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Get to Know the Sorensen Finalists: Idia Ihensekhien

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Get to Know the Sorensen Finalists: Idia Ihensekhien

Idia Ihensekhien for Dartmouth in the NIRA final vs Army. Mark Washburn photo.

The MVP of the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association D1 final, Dartmouth No. 8 Idia Ihensekhien is a finalist for the MA Sorensen Award as the best women's collegiate rugby player.

The Milton, Ontario native who was a letter-winner at Jean Vanier Catholic in Basketball, Volleyball, and Rugby made an immediate impact at Dartmouth. A NIRA All-American honorable mention as a freshman, Ihensekhien grew as a player and a leader. But it wasn't all clear sailing. She has had to battle back from a serious injury.

"This season was my hardest," Ihensekhien told Goff Rugby Report. "Coming off a back injury—I had difficulty sitting up for nearly 10 months and I wasn’t fully able to exercise like rugby necessitates— I wasn’t in the greatest shape. But my teammates and coaches were really supportive and found ways to help me maximize my abilities by catering to my style of play."

A prop most of her time at Dartmouth, she was moved to No. 8 to reduce the stress on her back. She blossomed in the new position, but just as much because of how everyone supported her.

"Being selected as a finalist attests to the great effort that Dartmouth Women's Rugby as a whole contributed to ensure that I could participate this season," she said.

See Dartmouth vs Army NIRA Final On-Demand>>

Ihensekhien started playing rugby as a freshman at Jean Vanier. In her second year the Jean Vanier team qualified for the provincial championship tournament, and it was there she was seen by Team Ontario and the Canadian coaches. Soon she was at high-performance camps and was later selected for Canada's U18 and U20 teams.

"The intensity of those camps and tours made me comfortable in high-level rugby settings," she said, "which in turn translated to my success in the NIRA League. Playing high-level college rugby with my teammates means the world to me because there is nothing more fun than playing the sport you love with your best friends. My teammates are not only some of my favorite people, but also my biggest support system. I love that we were able to achieve such success together while having a great time."