Six UF sports have productive fall signing days
Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 11:38 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 11:38 p.m.
At the start of the fall signing period Wednesday, the University of Florida made a slew of signings in softball, women's basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, and women's and men's tennis.
The Gators' softball team had five players sign letters of intent — Megan Reed, Nicole DeWitt, Kayli Kvistad, Rebecca Shipper and Janell Wheaton — to National Letters of Intent.
Reed, DeWitt, Kvistad, Shipper and Wheaton will look to immediately contribute to a Gators squad that paced the nation in wins last season and captured its fourth SEC Championship before advancing to the WCWS in Oklahoma City for the fifth time.
“This is a really solid group of great athletes and we're excited about them joining our program,” UF softball coach Tim Walton said. “This signing class has speed, power, athleticism and they are especially versatile with the ability to play multiple positions. I look for this class to make an impact on our team right away."
In women's basketball, coach Amanda Butler announced four signings: Dyandria Anderson, Brooke Copeland, Haley Lorenzen and Isis Young.
“As a group, these four are very complete,” Butler said of the quartet. “They are a very complete group, personality-wise. It is a very complete group when you look at it basketball-wise: There is size, there is speed, the ability to shoot is there and there is ball-handling. There are perimeter players and post players. There are players who can play inside and outside and both areas. More than anything they are going to be players who I'm going to enjoy seeing everyday and working with everyday. Our fans and Gator Nation will love supporting this group.”
The Gators' class is rated No. 11 in the country by Dan Olson's Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and ESPNW.
UF's volleyball program signed three players to letters of intent: Rhamat Alhassan, Abby Detering and Carli Snyder.
“In Rhamat, Abby and Carli, we have signed three players whose talents will play a major role in our success over the next four years,” coach Mary Wise said.
The Gators gymnastics team signed a trio of athletes from Texas for 2015. The class includes two U.S. Senior National Team members — Kennedy Baker and Grace McLaughlin — and Ericha Fassbender, who was a part of the 2010-11 U.S. Junior National Team.
"This is a strikingly well-balanced class,” gymnastics coach Rhonda Faehn said. “I don't find any weaknesses in this group. They've all reached an extremely high level in the Elite world and have a tremendous amount of competitive experience. These student-athletes bring a wonderful mix of artistry, athleticism and personality. In total, they will contribute to our team immediately and will continue to help our program compete at the highest level."
Florida's men's tennis squad signees feature three American junior players ranked in the top 40 nationally. Oliver Landert plans to enroll in January of 2014 while Jordan Belga and Chase Perez-Blanco plan to enroll for the 2014-15 academic year.
“We are pleased to welcome these three young men into the Gator Program,” coach Bryan Shelton said. “One of our goals was to bring the best talent from the state of Florida to our campus. All three of these guys are not only great tennis players, but are the total package and will bring a work ethic, drive and toughness to ultimately help us win championships."
The UF women's tennis team added three players Wednesday, signing Brooke Austin, Josie Kuhlman and Peggy Porter.
Austin, Kuhlman and Porter, each of whom are ranked among the top-10 seniors in the country by tennisrecruiting.net, will be counted on to fill the void next season left by three graduating seniors.
"We are really excited about all three of them," coach Roland Thornqvist said. "They are replacing three of the most accomplished players we've ever had on this campus, as far as women's tennis is concerned. So, they certainly have big shoes to fill.”