Sac State women’s rugby club welcomes all skill levels

The club has been on campus for over 2 decades


Jesse Tapia

Women’s rugby club president Sarah Armanino attempts to stop her teammate in a practice drill Tuesday, Feb. 25. The women’s rugby club prides itself on being open to all skill levels.

Jesse Tapia

The women’s rugby club has been at Sacramento State since 1999 and strives to provide a welcoming environment for all members.

One of the coaches, Kristina Weber, who the team refers to as “K-Dub” was once president of the club when she was a Sac State student. Weber graduated in 2009 and now her and Naima Reddick, an alumnus of the USA Rugby Eagle team, are paying it forward to those who join the club. 

Current club president Sarah Armanino said that the club does not want students to hesitate joining because they lack experience.

Armanino said that about 80% of the team had no prior rugby experience but having Weber and Reddick helps with getting players familiar with the game. 

“One of my friends that I met at the dorms brought me out to watch a game and I just fell in love with the scrum and the community of it,” senior Madison Alford said.

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Jesse Tapia
Alexis Jimenez kicks the ball to the opposing side of the field during team drills Tuesday, Feb. 25. The club has been around for over two decades on campus.

The team practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the intramural fields and spends Mondays doing fitness work at The WELL with running and conditioning coach Michele Frayne. 

Saturday’s are reserved for matches. 

“Saturdays are a big thing in the Rugby community,” Armanino said. “‘It’s rugby day’ is a chant that everybody says.” 

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The team has travelled from San Diego to Reno and pays for part of their own travel expenses since they are a club sport.  

Alyson Martin, last year’s MVP, said that it makes the experience in the club more “meaningful” and “personal” since they are the ones providing.

In order to raise money for the club, Armanino said that the team is able to get allocation from the Sport Club office. However, the allocation is based on a tiered points system. Armanino said that points can be earned by doing fundraising, community service, campus involvement and attending the Sport Club council meetings. Points earned can be used for a higher allocation which assists in paying some expenses, with remaining costs being paid out of pocket. 

Alford said that the team is close to family. One of her favorite memories in the club came after a game.

“There was one time we were out here on the field, it was after a game and someone brought their speaker,” Alford said. “We were all just singing, dancing and goofing around. You know we’re all hurting but we were all just hanging out feeling the same pain just singing and dancing.” 

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Jesse Tapia
Alyson Martin attempts to run past her defender in a practice drill Tuesday, Feb. 25. The team has travelled from San Diego to Reno and pays for part of their own travel expenses since they are a club sport.

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Armanino mentioned that the team often hangs out together. They do team dinners and they have a team Snapchat group that everyone is a part of. 

For anyone looking to join, Alford noted the benefits of rugby club. 

“There’s no harm in trying something new,” Alford said. “But if you really want to see how strong you are, if you want to really figure out who you are, what you’re all about and what you can do, come out to rugby.”