Cierra Thomas, a senior Anthropology major, plays inside center at Vassar College. She attended Edmond Memorial High School in Edmond, Oklahoma. Cierra is a powerful, elusive runner and a strong tackler. Off the field she is an active member of the Vassar student body, involved in a host of extra-curricular activities. In the 2014-15 season, she started all 19 games for the Brewers during the fall and spring seasons and led the Brewers in scoring with 21 tries. She earned All-Tri-State Conference honors for the fall season. This past fall season, Cierra scored 26 tries for a total of 130 points and started in all 14 games.
Bowdoin Women's Rugby player Addison Carvajal has been named a USA Rugby Women's Collegiate All-American for her play during the 2014-15 season. Playing as a back last season for the Polar Bears, Carvajal helped lead Bowdoin to the Division II Final Four. Carvajal is also a stand-out track athlete for Bowdoin. Addison and the Polar Bears begin the regular season on September 19 in a home opener against Tufts.
Abby Juelfs began playing rugby as a sophomore in high school. She was introduced to the Hastings Girls Rugby Club by friends and continues to pursue the sport. She is now a senior in college and an active leader of the women’s team at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Abby has helped her college club grow on and off the field. She has brought heart to the pitch as a front row player and has excelled at maintaining organizational structure within the club while occupying various officer roles from 2012 to present.
Abby’s passion for rugby extends further than her home club. She has played a role in the growth of Minnesota Youth Rugby by developing Rookie Rugby partnerships with community agencies in southern Minnesota. Additionally, she served as the university liaison for the U19 Midwest All-Star Training Camp in 2013, and recently designed the new official logo for the American Collegiate Rugby Association.
She is pursuing a degree in Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Services with an emphasis in Non-Profit Management. She hopes to pursue a career in the non-profit business sector while continuing to grow the sport of rugby.
Dee Nash was first introduced to rugby by a floormate during her freshman year at Boston University. She played a number of different positions before being asked to step into the role of flyhalf early in her sophomore fall and has worn the number 10 jersey in almost every Terrier A-side game since.
Dee was elected Captain of the team for her final year. She is also proud to have played in national tournaments such as 2013 CRC 7s with BU and Women’s Club 7s in San Francisco with the Boston Falcons in 2012.
Dee is majoring in athletic training and hopes to pursue a career in that field upon graduating. While she is sad to be leaving Boston University and not sure what the future holds, she looks forward to continuing to play rugby at the club level.
A graduating senior representing Division II Rugby from the New England Small College Rugby Conference, Maura Allen is a two-sport/three-season varsity student athlete at Bowdoin College. A Government major from Boulder, Colorado, Maura was recruited to play ice hockey. During the past four winters, Maura has been a rock-solid defenseman for the Bowdoin women's ice hockey program, playing in over 90 games over the last four seasons. In 2013, she anchored a Bowdoin backline that permitted just 1.52 goals per game and helped lead the team to its first NESCAC Championship and NCAA Tournament appearance since 2004.
New to the sport, she joined the varsity rugby team as a freshman and has competed each fall and spring since. An outside center and fullback for three years, she moved to #8 early in her senior fall, where she showed an outstanding grasp of both attack and defense at the base of the scrum and became known for her counter rucking ability to create turnover ball. Scoring 12 tries this season, Maura is also the second-leading tackler. She anchored a Bowdoin team that captured their second consecutive Conference Championship, and in post-season play advanced to a #5 ranking in the ACRA inaugural fall season. Maura garnered her team’s MVP Forward Award, was named All-Conference Team #8 and earned Academic High Honors awards from NESCAC, the rugby conference, USA Rugby, and ACRA for her outstanding achievement in the classroom. As co-captain this year, her outstanding leadership and personality have made a lasting impression on the team
Abby Buns is an Air Force Academy senior who is going to be commissioned as a 2ndLieutenant in the Air Force in May 2014. She was a recruited Division I soccer player from West Chester, Ohio and transitioned to rugby at the beginning of her junior year at the Academy. Abby excelled at the sport due to her speed, agility, and athleticism and quickly became the Air Force’s star full back. She is looking forward to playing 7’s with the team her last semester at the Academy. Abby is a Behavioral Science major with over a 3.7 GPA and is also on the Air Force Academy’s Superintendent’s List, excelling in academics, physical fitness, and military training. She was also selected this year for Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges. Abby is going to be a Contracting Officer for the Air Force and will be stationed at Hill AFB in Salt Lake City, Utah after graduation. She hopes to continue playing rugby for a city club in Salt Lake City.
As a graduating senior and voted the MVP of the ACRA Final Four - Division II, Holly Vassar has experienced a lot of rugby in her life. Her rugby career started as an 8th grader at Orono High School (MN) and she was awarded Rookie of the Year. In her senior year of high school she was also the team’s MVP as a scrumhalf.
With six kids in the family (all three girls played high school rugby) college was entirely self-funded. So when going the community college route, Holly played fullback for the city club, the Minneapolis Menagerie. Upon transferring to Winona State University she sat out her first semester with a broken ankle from a climbing accident. Since then she has started at blind side flanker, attending three Final Fours in a row.
Holly hopes to continue with rugby depending where the job market leads her. A double major in Human Resource Management and Business Administration, and a minor in Management, her possibilities are nationwide.