While other college students were heading out to Spring Break vacations, the UNI Women’s Rugby team was getting down to business. UNIWR opened its spring season with a trip to Wichita, Kansas during March 13th-15th. The women went 3-0, outscoring their opponents with a combined total of 122 to 24.
The first match of the trip pitted mostly UNI veterans against the University of Wyoming. This being the first actual game for UNI since November, the team played well as a unit, winning sixty-six to five. UNI dominated Wyoming, with scores from veterans Chelsea Drumheller, Kayla Soliday, Jacki Bercovici, and team captain Kassie Drey. Freshman Shannon Zweber contributed a score, as did freshman Kylie Ingvall in her first rugby match ever. Bercovici was excellent, making seven of ten kicks. Wyoming scored once, but was held scoreless in the second half.
The second match had the Wichita Valkyries, a local women’s team, facing UNI. UNI head coach Steve Murra used this opportunity to get his newest and younger players experienced. For some, this was the first rugby match in which they had ever played. They fared well against the older Wichita team, coming out with a seventeen to five victory. Chelsey Ringsdorf and Danielle Burras led the scoring, with Jordan Gage successfully converting a kick.
The weekend culminated in the final competition between UNI and Texas A&M. Texas A&M came into the weekend holding a ninth-place national ranking in Division I. UNI put up points early on but still struggled a little the first fifteen minutes of the game. A Texas player was issued a yellow card and sin-binned, giving UNI a one player advantage. UNI capitalized and scored, and continued to improve play in the second half. Scores from Ringsdorf, Drey, Krista Steger, Jessica Gibbs and freshman Beth Carver secured a UNI victory over Texas A&M, thirty-nine to fourteen.
UNIWR next heads to Bloomington, Indiana for the Division I Midwest Final Four Tournament, held March 27th-29th. UNI will face Grand Valley State in one bracket, with Iowa State playing Indiana University in the other bracket.
Questions, comments, and concerns can be directed to the team advisor and manager, Jennifer Murra, at firstname.lastname@example.org.