Top Row left to right: Zoe Constantine, Kelsey Reid, Abbey Savin (c), Kelly Tosheff, Kristin Bitter, Saryn Laserna, Brooklyn Vaifanua. Bottom Row: Mary Sullivan, Abby Fearey, Phoebe Anderson, Jennilyn Aquino, Avalua Lafitaga.
The Institute of Rugby U18 team placed 3rd overall at the 2017 North American Invitational 7s Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah Aug, 4th-5th. Head Coach, Hannah Lockwood was pleased with the teams final result “I was very proud with how the team performed overall. We had a few dips in performance but the team pulled through when it mattered most. Captain, Abbey Savin led the squad through thick and thin. She demonstrated confidence and played with passion and the team responded by playing fiercely when we needed it the most.”
Game 1 of Day 1 was a win by forfeit for IOR over the Idaho Grey Wolves followed by a close 5-12 loss to the eventual number two finisher, Upright Rugby Rogues. The final game of day 1 against Idaho Mambas 7’s team, IOR fell 26-5 finishing day 1 with a 1-2 record placing IOR as 3rd in Pool B.
Day 2 would lend to be a tough climb for the team being seeded in the quarter final match against Pool A’s number 2 seed, the Utah Lions. The team brought the focus and determination in the quarterfinal match winning 22-5 and securing their place in the top 4 with Idaho Mambas 7s, Upright Rugby Rogues and the Valley Panthers.
IOR fell to the eventual champions, Valley Panthers, 24-0 in the semi final match up, sending IOR to the 3rd place final against the Idaho Mambas 7’s team.
Falling to the Idaho Mambas 7’s team on day 1 in pool play, 26-5 provided the right fuel to motivate the team to their 22-17 victory in the 3rd place final.
“I am really proud of our overall performance and our 3rd place finish at the tournament. Rather than using the fact that we were a young team in our division as an excuse or disadvantage we accepted it as a challenge and an opportunity for experience and growth. We all played, struggled and learned as a team and I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of that.” Captain, Abbey Savin.
Institute of Rugby NAI7’s U18 Team
1. Avalua Lafitaga
2. Phoebe Anderson
3. Abby Fearey
4. Jennilyn Aquino
5. Abbey Savin (c)
6. Kelly Tosheff
7. Kristin Bitter
8. Saryn Laserna
9. Mary Sullivan
10. Kelsey Reid
11. Brooklyn Vaifanua
12. Zoe Constantine