Rugby wins runner-up Dixie conference trophy

TTU's Rugby team and President Oldham display the Dixie Conference trophy

The Tennessee Tech rugby club finally has a place on campus to show off its achievements.

The team now has a trophy case located on the second floor of Roaden University Center, just outside of the Multipurpose Room.

“It’s nice to have something in the UC for people to see and know who we are, and it’s also nice to have a trophy to represent Tech,” said team president Blake Holder.

The rugby club won its first trophy since 1996 after finishing in second place at the Dixie Conference Playoffs Feb. 28 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

The team won its semifinal match by beating the University of North Alabama 27-17.

Tech fell to UNA in last year’s Dixie Conference semifinal and in a friendly last fall.

“They had beat us the last couple of times so it was great to be able to redeem ourselves,” said Holder.

In the finals, Tech lost to its rival opponent, Lee University, 38-25.

However, the team’s performance was still good enough to earn a trophy that is now on display in the new case.

“Our plan is to keep our two newest trophies on display in the case on campus and then retire them to our team bar, John’s Place, with our other trophies,” said Holder.

The team will be back in action this weekend, playing in the Nash Bash Tournament against Ball State and Baldwin Wallace in Nashville.

The team is also about to start playing in a rugby sevens tournament in April. Rugby sevens is different from the team’s normal format of rugby union, 15 players on each side.

“In rugby sevens, we play seven guys on each side and play two halves of seven minutes,” said Holder.

Tech’s first rugby sevens tournament will be at the Southeastern Conference Sevens Tournament April 11 in Knoxville. The team could play up to three matches, and if they place in the top three, they will secure a spot in the National Finals in Philadelphia in May.

The team’s next home game will be against Sewanee Saturday, March 28 at Soarin’ Park located behind Foundation Hall.