USA Women’s Sevens Named for Las Vegas

February 27, 2017

USA Women’s Sevens Named for Las Vegas


Doug Coil

Richie Walker, Head Coach of the Women’s Eagles Sevens team, has selected the squad for the HSBC USA Sevens, the third leg of the HSBC World Women’s Sevens Series.

Alev Kelter will captain the side, following her debut as captain at the Syndey Sevens, where they won the the silver medal. At the USA Sevens, the Eagles will play Fiji, Ireland and Spain in pool play at Sam Boyd Stadium on Friday, March 3. On  March 4, the finals will be held. The entire women’s event will be broadcast live to viewers in the United States on The Rugby Channel.

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Richie Walker talked with USA Rugby and indicated that “Alev really wants to work hard and be a good teammate for her team. Naming her captain for Australia, as we saw, kind of brought her game alive a bit more; the Alev Kelter of old we’re used to. She’s such a great person and always has ideas and is thinking of things to make the team better. She brings that off the field as captain, as well. She’s always involved with the players.”

Kelly Griffin, the previous team captain and fellow Team USA Olympian, provides a veteran presence to the team.

Naya Tapper was the leading scorer at the Sydney Sevens with nine tries. She also continued this two weeks ago at the Okinawa Sevens. She will be complimented by Kriten Thomas on the wings.

Kate Zackary leadership was evident at the Okinawa Sevens, where she served as captain. Cheta Emba was difficult to contain at that tournament where she was one of the tournament scoring leaders. Kelsi Stockert was also in Japan, and the speedster from the Seattle Saracens will make her Eagles Sevens debut in Las Vegas. She has been previously capped for the Eagles XVs.

Two other members of the squad also traveled to Japan. Nicole Heavirland and Ryan Carlyle both made their presence felt and are back to do the same in Las Vegas

The Falcons won the Okinawa Sevens and USA Women’s Sevens Assistant Coach Andrew Locke coached this developmental team.

Boulou Mataitoga debuted at the Dubai Sevens, but was unable to travel to both the Sydney and Okinawa Sevens. Joanne Fa’avesi is a spark plug when she is on the pitch and also adds a physical presence.

Kelsi Stockert will be joined by Nicole Snyder, who played at Bloomsburg University, in debuting at the USA Sevens.

USA Falcons

The USA Falcons will be playing in the Women’s Elite 7s division at the Las Vegas Invitational tournament and the side will include four Eagles Sevens players. The team will be coached by Emilie Bydwell

Women’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC USA Sevens
1. Cheta Emba 2. Kelly Griffin 3. Kate Zackary 4. Nicole Heavirland 5. Ryan Carlyle 6. Alev Kelter (C) 7. Naya Tapper 8. Kelsi Stockert 9. Joanne Fa’avesi 10. Bulou Mataitoga 11. Kristen Thomas 12. Nicole Snyder

Women’s Eagles Sevens – Traveling Reserves
Cassidy Bargell,  Sarah Buonopane,  Megan Foster,  Samantha Pankey,  Nicole Strasko

USA Women’s Falcons – Las Vegas Invitational
Cassidy Bargell, Tia Blythe, Sylvia Braaten, Sarah Buonopane, Jennine Duncan,  Megan Foster,  Alena Olsen,  Samantha Pankey,  Ashley Perry,  Asinate Serevi,  Nicole Strasko,  Jessica Warner

Women’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC USA Sevens
v. Ireland – Friday, March 3 @ 11:17 a.m. ET
v. Spain – Friday, March 3 @ 2:02 p.m. ET
v. Fiji – Friday, March 3 @ 4:47 p.m. ET

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant