Cascades women’s rugby records first win

Cascades women’s rugby records first win

UFV defeats TRU at Abbotsford sevens rugby event

The University of the Fraser Valley Cascades’ first hosting opportunity in the Canada West Women’s Rugby Sevens Series was highlighted by the team’s first-ever win.

The second of three tournaments in the series was held Saturday and Sunday at Abbotsford’s MRC Sports Complex, and the Cascades picked up a 27-15 win over Canada West rugby newcomer Thompson Rivers WolfPack in their opening game. Mackenzie Fowler led the way with a pair of tries and a convert, and Shalaya Valenzuela, Mackenzie Braun and Meghan Wellis each added one try apiece in the victory.

The Cascades would go on to finish with a 1-5 record, with losses to the Lethbridge Pronghorns (24-7), Alberta Pandas (44-0), Calgary Dinos (56-0), Victoria Vikes (57-0) and UBC Thunderbirds (53-0). Alex Motoc registered UFV’s try vs. Lethbridge, with Fowler booting the convert.

Afterward, UFV head coach Jen Ross said that hosting a Canada West tourney is a big step for her program as it continues to grow in its second year of competition.

“It’s something we’ve been looking forward to since it started last year – to be able to put ourselves out in front of the UFV community, bring the local rugby supporters in and let them see why we’re so excited about having rugby at UFV,” she said. “From my perspective, it just makes us hungrier to build the program and expand it, and get more of our youth involved and show them all the benefits of playing at a university level.

“The win is great – it’s a reward for all the hard work we’re putting in. But it also keeps them hungry, because one win is never enough.”

The Victoria Vikes, who won the season-opening tourney in Edmonton last month, were victorious once again, posting a perfect 6-0 record en route to the title. Victoria holds a comfortable lead in the aggregate points standings heading into the series finale, which they’ll host Feb. 24-25.

Cascades sophomore Meghan Wellis said that the chance to host a Canada West event was “huge and historic.”

“For the girls to have their home crowd cheering them on, it made it real,” she said. “We’re here, and we’re fighting for something.”