The University of Richmond SpiderMonkeys won the AC D-III Region and qualified for College DIII National Championships this past weekend. Coming into the Regional tournament, held at Elon University, Richmond was seeded 2nd out of 8 schools from DC, MD, NC, and VA.
On Saturday, Richmond beat the 3 teams in their pool, Christopher Newport, Elon, and UNC-Asheville by an average score of 13-7. This set them up to play local rival Mary Washington in a game-to- go to DIII Nationals, early Sunday Morning. Mary Washington, led by Semi-Pro players Zach Norrbom and Joseph Richards, were looking to qualify for DIII Nationals for the first time in their program’s history. On the back of an aggressive person-to- person defense, Richmond jumped out to an early 8-4 lead at half. Stellar play from Seniors Henry Babcock and James Lenox helped Richmond stave off an aggressive Mary Washington in the second half to win 15-6.
While that win qualified Richmond for DIII Nationals, they still had another game to left to play against Davidson, who had also qualified after winning their previous game, to crown the Regional Champion. Richmond had lost to Davidson twice earlier this season, including at their home tournament, DIII EastUR, one month earlier. As a result, Richmond was fired up to get revenge. However, they might have been a little too anxious early on as the first few Offensive points were long and featured multiple turnovers, but Richmond’s Offense was able to lock down on their man after each turn and were able to hold the downwind points. Those first few holds were all Richmond’s defense needed to capitalize against Davidson’s offense. After adjusting to Davidson’s style of play, Richmond was able to slow down Davidson’s resets and force them into risky deep looks. With captain Henry Babcock’s throwing prowess and the speedy cuts of Justin Keller and Xavier McCormick, Richmond was able to work the disc up and down wind for the necessary breaks. Davidson, who were missing several players due to injury, played valiantly but were unable to keep up with Richmond in the first half, falling behind 8-3. Richmond would cruise in the second half as both teams opened up the lines and Richmond would win the Region with a final score of 15-6.
DIII Nationals will be taking place in Lexington, KY on May 20-21. There Richmond will be entering as one of the favorites and seek to go further than the program has in its history. They will be joined from the AC Region by Davidson and UNC-Asheville, who narrowly beat Mary Washington 13-12 in the 3rd place game-to-go.