This falls into the category of “better lucky than good”.
Please don’t hate or envy me too much for what I’m about to tell you. 🙂
As I documented in my coaching log, the Exeter women’s team I coached in 2013-14 received a first round Championship playoff bye. That meant they went straight through to the BUCS Final 8s. Everyone else had to battle it out that week for the seven other spots. You may be aware that I also coached the university men. They too qualified for Championships that season by placing 2nd in their league. They were drawn in the round of 16 against a team from Northern Ireland.
The men didn’t have to play their way into Final 8s either. The opposition forfeit (apparently their setter couldn’t go for the match). This meant a second year in a row finishing in the top 8 for the guys. And as with the ladies, the men also qualified for the 2014-15 season’s new premier league.
I asked one of the club captains if they’d made a deal with the devil to have this kind of luck. 😉