USA Collegiate Championships

USA Rugby is set to host the top men’s and women’s collegiate teams from around the nation at the 2010 Collegiate National Championships at Stanford University on April 30 – May 1.

Featuring non-stop collegiate rugby action from 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, USA Rugby’s Collegiate Championships will again be a highlight of the season.

USA Rugby’s Collegiate Championships will be held on two fields at Stanford University, with half of the matches on the first day being played on Dan Elliot Field and half on the Steuber Rugby Stadium pitch. All of the second day’s events will be held at Steuber Stadium and all of the matches held on this main stadium pitch will be streamed live via U-Stream.

This year, four California teams are battling it out for the top spot in their respective divisions. In Division I, the 2009 Championship runners-up, California, will once again make a run for the title, while on the women’s side Stanford University is a local favorite to make the final. In addition, this year also sees UC-Santa-Cruz join the lineup in the Women’s Division II competition and Claremont Colleges secure a spot in the Men’s Division II Championship bracket.

In Men’s Division I, Cal returns as a perennial favorite. The second-seeded California Golden Bears (24-0), return to this tournament and hope to walk away with their 25th Division I title. However, the Golden Bears will have their work cut out for them, as they must first overcome a tough Arkansas State University side in the semifinals on Friday at 5 p.m. (PDT), before facing the winner of the No. 1 Brigham Young University and No. 4 Army match-up, which kicks off on Friday at 3 p.m.

Arkansas State upset the Southern California powerhouse, San Diego State University in the quarterfinals last weekend in Santa Barbara to move on to its first-ever Collegiate Championships. Given the daunting task of taking on Cal in the semifinals, Arkansas State coach Matt Huckaby is making his team stay very focused.

“We are putting in double time to make sure we are as prepared as possible for a great rugby program like Cal,” Huckaby said. “The last thing we want to do is have Cal beat us before we even get on the field.”

The intimidation factor of playing against Cal has definitely been an issue for many teams. In this season alone, the Bears have outscored competitors 1,522-142 in their 24 matches. However, during the Championship season, fans anticipate some upsets. Just last year, BYU upset Cal in the finals to cut the Bears winning streak off at five-consecutive wins.

Head coach Jack Clark, whose Bears’ average victory in 2010 has been by more than 55 points, makes sure his team never takes a competitor lightly.

“We’ve both won and lost in the semifinals as well as the final,” said Clark. “There are no flukes at this stage. Everyone has earned the right to be here.”

In the Women’s Division I competition, Stanford University is no doubt itching to use the home-field advantage to take back their crown. Stanford first takes on Brown University in its semifinal matchup on Friday at 11 a.m., while reigning champs Penn State competes against Army in Friday’s 1 p.m. game.

The Men’s Division II semifinals pit No. 9 Claremont Colleges against No. 4 Miami University in a 3 p.m. match, while third-seeded Temple University plays the Championship’s Cinderella team, the No. 15 seed University of Massachusetts – Amherst, in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Both Men’s DII semifinals will be held on Stanford’s Dan Elliot Field.

In the Women’s Division II bracket, Temple returns to its first Championships since 2005, and faces the No. 13 seed, UC-Santa Cruz, in the first match of the day at 11 a.m. No. 3 Washington State takes on No. 2 Norwich in their semifinal face-off at Stanford’s Dan Elliot Fields at 1 p.m.

Cost for the event is $15 for adults, $5 for students/military/senior citizens over 55 with valid ID and children four and under are free. Tickets are only available at the gate.

For more information on the USA Rugby National Championships, visit www.usarugby.org/goto/championships. Media interested in attending, please contact Sara Wright at swright@usarugby.org or by phone at 719-310-2606.

Fans can also follow the Championships online via Mobilescore, Facebook or Twitter, and download the USA Rugby iPhone App to get all the latest USA Rugby scores, news and media.

USA Rugby Collegiate Championships Schedule

Friday, April 30
11:00 am: Women’s DII – Temple University vs. UC – Santa Cruz – Dan Elliot Field
*11:00 am: Women’s DI – Brown University vs. Stanford – Steuber
1:00 pm: Women’s DII – Washington State University vs. Norwich – Dan Elliot Field
*1:00 pm: Women’s DI – Penn State University vs. Army – Steuber
3:00 pm: Men’s DII – Claremont Colleges vs. Miami University – Dan Elliot Field
*3:00 pm: Men’s DI – BYU vs. Army – Steuber
5:00 pm: Men’s DII – Temple University vs. Univ. MA – Amherst – Dan Elliot Field
*5:00 pm: Men’s DI – Arkansas State University vs. California – Steuber

Saturday, May 1
*1:00 pm: Division II – Women’s Championship – Steuber
*3:00 pm: Division II – Men’s Championship – Steuber
*5:00 pm: Division I – Women’s Championship – Steuber
*7:00 pm: Division I – Men’s Championship – Steuber

* Matches that will be streamed live via www.ustream.tv/usarugby.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH USA RUGBY’S
COLLEGE CHAMPIONSHIP PROMOTIONAL VIDEO & GO TO USTREAM TO SEE ACTION FROM LAST WEEKEND’S PLAYOFFS!

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