April 24, 2009
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
Women's rugby club at SRU drops tough quarterfinal match
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The magical season for the women's rugby club at Slippery Rock University came to an end last weekend with a tough loss to the University of Delaware at the Collegiate Division II Women's National Championship in Orlando, Fla.
"We lost a heartbreaker to Delaware 24-21," said Stephanie Gillespie, insider center from North Wales. "We could have won, but we made some critical mistakes. It was an emotional loss for many, but overall, we are very satisfied with our success these past few seasons.
The team finished the season 13-1. It qualified for the national tournament for the first time in SRU history by beating all of its opponents during the regular season. The team opened the tournament by defeating Wyoming 46-22 in the Sweet 16.
"We're glad people are starting to notice women's rugby, with everything that's been going on with the sport this year," Gillespie said. She said 12 of 25 players would return next year.
Fans can see the team one last time Saturday, during SRU Rugby Fest, which was organized by the men's rugby team at SRU. The women's team will play Grove City College at 9:50 a.m. and Penn State's practice team at 11:30 a.m.
The SRU women's club, which competes in the First Allegheny Rugby Union League, is self-coached and raises money to cover all expenses, including travel. Contributions to help support the club's quest for the national championship can be made to the Slippery Rock Women's Rugby Club, 537 Center St., Slippery Rock, Pa. 16057; or call Gillespie at 215.740.9114.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.