MSU Men and Women’s Rugby excel in Las Vegas

Both the MSU men’s and women’s rugby teams played at the Las Vegas Invitational Seven’s Rugby Tournament on March 2 and 3.

The tournament hosted some of the best teams in the nation, providing elite competition for both teams. The women placed 3rd in their pool and the men finished second in their pool and fourteenth overall out of 28.

This was a tremendous victory for MSU, as Ben Morris, the captain of the men’s rugby team, said, “every other team has substantially more resources and funding than we do … they expected us to finish last, seeing as we’re a relatively new rugby team.”

The women’s goal this season is to become competitive at a new level. Mara Maus, the treasurer for the MSU women’s rugby team, said, “we have decided this season to play as a Division 1 (D1) level team, even though we are still a club. In the past, we have played at tournaments that are a mix of D2 and D1.”

“We decided to enter this tournament because we knew we would play some incredibly competitive teams, who are also D1 schools, and that we could get some experience with new teams and elite competition in the pre-season,” Maus said.

The highest scorer for the men’s team was Luke Ryan and the MVP was Austin Llewellyn. For the women, the highest scorers were Alecia Panagakis and Maus. Their most notable players were Serrana Scholten and Emily Dennis.

Morris said, “We’re really excited about this start, and the rest of the season is looking very promising … our program is gaining an exciting amount of momentum and we’re getting closer every day to our goal of a national championship in sevens rugby.”

The women are also excited for the season to begin. Maus said, “we could not be more excited or focused coming out of this Vegas tournament. We gained a lot of experience for our rookies, and are ready for the season to start.”

Both teams will hold a tournament at MSU on March 22 at Roskie Fields.