USA Women’s Falcons announce roster for Las Vegas Invitational

Developmental women’s sevens team to compete in largest amateur rugby tournament in North America

  • Women's Falcons name roster for Las Vegas Invitational Feb 28 - Mar 2
  • 70% of Women's Sevens resident-athletes to compete during break in World Series competition
  • Falcons to scrimmage players of Hawk Eye development program on Feb 25

LAS VEGAS, NV. - The USA Women's Falcons have named their 12-player roster for the annual Las Vegas Invitational (LVI) taking place Feb 28 - Mar 2 alongside the senior men's HSBC USA Sevens tournament.

Led by Women's Sevens Head Coach Chris Brown and Head of Physical Performance Matt Long, the roster will feature three players who have yet to debut for the national team in Jazmine Gray, Eti Haungatau and Nikki Kenyon; as well as one capped Women's Eagle (15s) in Jennine Duncan and nine senior Eagles Sevens players.

The Falcons will play in the Women's Elite Sevens division along with five more USA resident-athletes competing with one of the other 15 senior club teams. Among them are Naya Tapper, Kasey McCravey and Ashlee Byrge with CCIG; as well as Nana Fa'avesi and Kate Herren with Scion Rugby. A schedule will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

LEARN MORE ABOUT LVI HERE

With the main HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series on a break until late April, the LVI tournament will fill the gap with valuable competitive playing opportunities for new and experienced Women's Sevens players. In total, the women's program will see 70% of its resident-athletes involved in the competition.

Further, in using the break in senior play as an asset to develop pathway players, the Women's Falcons will scrimmage athletes of the Hawk Eye program as part of their preparation for LVI. Players in the Hawk Eye program will first engage in a training camp beginning Feb 21 with the scrimmage taking place on Feb 25. All athletes in the Hawk Eye development camp roster came from USA Rugby's All-American programs.

General Manager for Women's High Performance Emilie Bydwell said: "Looking at the year, we recognized that the prolonged break between Sydney and Japan presented a unique opportunity to accelerate the development of athletes in our Women's Sevens program. It's difficult for the Hawk Eye program to assemble during the school year, but having this event over a long weekend gave us a mid-year opportunity to both see how players are progressing and set development plans as summer programming picks up. The combination of competing at LVI and our added training games the week of March 11 allow our program to maximize the second half of the year; integrating some of our remote pool players to continue tracking their development."

The USA Men's Falcons will also compete at the Las Vegas Invitational with a roster and schedule to be announced in the coming weeks. Competition takes place across three locations in the greater Las Vegas valley including Heritage Park, Silver Bowl Sports Complex and Star Nursery Fields.

While a broadcast partner has not been confirmed, score updates will be available on twitter.com/usarugby. Attendance is free for all games.

Women's Falcons Roster

PlayerPositionClub or Program
1. Hope RogersPropWomen's Sevens Residency Program
2. Jazmine GrayWingRaleigh Rugby Venom
3. Meya BizerProp/HookerWomen's Sevens Residency Program
4. Eti HaungatauProp/FlyHalfWomen's Sevens Residency Program
5. Alev KelterFlyhalf / CenterWomen's Sevens Residency Program
6. Jordan MatyasPropWomen's Sevens Residency Program
7. Jennine DuncanProp/WingSeattle Saracens
8. Nikki KenyonScrum Half/ Fly HalfWomen's Sevens Residency Program
9. Stephanie RovettiScrum Half/Fly HalfWomen's Sevens Residency Program
10. Alena OlsenScrum Half / FlyhalfWomen's Sevens Residency Program
11. Kristi KirsheCenter/PropWomen's Sevens Residency Program
12. Kiki MorganFly Half/ CenterWomen's Sevens Residency Program

Women's Hawk Eye Development Camp Roster

PlayerClub or Program
1. Cassidy BargellHarvard University
2. Alex SedrickLife University
3. Emily HenrichDartmouth College
4. Salote TausingaSac Pal Amazons
5. Kate BuzbyScottsdale Rugby (HS)
6. Ina BaileyKona Bulls Rugby (HS)
7. Ariana RamseyDartmouth College
8. Samantha SullivanUnited States Military Academy
9. Susie AdegokeLife University
10. Taina ScottKahuku Rugby (HS)

*Players in the Hawk Eye program rotate between various projected positions.

Women's Falcons Staff

Head Coach | Chris Brown
Strength & Conditioning / Coach | Matt Long
Head Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner
Athletic Trainer | Dani Allen
Team Manager | Liz Strohecker

Las Vegas Invitational Schedule 

Thursday, Feb 28 - Friday, Mar 2
Field 14, Silver Bowl Park, Las Vegas, Nevada 
All times Pacific |

vs STARS | Feb 28 - 8 AM 
vs Berkeley | Feb 28 - 10:40 AM 
vs Air Force | Feb 28 - 1:20 PM 

Attendance is FREE  
Click here for score updates

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About the USA Falcons

USA Falcons are the developmental teams for the senior men's and women's sevens programs who compete in domestic and international tournaments outside the main HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The teams serve as a support to the senior Women's and Men's Eagles Sevens by building depth in the player pools for both programs and exposing new waves of athletes to international competition. Falcons competitions also provide more playing time for current national team players; streamlining the transition of new players to the senior programs with interaction between various experience levels. The USA Falcons are equivalent in competition level to the USA Selects in 15s.

About the Las Vegas Invitational

The Las Vegas Invitational (LVI) is the largest rugby tournament in North America that takes place annually alongside the HSBC USA Sevens international rugby tournament held in Las Vegas. The LVI is considered the premier amateur rugby event in the United States, featuring athletes and match-ups across a wide-range of rugby divisions and age groups. The tournament features club teams, select sides and National teams from around the world with more than 275 competing teams in 2018. The 2019 LVI will see an expansion of teams in multiple competitive divisions for men, women and youth.

About the Women's Hawk Eye Program

The Women's Hawk Eye program is a development initiative designed to encompass all of Women's High Performance with various assemblies held through the year to develop and test the nation's top up-and-coming athletes. Focused on exposing a new generation of players to increased levels of training, the program will host assemblies alongside senior high performance training camps to help pathway players accelerate their growth and bridge the gap to senior national teams. The program sits within USA Rugby's overall plan of building roster depth for upcoming Olympic and World Cup events on the women's side.

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