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Men's Spring Preview

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Nittany Lion Men’s Rugby Squad Ready for Spring Season

As spring rolls around, that means one thing for the Penn State Rugby Club: the spring season and national playoffs for your Nittany Lion men’s squad! As the kickoff for the men’s season approaches March 16, Head Coach Justin Hundley has his athletes ready for what the season and spring playoffs have in store for them.

Here’s your insider guide on what to look for in spring season play:

Nittany Lions Aiming to Address Defense

Hundley said the spring season will be an opportunity for his freshman players to show what they learned in the fall while his seniors prepare for one last go-around in the blue and white.

Hundley’s focus in the offseason? Defense.

“The team is certainly very prepared for the grueling playoff run,” Hundley said. “It is a tough ask to come out of the winter months directly into playoff rugby, but we will take each game one at a time and look to make small adjustments as we go so that we are firing on all cylinders at the right time.”

As Hundley’s squad prepares to take the field, the coaching staff is keeping an eye on a few players that will electrify the fans this spring, including;

 

"I am happy with how the team has prepared this offseason, and we are just ready to get outside and play against someone else at this point.” - Coach Hundley
  • Mike Dabulas – Dabulas is the leader on the backline and “can break open a defense at any moment,” Hundley said
  • Connor Dellapina – Despite being just a sophomore, Dellapina has great feel for the game and helps keep the team on the front foot.
  • Rob Irimescu – A versatile player who can cover a few different positions up front for the squad.
  • Jack McLean – The team captain and a “lead-from-the-front sort of guy,” Hundley said.
  • Mike Jennings – Another sophomore switching to a new position.
  • Jesse Capriotti – A fleet-footed athlete who the coaches are excited to see on the field.

Spring playoffs approach

On March 14, the Men’s USA Rugby Playoffs will begin, and Hundley said his squad is prepared to hit the field and take one match at a time.

“We will focus on each match as they come,” Hundley said. “But I am happy with how the team has prepared this offseason, and we are just ready to get outside and play against someone else at this point.”

While staying mum on his squad’s chances at the title this year, Hundley said he is excited to see how his seniors will perform in their last round of playoffs as Nittany Lions.

“[I am] looking forward to the graduating seniors finishing off their Penn State Rugby careers on a positive note,” Hundley said. “They have put in a lot of work over the last four years at Penn State, particularly the last two, and I believe they deserve a good send-off.” For more information on the team, visit www.rugby.psu.edu.