Wildcats use hashtag to unite team
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With Homecoming weekend around the corner, excitement begins to settle in surrounding school spirit, celebratory activities and most of all, love for our Wildcat athletes.
This weekend, the excitement will begin with CWU’s women’s rugby taking on last year’s NCAA varsity champions – Quinnipiac University.
The team will face Quinnipiac coming off a long East Coast trip, during which they defeated Norwich University 85-18 and American International College 57-29.
“The trip was positive in terms of attack and defense,” head coach Mel Denham said. “Last week helped us build our structures offensively and defensively and this week we can focus on fine tuning things.”
CWU women’s rugby team began their season on Sept. 1 and have a 3-0 conference record as well as a 5-2 overall record.
This year is the first year the CWU women’s rugby team is under the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA), and they are looking forward to the competition that comes with playing a varsity sport.
Captain and third-year center Asinate Serevi says the preparation for facing varsity teams such as Quinnipiac on their homecoming stage is the same as any other.
“It’s just another game for us,” Serevi said. “Same game, different team. It’s about focusing on being the best team that we can be.”
Although their preparation doesn’t change much, the CWU women’s rugby team knows exactly how that they want to play.
“Fun, fast and physical,” third-year lock and captain Jenny Johnson said. “We just try to focus on ourselves and the goals that we set and try not to get too far ahead of ourselves.”
Even though this is “just another game,” both Serevi and Johnson are both thankful and excited for the opportunity to play in front of their home crowd during homecoming.
“Just having or friends and family out here we can feel the energy and it’s just much more exciting,” Serevi said.
While the women’s rugby team prepares to take the field against the defending champions Saturday, CWU student and community support is the one thing that the team appreciates.
“We love the support we get and when people come out to watch us it gets us really fired up,” Johnson said.
As the season continues and the schedule presents tough match-ups, the women’s rugby team will rely heavily on togetherness and playing to be the best team.
The team adopted “#509” as their mantra this year to symbolize the togetherness of their team members, who come from different places, backgrounds and experiences.
“We picked [#509] because we are all from different places, but we chose to be here at Central,” Johnson said. “We’re trying to accomplish this really cool thing here in Ellensburg and ‘509’ is the area code and we’re proud to play for Central.”
Joseph Epperson/Epic Media
The match-up against Quinnipiac University will be a good indicator of the women’s rugby team’s competitiveness as they showcase their hard work, teamwork and togetherness.