Tomorrow’s rugby game determines playoff chances

Robert Checkal

Women’s team will host Denison in league faceoff

Tomorrow’s women’s rugby game at home against Denison will be the difference between regional playoffs or third place in the league.

After the win at Ohio University last weekend, the women’s rugby team is now second in league rankings, tied with Denison with 14 league points each. Wright State is number one in the league with 15 points.

The team’s rise to the top this semester is the first time in women’s rugby history at Kent State where they have an opportunity to go to the playoffs.

“We’re going to put the team on the field and play as a team,” coach Kelly Yost said. “We’ll win as a team. That means everyone plays, every single girl will get a chance to support their team.”

Tomorrow’s game will start at 11 a.m. at the Pitch behind Schoonover Stadium.

The team spirit is notable for both on- and off-the-field cohesion.

“We really get along this semester,” Julie Battaglia said.

The team meets often, sometimes for a themed dinner night, or an event like pumpkin carving.

“We do more as a team now,” Tiffany Okel said. “We’re really excited for this game because this has never happened before.”

Some of the intensified drills include three extra minutes (on top of the usual seven) of running, sprinting and overall conditioning. The team took its scrimmages at a game-pace and beefed up both its defense and offense.

“We worked really hard on not having any holes in our defense,” Battaglia said. “We also worked really hard at gaining possession of the ball after someone gets tackled.”

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness Center reporter Robert Checkal at [email protected].