2023 Men's Rugby Team

The IUP Men's and Women's Rugby teams traveled to Washington, DC on April 28–30 to take on the Collegiate Rugby National Championships. The IUP Women's rugby team entered their first national 7s championship tournament. In contrast, the Men's rugby team came in as defending national champions (2022). Friday was a cold, rainy day making play difficult for all teams, and those who navigated the weather best would move on. 2023 Women's Rugby Team

The IUP women's team got off to a rocky start. Going 0-2 in pool play, gaining valuable experience playing at the highest level. On Saturday, they would rebound, tying Salisbury University, then defeating Indiana University–Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI) 21-0. The women's team finished their tournament and their season as the country's ninth-ranked women's D2 program.

The Men's Rugby team continued with high-level play, winning Pool B 3-0, defeating Georgetown University, the University of Chicago, and the University of North Carolina of Wilmington. The Crimson Hawks paired with the University of Northern Iowa in the Quarter Finals. Great defense was essential all weekend, leading the Hawks to a 22-12 win. The semi-final match was IUP versus Norwich University, a national powerhouse. The Hawks were victorious 15-14 with a last-second defensive stand, forcing Norwich to knock on the ball a meter short of the try line.

The national championship paired IUP with a familiar opponent North Caroline State University. IUP and NC State met in December 2022, in Houston, TX, in the 15s national semi-finals. Much like in Texas, the teams were evenly matched, and it was a substantially defensive game. NC State jumped out to a 7-0 lead one minute and thirty seconds into the game. Just before halftime, freshman Santino Fishcio took a pass from junior Dominic Holmes for 30 meters before being taken down by a very high tackle, leading to a penalty try (score) against NC State. The first half would end in a 7-7 tie. At halftime, IUP Head Coach Seth Erwin sent the team out with one last instruction, "Don't Blink." For the initial three minutes of the second half, both teams were solid on defense, causing handling errors in the rain and making hard tackles; neither side could gain much space on the attack. Again, Fischio, with another huge play, making defenders miss, pulled defenders off the edge and threaded a pass to sophomore Dalton Peluso for the National Championship-winning try!

Men's Team Roster

Seth Erwin, Head Coach

Larry Bowman, Assistant Head Coach

Tyler Horwatt, Forward Coach

Sean Zimmerman, Development Coach

Captain: RJ Beach, Junior

Vice-Captain: Brian Arnold, Senior

Vice-Captain: Trent Stalling, Junior

Vice-Captain: Dominic Holmes, Junior

Vice-Captain: Santino Fischio, Freshman

Ryan Hornickel, Junior

Coton Moyer, Graduate

Sam Wise, Senior

Dan Miller, Senior

Dalton Peluso, Sophomore

Caron Davis, Sophomore

Ethan Kish, Freshman

Layne Walls, Freshman

Jayce Brooks, Freshman

Dylan McAnulty, Freshman

Hayden Kovlick, Freshman

Women's Team Roster

Erica Houlihan - Head Coach

Elizabeth Emel

Emma Hafner

Aubrian Henry

Julia Herring

Rachel McConaghy

Ella Miller

Emma Miller

Aaliyah Page

Madisyn Schmidt

Samyiah Scruggs

Allison Semetkoskey

Gabriella Spatafora

LaVada Walbeck

Amaya Williams

Catherine Martsolf