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Queens University Women Get Kick-Start With On-Campus Group

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Queens University Women Get Kick-Start With On-Campus Group

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Queens University of Charlotte announced the addition of men’s and women’s rugby last spring and very soon after announced Katie Wurst as director of rugby and head women’s rugby coach.

Looking to begin competition this fall, Wurst had to hit the ground running with her recruiting efforts. Fortunately for her, eight of the squad’s 23 members were already located on Queens’ campus. Ella Brucker, Paige Hughes, Kelsey Lambert, Mary Kate Lynch, Sol Mercado Lopez, Kea Pittman, Elyse Serafin, and Sydney Washington will suit up this fall as the Royals hit the field for their first season of competition.

“The athleticism and accelerated learning shown by these student-athletes all throughout preseason has been exceptional,” Wurst stated. “Rugby athletes often cross-over from participating in other sports, and Queens rugby is certainly fortunate to have these women on our roster.”

Brucker, hailing from Augusta, Ga., will be a junior this coming year. She participated in basketball, soccer, and track and field at Augusta Christian School. She also swam competitively for 14 years prior to coming to Queens. She is the current Chief Justice of the Honor Council at Queens, and worked all summer on campus as an intern with the admissions department.

Hughes is a junior who came to the Royals from Canal Winchester High School in Canal Winchester, Ohio. She was a four-year letterwinner in softball, who also served as the team captain. Hughes also played both travel softball and volleyball. She is currently a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Lambert is a rising sophomore from Storrs, Conn., where she attended Edwin O. Smith High School playing both softball and volleyball. This coming year Kelsey has been selected to join Queens' chapter of The National Society of Leadership and Success.

Lynch came to Queens from Fredericksburg, Va., where she attended Riverbend High School. The sophomore was a competitive cheerleader, and she also participated in lacrosse earning Riverbend’s Future Leader Award.

Mercado Lopez is a sophomore from Lillington, N.C., where she attended Overhills High School. Growing up, the newcomer competed in track and field for the Fayetteville Flyers. Additionally, she is very involved on campus currently serving as a Queens ROAR Leader, Roadmap Scholar, and secretary for the Panhellenic Executive Board.

Pittman, a sophomore from Wesley Chapel, N.C., participated in football while attending Union County Early College. Her future plans involve becoming a neurosurgeon.

Serafin is a sophomore from Leesburg, Va., and prior to coming to Queens, she attended Highland High School where she played volleyball and was a two-time DAC All-Conference team member.

Washington, a Charlotte native, wraps the group. The sophomore attended Butler High School where she was a member of the track and field team. Washington is also a current member of the Queens track and field team.

The 2017 women’s rugby team will kick off their season at Elon on Saturday, September 2 at 1 p.m.

Queens Athletics will be entering its 30th season of co-ed collegiate athletics after finishing fifth in the 2016-17 NCAA Division II Learfield Directors’ Cup Standings, the highest finish in program history.

The Department of Athletics at Queens University of Charlotte is a leading NCAA Division II program in the United States distinguished by its commitment to transforming the lives of its students, and consistently competing at the highest possible levels. Housing 30 varsity level sports, the Royals are a member of the South Atlantic Conference with the men’s and women’s swimming teams competing in the Bluegrass Mountain Conference.

Queens University of Charlotte is a master’s-level university with a commitment to both liberal arts and professional studies. Located in the heart of Charlotte, Queens offers undergraduate, graduate and online degrees such as a highly regarded MBA program, a top-10 Low-Residency MFA program, and an online MSN-Clinical Nurse Leader degree. The university serves approximately 2,250 students through its College of Arts and Sciences, McColl School of Business, Wayland H. Cato, Jr. School of Education, James L. Knight School of Communication, Hayworth School of Graduate and Continuing Studies and Andrew Blair College of Health which features the Presbyterian School of Nursing.