Women’s rugby continues to grow and prosper

By: Ross Hickenbottom, Transcript Reporter

The OWU rugby logo for both the men's and women's teams. Photo courtesy of Facebook.
The OWU rugby logo for both the men’s and women’s teams. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

The Ohio Wesleyan women’s rugby club continues to expand and excel as an organization after recording a successful season, finishing 4­-2 for the season.

The team competes in a league consisting of Wittenberg University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Denison University and Oberlin College, but competed for the title of best in the OVWRC with teams such as Findlay University, Tiffin University, Ashland University and Ohio Northern as well.

Under coach Josh Longenbaker, the organization “really grew” this year, said junior rugger Robyn Madrishin. With a team consisting of 26 ruggers, only six were veterans, meaning a lot of new players were introduced to the team and its success.

A lot of women try rugby for the first time once they enroll at OWU, and considering that, Madrishin, who has played for the past two years, said, “The new players came to every practice ready to learn and the veteran players were always ready to teach.”

As a new rugger, freshman Logan Garber tasted this sport for the first time this year, along with the toughness it takes to play it.

“I had never played rugby before OWU,” said Garber, “but after my first hard hit on a girl in my first game against Wittenberg, I knew that rugby was something I’d be trying to play for as along as my body could take it.”

The team contributed its success to the willingness to learn a new sport and play it to your full potential that the new ruggers showed all season, from the first practice to the last game and also, the “passion that our organization has,” said Madrishin.

Senior N’Toia Hawkins, who just finished her last fall season with the Bishops felt as if the team served as a “home away from home,” and she “loved spending time with them because I trust and love all of them with my life.”

As far as an old program, the lady Bishops do not have one, but a passion is something they do have. The ladies look to not only improve current players’ ability to play rugby at a high level, but also to recruit new players who enjoy trying new sports and building camaraderie among teammates to impact the future of this young and overlooked program.