Now that her high school volleyball season is over, Brooke Statler is anxious to play at Tusculum University.
The Columbus East senior, who committed to the Pioneers over the summer, made her decision official on when she signed a national letter of intent with the Division II school in Greeneville, Tennessee. She made her intentions known during a signing ceremony on Monday in the East commons.
“I can’t wait to go,” Statler said. “It’s like meeting my second family. The coaches are great, and I already know most of the players.”
The outside hitter recorded 84 kills and was third on the team with 46 blocks this season in helping the Olympians win Hoosier Hills Conference and sectional titles. She’ll join a Tusculum program that went 11-17 this season.
“It’s a great fit for her, and I think she’ll be a star there,” Pagnard said. “I think her hard work has definitely paid off. She’s been super dedicated in the weight room, and it shows in her play.”
Meanwhile, another East senior athlete, Audrey Wetzel, has committed to play basketball at St. Francis. She will sign in a ceremony at 3:20 p.m. Friday in the school’s commons.
Wetzel is averaging 18.0 points in two games this season in leading the Olympians to a 2-1 start. St. Francis, an NAIA school in Fort Wayne, is 2-2 this season.
“I really liked the school,” Wetzel said. “I know a couple of the other girls who are going there to play next year, and I’m friends with (East graduates) Connor Umphress and Bryce Lienhoop, who are on the men’s team, so that will be nice.”
Locals named All-Stars
Four local volleyball players have been selected to play in Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association All-Star Games Saturday at Lawrence North.
Columbus East’s Cortney VanLiew and Bailey Western and Columbus North’s Mackenzie Rooks are on the South team that will play the North in the Junior game. East’s Kortney Thalls will play for the South in the 3A-4A Senior game.
The Junior game will be at 1 p.m., followed by the 1A-2A Senior game at 2:30 p.m. and the 3A-4A Senior game at 4 p.m.
North girls 10th in Midwest
The Columbus North girls cross-country team finished 10th, and the Bull Dog boys were 26th in the Nike Midwest Regional on Sunday.
Rachel Brougher led the girls with a 42nd-place finish in 18 minutes, 36.8 seconds for 5,000 meters (3.1 miles) at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course that hosted the state meet. Nina Bouthier took 109th in 19:16.6, while Sierra Lax was 113th (19:17.9), Arig Tong 146th (19:36.3), Allison Coffey 149th (19:36.9), Ana Singhal 190th (20:02.6) and Kirsten Ballard 296th (21:28.5).
Ben Rankin finished 167th in 16:36.3 to lead the boys. Elijah Brooks took 177th in 16:39.0, while Chandler Stewart was 186th (16:43.8), Justin Spoon 214th (16:49.4), Chase McQueen 273rd (17:18.3), Eli Fischer 274th (17:18.6) and Charlie Allen 355th (18:23.3).
Hauser picks award winners
Brea Metz (volleyball), Pete Trotter (soccer), and Sam Meek (boys tennis) have been named Hauser’s most valuable players in their respective sports, while Owen Rush and Naomi Gollmer were honored as leading runners for boys and girls cross-country.
Sarah Tedder won the mental attitude award for volleyball, while Tannyr Davis was named most improved. Other awards went to Metz (most kills), Alana Owen (assist leader), Maranda Knight (blocks leader), Danielle Giles (digs leader) and Sydney Schoen (highest serving percentage).
Emily Joyce won the mental attitude award for soccer, while Justin Stafford was named most improved. Other awards went to Joe Sweet (most goals), A.J. Titus (most assists), Jacob Hatton (best defense) and Pete Trotter (most saves).
Jacob Johnson was named most improved in boys tennis. Meek was honored for having the best record.
Jordan Johnson won the mental attitude award for boys cross-country. Hunter Albright was named move improved.
Abbey Ashbrook won the mental attitude award for girls cross-country. Kristin Keith was named most improved.
Junior wins North golf MVP
Junior Holly Anderson has been selected as MVP of the Columbus North girls golf team.
Sophomore Danbi Kim won the Bull Dog Award. Sophomore Molly Donnell was named most improved.