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The SCRC 7s Series culminated this weekend with a berth at the Penn Mutual CRC on the line. Although South Carolina won the tournament, the Gamecocks already accepted a bid to the tournament, so Tennessee returns to the CRC for the first time since 2010.
In 2010 Tennessee reached the cup rounds of the first ever CRC. Playing in the Columbus Crew stadium at that time, Tennessee ran up against a Cal side that featured Blaine Scully, Seamus Kelly, Colin Hawley and Keegan Engelbrecht. The Volunteers lost 36-0 and would not play another CRC game until 2016.
The SCRC qualifier was not an easy road for men in orange. The Volunteers played three tight pool play games but managed to squeak out victories in all three matches. Tennessee beat Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Auburn to earn first place in Pool A.
South Carolina went 2-1 in pool play, beating Georgia and Florida while losing to Alabama. The Crimson Tide went undefeated to claim the top spot in Pool B.
Alabama shocked the SCRC last year by coming out of nowhere to claim the berth to the CRC. This year, however, the Volunteers ended any hopes of returning with a 22-10 semi-final win. As it turned out, with the Gamecocks winning the other semifinal, this match determined the CRC qualifier berth.
“W had not played them this tournament yet so it was really great to see that we could perform well to get to the finals,” said Tennessee club President Logan McNeil.
Although Tennessee fell short 14-7 in the Cup Final, it is thrilled to return to the CRC for the first time in six years. With the berth in the CRC, Tennessee capped off a tremendous season in which they won the 15s conference championship.
“Obviously it is a tremendous opportunity and it is great for our club,” said McNeil. “Going from winning the SCRC 15s in the fall and then finishing in 2nd place and getting a berth to that championship, I think it is a great opportunity to show that the club can stand up to anybody.”
|Cup Final||South Carolina||14-7||Tennessee|
|Cup SF||South Carolina||31-7||Mississippi State|
|Bowl SF||Georgia||26-17||Ole Miss|
|Pool B||Ole Miss||19-7||Mississippi State|
|Pool A||South Carolina||38-12||Florida|
|Pool B||Auburn||19-14||Ole Miss|
|Pool B||Mississippi State||20-19||Tennessee|
|Pool A||Alabama||19-12||South Carolina|
|Pool B||Tennessee||17-14||Ole Miss|
|Pool B||Mississippi State||22-17||Auburn|
|Pool A||South Carolina||26-0||Georgia|