Watch for Anne-Laurence Harvey with AIC. /// Photo courtesy AIC Athletics
For obvious reasons, the majority of teams that compete at the Las Vegas Invitational hail from the western portion of the country. East coast-based academies like the Northeast and Scion have more resources, but high schools, colleges and all stars are committing to the event for a chance to play alongside the USA 7s.
RUGBY VIRGINIA is making its first appearance in the girls’ high school open division. Additionally, the program is sending two teams – Blue and Red.
Seniors Jessa Mae Quezon (Fairfax Police), Harley Divine (Fort Hunt) and Michelle Reyes (Prince William) bring durable experience, and Harley is actually the oldest of four sisters playing rugby. Junior Alana in on the Blue team with her older sister, while 8th grader Erika and 5th grader Chloee play in the middle school ranks. Meanwhile, look for up-and-coming talent in freshmen Carolina Willis (Richmond) and Hannah Smith (Prince William) to inject a lot of enthusiasm on the field.
Rugby Virginia Blue will face Atlantis, Rocky Mountain and Canada’s Mavericks. The Red side will play the San Diego Aztecs, Summit High School and British Columbia Elite.
Alana Divine (Fort Hunt)
Harley Divine (Fort Hunt)
Marissa Kaplan (Fairfax Police)
Kacy Lee (Richmond)
Madison McCallum (Richmond)
Jessa Mae Quezon (Fairfax Police)
Eryn Smith (Fort Hunt)
Hannah Smith (Prince William)
Abby Wolfe (Fairfax Police)
Pagie Casey (Fairfax Police)
Monica Castro (Fort Hunt)
Sam Choffel (Fairfax Police)
Alyssa Erickson (Fairfax Police)
Jacqueline Fuentes (Prince William)
Emma Jacobs (Prince William)
Michelle Reyes (Prince William)
Bethany Tran Nguyen (Fairfax Police)
Caroline Willis (Richmond)
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE is making the trip from Springfield, Mass., with more than a break from the snow on its agenda. The Yellow Jackets are participating in the varsity league’s new spring 7s series, and the LVI will serve as warm-up before the kickoff tournament on March 26.
AIC actually hosts that first leg of the series, and then four consecutive tournaments follow at various varsity venues. The sixth stop is the league championship on April 30-May 1 at Army West Point and coincides with ACRA’s 7s championships.
AIC, which has been known for its punishing forwards in the past, has some legitimate 7s players who will shine in the college Open division. Chief among them is Anne-Laurence Harvey, sister to Canadian star Magali Harvey. The freshman led all point-scorers and proved an unstoppable force throughout the varsity fall season. Watch for Shamira Robles and Bulou Mataitoga to also make an impact in the open field.
The team runs quite young, with seniors Muneera Patton and Anna Mbengam serving as the lone upperclassmen. The sophomore class is strong, led by December NASC attendees Kayla Clark and Bridget Kahele.
The FLORIDA HIGH PERFORMANCE PROGRAM has already been in action this year, playing DI Elite Life University earlier in the month and penciling in the Atlanta 7s Festival in April. The 12-player roster features both club and college players, with highlights that include former All American Stephanie Browne, Brazil 7s’ Vivian Junger Silveira, Seattle transfer Jesenia Torres, and a lot of good speed.
Florida is playing in the Elite division and will face Japan (8:20 a.m. Thursday), France (10:40 a.m. Thursday) and Scion (8:20 a.m. Friday) during pool play.
Agnes Fuerst (UCF)
Ashley Bengston (Ft. Miami)
Cassidy Davis (Orlando)
Cortney Kuehl (UCF)
Jacqueline Edge (UCF)
Jesenia Torres (Orlando)
Leandria Ates (FIU)
Shannon Steele (Orlando)
Stephanie Browne (At-large UF alumna)
Vivian Junger Silveira (Ft. Miami)
Zoe Sanchez (Orlando)
Tatum Walker (Ft. Miami)