Grace Taito

Women's Rugby Prepare for DI College 2018-2019 Season

By Dolli Player, September 18, 2018, The Daily Universe.

McFadyen - Kick Conversion vs ASU

Provo, UT - The BYU women’s rugby program has brought home many wins for the university while consistently flying under the radar.

The program has existed for 18 years after being founded by a student in the year 2000. In those 18 years, the team has grown from a group of 12 girls to a team of over 40 and is currently ranked No. 3 in the nation.

Head Coach Tom Waqa took over the team in 2004 when the organization was still recognized as the Women’s Cougar Rugby Club. After coaching the unofficial team for 11 years, Waqa was chosen as the official coach of the women’s team when the school gave it extramural status in 2015.

The team prides itself on taking girls with little-to-no rugby experience and crafting them into elite, nationally recognized players. Recognizable names include six-time All-American and member of the USA national team Jordan Gray, former World Rugby 7’s team member Rebekah Siebach, and former national team member and current coaching assistant Rebekah Hebdon.

“I grew up playing different sports and found out that I could incorporate them all into rugby, and it ended up being my favorite (sport),” Hebdon said.

Stories like Hebdon’s are common, with most of the past and present players coming to the team with a background in sports like soccer, softball and track.

“My favorite moment of last season was seeing the new girls who just played one semester playing a game in the DI Elite semifinals,” Waqa said. “For new girls to come in and pick up the game after just two months and play at the highest level is very encouraging for the program.”

Grace Taito Nominated for Sorensen CPY Award

Grace Taito, BYU Women's Rugby 2017-2018

Saturday March 30, 2018 -  By FloRugby News, Alex Goff, creator of the Sorensen and Scholz Players of the Year Award, presented by the Washington Athletic Club.

Seattle, WA - A panel of coaches, administrators, and media members have selected the nominees for the 2017-18 MA Sorensen Award.

MA Sorensen was a trailblazing prop in American college rugby and World Cup winner, and she lends her name to the award for the best women's D1 college player of the season.

This award, first given out in the 2015-16 season, is sponsored by the Washington Athletic Club of Seattle. Hope Rogers of Penn State won in 2016, and Ilona Maher of Quinnipiac won in 2017. Maher is nominated again this year.

Fans are asked to help narrow this down to four finalists. To vote, go to this link - https://polldaddy.com/poll/9970875/

College programs can also participate in a special vote (one vote per college team) here.

2017-18 Sorensen Award Nominees:

Danielle Ordway: Center, Davenport - A brilliant breakaway runner who has led Davenport to multiple major titles.

McKenzie Hawkins: Center, Lindenwood - A repeat nominee, Hawkins has helped Lindenwood to a national 7s championship and made the Lions one of the best teams in the nation.

Kaitlyn Broughton: Center, Life - A strong defender and attacker, Broughton is part of a dangerous Life Running Eagles backline.

Tess Feury: Fullback, Penn State - Multi-skilled, Feury has been capped by the USA and can play fullback or flyhalf.