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College Sevens Roundup: Latest Stuff

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College Sevens Roundup: Latest Stuff

Brown wins Liberty 7s. Photo @CollRugbyPhotos.

Several teams are starting to put their hands up in collegiate 7s this spring.

2024 Winter-Spring College 7s Tournament List

While there are a LOT of tournaments and a LOT of places for qualification for CRC and also places for the CRAA tournaments in May and June, we're going to look at just a few major developments.

CRAA's women's tournament is May 3-4-5 in Houston during the organization's finals weekend. The lineup of teams is pretty much set but we'll address that later. May 18-19 in Bellingham, Wash., is the CRAA D1AA tournament. That lineup of teams isn't confirmed. CRAA's D1A men's tournament is June 1-2 in Spatanburg, SC. The slate of teams isn't completely confirmed but expected are Life, Lindenwood, UCLA, Cal, Saint Mary's, and then several others to be confirmed. 

One might well be Penn State, which won the Big 10 tournament at Notre Dame in a fairly dominant performance.

Dalton Musselman was outstanding throughout the weekend, managing the game and being in charge of both attack and defense. Lochie Treister was impressive, scoring a big load of tries, and Head Coach Justin Hundley said that Aidan Kin was "a menace at the breakdown."

He was constantly forcing turnovers, and the team as a whole did well to capitalize.

Ian Roudybush carried well and, playing out of position at center, was a real problem for defenses. 

"Overall it was some of the best 7s I’ve seen us play," said Hundley. "The competition in the Big Ten was vastly improved from last year and you can really see how much development the coaches and players are putting in. Notre Dame were phenomenal hosts as always, a strong referee group kept the games flowing and kept the game about the players, and the two days ran very smoothly." 

Among the D1AA teams, keep an eye on hosts Western Washington, who see the D1AA tournament on their campus as an advertisement for the game. They won the NCRC 7s, beating Washignton State, Oregon State, Oregon's B side, and, in the final, Oregon 36-12.

NCR's CRC is, of course, April 27-29. Teams are qualifying or putting their hand up for at-large bids throughout the spring.

One of those teams is Babson, which is hoping to jump up from Small College to upper ranks in 7s at least. They have some excellent rugby talent as evidenced by their run to the final of the Monumental 7s in the Boston area. Tey beat URI, Dartmouth, and AIC to make the final. There why lost to Kutztown, which is a team looking to regain the CRC title they won two years ago.

Kutztown 36 Babson 19.

Belmont Abbey won Southern Conference and Wheeling dominated the Big Rivers. Wheeling's big strength is speed, especially speed among their 15s forwards, and they leverage that brilliantly in 7s. Shadreck Mendaza was a huge try-scorer for the Cardinals but there were other starts, too. Not surprisingly Aaron Juma and Chief Chipfumbo were among those.

Another team to watch may be Brown. They won the Liberty 7s 21-0 over Fairfield in the final. 

The Brown defense was very good. They gave up two tries to Dartmouth, but won 24-12. They gave up two against AIC, but won 29-14. In their other three games they allowed just one try.

"I was a bit surprised at how well it turned out," said Brown Head Coach David LaFlamme. "We're pretty banged up. Ultimately, our game plan was to hold on to the ball as much as possible because it's tougher to defend than attack."

Fair enough.

More to come on 7s.