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Naya Tapper, Women's Rugby Sevens headed to the quarterfinals after going 3-0

Tapper, who plays rugby for the national team and professionally for five years now, started playing in college at UNC-Chapel Hill.

TOKYO, Japan — North Carolina's Naya Tapper, along with her U.S. Women's Olympic Rugby Sevens Team, is headed to the quarterfinals in Tokyo. 

The U.S. team competed in the Women's pool round session 1 at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28 where they beat China 28-14. 

The team played Japan just hours later and won 17-7. 

The U.S. Rugby team then played reigning champs Australia Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET, winning 14-12. Going into the game against Australia, the U.S. team had automatically qualified for the quarterfinals.


Pool C: Session 1

United States: 28 

China: 14 

Pool C: Session 2

United States: 17 

Japan: 7

Pool C: Session 3

United States: 14

Australia: 12

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Naya Tapper, a West Mecklenburg High graduate, is representing the U.S. in her first Olympics on the women's rugby team.

"I'm getting prepared for one of the biggest moments of my life and one of the greatest achievements that anybody can have," Tapper said. 


The 12 participating teams are divided into three pools of four. Each team plays three preliminary matches, one against each opposing team in its pool. Wins are worth 3 points, draws are worth 2 points and losses are worth one point toward the preliminary rankings. 

Once all pool round matchups have transpired, the top two teams in each group advance to the knockout stage, along with the best two third-place finishers. If teams are tied in ranking points, the first tiebreaker is the result of the head-to-head matchup between the tied teams. If the teams did not meet in a match, or if the match ended in a tie, aggregate points margin is considered to determine the higher-ranked team. 


The single-elimination bracket begins with the quarterfinal round. Teams are seeded as follows: 

  • Group A winner vs. Second-best 3rd place finisher 

  • Group C runner-up vs. Group B runner-up 

  • Group C winner vs. Group A runner-up 

  • Group B winner vs. Best 3rd place finisher 

Winners of the quarterfinals advance to the semifinals. Winners of the semifinals advance to the gold medal match, while losers of the semifinals play for bronze. Eliminated teams also play additional classification matches to achieve a final Olympic ranking. 

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