Mikayla Kizel. Photograph by Christopher Heffernan.
First-year Mikayla Kizel has been named Player of the Month of April as nominated by the coaches and voted by the players after her standout rookie season and performance at three April tournaments.
Kizel has had a standout rookie season with the Golden Rams. She led WCU’s B-side, the Gold team, in scoring. She played in all tournaments with the Gold team: the Frostbite 7s, the WCU 7s, the Emperor 7s and the Legacy 7s.
She led the Gold team in tackles in the WCU 7s and was second in most tackles at the Frostbite 7s.
“Mikayla’s a tackling beast,” freshman Alyssa Miller said. “Nobody ever really gets by her.”
She exceeded all expectations in her first 7s season.
“[she] surprised the coaches this year with her tackling and her ability to get away from tacklers,” head coach Tony DeRemer said.
Before April, she scored three trys at the Frostbite 7s. During April, in the WCU 7s she scored the lone try for the Gold team and was solid on defense and offense.
At Princeton University’s (PU) Emperor 7s she scored three trys in one game against the United States Naval Academy’s C-side (USNAC). Kizel scored once in the USNA’s Legacy 7s against Penn State University
“We love seeing that and she’s done a great job so far,” DeRemer said.
The Golden Rams competed at three tournaments in April. WCU hosted and competed in the WCU 7s, they competed in Princeton University’s Emperor 7s and the United States Naval Academy’s Legacy 7s.
Honorary mentions to captain Faith Morley and Christelle Alce. Morley has been nominated by the coaching staff for the past three months and scored the lone try in the Purple team’s recent win over the USNA.
Alce has been solid for the Golden Rams. She competed mostly on the Purple team and stepped up for the Gold team in one match. She scored four tries this month, at least one at every April tournament.
“I thought she really stepped up in that final game for the gold team,” Sophomore Kirsten Gray said. “She just played really outstandingly throughout all of the games.”
Next on the schedule for the WCU women’s rugby is the USA Rugby 7s Collegiate Championships (R7CC) on May 5–7 in Houston, Texas. This is their second consecutive appearance in the R7CC.
Ty Hickey second year media and culture major