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Pacific Mountain Competes for Place in Round of 8

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Pacific Mountain Competes for Place in Round of 8

Photo courtesy of Washington State University Women's Rugby

Tomorrow, University of Washington (North #2), Chico State (West #2), UC Berkeley (West #3), UCSD (South #1), UCLA (South #2), Washington State (North #1), Arizona State (South #3), and UC Davis (West #1) will be competing in the Pacific Mountain Rugby Conference playoffs and a place in the national Women's DI Spring Quarterfinals.

Four games will be held and the victors of each game will continue on to USA Rugby's Round of 8.

University of Washington will play Chico State, UC Berkeley will face UCSD, UCLA has a bout with Washington State, and Arizona State will have to contend with UC Davis. UCSD looks to be the favorite; the Tritons boast a 10-0 record while Washington State and UC Davis are both 5-1. However, teams that have had an easy time sauntering into playoffs may find that this higher level of competition isn't to be taken lightly, and one point could be the difference between going one step further toward the championship and going home. 

Washington State club president Josie Markoff admitted that it's always a concern that playoffs may pose a larger challenge than her team has faced before, because Washington State plays the same teams and their hardest competition is Central. UC Davis captain Caroline Sequiera had something to add to that as well.

"To be honest, I think our team is just excited to play different teams for the first time," Sequiera said. "We have been playing the same three teams for the last six months. And, even in preseason we kept playing the same teams. We're excited for new competition."

Of course each team has its strengths and weaknesses, but now the teams are focusing on perfecting the basics that guarantee success on the field.

"We've been making new plays to try and switch up our offensive game to bring surprises, and hopefully we can use them against UCLA," Markoff said. "After our one loss against Central, we had a good indication on what we needed to work on and where our weak sports were. My coach gave us a key word to focus on during the few weeks leading up to UCLA, and that was 'speed.' There is an unexpected factor to the game because we haven't played them before. I think that will make my team play up, because we know this will not be a walk in the park."

It shouldn't be a walk in the park for anyone at this point, and all the teams, even the #1 seeds will need to be fully physically and mentally prepared to continue on to the Round of 8.

 

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