After a 2-4 record in 2016, the Brock Women’s Rugby team is building up to what is expected to be an exciting season.
Second year coach Stefanie Pavlovich said about the off-season, “Thanks to the new Sports Performance Centre, the team spent most of the off-season training.” The Sports Performance Centre was opened in August of 2016, and with its founding, has allowed for Brock teams to train together under sports performance coaches in-season and during the off-season. For the first time, the women’s rugby team also hosted a recruit day where incoming student-athletes came to campus and got educated on the program.
Last season, Brock was shutout in three of its six games, including blowout losses to eventual OUA champion Guelph, Western, and York. Though Brock struggled offensively and defensively, Pavlovich is optimistic about this season.
Pavlovich said of their veteran players, “We are very fortunate to have an excellent leadership team in Meagan Hart, Alanna Mercer, and Katelyn Heyens, we know they will set the bar high.” Though, Pavlovich added that she expects to see a significant impact from new players as well, “forwards Jessi Zandbelt and Aleah Boersma will make an incredible impact, [and] in the backline, we will see significant changes in our speed and power by adding Taylour Hurd, Jenna Rainville, and Autumn Gervais.”
Pavlovich discussed that in OUA women’s rugby over the past few seasons, there have been several changes to coaching staffs as well as league structure. She noted, however, that because of these changes, she believes any school is capable of making their mark this season. Pavlovich believes, “the OUA will see much more competitive games throughout the season.” Last season, Brock was middle of the pack with ten points, behind Guelph and Western in the Shiels Conference.
The Badgers open their season and OUA play in Waterloo on September 2 against the Warriors, and host Trent on September 9 in their home opener.