By (Spencer Main)

Even though junior Kelsey Barry grew up around a rugby oriented family, she waited until her second year of college to find her own role within the sport.

Like most players on the Alabama women’s rugby team, it did not take long for Barry to fit in with the team. In fact, the case can be made for most players consider the club more than a team.

“These girls are my family,” Barry said.

For any sports team to be successful, they need to be a strong and cohesive unit. In the case of the women’s rugby team, it is no different.

“It is our family, we love spending time together,” Barry said.

But the team is intense when need be, as they take each opponent seriously in order to maintain their level of success. Junior Erika James, or better known as ‘E’ to her teammates, understands what the team needs to do in order to be successful–which it has been. Last season, the team went undefeated and was ranked in the top 16, securing a spot in nationals.

“We keep each other accountable,” James said. “Our chemistry off the field helps our chemistry on the field.”

Whether it’s during practice or out on the quad after class, each player sacrifices their personal time for the betterment of team. Teammates realize that every little bit of practice counts, and there are many times during the week where a player is proactive in organizing a group to throw out on the quad.

The close-knit bond the team shares extends beyond the team as well. Especially during a heavy week of testing.

“During finals week we were all there for seven hours at a time. We keep each other on their toes about their schoolwork,” Boroff said.

Homework for any student can be challenging, but with a two hour practice three days a week, it can be difficult to keep up with every event happening, and with a limited amount of home games, the travel schedule keeps them on the go at all times during the regular season.

“We are playing Tulane and LSU over fall break and the next weekend and after that we are going down to Mobile for a tournament,” Barry said.

Even though the women’s team is a relatively young club as it only began six years ago, it has wasted no time in working towards the ultimate goal.

“We work hard for a common goal,” Barry said. “We want to be champions.”

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports