The Loyola rugby team packed its bags and headed west on Thursday to participate in the Jesuit Cup at Santa Clara University in California on April 22-23.
In its quest to bring home the treasured Pope Francis Cup, Loyola has to matchup against prime programs from Notre Dame University, Gonzaga University and other Jesuit schools across the nation. This is the first time the Wolf Pack has been invited to the 7’s tournament.
Jerry Malina, head coach, said his team faces a tough road ahead but has a shot to win some games if they compete at their highest level.
“The tournament will be a huge step up for the guys, and there will be no easy opponents,” Malina said. “We will have to switch on and play to our full potential to have a chance for success.”
With a 6-1 regular season record, Malina is looking forward to seeing his team show up big time in
“The guys stepped up to take the invitation to the nationally recognized Jesuit Cup against the top Jesuit institutions in the country,” Malina said.
The players are eager to showcase their talent on a national stage against talented rugby squads.
Vincent Duhé, history and mass communication junior, sees many positive aspects of playing in the
“I think it definitely gives us more nation-wide recognition because we are going across the country to play in a big-time tournament against some big-time programs. I’m really excited to see how we match up against some high-level competition,” Duhé said.
The Wolf Pack will face tough Division I competition in the tournament. Some of the schools have varsity programs, offer scholarships and recruit their players. Loyola, a Division III rugby club, does not have the same resources to do some of the things these other schools can.
Nonetheless, Liam Doyle, business and marketing senior, has high hopes about the tournament
“What excites me the most is being able to experience it with my rugby club,” Doyle said. “We are going to go in and we’re going to play our hearts out and see what
On the first day of the tournament, the team will play three games, facing off in game one vs. St. Josephs, game seven vs. Santa Clara and game 11 vs. Gonzaga.
Their success on day one determines who they play the following day.
The tournament will be broadcasted live on the Jesuit Cup website.