This season was quite a rollercoaster for the Wolverines. The girls started off strong with two wins against Ohio State and Michigan State and a whopping number of rookies added to the roster. Unfortunately, a domino of injuries to multiple veterans put the team in a tough spot as they were set to face Big 10 powerhouses, Indiana University and Penn State. Rookies stepped up, veterans showed flexibility by switching into unfamiliar positions and the team rallied hard. While the girls suffered losses to IU, PSU and Notre Dame, they never lost heart. From lifting sessions to late night practices, they constantly built each other up and tried to embody the spirit of Michigan Rugby with intensity. The regular season closed with a great fundraiser and homecoming where the wolverines shut out Oakland with a 50-0 victory. The very next day the girls headed down to play Kent State in the first round of the DI Collegiate Fall Championships. The result, as described by Captain Meg Melton, was a "hard fought loss" of 24-14.
Regardless of the scores, the team is what matters first and foremost. This season saw some great additions to the UMWRFC family with 12 rookies officially added to our roster, all of whom bring a wealth of atheliticism and diversity to the squad.It also allowed both old and new players to prove themselves. "I felt we had a bunch of girls step up and work very hard to fill the roles we needed," noted captain, Sarah Risko ('17).
as always, these additions and hellos also come with inevitable good-byes. Specifically, with the end of this season comes the end of senior Kayla Wiggin's awesome UMWRFC career. We wish her the best of luck as she graduates this winter and cannot express how invaluable she has been as a player and a leader for the team!
While this season is over, our work is not done! Looking to next season there seems to be a heavy focus on continuing the strong level of recruitment seen in the fall as well as maintaining the current roster. Improving team fitness and skill level is also a priority as 7s is a much more physically demanding game. According to the captains, "teaching girls how to be more effective on the field and having more game knowledge will make the biggest impact." This was also re-iterated by Coach Anna Daoud who said "drilling the basics" and "building a strong foundation" will be an important goal for next season.
Until then! HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND GO BLUE!