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Mountain View Watches For Challengers In Idaho

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Mountain View Watches For Challengers In Idaho

The Mountain View Varsity girls take the field. Rochelle Simmons photo.

Mountain View HS has to be feeling pretty good after a solid week in the Rugby Idaho Girls HS 7s, as the programs ended up in a virtual tie for 1st in the JV league and in 1st place outright among the Varsity teams.

Sure there's plenty of rugby left in the fall, but with the next round of games coming up on Saturday, all eyes will be on how anyone can take Mountain View down.

One team already did, with Rocky Mountain Black tripping up Mountain View JV 24-10. Mountain View Head Coach Rich Hersey tipped his cap to Rocky Mountain's ability to be so strong while fielding two teams in the JV bracket. 

"Rocky Mountain has done an incredible job recruiting girls in the offseason," said Hersey. "It showed with their number of players and the depth of their talent. Our girls played very well vs Rocky Mountain Purple {in a 17-14 win on Monday)."

But a couple of injuries put them on the back foot against RM Black. Still, those two teams are now both atop the JV standings at 3-1.

Leading the way for Mountain View is freshman Hope Fletcher. A player who has an older brother (Wes) and older sister (Hailey) who have won Rugby Idaho championships, Fletcher looks ready to burst out from under that double shadow.

She runs hard and finds space smartly, and leads the JV team in tries. Macey Dunn, a sophomore, is also a standout. Macey is new to rugby but has taken quickly to the game. A basketball player as well, she has good hands, doesn't get rattled, and powers through tackles. Also showing well on the JV team is Alexis Tschida, who showcased her pace with a 95-meter run around everyone.

Still, there is work to do.

Varsity Leaders

Meanwhile, the Varsity team is unbeaten so far at 4-0.

"If you look at our stats, we have three different girls who have scored four tries so far this season, and then we have a different girl kicking with more points than those three girls," said Hersey. "That's four different players who are all putting solid points on the board."

Of course, that's just a by-product. the Mountain View coaches like to see the players play team rugby, and they've done that.

"As coaches, our philosophy is that you should do the hard work to set your teammate up to score," said Hersey. "If you pull the defender in and then offload, you are the one who the coaches see."

Still, it's hard to ignore the work of senior Madi Diefenbach, who is 12-of-13 on conversions and has consistently been the one to break the gainline and open up options for her teammates.

Next Up

Saturday will see the first weekend play for Rugby Idaho, as both the Varsity and JV brackets share the same game day at Meridian HS. Here's the JV schedule:

Rocky Mountain Purple (2-2) vs Rocky Mountain Black (3-1)
Eagle HS (2-2) vs Mountain View (3-1)
Meridian HS (0-4) vs Rocky Mountain Purple (2-2)
Rocky Mountain Black (3-1) vs Eagle HS (2-2)
Mountain View (3-1) vs Meridian HS (0-4)

Watch out for Eagle HS, which won twice this week and whose opening losses were both very close. They could, with a little bit of improvement, knock off both leaders.

Here's the Varsity Schedule:

Rocky Mountain (3-1) vs Centennial HS (0-4)
Eagle HS (1-3) vs Mountain View (4-0)
Meridian HS (2-2) vs Rocky Mountain (3-1)
Centennial HS (0-4) vs Eagle (1-3)
Mountain View (4-0) vs Meridian (2-2)

The up-and-comer here is Meridian which, like Eagle in the JVs, bounced back from an 0-2 opening round to win two this week, and in convincing fashion. 

"I think we are going to see Meridian make a real push over the next few weeks. I have a lot of respect for their ability and talent," warned Hersey. "Also, Rocky Mountain is a great club. They have great coaching and focus. One loss won't set them back, it will make them work harder. I just expect them to come out even better the next time we meet. I've told our girls that it is great to be on top with an undefeated record. However, don't let that satisfy you. Teams play up to their competition. Since we are at the top, expect opponents to bring their best game. If you think you are the best and take your foot off the gas, somebody will beat us. Now is not the time to relax."