The University of Tennessee men’s rugby team had a phenomenal 2021 fall season, which culminated in them winning the USA Collegiate Division I Club championship. The Volunteers got by Bowling Green 36-31 in early December to capture the crown, and put the finishing touches on an undefeated season. Even though the final score was reasonably close, the Vols jumped out 24-0 thanks in large part to the efforts of Greg Janowick.
“Really what was working for us was ball retention. We were moving the ball just fine, but one we started giving up possession, that’s when things got a little shaky,” Janowick summarized. “But the name of the game was just ball retention and that’s what we tried to do in the second half.” Via UTDailyBeacon.com
While the team outscored their opponents 373-127 throughout the course of the season, Tennessee was challenged on a few occasions. They just got by Ohio State in their opening matchup of the season, 30-23. They edged out Kentucky in early October by a final tally of 22-15. In their contest before the championship game, they fended off a competitive Clemson team 26-17 to advance.
Another member of the Volunteers rugby squad, Braxton Heard, talked about the physicality of the championship match, and how Tennessee was able to stay one step ahead of Bowling Green.
“Bowling Green, very physical team, I applaud them, you can tell they’re well coached,” Heard commented. “ We practice lead by example, and every man is trying to better than the next one.” Via Yahoo.com
As we looked ahead to next season, it will be interesting to see if the Volunteers can remain in the championship hunt. Both Janowick and Heard are seniors, so some of the younger players will need to step in order to defend their crown.