February 27, 2023

Lakers, Crusaders Qualify for CRC

Two teams punched their ticket to the Collegiate Rugby Championship over the weekend, with Grand Valley State becoming the first Women’s Division II team to qualify for nationals and Christendom the first to qualify in Men’s Small College. 

GVSU hosted and won the Great Lakes Conference 7s Championship in Allendale, Michigan Saturday, downing Frostburg State 30-5 in the tournament opener, shutting out Central Michigan 50-0 in their second game, and edging Saginaw Valley State 35-20 in the final. 

In Richmond, Virginia Saturday, Christendom emerged from an eight-team field a perfect 5-0 to earn a bid to nationals April 28-30 at the Maryland Soccerplex just outside Washington, D.C., just 86 miles from Christendom’s campus in Front Royal, Virginia. Though the Crusaders finished the qualifier unblemished, they didn’t go untested, winning one-score games over Susquehanna and host Richmond before defeating VMI in the final, 24-10. 

Premier Cup qualification also began in earnest over the weekend, with the Lone Star Conference kicking off their 7s series leading to an automatic berth in the women’s top bracket, and the Rugby East’s three-stop series leading to a bid to the CRC’s top men’s division. 

Queens took the Rugby East’s series opener in Buena Vista, Virginia, going 5-0 on the day and defeating Virginia Tech 22-10 in the tournament final. South Carolina also showed well, defeating host Southern Virginia 21-14 to finish in third place. The Gamecocks’ lone loss was 24-7 to the eventual champion Royals.

The Lone Star’s series opener didn’t crown a champion, but included four matches for all 10 teams. Texas A&M, Baylor and Southern Nazarene all posted 3-1 records. Baylor’s lone loss came at the hands of the Aggies, whose only blemish was against Houston. The only team to beat SNU was North Texas.    

Frostbite 7s in Hempstead, Pennsylvania also provided early resume-building opportunities for several teams vying for a Men’s Premier Cup berth, including reigning 15s national champion Brown. The Bears twice ran up against defending CRC champion Kutztown, tying the first contest and winning the second, 12-7, to take the crown at the two-day tournament.

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