Tiffany Picketts (Abbotsford RFC)
VANCOUVER - Head coach of the BC Under-18 women's provincial team Brad Baker has released his roster for the upcoming National Championships Festival set to be hosted at the University of British Columbia August 7-11. Loaded with experience and plenty of pace, Baker is confident his side has all the right tools to impress the home crowd.
"We are a very athletic team this year and are experienced with a number of returning girls from last season," Baker said. "The staff are confident that we have an excellent chance to win the gold medal and our goal is to lift the national championship at home."
The squad will be looking to better a third-place finish last year where a narrow 15-10 defeat to Alberta in the pool round cost them a repeat trip to the national final.
Two to watch on this year's roster were named to the Canada Under-20 long list for the Nation's Cup and will be looking to make a strong impression with national selectors in the stands. Tiffany Picketts (Abbotsford) and Allie White (Cowichan) will be key pieces of this year's line up and will look to carry their strong form over from the high school season. Picketts captained Abbostford Secondary to a provincial XVs double-A title this past May, while White was a crucial piece of Cowichan's run to a provincial 7s and provincial XVs triple-A title.
Picketts is one of seven returning players to this year's roster which includes four Bayside AA and Lord Tweedsmuir reps in Nikolina Boundy, Jade Elidoros, April Martin and Alex Mueller. A pair of Cowichan reps will also return for another shot at a national title with Adrienne Saari and Samantha Jory in this year's squad.
"Jory and Elidoros will be two of our senior players in the pack while Alex Mueller will be a key player for us in the backs. Alex can play anywhere in the back line which will be useful at nationals when we play as many games as we do," added Baker.
This past February marked the first time a BC provincial girls sevens roster was fielded. The squad traveled to Las Vegas and placed third at the high school invitational. Sevens standout Saari will again be pulling on the gold and blue jersey at the upcoming nationals along with her Vegas team mates Sophia Degianni (Yale Secondary), Leah Theobald (Cowichan) and Allie White.
The team will be heading into their final preparation camp on Friday at Capilano RFC's Klahanie Park, the home base for this year's squad.
"We are heading into camp to fine tune our game plan and are excited about the opportunities ahead," added Baker. "There are 29 of us and we are ready to play at home in front our family and friends. While that can add more pressure to our players, everyone knows that we have a job to do."
For more information on the National Festival visit www.nationalfestivalrugby.com
BC U18s Nationals Schedule
Wed. Aug 7th, 1:30pm: BC vs Manitoba
Thurs. Aug 8th, 12:00pm BC vs Nova Scotia
Fri. Aug 9th, 1:30pm: BC vs Ontario
Sat. Aug 10th: Playoff Rounds
Sun. Aug 11th: Placement Rounds
2012 Results at nationals (Sherbrooke, Quebec)
BC 13 - 0 Saskatchewan
BC 10-15 Alberta
BC 48-0 Manitoba
BC 92-0 New Brunswick
SEMIFINALS BC 8-13 Alberta
BRONZE MEDAL FINAL: BC 13-0 Quebec
BC U18 Women's Roster
Name (Club / School)
Nikolina Boundy (Bayside AA / Lord Tweedsmuir)*
Nicole Crowley (Shawnigan Lake School)
Sheridan Davis (Williams Lake Rustlers / Williams Lake Secondary)
Sophia DeGianni (Abbotsford RFC / Yale Secondary School)
Jade Elidoros (Bayside AA / Lord Tweedsmuir)*
Mackenzie Fowler (Heritage Park)
Kyra Groll (Burnaby Lake Rugby Club / Burnaby North)
Samantha Jory (Cowichan Rugby Club / Cowichan Secondary)*
Lauren Kerr (Abbotsford RFC / Robert Bateman)
Hannah Lauridsen (Cowichan Rugby Club / Cowichan Secondary)
Alexa Martin (Bayside AA / Elgin Park)
April Martin (Bayside AA / Lord Tweedsmuir)*
Alex Mueller (Bayside AA / Lord Tweedsmuir)*
Brooklyn Navarrete (Belmont Secondary)
Kay Olsen (Abbotsford RFC / Robert Bateman)
Chrissa Perez (Abbotsford RFC / Yale Secondary School)
Shelby Pihl (Abbotsford RFC / Abbotsford Secondary)
Tiffany Picketts (Abbotsford RFC / Abbotsford Secondary)*
Lael Ross (Bayside AA / Elgin Park)
Adrienne Saari (Cowichan Rugby Club / Cowichan Secondary)*
Kate Schievink (Port Alberni Black Sheep / Alberni District Secondary School)
Isabel Schlyecher (Carson Graham)
Leah Theobald (Cowichan Secondary)
Morgan Terpsma (DW Poppy)
Allie White (Cowichan Rugby Club / Cowichan Secondary)
*Denotes returning U18 player from 2012 squad
Head Coach - Brad Baker
Assistant Coach - Rick Pimlott
Manager - Asuka Kusano
Athletic Therapist - Monique Charbonneau