UVic Vikes flyhalf Jess Neilson is tackled by a Guelph Gryphons player during the U Sports national women's rugby championship quarterfinal at UVic on Thursday. The Gryphons won 33-17.

Vikes drop exciting quarterfinal, focus on fifth at women’s rugby nationals

Alexandra King scores 28 points to carry Gryphons over Vikes on four tries and four converts.

The UVic Vikes ran out of time against the No. 1 seed Guelph Gryphons and lost 33-27 in the opening round of the CIS women’s rugby national championship at Centennial Stadium on Thursday.

The win puts Guelph into today’s semifinals against St.FX X-Women, 7 p.m. at Centennial Stadium. The Vikes will face the Concordia Stingers in the consolation semifinal Saturday, at 2 p.m. The winner of the consolation semifinal plays for fifth place Sunday at 11 a.m.

Despite going down 33-15, the Vikes stormed back and nearly drew even, only to run out of time.

Alexandra King had a phenomenal game, scoring 28 of the Gryphons 33 points on four tries and four converts. “Alexandra has been a tremendous player all year. She has been a tremendously strong runner, a great kicker and her vision of the game has finally caught up with her athleticism so she’s now able to find gaps and finish,” said Gryphons coach Colette McAuley. In front of a loud home crowd, the Vikes came out of the gates and took an 8-0 lead. The Gryphons were able to hold off the Vikes’ pressure until Riley Tylor and then King were able to break through with tries. “We had a good game plan and the girls were ready, it just came down to execution on the field and a few too many mistakes cost us,” said Vikes head coach Brittany Waters.

The Vikes weren’t going to accept defeat without a fight though, they pulled the game back to just a four points.

“We were very resilient. We kept going and I wish there was some more time because if we had more we would have kept coming,” said Waters. “We had lots of opportunities to score that we did not execute.” The teams traded two tries apiece throughout the rest of the game to reach the final score of 33-27. “We knew UVic as the hosts were going to come out strong and they didn’t disappoint. They ran the ball well, passed the ball well and have a strong kicking game,” said McAuley on the play of her opponents. A large UVic crowd stayed loud throughout the game, trying their best to will their Vikes to victory. “It’s exciting for the girls to have the home crowd behind them, that kept them going throughout the whole game for sure,” said Waters. With the victory Guelph moves into semi-finals, where a match up against St.FX X-Women on November 4 at 7:00 p.m awaits them. The loss sends the Vikes to the relegation side of the bracket. They play the Concordia Stingers on November 5 at 2 p.m. Both games can be watched online at sportscanada.tv/usports SCORING GUE: 12-21:33UVIC: 8-14:27 SCORING SUMMARY UVic Try – Tiffany Picketts (convert missed) – 5-0UVic PG – Jess Neilson – 8-0GUE Try – Riley Taylor (Alexandra King convert) – 8-7GUE Try – Alexandra King (convert missed) – 8-12 HALF GUE Try – Alexandra King (Alexandra King convert) – 8-19UVic Try – Chelsey Minter ( Jess Neilson convert) – 15-19GUE Try – Alexandra King (Alexandra King convert) – 15-26GUE Try – Alexandra King (Alexandra King convert) – 15-33UVic Try – Samantha Robb (Jess Neilson convert) – 22-33UVic Try – Gabrielle Senft (no convert) – 27-33 CardsUVic – Dakota Weir (Yellow Card) Players of the Game GUE – Alexandra KingUVic – Jennifer Appleby CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (All times Pacific Time) Thursday, Nov. 312:00 Quarter-final 1: No. 3 Calgary (42) vs. No. 6 Acadia (10)14:00 Quarter-final 2: No. 2 Ottawa (25) vs. No. 7 McMaster (19)17:00 Quarter-final 3: No. 4 StFX (24) vs. No. 5 Concordia (17)19:00 Quarter-final 4: No. 1 Guelph (33) vs. No. 8 Victoria (27) Friday, Nov. 417:00 Semifinal 1: Calgary vs. Ottawa19:00 Semifinal 2: StFX vs. Guelph Saturday, Nov. 512:00 Consolation 1: Acadia vs. McMaster14:00 Consolation 2: Concordia vs. Victoria Sunday, Nov. 611:00 Fifth place13:00 Bronze medal15:00 Championship final

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