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The US Women’s Eagles Sevens Team finished second in Pool A, advancing to the Cup Quarterfinals after day one of play in the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens Competition. They will face their rivaled neighbors from up north, Canada, who finished second in Pool C. Off to a spectacular start, Dubai is the first stop of the 2014-2015 World Rugby Women’s World Seven’s Series.
The Women’s Eagles are approaching this Olympic qualifying season with an even greater focus on success. They departed Chula Vista Monday, November 24 for Dubai in order to fully acclimate to the Dubai climate before the start of competition. They hit the ground running. According to US Women’s Sevens Coach Rice Suggitt, “Every day we will work on some aspect of the game. No days off. There will definitely be some light days but our focus is to go into Dubai and carve out our spot.” With a historical first day performance, carving out their spot is exactly what they are doing.
The US prepared diligently over the past seven-months leading up to the 2014-2015 season, making a coaching addition. and engaging in some preseason play. Coach Richie Walker came on board to assist Coach Suggitt and has made his mark early on, adding the complimentary “calming” balance to the duo. In addition to his rugby expertise, “Richie can deliver the message very clearly to the players in times most needed,” explains Suggitt.
Suggitt praised his staff, noting that everyone involved fulfills their role in fostering a champion environment. “What we do is very focused. In the mornings, Nicole (Titmas, Trainer), Jared (Seigmund, Strength and Conditioning Coach), and Richie take care of the activation of players prior to training. It makes the coaching job easier with these support systems in place. And the keen medical oversight delivered by Dr. Lisa Bartoli keeps our player injury rate low and return to play time minimized.”
In early September, the Women’s Eagles hosted Brazil, playing several scrimmage matches. Just last month, they traveled to Fiji as the Serevi Selects and finished second in the Coral Coast Sevens Tournament.
Suggitt noted, “We were not pleased with the Fiji results even though we racked up a lot of points. Although we made the final, we were not content with our finish. We want to win.”
The Women’s Eagles have the opportunity to advance their mission starting tomorrow with Canada. The games will stream live at worldrugby.org/women’s-sevens-series. In true North American form, both the US and Canada will show their unrivaled support for US Team member Jillion Potter by sporting “yellow” on their cleats.
The USA Team: (Click on a name to link into individual bios of the team.)
1. Kelly Griffin
2. Amelia Villines
3. Kathryn Johnson
4. Hannah Lopez
5. Jessica Javelet
6. Lauren Doyle
7. Victoria Folayan
8. Lorrie Clifford
9. Megan Bonny
10. Joanne Fa'avesi
11. Alev Kelter
12. Melissa Fowler
Non traveling Reserves: