USA Sevens & Women Eagles Sevens
The USA Women’s Eagles finished 4th at the Rugby World Cup Sevens. They beat China an Russia before losing a close match to New Zealand in the Semi-Finals and to Australia in the Bronze Final.
This HSBC Women’s Sevens Series serves as an Olympic qualifier. The first four teams atop of the Series standings will automatically qualify for the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020. The other teams must survive regional qualifying tournaments.
The USA team will consist of eight seasoned veterans with international experience. There are also three players who will make their debuts at this tournament in Stephanie Rivetti, Alena Olsen and Lauren Thunen. Both Rivetti and Olsen played for the San Diego Surfers in winning the USA Club Rugby Sevens National Championship. Thunen is a 2018 Women’s Junior All-American herself who earned her selection following a strong showing at the recent U20 Women’s Tri-Nations Cup. Ilona Maher played in the final HSBC Women’s Sevens Series and also was a member of the USA Rugby World Cup 7s team in San Francisco.
Among the leading try, scorers are Naya Tapper and Kris Thomas. Alev Kelter was missed at the Rugby World Cup Sevens due to an injury, but she is a dominant athlete on the circuit. The team will have co-captains this year as Nicole Heavirland shares those duties with Lauren Doyle.
The USA will open the Series against Rugby World Cup Sevens Challenge Trophy winner England on Saturday, Oct. 20. China will be next, while WRC7s Champion New Zealand will follow.
The tournament runs Oct 20-21 at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colorado’s rugby epicenter. Tickets start at only $15 with Beerfest and VIP packages also available at usawomens7sglendale.com.
USA Rugby Comments
Emilie Bydwell, General Manager of Women’s High Performance indicates that “We are very excited to be back on home soil kicking off the World Series. It is always very special for the players to play in front of their friends and family, and to have the opportunity to start the Olympic qualification season with that support is amazing. We know this will be a difficult year, but the team and our program have set our sights on Top 4 and World Series qualification.”
“The debutants for this stop speak to the strength of the pathway and competitions this summer. Lauren was identified at the National Development Academy tournament and local club competition playing for Santa Barbara Academy and then quickly turned to represent the USA at the age-grade level.”
“Alena and Steph excelled at the Club Sevens Nationals Championship, that competition structure supported their journey to this selection by giving valuable minutes and experience in a ‘bridge’ type competition.”
Chris Brown, Interim Head Coach said that “As a traveling group we are looking forward to the challenge of representing the squad as a whole that has diligently been grafting away this past 6 weeks. We have been installing new frameworks and philosophies and the progress we’ve seen is at a level where we are excited to express ourselves with confidence, while fully recognizing we are in a foundation installing period.”
“The desire to learn and progress on and off the pitch has been first class, which has also had a heavy focus on inclusion while not washing over the non-negotiables around expectations. It excites me personally to be able to lead in Denver for the first time.”
Women’s Eagles Sevens Roster
All players are part of the Women’s Sevens residency program.
1. Abby Gustaitis 2. Cheta Emba 3. Jordan Gray 4. Nicole Heavirland (C) 5. Alev Kelter 6. Lauren Doyle (C) 7. Kris Thomas 8. Naya Tapper 9. Alena Olsen* 10. Lauren Thunen* 11. Stephanie Rovetti* 12. Ilona Maher Traveling Reserve 13. Kasey McCravey*
*First HSBC World Sevens Series appearance.
Women’s Eagles Sevens Staff
Interim Head Coach | Chris Brown
Athletic Trainer | TBA
Team Manager | Liz Strohecker
HSBC USA Women’s Sevens Glendale Schedule
Pool B | Streamed LIVE exclusively on FloRugby
- vs England. Sat, Oct. 20 – 11:14 AM
- vs China. Sat, Oct. 20 – 1:58 PM
- vs New Zealand. Sat, Oct. 20 – 5:04 PM
- All times local U.S. Mountain Time.