Pennsylvania D-iii Sectionals
April 15-16, 2017
Pennsylvania DIII Sectionals was dramatic this year, with three teams finishing above seed and the other three teams finishing below seed. The Allegheny Hellbenderitas was an exciting addition to the conference this year, bringing an impressive level of competition despite being a brand new program. Though they were originally seeded third, the Hellbenderitas finished the day on top, with their only loss to Lehigh (2), who finished 4th. Dickinson (4) had a rough sectionals, going 0-5 and finishing 6th.
The Haverford Sneetches (1) brought a large team of 23 players, led as always by a skilled group of captains and upperclassmen. Captain Zoe Lewis anchored their cutting line with multiple layout Ds and grabs. One of the most exciting plays of the day came when Zoe dove to snag a tipped deep throw, and tossed it to junior Miranda Bucky who laid out for the score. The Sneetches went 4-1, with one loss to Allegheny, a universe point win against Lehigh, and three more wins by an average margin of 8 points. The Swarthmore Warmothers (5) also had an exciting tournament, narrowly beating Lehigh in the fifth matchup between the two teams this season. Swarthmore and Lehigh both ended the tournament with 3-2 records, but the head to head win put the warmothers on top, securing them the third place finish. 6th seed Messiah broke seed by 1, finishing in 5th. Their 1-4 record doesn’t reflect their playing, however —three of their losses were by only 1 or 2 points, and their speed on the field kept all of their opponents on their toes.
Last year’s Pennsylvania women’s DII sectionals pool play ended with a three way tie for first place: Swarthmore beat Lehigh, Lehigh beat Haverford, and Haverford beat Swarthmore (the Warmothers eventually beat Haverford in bracket play to take first at the tournament). This year was just as interesting: Swarthmore beat Lehigh, Lehigh beat Allegheny, Allegheny beat Haverford, and Haverford beat Swarthmore. This speaks to the incredible level of competition in this conference, and the Ohio Valley Regionals are likely to be just as interesting, as all teams advanced.
By Emilie Shephard, captain of the Swarthmore Warmothers.