Summit girls rugby sweeps Monarch under Friday night lights

Tigers to host Denver East on Wednesday for homecoming

The Summit Tigers rugby team gathers after their championship win against United of Utah during Summit's victory at their home Summit 7s tournament on Saturday, Sept. 11, at Tiger Stadium in Breckenridge. On Friday, Sept. 17, Summit swept Monarch in three matches at Tiger Stadium.
John Hanson/For the Summit Daily News

It was the Summit High School rugby program’s turn at Friday night lights on Sept. 17 in Breckenridge. The Tigers’ top side didn’t disappoint in three victories over visiting Monarch.

The Tigers defeated the Coyotes 26-7, 33-5 and 38-14 in three 7s games to push their record to 7-0 on the young season and ahead of Wednesday’s homecoming game at 6 p.m. at Tiger Stadium against Denver East.

Tigers head coach Karl Barth said each side had chances throughout all three games, and Summit did well to capitalize on its.

Summit raced out to the decisive victory in the first game thanks to a pair of scores from senior speedster Olyvia Snyder and top junior athlete Paola Arredondo. The Tigers’ offense combined with a bend-but-don’t-break defense to take control of the action.

“Over the course of the evening — and it was evident right from the beginning — Olivia was everywhere, making things happen,” Barth said. “There was a quick turnover, she got a pass from Paola and bang, she was gone.”

Barth said Arredondo’s footwork, especially in tight quarters, was “outrageous” all evening.

“Just the small spaces she beat people in,” Barth said.

That was on display in the third game, when Arredondo scored a try on a 70-yard run to the house after nifty, agile moves with both legs to stay on her feet.

Barth said Arredondo was also an exemplary sweeper, missing just one Monarch player over the course of the night’s three matches.

In Summit’s second victory, the Tigers relented just 5 points even though they switched up their defense to a more risky, aggressive strategy. Barth said he opted for the strategy to round out the day to help his top Tigers team get real, live practice within the scheme against a solid side in Monarch.

Monarch adjusted to the different defensive nature and held a 14-12 lead at halftime over the Tigers. But Summit utilized a possession advantage in the second half to put the hammer down and rally for the win.

On the day, Elizabeth Darst and Joselin Roque combined to convert 8-of-11 kicks after tries. Arredondo led the team with six tries, Snyder added five and Isabella Comai consistently kicked away to the other team well.

Barth was also sure to point out Roque and Summit senior Milly Carleton were stalwarts in terms of creating opportunities for their teammates, describing Carleton’s play as “outstanding.” The coach also highlighted the pay of Regan Jackson and Larissa Mero taking a step forward despite their youth.

“We’re not quite where we want to be, but the pieces are starting to come together,” Barth said.

The Summit team will play Wednesday. Denver East, topped the Tigers’ second varsity squad — dubbed “Gold” — 29-0 in a first game Saturday in Denver. Gold rallied to earn a 19-19 draw in the second game before dropped the final game 22-10.

“Wednesday night versus East is going to be a really good, tough challenge,” Barth said.

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