Penn State, Kutztown Commit to ACRC7s Virginia Beach
Penn State and Kutztown have joined the list of teams committed to the 2016 ACRC7s, which take place April 29-May 1 in Virginia Beach. With the addition of the Golden Bears and Nittany Lions, two of the finest collegiate rugby programs jump into the fray, bringing with them the athletic, hard-driving brand of sevens rugby native to the D1A Rugby East conference.
Penn State, playing a full schedule of 15s rugby this spring including competing in the Varsity Cup, will play its first sevens matches of the spring at the ACRC7s. “This will be a great opportunity to showcase the 7s we have been working on and show what kind of team we are. This will be our first 7s tournament of the season and it should test our mettle for sure,” said Penn State Head Coach Blake Burdette.
The line-up of teams already committed to compete at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex convinced Burdette this was a must-attend event. “We looked at who was coming and we thought of it as a great tournament to participate in,” he said. “We are looking at this as a tournament to win and to be as successful as we can.”
A test for Kutztown
Reigning ACRC7s champs Kutztown are also having a busy spring, hosting a sevens tournament of their own in partnership with URugby on April 23. They were champions of the Capital 7s Series at University of Mary Washington on March 12; outscored opponents 152-0 on their way to a Cup victory at the University of Maryland on March 26; and placed fourth in international competition at the Ariel Re Bermuda 7s on March 18-19.
The Golden Bears are not without their challenges, however. "Through the halfway mark of the season, we have yet to field our strongest side," says coach Gregg Jones. "At the Stony Brook tournament last week, we had seven out of twelve KU-1 players on the sideline. We completed the last two games of that tournament with eight players."
Jones says that, injuries or no, the ACRC7s are essential for his team. "We like the Virginia Beach venue for several reasons," he notes. "We look at it as a culmination to our regular spring sevens season and the opportunity to be playing for the ACRC 7's Championship, which we consider a must-win endeavor to cap off our regular spring campaign.
"Of course we also use the strong competitive level of the tournament to gauge our strength and weakness for the upcoming CRC tournament in June. Another factor is the great opportunity to measure the seasonal development of our KU-2 players, under the format of a championship venue.
"If we are fortunate and arrive at Virginia Beach healthy," Jones concludes, "we will compete for the Cup."
About the ACRC7s
URugby Virginia Beach Featuring the ACRC7s takes place at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex April 29-May 1. Competition gets underway under the lights Friday evening and continues Saturday, with teams committed to a 3-hour window during the day and one evening playoff match. Finals take place Sunday, with teams again playing matches within a three-hour scheduled window.