Vikes brave the snow to win Abbotsford tourney

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    ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – After an uncharacteristic stumble at the opening event of the 2019 Canada West Women’s Sevens Series, the Victoria Vikes got back on track, going undefeated en route to the title at Tournament No. 2 hosted by the University of the Fraser Valley.

    The Vikes went a perfect 6-0, wrapping up their victorious run with wins over Lethbridge (22-10), Calgary (28-0) and UBC Okanagan (24-7) on Sunday at Exhibition Park.

    The performance marked a return to form for the defending CW Sevens Series champs, who had finished third at the 2019 curtain-raising tourney in Edmonton two weeks ago.

    “For us at the first tournament, it really came down to consistency,” Vikes coach Brittany Waters said. “We had some great moments; we also had some not-so-great moments. So for us, having a really consistent performance throughout the whole tournament was one of our focuses.

    “We worked a lot on our defensive systems in the weeks between, and that’s what really set the tone for this tournament. We got possession, we had ball in hand, and we ended up with some really great things on attack. But it started with our team defence.”

    Along with Victoria’s dominance, the weather was a significant storyline on Sunday. After relatively mild temperatures and periodic sun on Saturday, Day 2 featured a rare snowfall in Abbotsford with gusting wind. Temperatures were in the neighbourhood of -5 C, with wind chill to -15 C.

    “Credit to all the girls who are out here playing today,” Waters marveled. “Not the greatest conditions, but no complaints – everyone’s playing great rugby, and I’m really impressed by everyone.”

    The UBC Thunderbirds, coming off a tourney win in Edmonton, locked up second place in Abbotsford in dramatic fashion, edging the Lethbridge Pronghorns 15-10 on Delaney Aikens’s try just before the final whistle. The result enabled the T-Birds to hold onto first place in the overall standings with 27 points, just ahead of UVic (25).

    The Pronghorns and Calgary Dinos finished with matching 3-2-1 records, but Lethbridge finished third based on point differential. The Alberta Pandas (2-4-0), host UFV Cascades (1-5-0) and UBC Okanagan Heat (0-6-0) finished fifth through seventh, respectively.

    The Canada West Women’s Rugby Sevens Series concludes with Tournament No. 3, March 2-3 at UBC.

    Sunday results

    Game 4: Victoria Vikes 22, Lethbridge Pronghorns 10
    Scoring summary:
    VIC: 12-10: 22
    LET: 5-5: 10
    • LET try – #2 Carolyn McKee (convert missed) – 5-0
    • VIC try – #14 McKenzie Pusch (#4 Brooke Bazian convert) – 7-5
    • VIC try – #3 Chanelle Edwards-Challenger (convert missed) – 12-5
    Half
    • VIC try – #14 McKenzie Pusch (convert missed) – 17-5
    • LET try – #7 Hailey Driscoll (convert missed) – 17-10
    • VIC try – #5 Ashah Payson (convert missed) – 22-10

    Game 5: Victoria Vikes 28, Calgary Dinos 0
    Scoring summary:
    VIC: 14-14: 28
    CGY: 0-0: 0
    • VIC try – #11 Nicola Smith (#4 Brooke Bazian convert) – 7-0
    • VIC try – #10 Paige Farries (#4 Brooke Bazian convert) – 14-0
    Half
    • VIC try – #10 Paige Farries (#4 Brooke Bazian convert) – 21-0
    • VIC try – #9 Linnea Dalvi (#15 Alexie Pusch convert) – 28-0

    Game 6: Victoria Vikes 24, UBC Okanagan Heat 7
    Scoring summary:
    VIC: 12-12: 24
    UBCO: 0-7: 7
    • VIC try – #9 Linnea Dalvi (#15 Alexie Pusch convert) – 7-0
    • VIC try – #9 Linnea Dalvi (convert missed) – 12-0
    Half
    • VIC try – #15 Alexie Pusch (#15 Alexie Pusch) – 19-0
    • VIC try – #12 Maddy Aberg (convert missed) – 24-0
    • UBCO try – #4 Emma Johnson (#13 Katie Baker) – 24-7

    Tournament standings
    TEAM     WINS      LOSSES  TIES         POINTS
    VIC           6               0               0               24
    UBC         5               1               0               21
    LET           3               2               1               16
    CGY         3               2               1               16
    ALB          2               4               0               12
    UFV         1               5               0               9
    UBCO     0               6               0               6
    NOTE: Teams are awarded four points for a win, two points for a draw, and one point for a loss.

    Overall series standings
    Team / Tourney 1 pts / Tourney 2 pts / Total pts
    UBC – 15 / 12 / 27 pts
    VIC – 10 / 15 / 25 pts
    LET – 12 / 10 / 22 pts
    CGY – 8 / 8 / 16 pts
    ALB – 6 / 6 / 12 pts
    UFV – 4 / 4 / 8 pts
    UBCO – NA / 2 / 2 pts
    REG – 2 / NA / 2 pts
    TRU – 1 / NA / 1 pt