Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

Warhawks Win L-B 7s

College Men

Warhawks Win L-B 7s

UW-Whitewater's 7s squad Saturday. L to R back row: Levi Van Lanen, Eric Pachowitz, Chris Mervin, Robby Sindic, Shay Haase, John Grams, Garrett Shibilski, Zack Pryes, Matthew Pederson; L to R from row: Conor Bell, Jack Healy, Sam Koerner, Alec Treuthardt, Tim Grams.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater got some measure of revenge Saturday, and in doing so secured a berth in USA Rugby’s Men’s DII College 7s Championships in Cary, NC in May.

The Warhawks ran the table at the Lindenwood-Belleville 7s, defeating 2013 national DII champs Principia in the opening game, 36-5, shutting out Winona State 36-0, and defeating Southern Illinois 31-7 to win Pool A. In Pool B, Minnesota-Duluth, the team that beat Whitewater in the 15s DII national final in the fall, went 3-0. The Fighting Penguins downed St. Louis University 26-10, Washington University 38-0, and a very tough Lindenwood-Belleville 17-12 in one of the closest pool games of the day.

So that set up the semifinals, with Duluth defeating Principia to make the championship game, while Whitewater took down Lindenwood-Belleville 24-7.

“Lindenwood-Belleville were a talented team,” said Whitewater club president Eric Pachowitz. “They’re young but they were tough.”

So on to the final, with a rematch of the national 15s final. But this game was something of an anticlimax Duluth didn’t have all of their top players, and suffered some critical injuries, as well, and Whitewater rambled through 47-17.

“I think the score kind of didn’t indicate where Duluth can be,” said Pachowitz. “But we had a really good total team effort. All 12 guys played well, and everyone was good to go every game, so we were able to rotate guys in and still play at a high level.”

The victory was all the more impressive because Whitewater has been practicing outside for only a week.

“We’ve had two practice sessions, but we’ve got a lot of guys who are experienced, and we know how to play together, so we kind of just picked up where we left off,” said Pachowitz. Whitewater will continue to enter some qualifiers, honing their game. But, added Pachowitz, “it’s really nice to win a tournament in March and know we’re qualified for the championships in May.”