featured photo credit: @uncwrfc
The Gift-Time Rugby Network will broadcast the USA Rugby Women’s D1/Elite D1 College Round of 16 and Elite 8 Playoffs, being held at Life University on April 22 and 23. This playoff will feature the University of Virginia, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, University of Central Florida, and Life University.
University of North Carolina has a tough match upcoming Saturday against Life University. The Tar Heels have had their mix of wins and losses this season but are steadily raising the bar. The team has had a medley of friendly and league matches this spring. Playing as much as possible to learn from experience.
Wins over East Carolina (33-29) and North Carolina State (42-20) demonstrate the Tar Heel tenacity. This team is bringing everything they have to Atlanta to face the Life University home team. UNC faced Life in the fall this past year. Post-match, in an interview by Melissa Cochran, Head Coach Johnathan Atkeison said, “our only outcome goal was to use it as an opportunity to learn, and I think we did that. The improvement from the first half to second half was outstanding and I think once our players got accustomed to the pace and physicality, they performed quite well.”
Scrum all day! pic.twitter.com/ofSaLR6k0H
— UNC Women's Rugby (@UNCWRFC) April 1, 2017
In the same post-match interview, UNC’s captain Malia Suhren commented, “I am honestly really optimistic about the growth I saw within the game, in the first half there were about 82 points scored (by Life) and in the second-half there were marginally less. I think it goes to show how much our defensive structure grew just in this one game.” Learning from their previous encounter, UNC will have to commit hard to their defensive structure and keep up with the physicality that the match will contain this weekend.
The winner of this playoff tournament will have a chance to compete for a USA Rugby Women’s D1 national championship on May 5-6, being held at Life University.