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Top 4 Spring DII Teams Clash

    

College Women

Top 4 Spring DII Teams Clash

GCU in action earlier this season.

The women's spring DII semifinals are all set for this weekend at Stanford University.

First-year program Grand Canyon, paced by three tries from No. 8 Jasmine Fifer, held off a determined Fresno State to make this group of four, and will take on Tulane. Tulane won the spring playoffs last year but were unable to afford the all-season final.

This year, Tulane is probably better than they were last year - a little more seasoned this season. But that doesn't mean it was easy, as Tulane edged South Carolina to make it to Stanford. Lock Alexandra Clarke and No. 8 Lily Wissinger paced Tulane to a 10-0 lead in the quarterfinal, USC came back to lead 12-10, and then scrumhalf Gwendolyn Leifer zipped over for the winner with 15 minutes to go.

It was very tight, but Tulane is experienced and has some unfinished business. Last year, Tulane could not go past th spring final because of finances. Ultimately, spring #3 Southern California fulfilled the national final fixture against Davenport, and the Trojans were beaten handily by a very talented Davenport team. Could Tulane have beaten Davenport? Observers would probably say no, as the Panthers are really, really strong. Now Tulane has a shot at proving it.

In the other spring semi, Kennesaw State takes on UC Irvine. KSU had yet another close quarterfinal, holding off Kansas State 33-30. Kennesaw State was behind 25-14, stormed back to lead 33-25 thanks to three tries in the space of 12 minutes, and the Kansas State scored late, but couldn't quite haul it in.

Irvine had perhaps the smoothest run to the semis, getting a bye to the QFs, along with Santa Clara. In the clash between those two, Irvine ran out to a 20-0 lead and cruised 30-17. 

The teams will play Saturday in the semis and Sunday in the spring final. The winner will take on the fall winners, Davenport again, on May 5 or 6 at Life University.