Victorious again: Summit girls rugby wins 15th consecutive state title, concludes season with record of 29-2

The Summit girls rugby team hoists the state championship trophy up for the first time after winning its 15th consecutive state title at the state rugby tournament on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Cody Jones/Summit Daily News

The legacy of the Summit girls rugby program continues to roll on after the team earned its 15th consecutive state title at the Colorado Interscholastic Rugby Association’s state rugby tournament at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs on Saturday, Nov. 5. 

Summit earned the title after going undefeated in the tournament while only allowing 17 points all day. 

Perhaps the only thing that challenged Summit throughout the course of the day was the brisk wind that ripped across the pitch, creating variable kicking conditions and frigid temperatures in the morning.

In Summit’s first match of the tournament, the Tigers faced Regis High School. Led by senior Paola Arredondo, senior Joselin Roque and junior Ella Snyder, Summit made a definite statement that it was serious about winning another state title.

After getting off to a quick lead in the first half, Summit continued to dominate in the second half. In fact, the Tigers were so dominant that it did not allow Regis to score a single point.

At the end of the first game, Summit successfully scored seven tries with four conversions to win 43-0.

“I think Summit came out here with the mentality of no mercy,” Arredondo said of her final state rugby tournament. “We know what we have worked hard for all year and we really showed it, so I am really proud of everybody.”

Summit continued to dominate in its second game of the state tournament against Eagle Valley.

Eagle Valley proved to be more of a challenge than Regis, but Summit was still successful in preventing any points from being scored.

After an impressive try by Summit, the Tigers led 21-0 in firm control of the game. 

Junior Ashley Misch provided a needed level of physicality and leadership in Summit’s second match. Misch even got the chance to score her own try. Powerfully striding to the try line, Misch broke past several Eagle Valley defenders before celebrating her successful try.

Summit defeated Eagle Valley 24-0 to advance to the semifinals of the tournament. 

Summit’s semifinal match was a rematch against Monarch High School, the team the Tigers faced in last year’s state championship game

Like last year, Summit held the Monarch Coyotes to minimal points while the team’s swift offense produced a plethora of scores.

Monarch started the match off strong, marching down the field on the first possession of the game and scoring a try.

In true Summit fashion, the Tigers respond immediately, charging down the field with a sense of urgency. The possession for Summit resulted in Snyder crashing to the try line, and after a successful conversion from Roque, the Tigers led 7-5.

Minutes later, Misch battled her way through several Monarch defenders before the ball found its way to Roque who scored another try for Summit. At halftime the Tigers led 12-5. 

In the second half, Summit earned its spot in the championship game by keeping up the rapid pace of play and continuing to score. 

Arredondo and Snyder scored tries to conclude the game, beating Monarch 29-5 to face Denver East High School in the final.

Although Denver East has its fair share of strong and skillful players, Summit had little problem matching up against them.

Summit scored its first try of the state championship game when Arredondo hesitated before faking out a group of East defenders on her way for the score. 

The score from Arredondo opened the floodgates for the senior. Seconds later Arredondo made the score 10-0 by swinging wide of East defenders. 

Before halftime, Arredondo added two more tries to put the Tigers up 20-0 heading into the second half.

East attempted to rebound in the second half and found success by forcing its way through the Summit defense. The intensity from East resulted in two tries — bringing the score to 25-12 — but it was not enough to mount a comeback against the Tigers.

Instead, Summit secured another state title with strong offense and defense to conclude the game. Summit defeated East, 30-12.

Paola Arredondo, right, and Joselin Roque, left, celebrate winning the state rugby tournament on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Cody Jones/Summit Daily News

“It’s crazy to be part of a team that is so close together and like family,” senior Pelham Wagenseil said. “It’s amazing to lead up to this moment and play so well together and totally demolish the other teams.”

She said Summit’s total team effort allowed the Tigers to be able to win another state title in front of a large audience of family and friends.

“Whoever scores that try, we have each other’s back no matter if it is Paola, Joselin or whoever else is scoring,” Wagenseil said. “It is a team effort, it is not just one individual.”

The Tigers concluded their historic season with a state championship, a third-place finish at the Pink 7’s tournament in Utah and an overall season record of 29-2.

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