Sacramento Amazons Earn Berth to USA Rugby D2 National Championship Tournament

To view the D2 Championship Pools and Schedule, go here.

from Mary Swanstrom:

The Amazon Women’s Rugby Club of Sacramento has qualified for The Emirates Airline USA Rugby 2011 Women’s Division II Club National Championships and will be taking on the top eight teams in the country in Virginia Beach, Va., Nov. 11-13 for the right to earn the title of the country’s best.

The Amazon team has been in existence for eight years and this will be its first trip the national tournament. The Amazons, who are undefeated in the 2011 season, qualified for the tournament by defeated the Tacoma Sirens 63-10 on Oct. 22 in Sacramento in the USA Rugby Regional Championship.

The Amazon program has seen its share of success over the years as its founding team, the Amazon Under-19 squad, has won two national championships (2003 and 2010). The women’s squad is made up of a wide variety of players from full-time working women, to mothers and wives, to students, or a combination of all. Their passion for the game of rugby, as well as their dedication to build a winning team through endless hours of practice and training that takes place year round, has helped them reached this level of national prominence.

“Any coach would feel blessed walking into a coaching position with the Amazons. These women have a love for the sport that can’t be measured,” said Amazon coach Mary Swanstrom. “They love to hit, they love to score, and they love their team like they are family. I have coached many teams over the last 15 years, and loved them all, but there is something special about this team. You can feel how much they love rugby. It is so much fun to watch them learn and thrive on the pitch.”

The growth in success by the Amazons mirrors that of rugby in the Sacramento region and across the United States as rugby is one of the fastest growing games in the nation. Already a very popular international game, rugby will be returning to the Olympic stage in 2016. Several Amazons are training for spots on America’s roster. One player, Fehi Saafi, has already been invited to a tryout for the national squad.

The rise to the level of being recognized as one of the best programs in the country, one that not only sends teams to national tournaments, but also has individuals with talent levels making them worthy of Olympic recognition, demonstrates the strong work ethic and relentless desire of the Amazons desire to represent the Sacramento community in a positive and successful way.

The Amazons are asking for donations and holding fundraisers to help them raise the $14,000 necessary to cover transportation, lodging and tournament costs for the team’s 26 players and two coaches to experience the dream of competing for a national championship.

The national tournament will involve three rounds, starting with the quarterfinals on Friday, Nov. 11 and semifinals on Saturday, Nov. 12. The championship match will be held on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. EDT. The No. 8-seeded Amazons will begin the tournament by facing off against No. 1 Portland at 3 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, Nov. 11.

The Amazon players will be traveling to Virginia on Nov. 9. For interviews with players or coaches, as well as access to fundraisers or practices, please contact coach Mary Swanstrom at meswanstrom@yahoo.com or 773-499-9449. Action photos of the Amazons from the 2011 season are also available upon request.

To view the D2 Championship Pools and Schedule, go here.

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