Top College Clubs Set for Stanford

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PALO ALTO, Calif. – USA Rugby is set to host the top men’s and women’s collegiate teams from around the nation at the 2008 National Guard Division I & II College Club Championships at Stanford University’s Steuber Rugby Stadium on May 2-3.

Featuring non-stop rugby action from 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, with its LIVE Fan Festival coinciding with the competition, USA Rugby is looking for these College Championships to be one of its marquee events in 2008.

USA Rugby’s National Guard College Club Championships is also part of ESPNU’s expanded coverage of USA Rugby. A tape delayed telecast of the USA Rugby National Guard Men’s and Women’s Division I College Championships will be aired on May 21 and 22, at 10 p.m. EST. Additionally, USA Rugby will be broadcasting the entire two-day event live via the web on their USA Rugby Network.

Several local teams can be spotted battling it out for the top spot in their division as the perennial favorites, University of California – Berkeley, return to this tournament as the No.

1 seed and hope to walk away with its fifth-straight Division I title. The Golden Bears will have their work cut out for them; however, as they must first overcome neighboring college, Saint Mary’s, on Friday at 3 p.m. in the semifinals before facing the winner of the University of Colorado versus Brigham Young University match-up on Saturday at 5 p.m.

In their first National appearance in over 20 years, CU will face another perennial powerhouse, last year’s runners-up, BYU, in Friday’s second Division I men’s semifinal match. The Buffs are just one of three teams to have beaten BYU this year and look to highlight one of their best seasons on record by making it to the finals on Saturday.

In the Division I women’s competition, Stanford University is no doubt itching to use the home-field advantage and take down the defending champions Pennsylvania State University in a repeat of last year’s final match. Stanford will first have to defeat the U.S. Naval Academy in its semifinal matchup on Friday at 1 p.m., while the top-ranked PSU Team finds itself pitted against Brown University in Friday’s first match of the day.

The Division II men’s finals will pit the 2003 National Champions, Radford University, against the seventh-seeded Utah Valley State side. Utah Valley State marks their first trip to the Championship stage and will be tough to stop following a big win against last year’s Champion, Middlebury, in last week’s playoffs.

On the women’s side, the University of Minnesota – Duluth head into their first National Championships tournament as the top seed in Division I. UM- Duluth face another first timer to this event, the No. 6 -ranked Shippensburg. The Division II women’s final is set to kick off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with the men’s final to follow at 1 p.m.

Cost for the event is $15 for adult and $5 for students/military with valid ID. Stanford University students receive free admission as official hosts of this event. Tickets are available at the gate.

For more information on the USA Rugby National Championships, visit Media interested in attending, please contact Sara John at sjohn at usarugby dot org or by phone at 719-310-2606.

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