The DIII final will be both exciting and anti-climatic. The University of San Francisco finished atop the standings by one point, and Fresno State has been a worthy opponent this season. However, a technicality has prevented Fresno State from participating in the DIII regional championship but the team is eligible to apply for a DII at-large bid. So Saturday’s game will be a good one in respect to competition, but regardless of the outcome, USF will move onto the DIII regional championship.
DII West Coast Championship
Humboldt vs. UN Reno
DIII West Coast Championship
Univ. San Francisco vs. Fresno State
On the east coast, the always highly anticipated match between UVA and UNC occurs Saturday. Both are undefeated in the Mason Dixon South and while both will advance to the conference semifinals regardless of the outcome, this is the game that kicks off the playoff run for both teams.