College squads book their tickets to Fullerton in Spring Playoffs

It was a massive weekend for college rugby throughout the country, as teams in the Men’s D1AA, women’s D1 elite, D1 and D2 competitions played to get a step closer to crowning their Spring and National Champions.

Men's D1AA:
The two premier teams in men's spring D1AA rugby, Dartmouth and Nevada, met to see who would be crowned Spring Champion. The winner of this game would advance to go up against the Fall Champion, Mary Washington, to be crowned D1AA's national champion. It was Dartmouth who got on the board first via a try to their hooker Mason Koch. Nevada's attempts to keep pace with Dartmouth proved fruitless, as every time Nevada responded Dartmouth seemed to score two tries and quash any chance of a comeback. Despite this, at the break Nevada was only down fourteen.

As the second half kicked off Dartmouth again was the first team to score scoring the first ten points of the second half. The score remained 39-15 until Nevada responded with a try to cut the lead to 19, in the 70th minute. This lit a fuse underneath Dartmouth and the men from New Hampshire went on to score 21 points in the waning moments of the game to blow the score line out to 60-20. Dartmouth will now take on Mary Washington in the National Championship game in Fullerton, CA on the 5th of May.

 
Women's D1 Elite/D1:
The women's top tier of collegiate rugby has a rather unusual structure. D1 Elite and D1 compete against each other in the Round of 16 and quarterfinals and do not get separated until the results of the quarter finals. The winners of the quarter finals advance to the D1 Elite Semifinals while the losers compete against each other in the D1 semifinals.

The first quarterfinal was between Penn State against Virginia, Penn State advanced after beating JMU, and Virginia earned their place by putting North Carolina away. In what was the closest of the semis, Penn State advanced shutting Virginia out 57-0.

The second quarterfinal was between Life and UCF. Life advanced via disposing of Pitt and UCF had to get by Virginia Tech to book their spot in the quarters. Life took care of business, notching up triple digits in the process. The final score was 100-0.

The third saw BYU come up against UC Davis. BYU had prevailed against Arizona State the day before, while UC Davis put away Grand Canyon to book their spot in the next round. It was another one-sided affair as BYU showed their class and advanced to the D1 Elite semis courtesy of a 92-0 score line.

The final game to determine who would be placed in the Elite bracket and who would be in D1's bracket came down to Lindenwood and Chico State. Lindenwood saw off Stanford, while Chico State pushed their way through UC Santa Barbra to advance. The match went to Lindenwood in a 71-0 affair.

The semifinals and championship will be determined over the weekend of May  4th and 5th in Fullerton, CA.

Women's D2:
In the round of 16 and quarterfinals for women's D2 we saw some familiar faces triumph and book their spots in the semifinals. In Stanford, it was Claremont and Nevada that went toe to toe in the quarterfinals after they beat Santa Clara and Long Beach, respectively. This was the closest of all the quarterfinals Claremont prevailed by six points. They shot out to an early 15-0 lead in the first 25 minutes, but Nevada determined not to go down without a fight, clawed their way back into the match in the second half, and eventually took the lead with only four minutes left on the clock. Unfortunately, for Nevada, that was enough time for Claremont to come back and secure a win with only two minutes left in the game.

 The second quarter final was between the 2016 Champion, Tulane, and Kennesaw State. Tulane beat John Brown to advance while Kennesaw had to get by a tough Eckerd side to get into the quarters. Tulane was able to take care of business easily and won the game 44-0.

 In a battle of California, UC Irvine and Fresno State faced off against each other after automatically qualifying for the quarters. It was all one way traffic with Fresno opening the game by scoring 67 unanswered points. UC Irvine, in a show of tremendous spirit, was able to add some points to the board in the final ten minutes of the game, but the game was Fresno's. Final score 74-14.

The final match of the weekend was between Salisbury and UNC Charlotte. Salisbury pushed their way passed George Washington to get into the quarters, while Charlotte had to get by Catholic to book their spot. It was a dominating display by Salisbury who were able to shut Charlotte out. Salisbury advances to the semis to the tune of a 68-0 win.

For tickets to the College XVs National Championship - visit the ticketing link and reserve your seats early!

The semifinals and championship for Women's D2 will be settled on May 4th and 5th in Fullerton, CA.