K-State women’s rugby team begins season with high hopes despite early loss

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The women’s rugby team on Oct. 13, 2016. (FIle Photo by Meg Shearer | The Collegian)

Spring is close, the weather is warming up and the Kansas State women’s rugby team has kicked off the second half of their season.

In its first half of the season, the rugby team went undefeated in all four league matches, making them a top-seed to make it to the USA Rugby National Tournament.

Kaitlyn Lowry, senior in secondary education and president of the K-State women’s rugby team, said the team is ready for this half of the season.

“I think we’re as ready as we can be,” Lowry said. “Every girl can tackle, every girl can ruck and every girl can pass the ball.”

Teaming up

Lowry said the family-like relationship the team has is going to help them grow and succeed.

“They are going to be incredible just because they are bonding so well and they’re listening,” she said.

Brianna Leonard, sophomore in biochemistry and two-year K-State rugby veteran, said she is excited for the season to start again, but in order to be successful the team must stay humble even after going undefeated in the season’s first half.

Lowry said rugby is about playing together and trusting your teammates to have your back.

“I think in order for us to be successful we have to be mentally and physically ready for what we’re approaching,” Lowry said. “And we have to be trusting in one another, and we have to be respectful, and our girls do a very good job of that and we need to continue.”

Recruitment

The team recruited players during their season’s intermission and lost some players who left K-State to study abroad.

First-semester player Samantha Fox, graduate student in biology, is playing organized rugby for the first time in her life.

Although Fox doesn’t have a rugby background, she said she has a history with team sports, especially soccer.

“I just wanted to try something new and stay active as a grad student,” Fox said.

Before joining the team, Fox said she had played some rugby pickup games and was recruited by some of the women on the team.

“They’ve taken me and the other rookies and just pushed us to be part of the team,” Fox said.

Fox said she expects the team to carry the momentum over to the second half of the season.

Although the team fell short to John Brown University in Arkansas last Saturday, Lowry, a four-year veteran, said she is looking forward to the development of the team as a whole this season.

“For the spring season, as my last season with the K-State women’s rugby team, I’m truly looking forward to seeing the growth and potential that we’re going to see this semester,” Lowry said.

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