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Rugby’s fall season ends with 5-2 record

The fall season of women’s club rugby ended its season with a forfeit to Central Michigan in the first round of the playoffs. They were supposed to supply a certified referee for the game but were unable to do so.

The game was played but did not count. Central Michigan won 15-7, giving Eau Claire a 5-2 final record.

Not making the playoffs is not the only problem the team is facing. Their coach, Bret Kohloppe, had a stroke on Oct. 11. He is recovering but his condition for the spring half of the schedule is unknown.

“We’re just worried about him,” senior Timoly Sommer said.

There was a good thing to come out of this half-season. Sommer has been named to the 2001 Women’s Rugby All-American First Team by USA Rugby. She is one of only 28 people to be named to the team.

“It feels awesome,” Sommer said. “It’s quite (an) honor.”

She put in a lot of off-season practice to be named to the team.

“I put in a lot of time last summer,” Sommer said. “It was all worth it.”

“(Sommer’s) kind of a coach,” senior Deanne Domagolski said. “She knows her stuff.”

The team’s fall season ended Saturday. UW-Milwaukee and UW-Platteville were supposed to join to field a team against Eau Claire.

It did not have enough players to field two teams of 15. They instead played as two teams of 12.

“It happens a lot in rugby,” Domagolski said. “You never know how many players will show up. You just have to adjust.

“It was easy to adjust to fewer players.”

Domagolski was happy with the fans that watched the game.

“We didn’t post the game,” Domagolski said. “For word of mouth it was a good turnout. They helped with their cheering from the sidelines.”

The team was happy about their fall season.

“It went well,” Sommer said. “We played well.

But the team experienced disappointment as well.

“We never beat Marquette,” Sommer said.

Women’s rugby will start practicing again after Christmas break.

During the spring half of the season, the team mostly plays in tournaments.

“We play for fun in the spring,” Domagolski said.

The team is scheduled to play in the Mudfest tournament in Platteville. It will also play in the All Saints tournament in St. Cloud.

The team will be losing senior Tracy Wendland to graduation. She’s a fourth year kicker and starter for the team.

“She’s the mom of the team,” Sommer said.

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