OREM — The Utah Valley State rugby team secured a spot in the USA Rugby Division II championship match with wins in the quarterfinals and semifinals last weekend in Albuquerque.

It's the first time that the Wolverines have made the national playoffs, and their performance thus far is somewhat of a surprise to coach Gary Brown.

"Honestly, yes," said Brown when asked if UVSC did better than expected. "I didn't know how we stacked up."

UVSC squeaked by East Carolina on Saturday 13-11 in the first round, coming back from an 8-5 halftime deficit.

Sunday's game wasn't as much in doubt as the Wolverines beat Middlebury (Vt.) 14-5.

The wind played a factor for UVSC as it didn't want to get into an offensive shootout. "(We) attacked efficiently, but the timing was not quite right," Brown said.

Next up is the finals at Stanford on May 3 where the Wolverines face Radford for the crown.

BASEBALL: The runs came in droves for both UVSC and its opponents this past week. In fact, the Wolverines put up at least 11 runs in three of their four games.

It helped UVSC (9-26-1) split its two series against Air Force and Northern Colorado.

UVSC started out on Friday with a 8-7 loss in 10 innings versus Air Force in Greeley, Colo. The next day featured games against the Academy and Northern Colorado. This time the Wolverines came up winners in both affairs, topping Air Force 17-6 and Northern Colorado 15-14.

But the Wolverines ended up dropping the finale on Sunday to Northern Colorado 13-11.

SOFTBALL: The Wolverines ended a seven-game losing streak by closing out a doubleheader against Northern Colorado on Saturday with a 6-5 win.

Other than that, it was tough going for UVSC (9-29) in a 22-2 loss to BYU on April 16, losing the other two in a doubleheader on Friday to Northern Colorado, and the first game of Saturday's twinbill 5-2.

MEN'S GOLF: Nick Nelson was named the America Sky golfer of the week for the third time this season.

Nelson continued to his run of leading the UVSC scoresheet with a 14th-place finish at the Ping Cougar Classic in Provo last week. He shot a 1-under 215 over 54 holes. As a team, UVSC finished 12th.

TRACK AND FIELD: Whitney Aste set a school record, breaking the previous mark set by Noelle Pikus-Pace, with a 5-foot 6-inch long jump at the Mark Faldmo Classic in Logan last Saturday.

Mariama Salifu won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.76, with three other UVSC sprinters in the top 10.

Cory Pierson and Andrew Graham led the men as Pierson finished fourth in the 110-meter hurdles and Graham came in fifth.

LACROSSE: UVSC ended its season with a 15-11 loss to Ft. Lewis (Colo.) last Friday. Ft. Lewis' win gave it the final playoff berth in the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference Division 2 West division.

The Wolverines finished with a 4-2 mark in the RMLC (6-5 overall).


BASEBALL: vs. Dixie State today at 7 p.m.; vs. Dixie State (doubleheader) on Saturday at 1 p.m. vs. Northwest Nazarene (doubleheader) on Tuesday at noon.

SOFTBALL: at Idaho State on Saturday; vs. Northern Colorado (doubleheader) on Monday at 3 p.m. vs. Northern Colorado (doubleheader) on Wednesday at noon.

TRACK AND FIELD: at Robison Invite at BYU on Friday and Saturday.