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Whose Funneling Toward CRAA Playoffs?

  • 19 Oct 2022
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CRAA rugby

Now that the College Rugby Association of America (CRAA) has released its Women’s Division I and Division II brackets, weekly rankings aren’t so necessary anymore. Instead, conversation can zero in on the actual match-ups that will be realized in the opening rounds of fall 15s playoffs.

RELATED: Women’s Rugby Scores: Oct. 14-16

CRAA Rugby

CRAA DI

On Nov. 12, there are two play-in matches to accommodate two at-large teams: Virginia Tech and Navy. Winners advance to the Nov. 19 semifinals at Navy.

Virginia Tech will travel to New England for its Nov. 12 match, and a forthcoming article (Thursday) will take a look at the Hokies’ camp. Virginia Tech will play the Rugby Northeast conference runner-up, so either UCONN or Northeastern. That decision will likely be made on Oct. 29, when the currently undefeated teams contest their regular-season match. Conference champion is named on standings and will advance directly to the Nov. 19 semifinals. Runner-up hosts Navy on Nov. 12.

Last weekend, UCONN played a friendly against NIRA D3 national champion Bowdoin College and lost 35-15. Northeastern beat UMASS 59-12 in regular-season play. Grace Pattarini led all scorers with 13 points on a try and four conversions. Gracie Arevalo, Kourtney Bichotte-Dunner, Samantha Broglio and Madeline Eppley scored two tries apiece, while Victoria Izsa and Maya Raghavan dotted down, too. Molly McAlevey (3) and Rebecca Ciaffi also kicked conversions.

The other side of the bracket starts with Navy flying to the Rocky Mountain conference runner-up on Nov. 12. The Midshipmen have been busy this fall and just traveled to Michigan to face D2 NIRA program Davenport. The Panthers won that match 44-5 last Saturday. Virginia Tech and Queens Univ. of Charlotte await in the month of October.

As for Navy’s play-in opponent and destination, it will most likely be Air Force, which has defeated Colorado and Colorado State, and lost to leader Utah State. Air Force does have back-to-back road games against Wyoming and Montana State before locking up the second seed.

Utah State is on track for the conference championship but still has to get past Colorado in Colorado this weekend. A win is a guaranteed berth to the playoffs, and then there’s the make-up game vs. Colorado State on Nov. 6. Stay tuned for captain interview. Whichever team wins Rocky Mountain heads directly to the semis.

Keep in mind: Navy is only hosting the semifinals, so one game total for teams that head to Annapolis, Md. The CRAA fall final will be held the weekend of Dec. 3-4 in Charlotte, N.C.

CRAA Rugby

CRAA DIVISION II

The wild card round occurs on Nov. 12, and it pits the four east-coast conference runners-up against each other. Winners advance to the Nov. 19-20 playoffs – which is a quarterfinal / semifinal setup – at TBA locations. Since the Rocky Mountain conference is the outlier geographically, the top two teams get automatic berths to the quarterfinals, as playoffs will be on the east coast. Conference updates:

Mid-Atlantic: League championship (semifinal and final) is Oct. 29-30. Drexel canceled its game against Temple, so the Owls played an inner-squad scrimmage last weekend. The 2021 CRAA Fall 15s Championship runner-up needs more field time, and hopefully that comes this weekend against Delaware. Kutztown had a league bye and filled it with a friendly against Salisbury. The Bears sent eight different players into the try zone during the 71-5 win. Kutztown plays College of New Jersey on Saturday. Bloomsburg was idle last week and has St. Joseph this weekend.

New England Wide: League championship is Nov. 5 @ neutral site. Conference leader Univ. Vermont traveled to Coast Guard for a rematch and held on for a 21-20 victory. UVM won the first match 18-10. These two teams are destined for a third match – the conference final – and both have post-seasons in store.

Rocky Mountain: Conference championship is Oct. 29. Colorado Mesa Univ. travels to Colorado School of Mines for the final, but as mentioned, but have quarterfinal spots.

Rugby Northeast: Names champion on standings. Providence College is undefeated and also active, defeating Southern Connecticut 48-5 last weekend. Blackpack has a bye this week and then ends against Franklin Pierce. UMass Lowell is a contender for runner-up. Its game against Merrimack was canceled so the team was idle, but UML has two more games on the books: St. Michael’s and Wheaton.

Tri-State: Championship weekend is Nov. 5-6. Playoffs actually start at the quarterfinal stage on Oct. 30, and then higher seed hosts Nov. 5 semifinals, and same with the Nov. 6 final. Of the top performing teams … Vassar is still the favorite and beat Marist 67-5 last weekend. Columbia put up 134 unanswered points on Albany, and Fairfield bested RPI 32-20. This weekend is the final round of the regular season.

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