|University of South Carolina Men's Rugby||
Southeastern Rugby All Conference Teams
Player of the Year: Tim Holkenborg; Senior Flyhalf - University of South Carolina
Tim had a stellar season guiding the South Carolina turnaround this season. His accolades this year include being named eastern division player of the week 3 out of the 9 weeks of competition and being named to the All SCRC Tournament team. Last fall Tim was also named to the All SCRC 7s squad. Tim did an outstanding job of directing the attack of a efficient South Carolina back line as well as providing many points off the tee.
Coach of the Year: Mark Morris - University of South Carolina
This year the conference had a couple outstanding coaching performances, and Mark did an excellent job turning around the South Carolina program into a program that finished nationally in the top 16. South Carolina went 5-1 in league and finished 2nd in the eastern division. They advanced to the conference championship by beating LSU and then fell to Tennessee the following game. Mark is a humble coach who will give all the credit to his players for their hard work and determination, but he provided a stable platform of leadership that helped create a winning season and culture at South Carolina.
Carolina Finishes Runner up, Receives At-Large Bid to Nationals
Atlanta, GA - The Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference’s second annual XVs Championship Weekend took place on April 13th & 14th at the Atlanta Silverbacks Soccer Complex, hosted by the DeKalb County Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Atlanta Renegades, between the top four teams from the conference. With an opportunity to advance to the national tournament, each team came prepared to lay it all on the line, with South Carolina being no different.
The first match of the day was between the top seed from the West, Louisiana State University, and the runner up from the East in South Carolina. The contest saw many lead changes throughout the eighty minutes and the attacking play was a treat for all in attendance. In the end, LSU fell short on their conference title hopes to an eager, young Carolina side. Despite their positive play and stellar defense, the Gamecocks were just too much in their ability to counter attack and set the defensive line speed. The Gamecocks found space out wide multiple times keeping the LSU backline, and especially the back three, busy in defense throughout the match. At the final whistle, the score stood 31-23, advancing the Gamecocks into their first SCRC Championship final.
In the second match of the afternoon, the Eastern conference winners from Tennessee faced the Rebels of Ole Miss. The scoring started with the Volunteers dotting down the first try, yet the Rebels quickly responded with a penalty of their own. After a few lead changes, the Rebels were leading at half 17-14. Following the break the Rebels came out attacking the same as they had in the opening stanza. Tennessee, halfway through the second half, pulled away to an eleven point lead. Ole Miss scored two tries in quick succession giving them the edge by one point with ten minutes to play. The last try of the day was scored by Tennessee giving them the final and deciding points of the match. Ole Miss showed that they would be contenders for years to come, though fell short on the day 36-32.
Day two of the competition saw the winners from day one, the University of South Carolina and the University of Tennessee, face off for the crown inside the Atlanta Renegades Soccer Stadium. After a solid victory over LSU, South Carolina struggled in the second half against Tennessee, finishing the match with a final score of 46-34. Controlling much of the game throughout the first half, they capitalized through aggressive attacks on the Tennessee backline and forcing turnovers. Going into the second half, Carolina held a two-try lead, but felt the pressure of the adjusting Tennessee forwards as they focused on using their size to keep the ball in their possession. At the 50 minute mark, the Volunteers scored multiple tries, gaining a substantial lead.