The Tulane women’s club rugby team traveled to the Division II National Championship on Friday (April 21) in Davis, California, and came home a champion: The team defeated Humboldt State University 39-32 in the final round on Sunday (April 24), taking the national title.
While the Tulane club team has made an extraordinary mark in their division this year, “two years ago there weren’t enough girls to make a full team … and in just a few years we have accomplished so much,” second row forward and Tulane anthropology major Isabella Renner said.
Although Tulane’s club rugby team may have risen from seemingly nowhere this season, their effort, drive and team camaraderie have not gone unnoticed. Between hiring a professional coach from England to help during the team’s matrix season, averaging four practice sessions a week and their never-ending strive for excellence, the team has put every inch of their heart and soul into accomplishing its goals for this season.
“We never in our wildest dreams expected to get this far in our first year.”
Alex Clarke, club president
Tulane sophomore, biomedical engineering major and president of the club rugby team Alex Clarke said, “We never in our wildest dreams expected to get this far in our first year. We just keep winning and having fun!”
While their intense practice sessions and their focus on optimal health have contributed to the team’s success, the Tulane club team’s cohesion and unity are what allowed them to exceed their overall expectations.
“We don’t play for the number on the back of our jerseys. We play for each other, our families, our school and all the people who have contributed to our success over the last two years,” Clarke said.
In the midst of celebrating their national championship, the Tulane women’s club rugby team is already looking forward to next year and “are just so proud of what we have accomplished in such a short time as friends and as a team,” Clarke said.
Melissa Felcher is a sophomore studying communication at Tulane University.