The Mid-Atlantic and Northeast have one more qualifying weekend before they name which women’s clubs advance to their respective territorial championships on July 23. MARFU teams will attempt to earn points at Monk Vaughn 7s in Richmond, Va., while NRU teams duke it out at Cape Cod 7s.
Last weekend’s Cheesesteak 7s saw the DC Furies overtake NOVA for first place in the MARFU standings. Under the guidance of former USA Women’s 7s head coach Sue Parker, the Furies dominated the competition en route to the tournament title. After beating pool play opponents Keystone, Norfolk and Philadelphia by a combined 88-5, D.C. continued its run with a massive 43-0 shutout against Norfolk in the semis, then 31-5 championship victory over Severn River.
“Throughout the day, the team exhibited great teamwork on both sides of the ball,” DC captain Jess Shipley said. “We had different combinations and newer players out there, so I was really impressed to see that the level of intensity and teamwork was some of the best we've seen this summer. It was great to see a lot of the things we've been working so hard on in practice start to come together, so we're excited about the coming weeks.”
1. DC Furies - 18 pts.
2. Nova 1 - 16 pts.
3. Severn Exiles - 6.5 pts.
4. Philly - 5 pts.
5. Norfolk - 4.5 pts.
6. Nova 2 - 4 pts.
In the Northeast, the Boston Belles extended their first-place lead in the region by winning the Midnight 7s qualifier in New York City. During the final against New York, Ashley Clancy ran in the go-ahead try with no time on the clock, topping off a dramatic four-try comeback to win 21-15. The Belles’ performance was rewarded with 24 points toward the standings.
The tournament marked New York’s first appearance at an NRU qualifier, and although the team finished second at Midnight’s, it’s currently ranked below the Village Lions, which earned points in both qualifiers. The Cape Cod 7s will be the NRU’s teams’ last chance to shake up the standings and earn an invite to territorial championships, to be held at Hell Gate 7s in New York City.
1. Boston Belles 1 – 48 pts
2. Village Lions 1 – 28 pts
3. New York 1 – 20 pts.
4. Falcons – 20 pts.
5. Boston Belles II – 16 pts.
6. Northland – 16 pts.
7. New York II – 10 pts.
8. Boston – 10 pts.
9. Village Lions II – 8 pts.
10. Empire City – 6 pts.
11. Suffolk Bullmoose – 4 pts.
In the South, Atlanta sent two sides to the Hotlanta 7s and ended up playing each other for the title. Atlanta won. Should the Harlequins actually attend the South Championship Club 7s this weekend at Life University, then a similar final would occur considering no opponents are currently registered.
But this isolation and lack of competition is nothing new to Atlanta, and the team sports great depth that makes inter-squad games worthwhile. Atlanta is anchored by familiar names in Heather Hale, Patty Jervey, Kari Morrison, Sue Uchneat and Ros Chou, and bolstered by some fresh faces in Alana Padilla, who’s played for the Philippine 7s team, and Corey Fredericks, who is currently at the USA Women’s 7s camp.
The Pacific Coast used the Can Am 7s in Bellingham, Wash., as the lone Pacific Northwest qualifier. The Seattle Breakers defeated the Emerald City Mudhens 13-5 in the final for the PNW seed. It's still unclear how Northern California will name its representative and whether the two Pac Coast teams will play for the higher seed, but since the national championship is in San Francisco, the union has more time than the rest of the country to make up its mind.
The only other update comes from the Midwest, but it’s vague at best. The territory plans to invite the summer’s most successful clubs to the territorial championships on July 23, but the rumor is that many teams – Chicago North Shore, Minnesota Valkyries, Twin Cities Amazons, Chicago, Detroit – aren't all too interested in competing at nationals.
“I think it's very unlikely that North Shore will go this year,” former 7s Eagle Jenny Lui said of her hometown club. “But next year with a little more advanced warning, we should be able to at least put together a Chicago-area side. From chatting with people at Lakefront 7s, it doesn't look like the Amazons or Valkyries are interested either. It's strangely unpopular in the Midwest with clubs. Individuals show interest, but clubs rarely compete seriously.”
An update to predicted national seeds:
2011 Women's Club Sevens Pools
A1 – NOVA (Mid-Atlantic 1)
A2 – Belmont Shore (Southern California 2)
A3 – New York (Northeast 2)
D1 – Berkeley All Blues (Pacific Coast 1)
D2 – Atlanta (South 1)
D3 - ? (Midwest 2)
C1 – San Diego (Southern California 1)
C2 - ? (Midwest 1)
C3 – Seattle Breakers (Pacific Coast 2)
B1 – Boston Belles (Northeast 1)
B2 – Glendale (West 1)
B3 – DC Furies (Mid-Atlantic 2)