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Raleigh Venom playing in women's rugby national semifinals

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The Raleigh Venom women's rugby team on Saturday advanced to today's Women's Division II National Championship semifinals in Houston.

The fourth overall seed after losing the pool championship 17-15 to the Pittsburgh Angels, the Venom was scheduled to play Providence in the semifinals this morning.

A victory would put the Venom in this afternoon's championship match.

The Venom started Saturday by rolling past the host Houston Herricanes 26-0. Win Amika Olchovik scored all four of the Venom tries, three of which were converted by fullback Sarah Foster, Venom representative Erin Krupa reported.

In the Pool A championship, the Venom took on the Angels in a pairing of well-matched and very agressive teams. The Venom lead 10-0 at halftime on tries by Jen Larimore and Amanda Winar. In the second half, Amanda Winar linked up to supporting Jen Larimore, who touched it down for the try. Pittsburgh broke through the Venom defense twice in the second half, scoring two converted tries. With just under five minutes remaining, the Venom led 15-14. Then, with time winding down, a penalty by the aggressive Venom set up an Angles penalty kick. The Angels kicker cleared the ball through the uprights, and Pittsburgh ended up with a 17-15 victory.

If you would like to help the Venom cover travel expenses for the Houston tournament, send a check payable Raleigh RFC to PO Box 6019 Raleigh, NC 27628. Or you may use Paypal by going to and clicking on "Donations"; put "Venom F4" in the memo box. Donations made by Nov. 15 would be appreciated, club founder Jim Kellenberger said.

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- Teri Boggess

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