WSC Women’s Rugby goes for double-digit national title

Julia Baxter, Staff Writer

Wayne State College Women’s Rugby is going back to Nationals yet again on April 27 and 28, and this time they are going to be competing to get a 10th national title which would make Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the place that the girls compete for one of the most difficult tournaments of the season for the biggest reward.

“Nationals will definitely be a battle this year,” captain Brook Hoesing said. “There are a ton of great teams that have been stepping up the past few years that are going to make an appearance. However, this season has been a great one for us so far and we will continue to practice like we’re the underdogs and play like we’ve never won. We never underestimate a team and I think that will help us at nationals.”

The team will be competing in a 16-team bracket, which is still being decided as some teams are still competing to make their way to the tournament.

“Out of the 16 teams at nationals, this is for sure the deepest year ever,” coach Darrin Barner said. “There will be serval teams here from all over the USA, and many are undefeated from their conferences.”

While the competition is fierce, the team is just coming off the high of a big win so they are excited to continue into an environment where they can continue to grow as a team.

“We are coming off a great win, after defeating last year’s D1 National Champions, Air Force 31-7,” Barner said. “That was a monumental win for our program. We just need to focus one game at a time, and simply play our game and mistake free, and we can be national champs again.”

Nationals has been a goal for the team since the season began. According to both captains and Coach Barner, as a hardworking team, they want to get this win.

“The team I promise has had this motivation ever since the beginning of the year, they really want to be the team that won #10, and cement in a legacy of their work and dedication,” Barner said.

The team has claimed repetitively that the key to their success has been the unity of family, and the ability to grow together.

“This season has been incredible. Every game our girls have continued to get better and it’s lining up for us to peak at exactly the right time,” captain Anna Fleecs said. “Wayne rugby is very much team rugby, every person on the field can and does score which gives us an edge over most teams. We’re excited to return to Pittsburgh and defend our title as well as play teams that will be at Nationals for the first time.”

The team has had a long and hard fought season and it all leads up to their battle at nationals.