USA Rugby selects 67 student-athletes for Women’s Collegiate All-American recognition

LAFAYETTE, Colo. - USA Rugby is pleased to recognize 67 student-athletes for selection to the 2015-16 Women's Collegiate All-American teams.

Representing 29 universities across both Divisions I and II, the All-American selections were aided by coach nominations, as well as scouting reports by national age-grade coaches, AIG Women's Collegiate All-American Head Coach Sue Whitwell, Women's Eagles Player Development Manager Martha Daines, and other members of the Women's National Team High Performance staff. While the selection process for the All-Americans closely resembles those of previous years, the criteria for selection for the 2015-16 team differs in in the added emphasis on selection based on specific positions, and players' performances during their postseason fixtures.

"Players were selected from the teams that participated in the Fall and Spring USA Rugby Collegiate Championships," explained Whitwell. "The selections, made by a committee of WNT High Performance Coaches, were based on the players deemed to be the best in their position in the playoff series."

Pennsylvania State University, champion of the inaugural Women's D1 Elite competition, led all teams with eight representatives. Following the Nittany Lions are fellow D1 Elite squads Central Washington University - with seven selections - and Brigham Young University and Life University, which both placed five players on this year's team.

Davenport's incredible 2015-16 season, which ended in National Championship victories in both 15s and sevens, earned a DII-best six Panthers on the All-American team.

"The caliber of player made it a difficult task to bestow the All-American honor on a select few," added Whitwell. "The level of player, particularly the pace and physicality, in the game continues to get better and better."

The vast majority of the newly-recognized All-Americans have been invited to participate at the June 28 - July 2 Women's Junior and Collegiate All-America Stars and Stripes Camp. From the roughly 100 athletes competing at Stars and Stripes, the WCAA team will be selected for a pair of matches against a Canadian under-23 side - the Maple Leafs. The July 5 and 9 contests against the border neighbor to the north will precede two of the three matches the senior Eagles will play during the Women's Rugby Super Series. Both age-grade fixtures will air live on The Rugby Channel.

Women's Division I - First Team All-American

Megan Rom (Life) - Prop

Rebekah Hebdon (BYU) - Prop

Tanya Houston (North Carolina) - Hooker

Haley Schafer (Central Washington) - Lock

Jennifer Johnson (Central Washington) - Lock

Elizabeth Cairns (Penn State) - Flanker

Nicole Strasko (Life) - Flanker

Sialafua Skipps (BYU) - No. 8

Madison Ohmann (Life) - Scrum half

Gabriela Cantorna (Penn State) - Fly half

Jordan Gray (BYU) - Center

Asinate Serevi (Central Washington) - Center

Tanya Aragon (New Mexico) - Wing

Deshel Ferguson (Life) - Wing

Tess Feury (Penn State) - Full back

Women's Division I - Second Team All-American

Azniv Albandian (Penn State) - Prop

Hannah Lewandowski (Central Washington) - Prop

Yana Manoa (Central Washington) - Hooker

Nalia Tafua (BYU) - Lock

Katie Loughran (Notre Dame) - Lock

Taylah Pipkin (Penn State) - Flanker

Carly Mackey (Virginia Tech) - Flanker

Katie Lufton (North Carolina) - No. 8

Nicole McCullough (BYU) - Scrum half

McKenzie Hawkins (Lindenwood) - Fly half

Kaitlin Broughton (Life) - Center

Sydnee Watanabe (UC Davis) - Center

Amanda Divich (Lindenwood) - Wing

Jasmine Folch (Connecticut) - Wing

Emily Lessner (Virginia Tech) - Full back

Women's Division I - Honorable Mention All-American

Olufunmilayo Akinl (Air Force)

Morelia Ayala (Chico State)

Francesca Beller (Virginia)

Olivia Bernadel Huey (Stanford)

Scout Cheeks (Penn State)

Megan Curtis (Central Washington)

Hannah Gauthreaux (Lindenwood)

Summer Harris Jones (Virginia)

Leah Ingold (Central Washington)

Joy Jefferson (Virginia)

Jessica Lu (Princeton)

Daly Montgomery (Stanford)

Katie Mueller (Penn State)

Denesha Shipman (Texas)

Carly Waters (Penn State)

Women's Division II - First Team All-American

Allison Miedzelec (Davenport) - Prop

Megan Reilly (Bloomsburg) - Prop

Lanoira Duhart (Winona) - Hooker

Kourtney Kavjecz (Winona) - Lock

Brenna Donahue (Davenport) - Lock

Paige Pfannenstiel (Bowdoin) - Flanker

Meredith Conrad-Forest (Humboldt) - Flanker

Bailey Johnson (Mankato) - No. 8

Moriah Halteman (Fresno State) - Scrum half

Ashlee Byrge (Davenport) - Fly half

Nicole Snyder (Bloomsburg) - Center

Danielle Ordway (Davenport) - Center

Megan Shalvis (Nevada) - Wing

Stephanie Taylor (Montana State) - Wing

Erica Makar (Tulane) - Full back

Women's Division II - Second Team All-American

Chelsey Cobler (Eastern Kentucky)

Addison Carvajal (Bowdoin)

Makala Ferguson (Davenport)

Hunter Moreland (Davenport)

Lily Wissinger (Tulane)