Motherruckers to finish season in game against alumni

Andy Jobanek

On various Mondays this year, Whitties may have noticed several pairs of severely bruised legs in mini-skirts walking around campus.

These legs belong to the members of the Motherruckers, Whitman’s women’s club rugby team, who proudly sport the war-wounds they earned in competition the week before.
Next Monday, April 28, will be the last time Whitties will see black and blue legs pepper the campus this year as the team wraps up its season with the annual alumni game on Saturday, April 26, on Ankeny.

Overall, the team was very young this season with several first-years filling out the roster.
“We’ve got a lot of committed girls this season and that’s always the biggest struggle for us so it’s great to have so many girls out here who are really excited about the sport,” said senior Co-Captain Nora Hawkins.

While the large turnout was welcomed, the team couldn’t point to any change this season that could have caused it.

“They just kind of recruited each other. One will be in a section and say, ‘Why don’t you guys come out?'” said next year’s Co-Captain Haley Woods.

For others, joining the team came on a whim.

“I was at the activities fair and a bunch of boys dared me to sign up,” said first-year Emily Lorente, who stuck with rugby after her initial dare and now will be next year’s other co-captain.

Lorente is typical of a lot of the Motherruckers who came to the team with little or no rugby experience, but stayed because they liked it. Most who do stay, stay because of the support they find from their teammates.

“The appeal I’d have to say was the real team atmosphere,” said Co-Captain Emily Tomita, who initially came out with a friend from her first-year section. A month later, her friend quit, but Tomita was hooked. “We may not win all the time, or even most of the time, but it’s a great group of girls and a fun sport.”

One of the reasons the Motherruckers are such a tight team is because of the nature of rugby.

“Rugby is a sport where if someone gets tackled you have to support them. Every girl on this team expects and is confident in knowing that when they get tackled, their teammates will be there to support them,” said Motherruckers Coach Sina Yeganeh. “Outside of rugby, these girls have many diverse hobbies and interests, but find a common interest in rugby, which forms a long lasting camaraderie that lasts even past college.”

“We’re such a diversified team. The girls on our team do so many different activities, so many different majors and we all have very different friend groups too. It’s so fun that we can all come out here and play together and really support each other,” said Hawkins.

So far in the spring, the young but close team played competitively in a tournament and barely lost to Gonzaga in their lone game of the semester. The Gonzaga game was particularly special because the Motherruckers narrowly lost by only one try, or score, when Gonzaga has handled them in the past.

“Gonzaga is one our biggest rivals and so it was really great to put up an amazing fight against them,” said Hawkins.

Despite the loss, the future is bright for the young Motherruckers, who will hopefully retain a lot of the same talent that gave Gonzaga a scare and beat them next year.