The semifinals of the Women's National All Star 7s Championship have been set.
The Pacific Coast emerged victorious after a 38-0 shutout over the South (read more here) and anxiously awaited the winner of MARFU v Northeast to see who their semifinal opponent would be.
The Mid-Atlantic was the higher seeded team, having only lost one game on Saturday, a 12-5 contest to the Pacific Coast. The NRU went 1-2, dropping two tight matches to the USA Developmental and West.
But the sun was shining on the Northeast's this morning, and three tries from Katie Dowty, Emily Malkin and Jess Peterson, who also had three conversions, helped produce a 21-5 win over MARFU.
Ida Bernstein prevented the shutout with her sixth try of the tournament.
Also advancing to the semifinals are the West and USA Developmental. The West took on a weakened Midwest side, which eventually played with only six players after Christy Ringgenberg left the field with an injury.
But the Mustangs put their foot down early and produced a 26-7 win.
"Our whole game plan revolved around getting the ball wide, spreading the defense and testing the gaps," West coach Tracy Gola said. "We had some nice breakaways and had the majority of possession, so that definitely helped."
Hannah Stolba scored three tries and lit up the scoreboard early on to build some momentum.
"It was a great confidence booster, and off we went," Gola said.
Kathryn Pavao added a try as well, while Sara Edwards (2) and Stolba handled the conversions. Gola and co-coach Angel Bishop were pleased with the adjustments the players made from yesterday's games.
"We had some issues crashing the ball and going into contact," Gola said. "We did a better job of getting the ball away from pressure."
Looking ahead to the West's semifinal against the USA Developmental, which defeated Southern California 19-7 in its quarterfinal, the Mustangs are going to continue to adjust their play.
"We're going to have to modify our game plan a bit against the USA," Gola reflected on yesterday's 28-5 loss to the junior Eagles. "They run a pressure defense, sending three players hard on the ball, so we're going to have to play a little deeper and a little tighter."
It's a plan B for the Mustangs, and if the USA changes its strategy at all, the West will look to play the wide game that has served them well thus far.
Pacific Coast v Northeast
USA Developmental v West
South v Mid-Atlantic
Southern Cal v Midwest