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Santa Clara University won the Northern California DI-AA league with a 23-20 defeat of Sacramento State Saturday.

In what team president Ryan Falvey called a “complete team win,” Santa Clara adjusted to losing both starting centers in the first 15 minutes. Freshman Mark Kuppenbender, along with Alex Pascale and Craig Kisylia, stepped in to contribute to the win.

Santa Clara now has to hope what they’ve done this season is enough to earn an at-large bid. Since Northern California had only four teams (not the required 7), its champion does not get an automatic bid to the Sweet 16.

The College Competitions Committee has three at-large bids to divvy up, and they’ll do so by April 22nd. The decision could come sooner, but DI-AA conference play isn’t entirely wrapped up until the 22nd.

“We’re very excited and hopeful for a bid to Nationals,” said Falvey. “We want to continue our season and represent NorCal well.”

In non-conference play, Santa Clara beat DII UC Santa Cruz 58-15, lost to Cal 83-7, fell to DI-A Cal Poly 41-30 and dropped a game to San Francisco Golden Gate’s DI men’s club 42-32.