Women’s Rugby 7’s Cascades seventh at Canada West series opener
The University of the Fraser Valley launched the 2020 Canada West Women’s Rugby Sevens Series with a seventh-place finish at the opening tournament, hosted by the Alberta Pandas.
The Cascades posted a 2-3 record, and will look to build on their positive moments in two weeks’ time, when they head to UBC for the second stop on the three-tourney series, Feb. 1-2. The series wraps up Feb. 29-March 1 in Victoria.
“Overall, even though we had a losing record in the tournament, it was a positive step for us, in that we haven’t played together much before,” UFV head coach Jen Ross said. “I think it really played out to what our expectations were. We needed a couple of games to really get running and put our game plan into practice.”
Indeed, the Cascades started slowly on Saturday, dropping their first two games to Lethbridge (36-0) and UBC (50-0). But they wrapped up pool play with a dominant performance, defeating UBC Okanagan 42-0 behind four tries from Melissa Jongedijk and two from Kira Katan. Marianne Frisby went a perfect 5-for-5 on converts.
Saturday’s results left the Cascades on the consolation side of the draw on Sunday, and they faced the Trinity Western Spartans in the consolation semis. The UFV side turned in a strong performance, leading 19-14 in the second half on tries from Katan, Jongedijk and Mackenzie Fowler, with Fowler adding a pair of converts. But the Spartans rallied for a pair of late tries to edge the Cascades 28-19.
“In the end, we just ran out of time,” Ross said. “Even though we’d really wanted to win the Trinity game, it was a much better performance than the last time we played them, in exhibition in November. We were much better-prepared.”
The Cascades bounced back to blast UBCO for a second time, prevailing 32-7 in the seventh/eighth placing game. Fowler scored a trio of tries and added a convert, and Cheye Gustafson, Nicole Drouin and Jongedijk scored one try apiece.
The two-time defending champion Victoria Vikes defeated the host Pandas 24-10 in the tourney final, and Lethbridge knocked off UBC 15-12 in the third-place game.
Final Tournament Standings
NOTES: Teams are awarded 15 points for a tournament win, 12 points for finishing 2nd, 10 points for finishing third, 8 points for finishing fourth, 6 points for finishing fifth, 4 point for finishing sixth, 2 points for finishing seventh, and 1 point for finishing eighth.