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Women's Spring Preview

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Nittany Lions Women’s Rugby Squad Looks to Tackle Spring Season

With the spring season already underway, the Nittany Lion women’s rugby squad is looking to capitalize on some talented newcomers to wow the fans. The women’s squad kicked off the season February 10 and began a three-match road trip in France at the start of March. Women’s head coach Kate Daley said the team has a few games under its belt, but she is excited to see how her athletes’ potential comes together as the season continues.

“The team this year is very young and full of incredible potential,” she said. “I am looking forward to the very exciting type of rugby they have the ability to play.”

Young Team Looks to Grow

Because Daley’s team is made up predominantly of freshman and sophomore players, she said her coaching staff hasn’t yet found clear areas of improvement for her team.

“We haven't had much of an opportunity to see large scale improvement yet this spring, but Spring Break (in France) should be a good test for us,” she said.

However, Daley has highlighted a few players she thinks will wow the fans this year despite a relative lack of experience. Here are a few:

  • Natalie Bjorklund
  • Hayley Nolan

What Coach Says: “(They) have improved quite a bit from the fall and I look forward to their continued improvement and impact this spring.”

  • Mia Lancelotti, back row

What Coach Says: “(She) was injured her freshmen year and has made a great impact returning to play her sophomore year.”

  • Fifth-year player Rhyan Barnic, second row
  • Senior Brittany Tompkins, back row

What Coach Says: “(They) picked up rugby late in college, have really grown in confidence through the fall, and I think will have a big impact this spring as well.”

Spring Playoffs on the Horizon

All of the women’s squad’s work will pay off starting March 24, when the team heads to Greenville, South Carolina, for the USA Rugby DI Elite National Semi Finals at Furman University.

Following that, the USA Rugby National Championships will be played April 7 at the Steuber Rugby Stadium in Palo Alto, California.

The Nittany Lions are no strangers to success on the national stage. The team is a 12-time national champion and looking for another notch on their belt.

Daley said she is excited to see what her squad brings to the table, particularly with so much youth and potential.

“We are young but have some magic in us and certainly have the potential to perform at a level to be successful,” she said. “It will be a very competitive and exciting playoff.”

For more info on the team, visit www.rugby.psu.edu.