Abbotsford’s Alise Kayser (with ball) has signed with the Connnecticut-based Quinnipiac University Bobcats rugby program. (Submitted)

Abbotsford’s Alise Kayser (with ball) has signed with the Connnecticut-based Quinnipiac University Bobcats rugby program. (Submitted)

Abbotsford’s Alise Kayser signs with Quinnipiac Bobcats rugby program

2021 W.J. Mouat grad begins with Connecticut-based school later this year

Abbotsford’s Alise Kayser will be a Quinnipiac University Bobcat in just a few short months

The 2021 W.J. Mouat grad officially declared her intention to join the Connecticut-based university rugby program earlier this year, and takes a wealth of experience at the local and provincial level to her new school.

Kayser initially got into the sport in Grade 7 while attending Chief Dan George and became more interested in the sport through CDG coach Chris Assmus. She went on to earn gold medals at the provincial regional club level (rep) in both her Grade 7 and Grade 8 years.

She was also named the most valuable player at a rugby 7’s tournament in Victoria in her Grade 7 year. In addition to playing at the high school level, Kayser honed her craft with the Abbotsford Rugby Football Club and played there at the club level throughout her development.

Following her time at CDG, Kayser joined the Mouat junior girls rugby team under coach Chad Radon in Grade 9. Kayser was the team captain and that club achieved provincial gold at the Tier 2 championships in Williams Lake that year.

Grade 10 saw Kayser move from wing to scrum-half and she collected another PRC gold at the U16 level. She was also the co-captain of the provincial team that took home silver at the Western Nationals.

She repeated another PRC gold in her Grade 11 year and then was co-captain again of the Western Nationals squad that took home gold.

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The pandemic then hit high school and amateur sports hard, and Kayser unfortunately lost two years of playing time and experience due to the restrictions placed upon sports by COVID-19. Despite trying circumstances, Kayser had several offers from Canadian universities but could not say no to a unique offer from Quinnipiac.

She will receive a full academic scholarship, which includes a four-year tuition valued at $52,000 USD per year. It was through a connection already on Quinnipiac that the opportunity came about. The mother of Bobcats forward Hazel Bice is a provincial rugby coach of Kayser and she recommended the Abbotsford native for Quinnipiac. Kayser interviewed with the school and an offer was submitted and then accepted.

QU has a prestigious athletic program and are particularly competitive in ice hockey. The women’s rugby program’s last full season in 2019 saw them finish 2-6. The club did with the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association title in 2017 and 2016.

There are two other B.C. natives and two players from Ontario on the current Bobcats team. The team also features Ilona Maher, who will represent the United States in rugby at the Olympics later this month.

The women open the season on Sept. 3 against the Sacred Heart Pioneers.