Summit girls rugby officially begins season with 4-game sweep in Summit 7’s rugby tournament 

Team will host Denver East and Regis Jesuit on Friday

Elaine Collins/Courtesy photo
Summit senior Ashley Misch sprints to the try line during the Summit 7's rugby tournament on Saturday, Sept. 9. Summit outscored its opponents 161-12 and won all four of its games.
Elaine Collins/Courtesy photo

There is no better way to defend a 15th-consecutive state title than by making a statement in the first rugby tournament of the year. 

The Summit girls rugby team did just that on Saturday, Sept. 9, as it hosted teams from across Colorado and Utah for a day of competitive rugby.

The Summit girls rugby team was hardly challenged as it began its pursuit for another state title. The team not only easily won its home tournament, but the Tigers also outscored their opponents by a combined score of 161-12. 

The varsity rugby team began the morning by facing Hammers Rugby out of Fort Collins, and in true Summit High rugby fashion, the Tigers came out onto the field with speed, aggression and absolute dominance. 

After going into halftime with a substantial lead, the Tigers continued to build upon their lead when a beautiful pitch out to sophomore Hailey Russer led to a try for the Tigers in the opening moments of the second half.

A strong dash up the field from senior Luci Brady expanded Summit’s lead before Hammers Rugby attempted to score its first try of the game in the closing minutes of the match. Although Hammers Rugby successfully drove the ball down the pitch, huge tackles from sophomore Teagan Barth ultimately kept the team from the try line. 

Summit gained its first win of the tournament and season with a 42-0 routing of Hammers Rugby. 

The Tigers began their second game of the day against Monarch Rugby Club by quickly passing the ball down the field before senior Ella Snyder scored a try to take an early lead.

Monarch attempted to answer by bulldozing its way down the field, but senior Ashley Misch kept Monarch near center field before Snyder scored another try.

After a successful conversion from Barth, Summit led 14-0 in the early part of the first half.

In the latter part of the opening half, Summit continued to display why it is the top team in the state on an annual basis.

A well-timed pass from Barth led to a try by senior Gracelyn Garvert, while junior Olivia Lyman used her versatile speed to score a try of her own.

Midway through the game, Summit led 26-0. 

Like Summit’s first game of the morning, the Tigers kept their foot on the gas pedal in the second half while giving the younger varsity players some playing time.

Russer brought the score to 33-0 with a long breakaway run to the try line while Garvert scored her second try of the game after Summit distributed the ball across the field. 

The match ended with two tries in quick succession from Lyman and senior Regan Jackson.

Summit defeated Monarch, 48-0.

Following a midday break, Summit resumed play in the early afternoon hours and did not look rusty at all against the Vista Vipers of Highlands Ranch.

Although the Vista Vipers posed more of a challenge, the Tigers still powered their way to a third win, in large part because of the team’s speed, intensity and rugby IQ. After a few minutes of back-and-forth play, Summit drove its way to the try line to put points on the board.

The try from the Tigers ultimately opened the floodgates for the team and led to a more than 30-yard sprint to the try line, which resulted in a successful try from Jackson.

Leading by two scores at halftime, the offense continued to produce points in the second half, while the Tigers defense kept the Vista Vipers from scoring.

Snyder, Barth and Misch all recorded tries in the second half, giving Summit the 36-0 win.

Summit’s final match of the day against Alpine, Utah’s United Rugby Club was advertised to be the team’s biggest challenge of the tournament, but the Tigers managed to hold the competitive opponent to just 12 points while simultaneously overpowering the team offensively.

Summit got the scoring going early, with Misch and Lyman juking and jiving their way around the United defense. Trailing 7-0, United tightened up on both sides of the ball, but it was not enough to keep Lyman from connecting with Jackson to extend the Tigers lead to 14-0.

Trailing by two scores, United was able to respond, rushing down the field for a try of its own and bringing the score to 14-7 to end the half.

Summit took care of business in the final half. Snyder broke tackles to score a try, Brady made huge stops in the open field and the team worked together to score two game-clinching tries.

Summit defeated United, 35-12.

“This team is awesome,” Snyder said. “I love them. I wouldn’t rather be playing for anyone else. At the beginning of the day, we started off a little disconnected, but it got better as we went through the games and even in that first game. I feel like we really played our best in our last game against United because we had to. We played to our strengths and executed, and that is why we were able to get such a big win.”

Summit High School was crowned the champions of the 2023 Summit 7’s rugby tournament with four wins and zero losses. The Tigers will look to further improve their record when they host Denver East and Regis Jesuit at Summit High School on Friday, Sept. 15.

“It is always so fun to play under the lights,” Snyder said of the games on Friday. “That is always something I look forward to every year. I am really excited because we played really well in that last game, and I think we are going to continue to progress and play to each other’s strengths and figure that out too.”

The first game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at Summit High School.

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