Vikes wrap up second-straight 7s tournament triumph

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University of Victoria Vikes women's rubgy team
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s rubgy team continued their dominance of the Canada West Women’s 7s Series, going a perfect 6-0 en route to the tourney title at the second stop on the circuit, hosted by the University of the Fraser Valley.

Playing under sunny skies at MRC Sports Complex on Sunday, the Vikes capped their run to the title with victories over the UBC Thunderbirds (31-7), UFV Cascades (57-0) and Lethbridge Pronghorns (21-19). Their overall record on the sevens series this season is 12-0, and they take a comfortable lead in the aggregate points standings into the series finale, which they’ll host at Wallace Field on Feb. 24-25.

“Overall, it was a great tournament for us,” Vikes coach Brittany Waters said. “A bit more inconsistent than the last tournament in Edmonton, but we were trying to implement a lot more things, so it was a bit of analysis paralysis for the girls throughout the tournament. But they executed some of the things we brought in over the last couple weeks very well. Day 2 was much better, and that’s really all you can ask for.”

“We’re really excited to have the final tournament at UVic in front of our home crowd, and for our girls to put in another series of great performances. We’re looking to improve each tournament, so we know we’ll be better for the next one.”

A total of 13 different Vikes put their name on the score sheet over the weekend, as the team’s offence continues to be key during their current 12-game winning streak.

“We have a lot of depth this season and everyone has stepped up and contributed to the team’s success,” said Waters. “It’s important that we use these tournaments to develop younger players as well as compete to win. We have been able to try different combinations and get everyone quality playing time.”

A two-point victory over Lethbridge to end the tournament was by far the closest game that the Vikes have played in this season, as they have now outscored their opponents by 320 points through their 12 games of action.

“The team is playing with a lot of confidence and belief in their skills, experience and understanding of the 7s game,” said Waters. “We implemented more attacking options for this tournament and the players did a good job of reading what is in front of them and using all the tools they have. We still have a lot to work on, but there were some very strong passages of play both defensively and on attack.”

Finishing second through seventh, respectively, were the Calgary Dinos (4-2), Alberta Pandas (4-2), Lethbridge Pronghorns (3-3), UBC Thunderbirds (3-3), UFV Cascades (1-5) and Thompson Rivers WolfPack (0-6). Ties are broken based on head-to-head results.
The Pronghorns had accrued a flawless 3-0 record on Saturday, but dropped all three of their Sunday games to slip to fourth place. Their rivals from Alberta, the Dinos and Pandas, both picked up a pair of wins on Sunday – including head-to-head triumphs over the Pronghorns – to overhaul them in the tourney standings.

In the overall standings, the Vikes (20 points) hold the lead, with Calgary (14) and Lethbridge (12) their closest pursuers.

Sunday results
Game 15: Victoria Vikes 31, UBC Thunderbirds 7
Scoring summary:
VIC: 17-14: 31
UBC: 0-7: 7
• VIC try – #4 Paige Farries (convert missed) – 5-0
• VIC try – #5 Emily Belchos (#9 Kara Galbraith convert) – 12-0
• VIC try – #3 Chanelle Edwards-Challenger (convert missed) – 17-0
Half
• VIC try – #4 Paige Farries (#9 Kara Galbraith convert) – 24-0
• UBC try – #11 Shoshana Seumanutafa (#11 Shoshana Seumanutafa convert) – 24-7
• VIC try – #13 Renee Gonzales (#9 Kara Galbraith convert) – 31-7

Game 18: Victoria Vikes 57, UFV Cascades 0
Scoring summary:
VIC: 29-28: 57
UFV: 0-0: 0
• VIC try – #15 McKenzie Pusch (#14 Sasha Guedes convert) – 7-0
• VIC try – #15 McKenzie Pusch (convert missed) – 12-0
• VIC try – #11 Julia Folk (#14 Sasha Guedes convert) – 19-0
• VIC try – #14 Sasha Guedes (convert missed) – 24-0
• VIC try – #15 McKenzie Pusch (convert missed) – 29-0
Half
• VIC try – #3 Chanelle Edwards-Challenger (#14 Sasha Guedes convert) – 36-0
• VIC try – #10 Jess Neilson (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 43-0
• VIC try – #15 McKenzie Pusch (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 50-0
• VIC try – #14 Sasha Guedes (#10 Jess Neilson convert) – 57-0

Game 21: Victoria Vikes 21, Lethbridge Pronghorns 19
Scoring summary:
VIC: 21-0: 21
LET: 0-19: 19
• VIC try – #5 Emily Belchos (#9 Kara Galbraith convert) – 7-0
• VIC try – #2 Gurpreet Dhaliwal (#9 Kara Galbraith convert) – 14-0
• VIC try – #5 Emily Belchos (#9 Kara Galbraith convert) – 21-0
Half
• LET try – #3 Carolyn McKee (#4 Caitlin Sears convert) – 21-7
• LET try – #9 Abby Neudorf (convert missed) – 21-12
• LET try – #5 Hannah Lopez (#5 Hanna Lopez convert) – 21-19

Tournament standings – Final
TEAM     WINS      LOSSES  TIES         POINTS
VIC          6               0               0               24
CGY         4               2               0               18
ALB          4               2               0               18
LET           3               3               0               15
UBC         3               3               0               15
UFV         1               5               0               9
TRU         0               6               0               6
NOTE: Teams are awarded four points for a win, two points for a draw, and one point for a loss. Ties are broken based on head-to-head records.

Overall series standings
Team / Tourney 1 pts / Tourney 2 pts / Total pts
VIC – 10 / 10 / 20 pts
CGY – 6 / 8 / 14 pts
LET – 8 / 4 / 12 pts
ALB – 2 / 6 / 8 pts
UBC – 4 / 2 / 6 pts
UFV – 1 / 1 / 2 pts
TRU – NA / 0 / 0 its

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