A player that can move around and play nearly every position is always useful for a team. Jess Dombrowski does just that for Illinois State and has helped the team in her last four years by serving as a competitive utility player.
Dombrowski first got her start in rugby in college like most do. She was looking for something to fuel her competitive drive and saw rugby was the only sport hat could push her to the breaking point. “I am an extremely competitive person, and trying to find a sport that would push me to my limits always seemed impossible. And then I found rugby. No other sport can push you to your breaking point, while also empowering you to be the best athlete and teammate you can be. The physicality, and mental toughness required to play is something that I know I will never find anywhere else,” explained the Wheaton, Illinois native.
Playing for ISU has been something special for the Recreation Management major. It has led her to life long friends. She continued, “Playing for ISU has changed my life. Before I joined rugby, I was still searching for my passion, and it was here that I found it. I could not imagine my life without this sport, and especially the teammates and friends it has given me. I have put my heart and soul into this game and seeing how far this team come since my freshman year makes me so unbelievably happy. Wearing our well-known pink jerseys gives me such a sense of pride that I know will stay with me for the rest of my life. ”
Dombrowski’s favorite moment comes during a past tournament where the way her team played ed her to tears. “One of my favorite moments happened this year in Nashville. Our team played NIU, which is always stiff competition for us, and we played better than I have ever seen us play in my four years. When the game was over, I could barely keep it together and ended up crying on the sidelines. Our whole team got together for a giant group hug, and it was one of the happiest moments of my life,” she explained.
ISU Women’s Rugby now hosts their 6th annual Pack The Pitch Pink in Normal, Ill. this weekend to benefit the Normal Community Cancer Center.