Kelter helps USA women’s sevens to solid Series showing
Alev Kelter continues to fly high for the U.S.A. Eagles women’s rugby sevens team.
Kelter, a 2009 Chugiak High graduate, helped the national team to a second-place finish at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Dubai. The 27-year-old from Eagle River played a key role in the team’s quarterfinal victory over favored New Zealand, kicking the winning two-point conversion in the team’s 14-12 Friday, Dec. 1 win.
The victory was described as “stunning” by the New Zealand Herald, which noted the Kiwis had beaten the U.S. 45-12 the day before to complete an undefeated run through pool play.
The U.S. went 1-2 in pool play Nov. 30 before knocking off New Zealand in the quarterfinals and beating Russia 21-12 with Kelter again scoring the final game-clinching conversion. According to a write-up posted on usarugby.com, the Kelter was a key component of the Americans’ “aggressive” attack.
“With Russian focus fixated on containing Naya Tapper, Kelter was able to find opportunities twice in the first half,” reads the account. “Both tries coming via powerful run though tackles, and ensuing conversions. By halftime, Kelter had tallied all 14 United States points herself.”
Kelter left Dubai with seven converstions, fourth best in the series. She’s no stranger to success in the United Arab Emirates, having made the all-star “Dream Team” when the series stopped in Dubai in February.
The strong U.S. run ended in the finals later Friday against Australia, which proved too powerful in a 34-0 championship match victory over the Eagles. Still, the Cup final was a first for the Americans, which are off to their best start in history after one round of the 12-nation series. The series continues Jan. 26-28 in Sydney, Australia.