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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Washington Finishes Fall Season On A High Note

The University of Washington was busy once again this fall. Combined with 7s play, a couple of 15s matches, and a temporary coaching change there was a lot for the Huskies to deal with but in the end the fall ended on a high note with the team looking forward to spring.

Washington has been a team on the rise in recent years thanks in part to great work from Director of Rugby Mike Alfstad and head coach Kevin Swiryn. With Swiryn being involved with the Eagles 7s once again (he's in Dubai this weekend) the team had to look for a new temporary coach. The Huskies turned to the brain trust at ATAVUS for help.

"I got together with Ross Young who many of you met at our fall gathering last year at Shilshole. Last year we had enjoyed some guest coaches to come in and assist us by doing a night’s training. Pate, Shalom and Shawn came in from time to time and the team loved them. Ross and I in our discussion came to see very quickly that Shawn Pittman (Bellingham lad with 30+ caps) was the perfect choice to come in as an assistant head coach," said Alfstad.

Take the jump to read more.
Pittman helped lead the team to a mixed 7s season. The team was short on a few players and injuries and that led to the team playing in the Viking 7s with only one player (they got an extra on day two). they had more of a roster at the NCRC 7s but tough conditions saw two players go down with broken ribs, one with an ACL injury, and a rolled ankle. Because of the injuries the team decided not to play in the PAC 7s.

The Huskies were one of the few NCRC teams to play 15s in the fall (mostly due to weather). Even with the injuries from 7s the team still had strong numbers at practice. Up first was Eastern Washington but in the end the Huskies didn't have much trouble despite some errors. The team finished out the fall season with a match against Gonzaga, a team that gained promotion to the top division this year. They proved to be strong in 7s and they challenged the Huskies but the experience and depth of Washington showed through in a 64-15 win.

The team now takes a break for the holiday before returning the first week of January with fitness. They then take on Oregon on January 23rd as they drive for the playoffs.

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