The berths at the USA Rugby Collegiate 7s National Championships are rapidly filling up, and this weekend saw several qualifiers held across the country.
Here’s a roundup:
Fresno State won the West Coast Women’s D2 7s, defeating San Jose State in the final 22-12. This is the first year that SJSU has officially run a sevens team, and also this was the first year of a West Coast Women’s D2 7s. Fresno defeated Cal Poly and the University of San Francisco in pool play, and Santa Clara in the semis.
SJSU took care of Santa Clara and Sacramento State in the pools, and edged Cal Poly to make the final.
Fresno State gets a bid to Tucson. San Jose State has put in for an at-large bid.
The New England-Wide Conference produced something of a surprise winner as Babson College took the women’s bracket. Babson played 15s in the conference’s 2nd tier, and finished 2-2-1, so teams such as WPI, Smith, Tufts, Vermont, and Maine might all have been expected to emerge victorious.
But the Beavers did the job and have qualified for nationals.
On Sunday, fall 15s champs Vassar rolled through to win qualify for sevens nationals.
Vassar shut out Fordham, Siena, and beat SUNY New Paltz 41-5 to win Pool B. The quarterfinals produced yet another shutout, 27-0 over Marist, before the Brewers got a scare from Montclair State.
Emily Howell staked Vassar to a 12-0 lead in the semi, but Montclair stormed back to make it 12-10. Vassar, however, held on. In the final, Howell scored two more and once again Vassar shut out its opponent, this time Stony Brook, to take the title.
Howell scored 13 tries in the tournament.
Qualifiers: Claremont Colleges, Bryant, and Bloomsburg are joined by Vassar, Babson, and Fresno State.
East Carolina upset UNC-Charlotte in the final of the Southern Conference 7s to book a spot in Tucson.
Favored Hartford rolled through the NEWCRC bracket to take the title once again. Hartford is seriously thinking about a national title.
The final of the Cardinals tournament was postponed due to weather. Finally, this game was able to be played and North Carolina State defeated Old Dominion to book at nationals spot.
The Rocky Mountain Conference held a tournament, but this was not an automatic qualifier. Montana State won, and looked very good doing it, and will apply as an at-large and has a very good chance of getting it.
Qualified so far: William Paterson, Norwich, Bloomsburg, Iowa Central CC, Principia, NC State, Hartford, East Carolina. Four more at-large spots remain available.
It was a competitive tournament in Colorado, and while below the Buffaloes did well, Air Force came away winners. Air Force got big performances from Adrienne Yoder and Sara Cook, two players who figured heavily in the Zoomies' D1 fall championship run.
But also notable was the return to the field of Jess Beyer and Jacqueline Hamby. Both had been out for a long period with injuries, and Beyer especially made a surprisingly quick recovery.
The Qualifiers: Air Force joins Washington State, Sam Houston, Iowa State, and Virginia Tech as qualifiers. The Legacy 7s was listed as a provisional qualifier, but Navy won that and will compete in the CRC.
This one was a shocker. Western Washington has dominated the scene for some time, but faltered late in this two-day tournament after playing in another tournament a week before. After cruising through pool play, Western lost to Oregon State, which had finished a close 2nd to Washington State in the other pool.
WWU was up 7-0 before the Beavers punished Viking turnovers to score three in a row. Oregon State then handled Washington State to take the title.
After nudging around at the very top of the conference for the past five years, a gritty, well-coached, and very disciplined Western Michigan took the Mid-American Conference 7s, defeating University of Dayton in the final 17-0.
The Broncos, coached by Mark Allen, gave up only 21 points over five games in the Mid American Conference Sevens Championship held in Miami University's Yeger Football stadium. Western had already played at the Las Vegas Invitational and taken 1st at Notre Dame University's March tournament before finishing 3rd in a MAC warmup event.
Western won in their pool beating the MAC All stars 39-0, Ohio University 26-7, and Dayton 31-14. In the championship rounds, the Broncos beat Louisville 22-0 in the semis to set up a rematch with Dayton.
Aside from their pool loss to Western, Dayton beat the All-Stars 45-7 and Ohio 40-10. In the semis Dayton beat second seed Bowling Green 17-5.
In the championship match Western's Connor Desmond took a lineout grab in for a try at the Dayton 5 yard line and Kyle Williams conversion was good.
With the clock reading 0:00, Dan Byrne threaded his way through the Dayton defense to put Western up 12-0.
Snagging the second half kickoff, Sean Atkins went down the sideline for another Western try and a 17-0 lead. The Broncos capped their effort with a shorthanded try as the match ended by Kyle Williams for a 22-0 victory.
Bowling Green won the Plate with a 22-12 win over Louisville, Cincinnati won the Bowl by a 22-10 score over Miami and Ohio & the MAC All Stars agreed to shake hands and close out the day as co-Shield victors.
So who has qualified? Mary Washington, St. Joseph's, Kentucky, Iowa State, Florida International, Stanford, Western Michigan, and Oregon State. Dartmouth has qualified but won't attend. That's eight teams, with the Lone Star winner also expected. Three more can come in as at-larges.
Ohio State defeated Minnesota in the final to win the Big 10. Purdue took 3rd, Indiana 4th, Michigan 5th, and Wisconsin 6th.
OSU was led by Nate Taylor, who was MVP of the tournament, and David Chesko was also a factor.
Here's the all-tournament team:
David Chesko - Ohio State
Andy Jimenez Garcia - Minnesota
Brian Hannon - Indiana
Nicholas Leida - Purdue
Ian McCormick - Wisconsin
Alijhen Rosado - Minnesota
Nate Taylor - Ohio State
With Colorado already having won qualification to the CRC, the Buffs opted out of the knockout rounds of this tournament, and Air Force met CSU in the final.
Very pleased that the father of Zoomie Men's and Women's Rugby, Al Osur, could join us today. pic.twitter.com/3voeXtYfvo— Zoomie Rugby (@ZoomieRugby) April 28, 2019
The Zoomies made it a two-fer day for the US Air Force Academy, joining the women at the national tournament. Little-known fact—did you know that Air Force swept the D1 15s championships in 2003? Maybe they can do it in sevens in 2019.
Who Has Qualified: Arkansas, Air Force, and Ohio State have booked spots, but most of this bracket will be filled with at-large teams. Don't be surprised if Lindenwood, Cal, and Arizona are among those.