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NSCRO powered by Penn Mutual crowned its women’s 15s champions this past weekend and saw three of the four teams earn a place in the men's Champions Cup slated for April 27 and 28 in the spring.
The women’s competition took place entirely in the fall. The four region winners were Salve Regina, Catholic University, Minnesota-Moorhead, and Wayne State.
After all the dust settled, Wayne State continued its domination of women’s NSCRO, picking up its third consecutive national championship. The Nebraska school did not have a close game all season and it reigned supreme in the semifinals and finals held at Life University this past weekend. Wayne State dismantled Minnesota-Moorhead, 51-7, on Saturday and defeated Catholic, 67-12, to capture the title.
The men’s division is slightly more complicated. The Champions Cup is designed for established programs and the Challenge Cup is for up and coming programs. Both are played over the course of the fall and spring culminating in April for the national championships.
Three of the four Champions Cup teams have been determined. Endicott College won Region 1, which is comprised of the Northeast. Endicott defeated reigning region champions, Salve Regina, twice to head to its first cup semifinal.
Mid-Atlantic's Region 2 was settled this past weekend. After winning the 7s national title two years ago at the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, Christendom College is making its first foray in the 15s championship. The Crusaders knocked off last year’s region champions, Loyola University, 23-7 on Saturday and edged Catholic University, 43-24, to reach April’s semifinal.
Region 3 finished up several weeks ago with St. John’s returning to the final four. The Minnesota school reached back-to-back-to-back final fours a few years ago claiming the 2013 and 2014 titles. Wins over John Carroll and Robert Morris see them back to the championship.
Region 4 in the Pacific West will be settled in the spring. Defending national runner-up Claremont Colleges will be the team to beat but Denver University, Cal Maritime, and others will give them stiff competition.
Two of the four Challenge Cup finalists have been determined. Washington and Lee barnstormed through the the east coast's Region 1 and Wisconsin-Stevens Point edged Minnesota-Moorhead, 39-24, as Region 2's representative. The other two teams will be determined in the spring.