WAYNE – With the 2017 National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) setting their Sweet 16 bracket, four teams will remain at the end of the weekend.
Saturday, November 11 marks the Sweet 16 round while Sunday, November 12 will feature the Elite 8 round of 2017 Women’s National Playoffs.
The Wayne State College men will also be in action this weekend with a Sunday 1 p.m. match in the Sweet 16. The Wildcat men won against Benedictine and edged Creighton in points to earn a bye. Creighton will square off against Arkansas John Brown Saturday afternoon with the winner to face WSC on Sunday in the men’s division.
There will be free admission to all matches.
Region 4 (West) contests will take place from the WSC House of Pain Rugby Complex located on East 4th Street.
Darrin Barner is the founder and head coach for Wayne State rugby. Coach Barner said WSC just has to get through their region.
“Our region has won five of the last six national championships in 15-on-15 rugby,” said Barner. “So, besides New York Oneonta we also have Colorado College and Moorhead that’s going to be battling it out.”
The Wayne State women are six-time national champions winning three in 7’s (2014/2015/2016 – Spring) and three in 15’s (2012/2013/2016 – Fall/Winter).
The Wayne State College Wildcat women’s rugby team is 15-0 on the season and representing the Prairie States region. WSC will battle New York Oneonta on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Freshman wing Kiara Hochstein from Wayne and senior scrum-half Leanna Rosberg from Wausa make up the nucleus of the women’s program from northeast Nebraska, Des Moines, IA and the Omaha area.
Hochstein talked about she had a lot of friends on the rugby team when she came to WSC and that pushed her towards the game while Rosberg mentioned what it would mean to bring home another national title.
“Because of it now I have an amazing family here,” Hochstein added. “The girls here are absolutely amazing and the guys as well. We’ve all just become a really tight-knit family.”
“It’d mean the world, like, we lost last year at sevens,” mentioned Rosberg. “So, you know to get back there and win 15’s would just be awesome.”
A win against the Red Dragons would put the ‘Cats up against the winner of either Colorado College or Moorhead. Last year Minnesota State-Moorhead defeated Colorado College (54-10).
The Elite 8 game will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday for a trip to Georgia and the National Semi-Finals in early December.
Last year, the Wildcat women were crowned 2016, 15-on-15 champions after defeating Colgate University 11-0. WSC also had West Region wins against Western State University (100-0) and Minnesota State-Moorhead (38-10) while defeating SUNY Cortland (58-5) in the semi’s.
Other Region hosts and teams include:
Region 1 (Northeast – Colby-Sawyer College; New London, NH): Colgate University vs. Bentley University and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth vs. Colby-Sawyer College
Region 2 (Mid-Atlantic South – York College; York, PA): Widener University vs. Lee University and Fordham University vs. York College
Region 3 (Central – Ohio Wesleyan University; Delaware, OH): Denison University vs. Gustavus Adolphus College and Grove City College vs. University of Rochester
National Semi-Finals as well as the Championship match will take place on Saturday and Sunday, December 2-3 at Life University in Marietta, Georgia.