Dos Pueblos had nine senior student athletes sign their college letters of intent in an early signing-day ceremony in the foyer of Sovine Gym on Tuesday.
The athletes that signed were Makeila Cervantes (indoor volleyball) with Pomona Pitzer; Chloe Hoffman (beach volleyball), Stanford; Maddie Ness (lacrosse), Embry-Riddle; Ryan Speshyock (baseball), Stanford; Emma Gilbert (water polo), Harvard; Ava Bennett (water polo), Pomona College; Cooper Costello (swimming), University of Chicago; Nikko Carrillo (swimming), Wagner College and Avery Ball (lacrosse), Messiah College.
Speshyock, a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher, was thrilled and grateful that Stanford honored its offer after he suffered an injured labrum and had surgery last season.
“I always tell people this is not what I envisioned six months ago, this is not where I’d be today,” he said of the injury. “But, inevitably, especially in today’s game, it’s kind of unavoidable. And, here we are. (Stanford) is still honoring it; I’m still going to be at Stanford next year.
“I just had my visit and it was really cool. If anything, I’m just more convinced that that’s the place to be. And that they’re honoring it shows they believe in me and they’re confident in me. So I’m excited to prove them right and hopefully pitch for them next year.”
Hoffman was excited for signing day to finally arrive after verbally committing to Stanford a year ago.
“I’m super happy to have this opportunity to play college volleyball,” said Hoffman, who went undefeated in high school beach volleyball as junior and won the Channel League title with partner Portia Sherman, who is now at Cal.
Gilbert said she had a lot of college options but Harvard was always her top choice. Besides the Ivy League education aspect, she liked the team and the coaches.
“I think that was the biggest draw in the end,” she said.
Gilbert carries a 4.65 GPA.
Ball’s choice of Messiah College is the top-ranked Christian university in Pennsylvania and has a winning tradition in NCAA Division 3 women’s lacrosse.
“It’s very deep-rooted in its Christian beliefs and, when I was looking for a school, that was something that I was very invested in,” she said. “I wanted to make sure I was going to a school where I was free to be my Christian self. That’s why I chose the school.”
She also liked the lacrosse program and coach Heather Greer McKay, who has been at the helm since 2008 and guided the Falcons to 10 NCAA Tournament appearances.
“I liked her beliefs in what she wants a team to be and the importance of a team as a self, and creating a family from your teammates,” said Ball.
Ball enters her senior season at DP as the program’s all-time leading goal scorer with 186 goals.