Wildcats take on familar foe in BYU
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This past weekend, CWU’s women’s rugby team defeated Collegiate National Champions Quinnipiac University 19-12 in a close and highly competitive match.
The battle between CWU and Quinnipiac brings women’s rugby 2-0 at home and gives confidence to the team heading into this weekend’s tough matchups vs. Brigham Young University (BYU).
Last year, CWU won two of three matchups against the Cougars before BYU eliminated the Wildcats 24-10 in the Division 1 elite semi-finals.
“We played them a few times last year and they upset us in that one game, so I know the girls are probably looking forward to going back at that,” Head Coach Mel Denham said.
CWU Rugby fans have been awaiting this rematch since last year’s upset from BYU. The high level of competition has sparked a rivalry that often takes form in must-watch action.
“[BYU is] one of our closest in terms of good competition, so we are starting to build a little bit of a friendly rivalry,” Denham said.
Although BYU provided a lot of competition last year, which ultimately eliminated CWU, the women’s rugby team is looking forward to the challenge and competition.
“Hopefully there’s not much talk about last year. I flushed that; it’s gone. It’s just about moving forward and getting some really good competition from a good quality program,” Denham said.
Both teams have been competing at a high level, and the players have been working hard in preparation for BYU this weekend.
Third year center and captain, Asinate Serevi, who scored a try during last year’s upset loss to BYU, believes that the winner will be the team who wants it more.
“It was [BYU] who wanted to win that game last year and they showed it and they proved it to us,” Serevi said. “This year it’s the same thing. Get on the field and see who wants it the most.”
Senior lock Carrie Vaillancourt agrees with Serevi’s assessment and knows that, in rugby, nothing is guaranteed.
“BYU was actually our first loss as a team last year and it just goes to show that you can’t go out there expecting anything just because we beat them before,” Vaillancourt said.
Although last year’s loss was costly, Vaillancourt believed that it was an opportunity for growth.
“It gave us room to grow. We learn from our mistakes and we just go from there,” Vaillancourt said.
CWU’s women’s rugby has been preparing all week for this tough matchup and will be ready to perform when the time comes.
“We focus on our game,” Denham said. “The main thing is playing our level and our pace so no matter who we play against we don’t let any other team slow us down or outwork us.”