The women’s rugby team, the Sledgehammers, of which I am a member, are surely living up to their name by hammering through their league. After only three weeks, the club team currently stands first in the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) Women’s West Conference, with a total of 13 points accumulated from their two wins and one tie so far this season.

This past Saturday, the Sledgehammers faced their toughest opponent yet: St. Bonaventure University. The first half of the game ended with St. Bonaventure leading the Sledgehammers by five points, reminding Rochester that this was not going to be an easy game.

They quickly made adjustments in an attempt to improve their admittedly scrambled structure, including a very important modification in the technique of their rucking, a part of the game when one or more players of each team crouch down and push against each other to either gain possession of the ball or defend the ball from being taken.

Their improvements paid off, and the second half saw sophomore fullback Emily Grey score two tries after successfully breaking away from the defense. The powerful senior Justina Hauss added to the score with a try of her own, and the speedy rookie freshman Tor Breza topped it all off with her first try of the game, ending the match with a score of 20-20.

The tie was made even more satisfying considering UR’s history with the St. Bonaventure rugby team. Last year, the Sledgehammers faced St. Bonaventure in an attempt to capture the Fall 2014 state title, ultimately losing the game and title,  and watching as St. Bonaventure went on to regionals. This year, things are looking brighter for the Sledgehammers, and they owe it all to their great team dynamic and strong-scoring players.

The team is set to take on Niagara University on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Niagara.

Drago is a member of the class of 2018.

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