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Four Left As DII Rounds Out


College Men

Four Left As DII Rounds Out

We're down to four teams in the Men's DII College playoffs after this past weekend's two-game playoffs.

Here's the rundown.

Favorites Wisconsin-Whitewater had a tough time of it in the quarters, after rolling through the Round of 16. The Warhawks slammed Pitt State 61-15, but had all sorts of trouble with Grand Valley State. GVSU had edged UW-Milwaukee 31-28 thanks to some heroic work from Cam Maher, Corey Smykowski, and Louis Ricard, and prop Dorian Haney scored as time expired to secure that victory.

Those two teams - GVSU and UW-W - get along well and warm up at the same fields when they are at tournaments and playoffs. In that game Ricard went down injured early, and that hurt Grand Valley. GVSU kept drifting offside, which also hurt them, and the Warhawks ran out to a 24-5 lead and held on 24-19.

Norwich University looked strong, beating  men's rugby team is USA Rugby Division II Final Four bound again for the second straight year following a 43-19 victory on Sundayover the University of Hartford. 

Senior scrumhalf Tom St. Pierre and senior lock Ryan Wagner each scored two tries to lead the Cadets' offense. 

Hartford battled hard and it was 12-12 at the end of the first half. But a torrid second half, with Korbin Wayton getting the Cadets started, put Norwich through.

The day before, Hartford had held off SUNY Oswego 28-20 while Norwich, led by Keegan Frick and Wayton, and a key late try from Yao Dyson, defeated North Carolina State 30-17.

VMI ran by RPI 49-5 in the Round of 16 while Bloomsburg had to work for it to take down UNC-Charlotte 31-28. That was a dramatic clash and a big win for Bloomsburg, taking down one of the favored teams, but the game might have taken something out of the Bloomsburg. Whether it did or not, the result was that VMI put Bloomsburg away 43-5. 

So that sets up the final four weekend, with Whitewater playing North Dakota State, and Norwich playing VMI. In the debate about which conferences are strong, WIIL has certainly held up its side of the bargain, while whether the Southern should have been a three-seed conference remains debatable. The Great Lakes might well have done enough to warrant two seeds next year.