WDIA: WWLL Tourney Preview; Lindenwood Recap
by David Ely | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online
The WDIA National Championship still a couple of weeks away, but
this weekend’s Western Women’s Lacrosse League (WWLL)
tournament in Los Angeles should serve as an excellent appetizer
for the main event May 5-8 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Heck, the WWLL’s eight-team tournament could prove to be every bit as exciting and competitive as the one that will determine the national champion.
The talent certainly is there for a memorable weekend of lacrosse. Five teams ranked in the top eight of April 14’s USL WDIA Poll make up the top five seeds.
The nation’s No. 1-ranked team, Santa Clara, is the tournament’s top seed. No. 4 Cal Poly is the two seed, No. 5 UC Santa Barbara is the three seed, No. 3 UC Davis is the four seed, and No. 8 UCLA is seeded fifth.
That lineup would be a murderer’s row in a national tournament, but to have that many upper-echelon teams condensed into one league is largely unprecedented.
“Never in my experience,” said UCSB coach Paul Ramsey when asked if he can recall participating in such a loaded league tournament.
“I was here before, and it was never this tight before with five teams. It seems like anybody could beat anybody, and that’s 1-5.”
While one can be safe in assuming that at least four of those teams will make Nationals, the 4-5 game should play a large role in determining if all five teams will book a ticket to Arizona.
No. 4-seeded UC Davis takes on No. 5-seeded UCLA (10-7) at 10 a.m. Pacific on Saturday, and a Bruins upset could complicate the playoff picture.
A win over the Aggies would give UCLA’s resume another marquee win to go along with its victory over Cal Poly, but it shouldn’t bump UC Davis out of Nationals.
After all, the Aggies (10-2) are the only squad to beat Santa Clara this season.
“I do feel that our body of work should warrant a bid to Nationals, but you never really know how the polls are going to go and how people will vote for our team,” UC Davis coach Erica Jue said. “But considering that Santa Clara has been dominant across the nation … I think [our win over them] shows we can beat anyone in the nation.”
The first-round matchups should set up a series of top-5 contests in the semifinal and championship rounds. We could get a Santa Clara-UC Davis rematch paired with another between Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.
It’s not that hard to imagine seeing those matchups repeating themselves at Nationals, either.
Santa Clara and Virginia Tech Club Dominate Lindenwood Invitational
Last weekend, some of the best teams in the WDIA traveled to St. Charles, Mo., for the Lindenwood Invitational.
There were plenty of top-10 matchups, as the likes of Santa Clara, Lindenwood, Virginia Tech Club and BYU headlined the field of seven teams, but the Broncos and Hokies stole the show.
Both teams staked their claim as teams to beat in next month’s WDIA Nationals with 4-0 weekend records.
No. 1 Santa Clara scored the biggest win of the weekend with its 11-5 victory over No. 2 Lindenwood. The Broncos also beat Michigan, Central Florida and Minnesota by a combined score of 40-10.
Virginia Tech’s marquee win was its 12-11 topping of BYU, while the Hokies repeated Santa Clara’s feat of victories over Michigan, Central Florida and Minnesota.
WDIA News & Notes
Lindenwood ended the regular season with a 16-2 record, the Lions' best mark in school history. Lindenwood will look to claim its second consecutive WCLL Tournament championship this weekend in Toledo, Ohio… Colorado continued its season turnaround last Saturday with a win over rival Colorado State. The Buffaloes are now 9-5 on the year and finish their season April 26 against BYU.
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