The Sewanee Women’s Club Rugby team is not only a sport for the Purple Haze members, it’s a sense of camaraderie, of family. Practicing three times a week alongside the successful men’s team for the past two semesters, these groups of athletes have created a bond both on and off the field. For many, this past year has been the first time a “football” has been thrown into their hands, with catching and tackling proceeding not far behind. Through the scrapes, cuts, and bruises, this group of women has established a love and popularity for the sport to further grow for years to come at the University.
Over Spring Party weekend, the women’s team played in their first ever home tournament against Lee University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. For many of the members on the squad, this was their first rugby match, as several players scored their first try on Stringer field behind Gorgas. As the team played twice against both UTK and Lee (beating UTK in both matches and losing to Lee in both) on Saturday afternoon, they were glad to finally be able to partake in a home match. “It was really gratifying to see our hard work pay off,” Rachel Alvarez (C’22) said, “This year, the team has really come back, and we have some excited freshmen and sophomores who’ve really gotten everything going for us.”
Alvarez, a new member to the team, has loved every minute of it. Participating in the sport for fun at first, she has grown to love the game and the family that has come with it, “It’s really seeing the ways that we’ve come to support each other off the field that has made it feel like a family.”
Pressley Wilson (C’22), the experience and bond made between the rugby teams is one she wouldn’t trade for the world, “I would drive back to Mobile, to Charleston, to Murfreesboro, to anywhere to support this team that has made me the strongest, most confident, and most fun version of myself that I’ve ever been.”
As the games ended on Saturday, the women’s and men’s teams came together, embracing each other in celebration over the hard work and dedication that they have put in over the past several months. Although blood and bruises covered the players bodies, smiles ran across their faces, ecstatic to be able to play a sport they love at Sewanee.