By Daniel Whipple
Long Beach State University is looking for continued dominance. Last season they won the Pacific Mountain West division, beat Arizona, and made it to the final eight in DI-AA playoffs–their third year straight making it to the final eight, second in DI-AA. This season is looking promising for the 49ers with a 20 to 5 win over Cal State Fullerton and a 49 to 10 defeat of USC. Coach Jason Reynolds credits their victories to experience saying that they are “lucky because they have a core team that has been together for four to five years.”
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UC San Diego is looking to improve off of a disappointing 2012-2013 season. Their solitary win last year was a non conference game over the University of California-Irvine. Unfortunately, experience is not on their side this year. 10 of their starting 15 are brand new and eight of them have never played the sport before. The future is bright however, with two wins in the UC Santa Cruz tournament this preseason in October. Then in November at the San Diego City Championship they placed third.
Cal State Fullerton is looking to improve on their inaugural season in DI-AA. Last year they finished fourth in league and were eliminated in the first round of playoffs by conference champs Long Beach State. The Titan’s are counting on their experience to take them back to playoffs. They currently have a win against Claremont and a loss to CSULB.
The future is bright for the University of San Diego. With a large group of returning players, they are expecting a strong run. Currently they have one win and one loss. With a strong victory over Claremont 41-7 and a crushing shut out of 0-52 to cross town rivals UCSD.
Claremont Rugby is off to a very slow start. Coming off of a strong playoff run last year; beating SBCC in the first round of play offs. With losses to the University of San Diego and to Cal State Fullerton, Claremont is in unknown territory. They are expecting to improve and return to their former glory.
Santa Barbra City College is in a tough situation. This year they have six sophomores and 17 freshmen. This team is an unknown. Last year they were 6-1 in league play. Being a two year institution, their retention rate is practically non-existent. Admitting that this year would be a bigger challenge, Coach Kevin Battle however expressed confidence due to the teams dedication.
USC’s schedule is not working for them. Their first two games have resulted in losses to SBCC and CSULB. USC put up a good fight against SBCC only losing by three. CSULB however was just to much beating the Trojans 49-10. A positive note from that match was that USC’s 10 points were the last 10 points scored. USC showed that they will not back down and are hoping for success as the season progresses.
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