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With the 2014 WPL season well underway and approaching week Three, both the Red and Blue Conferences have displayed fierce competition. The two undefeated teams, the Twin City Amazons (Red Conference) and Glendale Raptors (Blue Conference), are making it clear that their 2014 season goal is nothing short of a run for the National Championship Title. The remaining six teams are showing great fight but will it be enough to disrupt the current standings?
The reigning national champion Amazons have beaten their opponents (Atlanta Harlequins and DC Furies) collectively, 102-26. The dominant play and leadership of Jamie Zarembinski, Lynelle Kugler, Sylvia Braaten and Kaelene Lundstrum have been integral to the team’s success. The team faces New York RC (0-2) in New York this weekend. A win will solidify the Amazons first place conference standing and send them into the second half of the season with great momentum.
The Raptors have come out on fire in 2014, thrashing their opponents 116-21. The team is led by the play of Hannah Stolba, the running of Sarah Chobot, Rachel Ryan, and Gedda Rodriguez-Howard, and the leadership of Kitt Wagner. This Glendale squad dominated both the Surfers and ORSU during weeks 1 and 2. They’ll be missing a couple of key players this weekend versus the All Blues (in Berkeley).
The Atlanta Harlequins are off to a 1-1 start as they compete in their second WPL season. Having lost match one to the Zones, they showed resilience with a 41-5 win against New York. Kata Sutton and Amanda Carrington along with others, have proved their ability to score in the most adverse circumstances. This week they face the Furies in what is anticipated to be a highly contested match.
Coming off of a stellar 7s season, the San Diego Surfers are currently 1-1. Falling to Glendale in game 1 and edging out the All-Blues in a historic win in game 2, San Diego will host ORSU this weekend. Katie Barclay and Mollie Martin have had great impact.
The Furies hold steady at 1-1. While defeating NYRC at home and falling to the Zones away, DC focused on areas of improvement. Each week, different players have stepped up with great performances including Hunter Greenling, Cynthia Wright and Emily Smith.
In their return to the WPL, ORSU (replacing Beantown who voluntarily moved to Division 1) holds a 1-1 record as well. After a win over Berkeley in game 1 and a tough loss to Glendale in game 2, ORSU has shown potential for a successful season. With several impact players including Sharon Blamey, San Juanita Moreno, Anna Symonds, Jess Shipley, and Beckett Royce, ORSU travels to San Diego this weekend ready to battle.
New York is off to a tough start this season, carrying an 0-2 record. The experience of Jaime Nelson and Lacy Higgins in the pack and Nicole Humphrey and Kaitlin Ruggiero in the backline is just what this New York squad needs to rally. Clearly, they have some experience in winning (National Championships). Although they will have their hands full of Zones this weekend, bet on a hard fought contest.
The All Blues are no strangers to winning National Championships either. Coming off of an uncharacteristic 0-2 start, they will play off of the absence of Glendale’s Stolba this weekend in an effort to mark their first win this season.