College 7s National Championship Preview

This weekend more than forty teams will descend upon RugbyTown USA, Glendale Colorado, to participate in the 2018 USA Rugby College 7s National Championships.  

• 16 teams to compete in Men's Division I

• 12 teams to compete in Men's Division II

• 8 teams to compete in Women's Division I

• 8 teams to compete in Women's Open Division

• All matches added to FloRugby streaming schedule

Lafayette CO.- This weekend (May 18-20) more than forty teams will descend upon RugbyTown USA, Glendale Colorado, to participate in the 2018 USA Rugby College 7s National Championships.

For the second year in a row Infinity Park in Glendale will host the Collegiate 7s National Championships. In America's premier rugby venue, America's premier collegiate programs will square off. All three of the defending national champions (Lindenwood Men's DI, UW Whitewater Men's D2, Lindenwood Women's) are all returning looking to secure the repeat.

The pools were determined by a seeding process undertaken by the respective divisional committees. The teams were ranked based on reviews of their performances during the season these rankings determined seedings within each pool.

"The 2018 USA Rugby College 7s promises to be the most compelling and competitive College National Championships in the history of USA Rugby." USA Rugby Collegiate Director Rich Cortez said. "We look forward to greeting forty-four of the best teams in the country to Colorado this weekend."

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Men's D1

Pool APool BPool CPool D
LindenwoodCalArizonaKutztown
ArkansasNotre Dame CollegeGrand CanyonAmerican International
UtahFordhamFlorida InternationalWestern Washington
MissouriIndianaNevadaWisconsin

Of the sixteen teams competing for the Men's D1 title eleven of them are from D1A Rugby, including this year's XVs runner-up Cal, and last year's 7s champion, Lindenwood.  It promises to be a tightly fought division as this year more than any other year there is parity across the board. Pool B looks to be the most competitive of all the pools with all four teams featuring in D1A, and having a strong pedigree in 7s. Cal has won the CRCs for the past five years and are returning to the National Championships after an extended absence. Notre Dame College had an impressive sevens run and fell just short of beating perennial 7s power Kutztown for an automatic qualifying position. Fordham has continued to improve in recent years and they've continued to create a rising 7s program coming back to the National Championships for the third year in a row they'll be hoping to learn from last few years' experiences. For Indiana a lot of their success will come down to the impact that their center Tyler Sousley can impart on the game. Sousley is a dynamic player and has the ability to create something from nothing, making him an ideal weapon in the 7s game.   There is also a host of D1AA talent on display too with the likes of AIC, Nevada and Missouri all participating.

Men's D2 

Pool A Pool BPool C
UW WhitewaterUNC CharlotteHartford
BloomsburgNorth Carolina StateNorwich
William PattersonPrincipiaNorth Texas
Old DominionMontana StateSt. Louis

In the Men's Second division it is proving to be as tightly fought as any other competition. The odds-on favorites will be UW Whitewater, who are the returning champions and who have also won the last two D2 XVs National Championships. However, there will be tough competition throughout each of the pools. Pool C looks to be the toughest of the three pools with Hartford, Norwich and North Texas all having put together strong campaigns. Hartford will be the favorite to finish on top of the pool given their impressive showing last year, but they'll have their work cut out for them. North Texas ran through the Lone Star Conference 7s going undefeated with a for and against of 187-60.  Norwich not to be out done went through their conference 7s tournament undefeated and only conceded 37 points while scoring a hair under 200 points.

 Women's D1

Pool APool B
LindenwoodArmy
DartmouthLife
Penn StateHarvard
Central WashingtonDavenport

In the top flight of the women's college 7s the pools will be ruthless as there are eight incredibly well-matched teams all jockeying for the same position. On paper Pool A looks to be the stronger of the two pools as it contains three of last year's semifinalists. However, upon a second glance Pool B is just as competitive.  Last year's runners-up, Life will be looking to go on step further than they did last year and land the National Championship. Before they do that they'll have to overcome some stiff opposition. One of their stiffest challenges will come from Army, who during the course of their 7s season have only lost one match. Their one loss came against Dartmouth, and they more than made up for it by beating them soundly the second time the two faced each other. Elsewhere in Pool B Davenport is a team to look out for as they have won two out of the three 7s tournaments they have played this year. They will be lead by Danielle Ordway who was a nominee for the Sorensen Award for the best Women's rugby player of the year, she can break the game open from anywhere on the field and teams will need to find a way to shut her down. Harvard has also been on a tear this year and is familiar with Army, having played them four times already this year, and as the old adage goes familiarity breeds contempt.

Women's Open

Pool APool B
Chico StatePrinceton
Air ForceBloomsburg
QueensTexas A&M
Sam Houston StateKennesaw State

From the women's open division only two teams were featured in the championship last year, and in total only four of these teams have featured in the 7s National Championship in the last two years, three of those teams fall into Pool B.  Princeton, Bloomsburg and Texas A&M have all participated in the tournament before, and will be counting on their experience to lead them through this weekend. For Princeton they've had a successful year finishing third in the Ivy League behind D1 opponents Harvard and Dartmouth, and they won the Emperor 7s Tournament. If they are able to carry their form into this weekend they will be a team that is tough to put away. Bloomsburg is returning to the tournament after taking a year off, which was a reflection of structural changes rather than quality of play. Half of the squad that is coming to Colorado will have experienced the tournament before and will lead the younger members of the squad. They qualified after winning the MARC 7s championships for the fourth consecutive year. Texas A&M is the only other team in Pool B with recent experience in National Championship tournament, having played in it the last two years. They qualified this year by winning the Oklahoma 7s tournament. With all of the experience that they've had at this level of play, they'll be a team on everyone's radar. Kennesaw State is a team on the rise and after putting together an impressive 15s season they've put together a solid 7s season to go along with it. After winning the SIRC tournament they received an automatic bid to the championship. While, they may not possess the same experience as the others in their pool, they've proven that they are a team that can compete with the best in the nation.

Matches will be available to watch through FloRugby.