Orem Captures West Trophy
Orem Captures West Trophy
The Orem Lady Stallions continued their victory streak this weekend at the 15th Annual Rocky Mountain Challenge, which served as the West's Regional Cup Tournament (RCT). The Denver event marked the girls team's first appearance at an all-star competition.
The Utah 15s and 7s state champion was the only girls team in the country to compete as its regularly CIPPed 15s club; the four other squads competing in Denver were legitimate select sides. The Lady Stallions had an advantage in terms of cohesion, which goes a long way at all-star tournaments, but the state of Utah entered a select side, too, which just meant more players received the opportunity for higher level play and selector recognition.
The tournament started against Colorado, and it took some time for the Lady Stallions to find their rhythm.
"It was a rough start for us against Colorado, but the girls pulled it together," Orem coach Jeremiah Tiatia said. "Kathryn Stowers and her sister, Falelua, played an awesome game with turnovers and great tackles to help the defense."
Orem emerged with a 35-7 victory. After a trying opener, the Lady Stallions were able to open it up against Missouri in game two, employing its oppressive defense and quick-ball offense for a 58-0 win.
Sunday started with a tough game against Minnesota, which was 2-1 heading into its fourth match of the weekend. The Tundra had defeated Missouri 41-5 and Colorado 24-5, and lost 19-14 to Utah on Saturday. But Orem made sure to get ahead early, kicking off the match and dotting down for an early 5-0 lead that it would never relinquish. A 22-5 victory saw the Lady Stallions into the final.
Utah was having an equally successfully tournament; however the team had played some closer games compared to Orem. On day one, Utah beat Colorado 19-5 and Minnesota 19-14, and then started Sunday with a 32-0 shutout against Missouri. An all-Utah championship awaited.
Heading into its fourth game of the weekend and with its toughest opponent to come, the team leaned on the senior leadership of standouts like flyhalf Eternity Tenney and prop Kailei Peters, as well as and Lindenwood commit Selina Unga. The Stowers sisters were also predominant forces, and the Lady Stallions walked away with a 31-7 victory and Rocky Mountain Challenge trophy.
The RCT trophy caps a fantastic season for the Lady Stallions, one in which the team won the state 7s championship, defeated the High School All Americans at the LVI, and repeated its state 15s title. The Utah side will certainly be pegged for inclusion in the high school national championships next year, bringing a new opportunity for hardware.
West Regional Cup Tournament Scores
Orem 35-7 Colorado
Orem 58-0 Missouri
Utah 19-5 Colorado
Utah 19-14 Minnesota
Minnesota 41-5 Missouri
Minnesota 24-5 Colorado
Utah 32-0 Missouri
Orem 22-5 Minnesota
Colorado 46-20 Missouri
Final: Orem 31-7 Utah
Orem Lady Stallions
|Coach: Jeremiah Tiatia|
|Lia ili||No. 8|
|Charity Tenney||Inside Center|
|Addie Sorenson||Outside Center|