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The Home of Illinois State University Women's Rugby Alumni
History

In the Begining....

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The Womens Rugby Club in the Bloomington-Normal area, had its humble beginnings in the spring of 1976 when "Sweet Mary Wilson" from the University of Illinois "MotherRuggers" decided it was time to start a team at ISU. After engaging the coaching talents of Marty and Michael Zurn. Mary returned to U of I and during her career as a "motherRugger" never failed to give us encouragement and advice, a true advocate of the spirit of the game.

Hours of hard work determination and the coaching ideas of Marty and Michael (better known as "Zurn Brothers, Inc.") led then known as, Bloomington Betterhalves to an impressive six season record of 38 wins 5 losses and 3 ties. Sweet Mary Wilson is currently teaching somewhere in Utah, Marty is fighting fires in Eugene Ore., and Michael now happily married our former select side outside center, is living in Galena Illinois.

ISU Women's Rugby Club is a member of the Midwest Womens Rugby Football Union, which has grown from its original five full member teams at the time of its conception to include some 20-30 teams throughout the Midwest. After experiencing organizational problems in its seventh season and folding in its eighth season the ISU Womens Rugby Club took a hiatus.

In 1991 the team was re-built and back on the pitch. At which time the team took it's current form as the pink and blue ladies from Illinois State University. The team took almost a decade to come back into its own as a powerhouse in Illinois Rugby Football Union as well as in the Midwest.

In 1999, the Pink and Blue accomplished perhaps its greatest feat to date. Lead by Meaghan White and Lyn Weissmeller among others, the ladies battled to win the Midwest final four and earn a berth to the first ever National Division II final four. 

In the Spring of 2000, ISU made the treck to Ohio State University for Nationals. Where after a disappointing first round, took third place in the nation.

In 2000 Coach Laura Drumm, who was known as "Coach" from 1994 -2000, moved on to Chicago.  Here is her farewell letter.

The ladies, now dubbed the "Fighting Highlighters" ( if you have seen the current jerseys you know why they are called that) have yet to accomplish a repeat of the 1999 season.But did have a close run for the National Championship spot in the 2005 season. The girls competed at San Jose, CA in the USA Rugby Play-off Series. They fell short of the top 4 spots in their division, but show promise to grow in the future and fight their way back into the Play-off's as well as to stay in the National Spotlight.

 

ISU RUGBY TIME LINE

1976- Birth of ISU Rugby

1977 - 3rd Place @ Mardi Gras Tournment

1985 - Ruth Bernick - U.S. Eagle Tour of Great Britain

1991- Re-birth of ISU Rubgy as we know it today

1999- Win Mid-West Final Four

2000- Take 3rd in the Nation in the National Tournament @ Ohio State University

2001- Make play-offs, put out in the first round

2004- Host 1st Round of Play-offs @ ISU fields, Defeat Iowa State University & North Dakota State to move on to 2nd Round of Play-offs

2004- 2nd Round of Play-offs- Defeat West Virginia in the first game to Move on to the National Championship Series to be played in April of 2005

ISU RUGBY NEWS ARCHIVES

ISU hosts 2004 Play-Offs- Daily Vidette