This weekend, the Grace College Women’s Rugby team is traveling to New Orleans, Louisiana, for the Collegiate Rugby Championship. The tournament begins Saturday, May 29, and goes through Monday, May 31. The Grace Lancers will compete against fourteen other teams from around the country. The event will be live-streamed at www.therugbynetwork.com.
“I’m really proud of how far this team has come in the last year,” said Dr. Tyler Scott, the women’s rugby head coach at Grace. “Through a lot of adversity, the team has pulled together to grow and find success on and off the field. The opportunity to travel to a national tournament is both a wonderful recognition of how far this team has come and a great chance to test ourselves against some of the best rugby teams in the country.”
The tournament invitation comes at the end of a successful season for Grace. Last fall, Grace finished in the top eight teams in the nation during its virtual season. Senior Madelene Martinez was named MVP of the week in October by the National Collegiate Rugby Association. Two months later in December, Coach Scott was honored with the title “Coach of the Month.”
In the spring season, Grace finished second in the Ohio Valley Women’s Collegiate Rugby Conference which led them to the national tournament.
The Grace Women’s Rugby team continues to grow and is looking to expand its roster.
“A common misconception is that you have to be a certain size or shape to play rugby. But we need all types — everyone can find a position to play on the rugby field,” Scott said. “Even if you have no prior experience with the game, there is a place for you on the team,” he said.
The Grace team plays several tournaments in the fall and spring season as part of the Ohio Valley Women’s Collegiate Rugby Conference.