USF adds student-athletes on National Signing Day

Signing Day

SIOUX FALLS – University of Sioux Falls Head Softball Coach Shannon Pivovar announced Wednesday (Nov. 13) the signing of four student-athletes who will enroll at USF and begin classes in the fall of 2020 to continue their academic and athletic careers at USF. The NCAA recruiting signing period opened on Wednesday, Nov. 13, which allowed student-athletes to sign with their respective programs.

Joining the Cougars in 2020 will be Damaris Cuevas, catcher-third base, Millard, Neb.; Megan Lawson, middle infield, Omaha, Neb.; Shayla Shaver, pitcher/infielder, Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Emma Spizzirri, infield/outfield, Omaha, Neb.

“The 2020 class brings competitiveness and class that will continue to push USF softball in the right direction,” said Pivovar. “On and off the field, this class epitomizes what it means to be a USF student-athlete, combining high level championship experience and fantastic academic and families! We couldn’t be more excited to get them into purple and white and welcome each player and their family to the Coo Family,” she said.

Damaris Cuevas, C-3B, Millard, Neb./Millard South

Damaris Cuevas joins the Cougars after a standout career at Millard South High School in Millard, Nebraska, where she helped lead the Patriots to a state title and four appearances in the NSAA State Championships. The catcher/3rd baseman was a two-time Omaha World Herald Class-A All-Nebraska team member and Lincoln Journal Star All-Class Super State. The daughter of Jaime and Yessica Cuevas, she finished her senior campaign with .435 batting average which was the third time in her career she finished the season with a .400+ average.

A member of the Nebraska Gold 18u travel team, Cuevas also participates in National Honor Society, Patriots Inspiring Teammates Crew, PIT Crew Leadership Team, Unified Sports, and Patriot Agents. Cuevas, who has a passion for playing the Ukulele, singing and readying, will major in business administration with a psychology minor at USF.

“Damaris is a student-athlete that I have had my eye on for a couple of years and have enjoyed getting to watch her grow up on and off the softball field. She brings championship level play and a zest for knowledge. She is constantly putting in extra time to make herself better and I think she is going to be just what this team needs to push to another level. I am excited to welcome her whole family into the USF family,” said Pivovar.

Megan Lawson, Middle Infield, Omaha, Neb./Mariah HS

A fellow Nebraska Gold teammate, Megan Lawson brings solid defense, lefty power and a bit of speed to the USF softball team. An Omaha, Nebraska, native (Omaha Mariah High School), Lawson steadily improved through her years as a Crusader. She finished her senior season with a .429 batting average including a .583 slugging percentage. An Omaha World Herald Honorable Mention honoree, Lawson lettered at Marian her last three seasons and was named to the All-Academic Team.

In addition to her success on the field, Lawson, who is the daughter of David and Annette Lawson, is a member of the National Honor Society, Technical Aid Resource and volunteers at the Open Door Mission. She plans to major in exercise science at USF. Her interests including drawing, pottery and rollercoasters.

“Megan will be a fantastic addition to our USF softball family. She has put in a lot of work to get to where she is and her ceiling is so high – she is only going to continue to grow. Her softball IQ and willingness to work outside of the box are going to help her succeed and push our USF softball team to a new level. I’m so glad the Lawson family is joining our Cougar softball family,” said Pivovar.

Shayla Shaver, Infielder/Pitcher, Sioux Falls, S.D./O’Gorman HS

​A Sioux Falls native, Shayla Shaver led O’Gorman High School to its first state championship in school history as a sophomore as she earned All-State, All-Tournament and MVP honors that season. A three-time all-state selection, she finished her senior campaign with a .391 average at the plate and a 2.2 ERA in the circle, also earning All-Tournament Team honors in 2019. A standout in the classroom as well, Shaver, who is the daughter of Wade and Jeanna Shaver, has been named to the honor roll and earned the Presidential Award her freshman through junior years.

In addition to putting in time on the field with O’Gorman and her South Dakota Gold traveling team, Shaver is involved with volunteer work at Lifescape, The Banquet, Kids Against Hunger, and the St. Francis House while also traveling, swimming and hunting and fishing with her dad. She plans to major in Nursing at USF.

“I am so excited the recruiting process brought Shayla to USF,” said Pivovar. “She has a proven background of success and has shown how tough she is in the pitching circle. Battling through injuries and proving she has the GRIT to withstand championship runs make her the perfect make-up for what we are building. She is a kid who is going to come in and mesh perfectly with the culture we have here at USF and we welcome her and her family with open arms,” she said.

Emma Spizzirri, Infield/Outfield, Omaha, Neb./Skull Catholic HS

​A two-time Academic All-Conference member along with All-State Class B Second-Team honoree, Emma Spizzirri joins the Cougar family from VJ and Angela Skutt Catholic High School in Omaha, Nebraska. A true utility player in every sense of the word, Spizzirri spends time both in the infield and the outfield for her high school and Nebraska Gold teams. She will come in and do the same at USF.

Spizzirri, who is the daughter of David and Sarah Spizzirri, also plays soccer (as a forward and wing) for the Skyhawk soccer team and is a member of the schools show choir. She enjoys doing community service projects through her school and spending time with her younger sisters.

“Spizz has an awesome personality and zest for life that she brings to the field and classroom every single day. She is a lifelong learner that has put herself into dynamic cultures in every sport/activity she has done and that is going to allow her to transition well onto the collegiate stage,” said Pivovar. “Her willingness to be a utility player will provide Spizzirri a chance to contribute immediately. Her whole family is great and we are excited to have them as members of the Cougar family.”

Collectively the 2020 Class features championship experience on the softball field with state titles and summer team accolades, but also exhibit great character and fantastic families.

“When looking at the direction that this program is continuing to grow toward, with a goal of competing every year for championships in the NSIC and Region, we are looking for the perfect pieces to our puzzle. I am confident that this class holds intangible qualities that will put this group in a position to be extremely successful. As a whole, this class provides power at the plate and accuracy on the mound. We cannot wait to get them onto campus to let see how they will grow within our softball family!”

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — University of Sioux Falls Volleyball head coach Joel McCartney announced the signing of six student-athletes, who will join the Cougar family as they continue their academic and athletic careers.  The NCAA signing period opened November 13.

McCartney has added a talented group of recruits which include Caitlin Kellner, defensive specialist, West Des Moines, Iowa; Megan Riddle, outside hitter, Windsor Heights, Iowa; Peyton Kriegel, defensive specialist, Center Point, Iowa; Jordyn Hamm, middle blocker, Spirit Lake, Iowa; Jordan Kuper, middle blocker, Scotch Grove, Iowa; and Ally Beresford, setter, Wynstone, S.D.

“We are all very excited about the 2020 class of athletes and their families becoming a part of our Cougar program,” said McCartney, who has directed USF to 132 wins as a member of the NSIC. “This class not only brings serious and committed players to our team, but also connected and engaged leaders. Collectively, these six give us great depth in position areas of need, but more importantly the talent to challenge for impactful roles in our program,” he said.

Caitlin Kellner, 5-6, Defensive Specialist, West Des Moines, Iowa/Des Moines Christian

Kellner, a three-year starter and letter winner at Des Moines Christian, was a team captain who was named West Central All Conference in 2018 and 2019. As a senior she averaged 4.41 digs per set and .61 aces per set. Kellner, who is the daughter of Julie and Kevin Kellner, was named an Iowa Coaches Association Senior All-Star in 2019. Kellner played with the Iowa Power Plex Club Team.

“Caitlin brings a pretty accomplished resume to our court, but her most impressive attribute is the personal engagement she brings to our program,” said McCartney. “On the court she was a high level three-year starter with 4.41 digs per set and .61 Aces per set as a senior. However, the reason she was voted team captain for her high school and club teams was because of her leadership and the ability to connect her team on and off the competitive floor,” he said. 

Megan Riddle, 5-11, Outside Hitter, Windsor Heights, Iowa/Des Moines Christian

A standout outside hitter, Megan Riddle, who was teammates with fellow signee Caitlin Kellner, was a four-year letter winner and starter at Des Moines Christian. In both 2018 and 2019, she was named to the West Central All Conference Team. In 2018, she was the West Central Conference Offensive Player of the Year. The daughter of Toby and Jim Riddle, she was also honorable mention All-West Central Conference in 2017. She plays for the Iowa Power Plex Club Team.  

“Megan is a fantastic addition to our outside hitter group as she brings a very accomplished set of six-rotation skills to our court.  She fits the prototypical O2 position on the left pin because of her ball control and the ability to create great shots offensively,” said McCartney. “Although Megan has a high-level list of accomplishments for her high school career, what really caught my eye in the recruiting process is how hard she plays the game and how coachable she is on the floor,” he said.

Peyton Kriegel, 5-6, Defensive Specialist, Center Point, Iowa/Center Point-Urbana

A standout defensive specialist at Center Point-Urbana, Peyton Kriegel was a four-year starter and letter winner. A highly decorated performer, she was named WaMAC West All-Conference in both 2018 and 2019. In her career, she surpassed 1,000 digs and set school marks for digs in a season and digs per set. In addition, Kriegel, the daughter of Gretchen and Scott Kriegel, was selected to the WaMaC All-Academic squad in both 2018 and 2019. Named, KCRG Athlete of the Week as a senior, she has also played with the Iowa Rockets Club Team.

“Peyton is one of the most serious and focused competitors we have recruited into our program,” said McCartney. “She also brings an impressive list of accomplishments from her high school and club experience, but her drive and passion for the game was the eye catch for me in the recruiting process. As a four-year starter and record holder in digs per set, digs in a single season and over 1,000 digs in her career. Peyton is likely to become a shining star for us sooner rather than later,” he added.

Jordyn Hamm, 6-3, Middle Blocker, Spirit Lake, Iowa/Spirit Lake

A four-year starter and letter winner, Jordyn Hamm had a standout career as a middle blocker for the Spirit Lake High School. The daughter of Sonja and Jason Hamm, she was a three-time selection to the Lakes All-Conference Team (2017, 2018, 2019) and named an Iowa Coaches Association Senior All Star in 2019. In her career she hit .533 and set a school mark for aces with 91. Named the Des Moines Register Athlete of the Week during 2019, she played on the KAIROS club team. 

“Jordyn (Hamm) brings a great deal of experience and skill to the middle blocking position.  She has the size and reach to be a dominating terminator on both sides of the net,” said McCartney. “Although Jordyn is known most notably for her strength in blocking and attacking, she is sneaky good with other parts of the game as well. She not only set a new school program record for hitting efficiency with a .533 percentage, but she also set a new aces record by recording 91 for her career,” he said.

Jordan Kuper, 6-2,  Middle Blocker, Scotch Grove, Iowa/Monticello
At Monticello High School, Jordan Kuper was a four-year letter winner and starter, who was a two-year team captain. Four times (2016-19), she was named to the River Valley All-Conference Team. The daughter of Gwen and Dan Kuper, she was selected to the Iowa 3A Northeast All-District Team in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She set the career record for kills with 1,297 and single season with 456. Twice she set a school record for kills in a match with 31. She also played for the Club Iowa team.

“Jordan is as physical a middle blocker that we have recruited to our program.  She is a strong athlete with the potential to become a dominating starter on our floor,” said McCartney. “As a four-year starter Jordan holds her school program record for the most career kills but even more impressive is that she also holds the record for the most kills in a single season with 456 and has twice put away 31 kills in a single match,” he said.

Ally Beresford, 5-8, Setter, Wynstone, S.D./Dakota Valley

A four-year starter and letter winner at Dakota Valley High School, Ally Beresford was a team captain and a three-time Dakota XII All-Conference selection (2017-2019). The daughter of Sherri and Todd Beresford, she was voted the South Dakota 4A Region Athlete of the Year in 2018. She played for the MVP United club team.

“Ally (Beresford) is a pure setter with an unbelievably smooth touch delivering the ball.  She has an amazing ability to take an out of system pass and create the most hittable situation for her attacker,” said McCartney. “Ally can also fly around the court making amazing saves. However, I believe Ally’s greatest gift is her vision and being able to read the game in every situation.  She can take some pretty complicated decisions and make them look fairly simple because she sees the game so well,” he said.

SIOUX FALLS – University of Sioux Falls Women’s Basketball Head Coach Travis Traphagen has announced the signings of six high school standouts who will continue their academic and athletic careers at USF. The NCAA recruiting signing period opened on Wednesday, Nov. 13, which allowed student-athletes to sign with their respective programs.
The Class of 2020 includes Madison Wuebben, guard, Yankton, S.D.; Sydney White, guard, Andover, Minn.; Keylee Dahl, forward, Newfolden, Minn.; Megan Fannin, guard, Watertown, S.D.; Molly Lutmer, guard, Perry, Iowa; and Hailey Hohenecker, guard, Plymouth, Minn.
“We are pleased to announce such a well-rounded class, which features talented scorers and players who defend and add tremendous skill to our program,” said Traphagen. “They excel on the floor but also in the classroom. We are excited to welcome them to USF,” he said.
Madison Wuebben, 5’9″ Guard, Yankton, S.D./Yankton HS

Madison Wuebben, a 5’9″ guard, averaged 14.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in her junior season, which included 52 made 3-point field goals. She was named second team all-state, and has twice been named to the all-conference team. Wuebben was selected to the all-conference and all-state teams in soccer, as she lead her Yankton team to a state championship this fall. She also participates in track and field, and is a member of National Honor Society, Humanitarian Club, and Y-Club. The daughter of Doug and Milissa Wuebben, Madison plans to major in business at USF.
Sydney White, 5’8″ Guard, Andover, Minn./Andover HS

Sydney White has twice been named all-conference, most recently following a junior campaign in which she averaged just under 18 points a game. White was named to the Academic All-State team in addition to the all-section team for the past two seasons. Off the basketball court, she is involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The daughter of Jason and Callie White, Sydney plans to major in biology or chemistry, with an interest in pharmacy science.
Keylee Dahl, 6’2″ Forward, Newfolden, Minn./Marshall County Central HS

Keylee Dahl, a 6’2″ forward, averaged 18.8 points and 11.5 rebounds in a junior season in which she was named to the all-conference team. She currently has recorded 1,147 points, 657 rebounds, and 76 blocks throughout her high school career. Dahl is also a three-time all-conference award recipient in volleyball, and was named Most Improved Player on her softball team. The daughter of Kelly and Alice Dahl, Keylee is interested in majoring in nursing at USF.
Megan Fannin, 5’8″ Guard, Watertown, S.D./Watertown HS

Megan Fannin, a 5’8″ guard, averaged 16 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game in a junior season in which she was named all-conference and all-state, in addition to being her team’s Most Valuable Player. She was a team captain, Most Valuable Player, and state participant in tennis this fall. Fannin is also a standout in the classroom, where she has earned Academic Honor Roll and was named to the Academic All-State team this fall. She is active in the community and has volunteered at youth basketball camps and with Gods Work Our Hands at her church. The daughter of Allen and Connie Fannin, Megan plans to major in business administration at USF.
Molly Lutmer, 5’6″ Guard, Perry, Iowa/Perry HS

Molly Lutmer is a three-time all-conference basketball player, most recently following a junior season in which she averaged 14.8 points per game and hit 85 percent of her shots from the foul line. She also recorded 2.5 steals per game and grabbed 5.3 rebounds per contest. She was named all-district in basketball. She has also been named to the all-conference team as a soccer player, and academic all-conference for cross country, basketball, soccer and golf. Lutmer is active in the community, winning the Kiwanis Leadership Award and completing over 90 hours of volunteer work. Molly, the daughter of Jim and Bobbi Lutmer, plans on majoring in sports management at USF.
Hailey Hohenecker, 5’5″ Guard, Plymouth, Minn./Providence Academy

Hailey Hohenecker, a 5’5″ guard, has twice been named to the all-conference basketball team. Last season, she averaged 12 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game, in addition to serving as a team captain. Hohenecker holds the school record for steals in a season, as she recorded 102 steals in her sophomore season. She has also lettered in track and field and cross country at Providence Academy, where she was a participant in the Minnesota State Track Meet. Additionally, she has been selected to the all-state track team. Academically, she has been named to the Honor Roll and Director’s List. She is daughter of Bill and Amy Hohenecker.

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