Surfside Virginia Beach featuring the ACRC 7s takes place this Saturday and Sunday, May 3-4, 2014, at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. Saturday will feature pool play beginning at 10 a.m. Single elimination rounds begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday. Admission is free.
This ACRC event features top collegiate rugby teams from around the country. The tournament comes on the cusp of a new level of recognition and excitement around the sport of rugby as funding, recruitment and attendance spikes in advance of rugby’s return as a summer Olympic sport in 2016.
The competition this weekend will highlight some of this year’s most compelling stories in sevens rugby, including:
Kutztown’s Epic Run
Kutztown University’s dominance on the pitch is one of the big recent stories in collegiate rugby. Since February, the Golden Bears have won six consecutive tournaments without a loss, posting an astounding 26-0 record and earning a #1 ranking in the country heading into the ACRC 7s.
Kutztown’s biggest challenge in recent weeks came when they squeaked by Notre Dame College in the championship game of the Buffalo Sevens in Buffalo, N.Y. Upstart Notre Dame, a new varsity program aggressively recruiting top players from around the U.S. and overseas, jumped all over Kutztown in the first half of the contest and held the lead until the final play of the game, when the Golden Bears pulled out a victory in dramatic fashion.
Kutztown and Notre Dame will both be in attendance this weekend and likely meet again as the Falcons seek to avenge a tough loss and prove their elite status, while the Bears seek to underscore their dominance and quiet any doubters.
Penn State’s 2014 Debut
Perennial powerhouse Penn State University has been absent from rugby competition this spring in the wake of disciplinary action, but are finally back and no doubt eager to prove themselves on the pitch. The ACRC 7s represent the first time top sevens teams have had to grapple with the Nittany Lions in the mix—and how they will affect pool play is one of the intriguing questions heading into competition.
AIC’s Big Spring
American International College has had a big spring, winning the Middlebury, Al Baker and Armory Collegiate sevens tournaments. AIC brings a tough, seasoned squad to Virginia Beach with the chance to face off against some of the best teams in the nation.
Southwest Buckeye State rivals Miami University of Ohio and the University of Cincinnati never had a chance to play a proper game at the rain-shortened Ohio State 7s, settling instead for a scrimmage. At the BG Mac Sevens, the Redhawks beat Cincinnati 26-10. Both teams would no doubt enjoy a chance to battle it out once again at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex.
St. Joes: Flying High
St. Joseph’s University enjoyed a good spring, including a big 33-0 win over crosstown rival Temple University to clinch the cup at the Temple 7s. Like AIC, the talented Hawks might squirm at the notion of underdog status and come in with something to prove against high-profile competition.
The Virginia Beach Sportsplex is located at 2181 Landstown Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456 (see map below). The modern, three-level stadium features concessions and restroom areas. For more information on the ACRC 7s at Surfside Virginia Beach, contact tournament director Stephen Siano at email@example.com or 610-389-4474.