National Signing Day
Yesterday was a rather quiet day for many, including myself, as I enjoyed a rare bank holiday. However, in the world of collegiate athletics, it was an extremely busy day. Yesterday was National Signing Day and we saw many high school student-athletes sign their letter of intent with the Cardinals.
Basketball saw just two players sign yesterday, which is a tad lower than normal. The Cards only have only one senior The talent of that class remained right on par though.
Payton Verhulst is a 6-1 guard from Kansas and is ranked anywhere from #7-#12 in several national rankings. Verhulst is the 2020 Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year and a Naismith Trophy All-American. Paulie and I met Payton and her dad at a home game last year. She decided to play a bit of Volleyball this fall and her Bishop Miege squad won the Kansas 4A Tournament.
Sydni Schetnan is a 6-5 center hailing from Sioux Falls, S.D. We are familiar with volleyball players from the area in recent graduate Maggie DeJong and current volleyball player Phekran "PK" Kong. She is rated anywhere from #69-#101, but is consistently listed as a Top 10 post player, a position that has been of concern with the graduation of Kylee Shook and Bionca Dunham.
Schetnan will also be a dual sport athlete at Louisville. Her other sport will be volleyball. Schetnan is an outside hitter, but won't actually join the VolleyCards until 2022
Paulie has inteviewed both earlier this year and those l9inks are below.
Volleyball announced four signees yesterday, which is right on par with numbers. The first is Sydni Schetnan, whom I mentioned earlier under the basketball section. As previously mentioned, she will join volleyball in 2022, as she adjusts playing a role for two Top 25 UofL squads.
Cara Cresse is a 6-5 middle blocker from Ft. Wayne, Ind. Cresse joined the volleyball world just a few years ago, but quickly rose and was named the BCS Blocker of the Year. Paige Morningstar is a 6-0 setter from Pittsburgh, Pa. Morningstar was a two-sport athlete in high school, also playing basketball, but will pursue just volleyball at UofL. She was named the TRIB Female Athlete of the Year.
Elena Scott is a 5-9 libero/defensive specialist from here in Louisville. The Mercy star is arguably the best player in the state of Kentucky for the 2021 graduating class and helped lead the Jaguars to a 3-2 upset over Assumption last week in the KHSAA state tournament.
Soccer had a rather large signing class yesterday, recording 10 signees.
Abigail Baldridge is a 5-10 forward/midfielder from Elmhurst, Ill. Baldridge tallied seven assists and three goals in her most recent full season.
Brooke Dardano is a 5-6 midfielder hailing from South Oldham High School. Dardano is the lone Kentucky native from this class and scored 11 goals to go with 27 assists her junior year. She also scored a perfect 36 on her ACT.
Mikayla Hampton is a 5-6 forward graduate transfer from Northwestern University. She was a leader on a rather subpar Northwestern squad and recently recovered from an injury. In 69 games during her high school career in Wyoming, OH. (a little confusing on that, right?), she scored 69 goals and earned 20 assists.
Hayley Howard is a 5-9 midfielder from Brentwood, Tenn. Howard will graduate early and join the Cards soon after leading her team to a 17-1 record and an appearance in the Tennessee state championship game.
Nina Nicosia is a 5-8 midfielder from Oswego, Ill. Nicosia is the daughter of former professional Argentinian soccer player Gustavo Nicosia. Nina was homeschooled, but her talents have been compared to those similar to Emina Ekic.
Ava Nielson is a 5-5 midfielder from Malverne, N.Y. Nielson was a three-sport athlete at her high school and scored eight goals in a 6-0 season that was cut short by COVID-19.
Olivia Pratapas is a 5-9 goalkeeper from Clemmons, N.C. Pratapas is a highly touted goalkeeper that has drawn national attention from her time with the NC Fusion club team.
Julia Simon is a 5-5 forward from Wheaton, Ill. Simon's accolades as a soccer player have been overshadowed by her work as a basketball player in high school, where she set her school's single-season record for steals.
Lilly Yordy is a 5-4 defender from Hamilton, Ohio. Yordy moved around a lot during her time with the Cincinnati Development Academy and scored 10 goals, but was also known as a shutdown defender.
Sophia Zinn is a 5-6 defender from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Zinn sat out her junior year due to an injury and had her senior season cancelled because of COVID-19. Her 1-on-1 defensive skills were enough to woo Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes into bringing her aboard.
Lacrosse also signed 10 players to their team. With lacrosse being a spring sport we will not see these signees in a Louisville uniform until spring 2022.
Ava Coyle is a defender from Northeast Philadelphia, Penn. She also played basketball and field hockey in high school, but was known for her defensive skills in lacrosse that earned her Under Armour All-American accolades.
Lauren Figas is a midfielder from Parkland, Fla. Figas is a big time scorer but is also dominant in the circle on draw controls.
Bri Lang is a midfielder form Upper St. Clair, Penn. Lang scored 26 goals to go with seven assists in her most recent season that saw her time finish runner-up in the sectional championship. Both of her parents played sports at Penn State.
Tiffany Natoli is an attacker form Baldwinsville, N.Y. Natoli led her team to a sectional championship, state regional championship, and a state runner-up finish.
Juliana Pleck is a goalkeeper from Auburn, Ga. Pleck recorded 100 saves as a freshman and 150 as a sophomore to earn her Under Armour All-American honors.
Haley Reeck is a midfielder from Edina, Minn. Reeck was team captain for both lacrosse and soccer and has been named an Under Armour All-American and a US Lacrosse All-American.
Isabella Rulapaugh is an attacker from Centreville, Md. Rulapaugh is a high-level scorer that also has stellar skills in the circle.
Marley Scott is a defender from Milton, Ga. Scott is ranked #1 in the south and #10 in the nation after leading her team to back-to-back state championships.
Abby Scully is an attacker from West River, Md. Scully scored 19 goals with seven assists as a sophomore as her team rose to #16 in the national rankings.
Izzy Seikel is a midfielder from Dublin, Ohio. Seikel led her team to the OCC Championships in both tennis and lacrosse in 2018 and 2019. She was also named Lacrosse Freshman of the Year in 2019. Both of her parents were athletes in college.
Softball took to social media to announce their six signees, but have not given information on the newcomers yet. It is worth noting that the only signee from the state of Kentucky, Ally Alexander, has interacted with several of the Cardinal Couple staff on twitter in the past.
We will provide more information on the softball signees when we receive it.
There was no word from any of the other sports (field hockey, cross country, swimming and diving, track and field, tennis, rowing, and golf) on any signees yet. We will update that when they give us information on who will be joining the Cards.
Soccer Pick Em
With Louisville's loss Tuesday night we saw the final three perfect brackets fall. The Cards were a heavy favorite among the 10 entries, going as far as winning the championship in a few, but fell to Virginia. The good news for anyone who entered a bracket is that there are five 2-2 brackets and five 3-1 brackets so this is still anyone's game.
For now, I will kick back and enjoy a couple much needed days off from work to start a long weekend.
We will talk more about the signees and the brackets Saturday morning on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour™.
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!