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Pacific Northwest U23s Host NorCal in MLR Curtain-Raiser

  • 26 Apr 2023
  • 3412 Views
Loggers Rugby

The collegiate post-season is nearly over, freeing up personnel to participate in next-level opportunities like all-star 15s. The U23 level sprouted to life last year with the return of an all-star 15s championship, and certain areas of the country have continued to build momentum from that catalyst of an event. The 2023 championship will occur June 23-25 in Des Moines, Iowa.

RELATED: 2023 Regional U23 All-Star Depot

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At the select side level, the Pacific Northwest is active and organized. This Friday, the PNW U23 Selects are hosting the Pacific Coast Grizzlies U23s in a 15s exhibition match, set to occur at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash. It’s a curtain-raiser for the Major League Rugby game between Seattle and Dallas.

“We have an exciting squad for this event,” Pacific Northwest Selects program director Heidi Whitman enthused. “Selections were made via development camps, games, and coach nominations, with an eye towards making participation accessible to all eligible u23 players in the PNW.”

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Players are flowing in from all directions. There are current collegians who just wrapped on their spring 15s seasons, including members of the Univ. Washington and Western Washington, which competed at spring regionals in Palo Alto, Calif. Another eight players are playing their rugby on senior club teams.

“I’m especially thrilled to see players who have come up the pathway through participation in the U18 PNW Loggers,” the coach called out Malia Ili, Celine Liulamaga, Tee Teaupa, Rico Leiataua and Samantha Atienza and their work with the USA Pathways National Development Program.

PNW U23 Rugby

PNW U23 Rugby

Monique Gallant is the head coach and will be overseeing the squad Friday; however, on Monday, work is sending Gallant to Alaska for undetermined number of months, so Whitman is best contact in the near future.

NorCal is bringing 23 players to Tukwila, and the roster is a pretty even split of those playing on college teams and senior club teams. But there is a much deeper pool of players (also listed below) that is also being considered for the national championship squad. Friday’s match, coach recommendations and game film will guide final selection for the June 23-25 trip to Des Moines, Iowa.

NORCAL ALL-STARS

Ashley Alvarez – Berkeley All Blues
Vivian Aragon – EPA Razorbacks
Emily Brower – Berkeley All Blues
Malena DeLeon – Fresno State
Lilian Dinis – Fresno Golden Dogs
Shareni Donis – UC Davis
Stephanie Elizondo – Fresno State
Talita Falepapalangi – EPA Razorbacks
Veronica Fatai – EPA Razorbacks
Tufue Fesili – Fresno State
Jesse James-Fesola’a – EPA Razorbacks
Chetna Kumar-Naicker – Fresno State
May Lauritzen – Cal Berkeley
Eve Mango – Cal Berkeley
Meghana Narravula – San Jose State
Christina Opeti – Life West/Rhinos
Miralena Patino – Fresno State
Angelina Pohahau – EPA Razorhawks
Timea Ryan – Cal Berkeley
Christina Sama – EPA Razorhawks
Falemei Sanft – EPA Razorhawks
Mona Lisa Tupou – Life West/EPA Razorbacks
Sydney Yasukochi – Cal Berkeley (Not traveling due to injury)

NOMINATIONS

Some players were unable to attend the Washington trip due to limited availability or injuries
Katie Brown – Cal Berkeley
Kate Buckley – San Jose State
Tuptim Carlson – USF
Emeline Falepapalangi
Erikah Fealofani – EPA Razorbacks
Adelina Hernandez – Santa Clara
Lexy Jenkins – Fresno State
Monique Kohlstadt – San Jose State
Molly Kozaski – Life West
Levi Kreisa – UC Davis
Athena Lewis – Cal Berkeley
Yana Manoa – At Large
Dorothy Mao – Cal Berkeley
Esther Morrison – Cal Berkeley
Lindsey Murnane – San Jose State
Lauryn Nazareno – Life West
Samantha Noriega – Cal Berkeley
Mariah Overby – Cal Berkeley
Aimee Ramos – San Jose State
Gabriella Tamagri-Christian – San Jose State
Roxelle Thomas – Life West
Anna Timmerman – USF
Tasha Tsao – Berkeley All Blues
Esther Tuato’o
Keeli Tuitasi – EPA Razorbacks
Nora Webb – UC Davis
Rey Zarria – UC Davis

On June 23-25, the U23 All-Star 15s Championship will take place in Des Moines, Iowa. Information is forthcoming, but check out this landing page for ongoing updates.

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