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.
The University of Virginia will face Central Florida this Saturday in the Round of 16. The winner of the match will get to take on the winner of Life University v University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill the following day. Tight head prop and graduating senior Catherine Liptak and her squad are looking forward to the coming weekend. Liptak, who has been playing for 4 years, said, “our level of commitment this season has been amazing… during practice, everyone is very focused, and outside of practice we have teammates leading sprint workouts and ball handling.”
The team has taken a new approach this season. Liptak commented, “our team has always played a quick style of rugby, and we have relied a lot on the backs. This year we tried to change that up and balance out the forwards. Working on a new style of play has made it easier to change up our tactics in games when our usual style isn’t working.”
Virginia is determined after narrowly losing to UC Davis last year, 30-25. They’re ready to come back with a vengeance. “We know we will face some tough competition from UCF, Life, and UNC, but everyone on the team has been putting in more hours and working harder to prepare for this weekend. We are all hungry for a win, and that motivation will help us succeed.”
“I just want to say how grateful I am to play the sport I love with such an amazing group of women… We will be graduating 11 girls this year, and most of us have been playing together since our first year at UVA, when we didn’t even make it to the Round of 16. Watching all of us grow and work to build this team has been inspiring, and we are all very excited to play together in Atlanta for nationals.”
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.