Girls rugby sixth in national tourney
Midway through the Summit Under-19 Girls Rugby Club’s national tournament game Saturday in Sacramento, Calif., against Budd Bay of Olympia, Wash., the Tigers found themselves behind 10-0.
But senior flyhalf Kate Orlin changed that with a try that got the girls on the board.
Orlin’s try, her first of two in the game, changed the momentum and helped the girls eliminate the Pacific Northwest champions from national title contention in a 25-17 win, according to head coach Karl Barth. The win helped Summit place sixth in the tournament.
What escaped Barth and Orlin at the time, however, was that with the score, Orlin became Summit’s career scoring leader, eclipsing Jari Stadnyck’s mark of 213, set in 2001.
“I think we were just happy that she scored because it put us back in that game,” Barth said.
Before the girls played Budd Bay, they suffered a double-overtime 15-10 loss to the No. 1-seeded Burbank Amazons in round-robin play.
“That was probably one of the funnest games I’ve ever played,” said Orlin. “It was great hearing everyone around the edge cheering for us, and knowing we played up to our potential and didn’t give up against them.”
The Tigers were eliminated after the Budd Bay game by the Oregon Renegades in a close, 17-15 loss. As time ran out, the Tigers were driving down the field for the winning score, which made the loss especially hard, Barth said.
Along with Orlin’s scoring record, which reached 225 points by the end of the tournament, the Tigers won the team sportsmanship award.
Orlin and Katelyn Lerner were also named to the all-tournament team.
The Summit program is no stranger to the Kudu National Invitational Tournament, sponsored by a leading rugby clothing outfitter.
The Tigers were national champions in 1998 and 1999. They received an invitation this year after Colorado’s top two teams, Fort Collins and Littleton, declined invitations due to graduation conflicts.
Summit finished the season ranked third in Colorado and ninth in the nation.
On Tuesday night, Barth handed out the season awards to his players.
Orlin was named the team’s most valuable player for the second year in a row, while Rachel Rosenthal won rookie of the year.
Melissa Griffith was named most improved, and Jara Johnson, Laura Glise and Heidi Van Anderson received coaches awards.
Katelyn Lerner received the McClain Plate, a sportsmanship award given out by the team members.
The team also received trophies for team sportsmanship, which they won not only at the national tournament, but also on the state level.
Seniors Orlin, Johnson, Tori Pearson and Sarah Vincent were honored for playing in more than 50 games in their respective careers.
In one final chance to represent Summit, Johnson, Orlin, Lerner, Vincent, Rosenthal, Annie Siudzinski and Tori Pearson played in the Colorado all-star game Wednesday at Douglas County stadium.
Playing for the north district, the girls were part of a 38-26 victory over the south district. Johnson was captain of the north.
Van Anderson was named to the north team, but was unable to play due to an injury.
Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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