Cincinnati, Ohio – May 15, 2012: 14 St. Ursula Academy seniors participated in a signing ceremony on Tuesday, May 15, 2012 to commit to play college sports. That brings to 27 the number of St. Ursula athletes to commit to play college athletics next school year. The spring athletes participating in the signing event today are:
Abby Bettner has signed her letter of intent to play golf
at The College of Mt. St. Joseph. She was a member of the SUA Junior
Varsity team during her sophomore and junior year and was a member
of the Varsity team this year as a senior.
SUA Awards and Accomplishments: At the end of the season this year she was awarded the Saint Ursula Academy Bulldog Award. She also made either first and second honors since freshman year.
Abby recently was named as a recipient of the Greater Cincinnati Women’s Golf Association award. The scholarship award can be used for her freshman year at The College of Mount Saint Joseph for expenses, like the cost of books.
In May of 2010, Abby won a golf tournament at Majestic Springs. She says that really helped boost her confidence and showed her that golf is something she truly loves and wants to play in college and for the rest of her life.
At St. Ursula, she is a member of the Life Club, Senior Cooking Club, and National Honor Society. She worked at St. Ursula’s Open House for two years and volunteers at Saint Michael’s Soup Kitchen. She also volunteers once a week during the summer at The Christ Hospital. Volunteering at the hospital has helped her decide that nursing is what she wants to do. She will study nursing at Mt. St. Joe.
Abby’s St. Ursula Golf Coach, Mark Hannahan, had this to say about her: "Abby Bettner loves golf and has dedicated herself these past four years to improve. She has worked very hard and the results have been impressive. As a senior varsity player, she modeled many fine qualities for her teammates. Mount St. Joseph is fortunate to have Abby join their golf program."
Her College of Mt. St. Joseph coach, Jeff Neumann said, “Abby is an outstanding golfer and she will arrive at the College of Mount St. Joseph and make an immediate impact in our program. Abby possesses the desire to work on her golf game and I believe her best golf is yet to come. We are extremely excited to have Abby Bettner in our program for the next four years.”
Danielle Dusing has signed her letter of intent to play golf at Marysville University in St. Louis.
Danielle played golf for St. Ursula during all four years, first on the JV team then on the Varsity team. She also played freshman and JV basketball for two years at SUA. But she chose to ultimately pursue her golf game. She has done a good job balancing her athletics and her studies and earned second honors all four years.
On the course, she has proudly decreased her scoring average every year. This year, she was named to the 2nd Team All-GGCL. She has also received recognition with an Honorable All-City award and Honorable Mention-All Southwest District.
At St. Ursula, Danielle is a member of the National Honor Society, the Life Club, and the Yoga Club. She is a Bulldog Buddy tutor and has volunteered for the Annual Fund Phone-a-thon and Thank-a-thon. She also worked at the school Open House and the SUA Ball: Puttin’ on the Ritz.
Danielle’s St. Ursula Golf Coach, Mark Hannahan, had this to say about her, "Danielle Duesing has been a very solid two year varsity performer and helped our team succeed. She has worked as hard as anyone to improve and it showed as all aspects of her game got better. The coach at Maryville University is lucky to have Danielle join their program; she will be a key contributor there."
Ellie Gillespie has signed to play Division 3 Volleyball at Ohio Northern University. Ellie played volleyball at St. Ursula all four years. She spent her first two years at SUA playing on the JV team, then moved to the varsity team for her junior and senior years, where she was a valuable member of the team.
She excels in her schoolwork as well. Ellie is a member of the National Honor Society and she performs community service as a member of Student Outreach Services (SOS).
Her St. Ursula coach, Kevin Lucas, said this about her: “Ellie has been one of the most complete volleyball players to come through St. Ursula - she is strong in every skill in the game. She finished in the top 10 in the league in kills, aces and serve-receive average. Ellie always brings a positive attitude to the game - you can tell she really enjoys not only playing volleyball but being successful at it. She will be a great asset to Ohio Northern University.
Her Club Coach from Elevation Volleyball, John Paul Case said, “Congratulations Ellie on your offer to play at Ohio Northern University! You have been a quiet, consistent leader who creates results that speak for themselves both on and off the court. There’s no bragging, no attention required, no drama, and no disputing the fact that you have earned your spot on a college roster. Pharmacy and volleyball are a hard tandem to approach but you will handle these roles with the same ease and success that you did in high school. You will no doubt be a successful player and student at the next level and we wish you the best!”
Kasey Hollstegge has signed her letter of intent to play Division 1 Volleyball for the University of Buffalo. Kasey played on SUA’s varsity volleyball team for three years and was captain of the team in 2011 as a senior.
She received a 2010 and 2011 Honorable mention in the GGCL in volleyball. In 2012, she was named one of the ‘AAU” Best Athletes.
She is strong in the classroom as well. Kasey is a four year scholar-athlete. She earned first honors all four years and is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society. She also represents St. Ursula as a school Ambassador and volunteers at Su Casa.
Kasey’s St. Ursula coach Kevin Lucas said, “Kasey has been one of the top defensive players in the state over the past two seasons and leads the league in serve-reception average this season. She is one of the most natural passers I have coached and is a tenacious defender. Her leadership as a captain this year helped lead St. Ursula to its best finish in the league and best record in eight years. I am sure she will continue to give opposing attackers fits at Buffalo next year!
Kasey’s Club Coach, Chris Lovett said, “Kasey is the kind of player everyone wants on their team. She’s the kind of kid where if you tell her not to drop the ball, then you throw the ball at the wall, she’ll run through that wall just so she won’t drop it. You have to have her on the court - she knows exactly what to do. I was lucky to have the opportunity to coach her, even for just a few years.”
Katie Hulsman has signed her letter of intent to play Division 3 Softball for Transylvania University.
An all-around athlete, Katie played freshman and JV basketball in addition to her four years playing varsity softball for SUA. She was named first-team All GGCL for softball in her sophomore and junior year. She also was named a Cincinnati Enquirer Honorable Mention Division-1 All-Star for softball in 2010-2011. Plus, she made the Fast-pitch Coaches Association first team for the Cincinnati All-Metro Southwest District in 2011.
Through her club team, she was given the Queen of the Diamonds North Showcase Cage Animal Award in 2011. She was the Bustos Ultimates travel team team captain in 2011.
She is very active at St. Ursula as well. Katie is a member of the National Honor Society and has maintained her place on the honor roll throughout her high school career.
She is a member of the Earth Club, Senior Cooking Club, and Girls Athletic Association (GAA). She serves the community through her work in the Student Outreaches Services (SOS) and participated in the Tender Mercies and Ronald McDonald House group for three years. She was one of three leaders of the Ronald McDonald House group as a senior.
Katie’s St. Ursula softball coach, Chrissy Martini said this about her, “I've had the pleasure of coaching Katie for 4 years and she is a most fiery competitor. She is dedicated to improving her game and competing at the highest possible level. She is aggressive, smart, determined and she is pretty funny too!! I am so proud of her success both on and off the field, and I wish her all the best as a future Pioneer!
Her Club Coach, Charles K. Smith Jr. said, “Kate is the perfect example of a student athlete. She is grounded by her wonderful family who has supported her every endeavor and she has surrounded herself with friends, coaches and teammates who have helped her grow as an athlete and an individual. On the field she has become a dominant and unwavering force that any university should feel proud to have on their roster. I am truly blessed to have been a small part of her life.”
Elizabeth Janszen has committed to play Division 3
Volleyball at Centre College in Danville, KY.
Elizabeth played JV volleyball at SUA her freshman and sophomore year. She played on the Varsity team her junior and senior years where her main position was setter.
She also plays with the Cincy Peppers Volleyball Club, where she is Captain of the team; She and her team won gold at the Holiday Inn Classic in 2012 and have placed as one of the top 5 teams at Volleyball Nationals four times over the past several years.
She is very involved at St. Ursula as well. During her junior Year, she was awarded the “Bulldogs Lighting the Way Award.” She represents SUA as a student Ambassador and is President of the Astronomy Club. Elizabeth is a member of Students for Advancement, the GAA Board, the Campus Ministry Council, The Dawg Squad, Spanish Honor Society, National Honor Society; and she is a Student Council Officer.
Her St. Ursula varsity coach Kevin Lucas said, “Elizabeth is a very talented person and athlete. She is a complete package at the setter position - she can block, serve and defend as well as run the offense. “EJ” helped lead St. Ursula to a nail biting 5-set victory against Ursuline this year with 19 assists and 5 blocks down the stretch. Her ability to come through in the clutch will serve her well at Centre College.”
Her club coach, Chet Cox said “I've been blessed to coach Elizabeth for the last 3 years. She was a setter as a sophomore when we finished 13th in AAU Nationals and was one of the youngest players on the team. She continued her Set position her junior year as well, and played the outside hitter position for the team her senior year because she is an outstanding athlete.
Coach Cox said he has coached high school and club volleyball since 1985 and adds "Elizabeth Janszen is the only player I've ever coached who has played every single second for me. She is going to be such a wonderful addition to Centre College. Coach Neihaus is lucky to have a kid like Elizabeth."
Bridget Johnston has committed to Division 1 Miami University for Track and Cross Country.
Bridget ran Varsity Cross Country and Track at SUA for all 4 years. She also played JV basketball during her freshmen year.
At SUA, she was a 4-year Varsity letter winner in Track and Field, 2 year Varsity letter winner in Cross Country. Bridget was a member of the State 4x800 meter relay freshmen and junior year, placing 3rd and 9th, and a member of the State qualifying Cross Country team freshman year placing 5th
She earned First Team All GGCL’s in Track and Field Freshman and Junior Year. She was winner of the Bulldog Award, winner of the Respect the Game of Life award – and captain of Cross Country and Track her senior year.
At St. Ursula, she is very involved as a member of Student Outreach Services (SOS); she is a tutor for Bulldog Buddies, a member of the GAA board, a PAL mentor, and a member of the Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Committee.
Her St. Ursula Varsity Coach, Dan Bird, said “Bridget Johnston has been a leader on the track team for the past 2 years as a second-year track and field captain; and also the anchor on the 2011 4x800 relay state team. Bridget is always smiling, always friendly, one of the most approachable girls on the team. She is talented, intelligent and a tough competitor. Bridget has met challenges and persevered through some tough times but has become a better person and a better teammate through each of those challenges. Bridget will continue to be an example of SUA's Women of Integrity as she continues her education at Miami University.
Melanie Leonard has committed to compete for The Ohio
State University in Synchronized Figure Skating next year.
Melanie was ranked 6th in the nation her freshman year and has maintained high standings at regional competitions throughout her high school career. She was captain of her club team and received a leadership award last spring. She tested through junior moves in the field and pre-gold ice-dancing. She has big plans for college and aims to be a double-gold level skater by the end of her freshman year at OSU.
Despite her demanding schedule, Melanie is very involved at St. Ursula as a member of the Student Outreach Services (SOS), the In-School-Service Events Club (ISSE), and represents SUA as an Ambassador. She is a member of the National Honor Society. This year, she served on the prom committee and also served the community through a mission trip to Appalachia.
Melanie’s future coach, Megan McKinley is head coach of the Synchronized Skating Program at Ohio State. She said, “We are so excited to welcome incoming first year student, Melanie Leonard to our Buckeye family. Melanie has shown her dedication to excellence in skating by successfully passing her Novice Moves in the Field Test as well as her Pre-Gold Dance tests. I remember working with Melanie in 2004 when her synchronized skating career was just beginning to blossom with the Oxford Ice Crystals and am honored that she has chosen to continue with her passion of Synchronized Skating at The Ohio State University.”
Meg McGrath has committed to play Division 3 Volleyball
for Southwestern University. Meg loves the game of volleyball and
plays as much as she can. She played freshman and JV
volleyball at SUA before moving to the varsity team. She excels as a
setter and defensive specialist.
She not only plays for St. Ursula, but she has played for Elevation Volleyball Club for the past two years.
While volleyball takes a great deal of her time, Meg has been active at St. Ursula as well. She is a member of the National Honor Society. She has participated in the Student Outreach Services (SOS) and spent three years active in the Girls Athletic Association (GAA).
Her St. Ursula varsity coach, Kevin Lucas said, “Having Meg on your team is like having an extra coach on the floor - she has the ability to see what is going on and make adjustments better than many players her age. Meg stepped up big in our opening match against Mason with five digs in the deciding game. Southwestern University is lucky to get both a skilled volleyball player and great teammate in Meg.”
Her Elevation Volleyball coach, Lisa Schaad, said “I have coached for over 15 years and Meg has been one of the few girls that I can say that has impacted my life as a coach. As much coaching and life lessons as I have worked on with Meg, I can say she also has done a lot for me in life. Meg is a girl you want to mentor your child academically, athletically and personality wise. Meg will succeed athletically and academically for her next step in life, college!!! She will sure be missed by me.”
Alexis Mills has committed to play volleyball for Division 3 Ohio Northern University next school year.
Alexis played on the freshman and JV volleyball teams at St. Ursula, both as a setter and a defensive specialist. But she really excelled playing for her club team, the Elevation Volleyball Club, where she shines on the volleyball court.
Alexis is active at St. Ursula where she is a member of the National Honor Society, and has earned first and second honors during her four years.
She is involved in the St. Ursula Life Club and World Affairs Club. She is also a member of the Anthropology Club.
Her Elevation Volleyball Club coach, John Paul Case, said, “Alexis is a strong, confident, and determined girl - She is all of those things plus she's a very skilled volleyball player, super athlete, and a great coach as well. Alexis has coached Training Teams for the past 3 years and is a great mentor with a lot of knowledge to share. Ohio Northern University is getting a great player and person. We thank Alexis for playing for us at Elevation Volleyball Club and we wish her luck going forward.”
Allison Ridge has stated her intent to swim for Boston
College this fall. Allison swam on the Saint Ursula Varsity Swim
Team for all four of her high school years. Even more impressive,
she was a State Qualifier all four years, earning 5th place in the
400 freestyle relay at State 2011, 14th place in the 200 freestyle
at State 2011, and 7th place in the 400-freestyle relay at State
She earned high school All American Status her junior and senior years and received an All-City Honorable Mention all four years. She also earned a GGCL Honorable Mention-freshman year and GGCL Second Team sophomore, junior, and senior years.
Allison also swims for the Anderson Barracudas, where she has practiced for 12 years. She is a 4-year USA Sectional Qualifier and 3-year YMCA National Qualifier.
She stays busy at St. Ursula too. Allison is a member of the National Honor Society. She is also a member of Student Outreach Services (SOS). She volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House and the Special Olympics and is a member of the SUA Yoga Club and World Affairs Club
Her St. Ursula swimming coach, Ann Gartner, said “Allison Ridge has been a valuable contributor to St. Ursula swimming all four years of her high school career. She has shown her versatility as a swimmer by competing in a variety of events and being a valuable member of successful relays. She can become a strong contributor at Boston College in many events and make an immediate positive impact on their program.”
Her coach at the Anderson Barracudas, Tim Hart, said “Allison has an excellent work ethic which has served her well in the pool. During her high school career she has continued to improve and has developed into a good sprint freestyler. I wish her all the best at Boston College.”
Courtney Smith will play Division 3 Volleyball for
Transylvania University in Lexington, KY in the fall.
Courtney played on the varsity team at St. Ursula all four years and started for three. She was middle-hitter her freshman year and played the right side as a sophomore, junior and senior. She was a team captain as a senior. She showed consistent improvement each year and increased her kill production each season.
Courtney was chosen to play in the All-City senior all star game. She also plays for Cincy Classics Volleyball Club, which won the Ohio Valley Regional Championship during her sophomore year.
At St. Ursula, she is a member of the National Honor Society and has earned first honors all four years. Courtney is active as a PAL mentor and a Bulldog Buddies tutor. She is president of the Anthropology Club and a member of the Girls Athletic Association (GAA). She also volunteers at Kindervelt.
Her St. Ursula volleyball coach Kevin Lucas said, “A four year varsity player and captain, Courtney made consistent improvement each year - improving her kill total by at least 50 per season. She was at her best against our toughest competition - having double digit kills and digs in both victories over Ursuline. Transylvania University is getting an incredibly intelligent and passionate volleyball player in Courtney. “
Mackenzie Stewart has signed her letter of intent to row for Stetson University.
Mackenzie started her high school career at Mariemont High School before transferring to St. Ursula Academy. As a freshman and sophomore, she played three varsity sports - volleyball, swim team and track and field and earned several awards in those sports for her athleticism, sportsmanship and leadership.
Unable to participate in athletics at St. Ursula due to OHSAA transfer rules, Mackenzie tried the sport of rowing. After rowing just one season, she was offered the opportunity to row for Stetson University’s Division 1 team.
In the fall of 2011, Mackenzie and three of her Clermont Crew teammates won the gold medal in the Head of the Hidden Dragon regatta in a quad scull.
Mackenzie has participated in several activities at St. Ursula including the Dance Team, the Earth Club, and the Astronomy Club. She also volunteers her time through the U-Give program.
Her coach from the Clermont Crew, Lynne Graves, said, “Mackenzie has demonstrated great potential and growth in the sport of rowing during her time at the Clermont Crew. We are excited she will be able to continue her rowing development at the university level at Stetson and wish her all the best in her rowing career.”
Chloe Williams has
committed to play Division 1 Golf for the University of Cincinnati.
Chloe played junior varsity golf for one year and varsity for her remaining 3 years at St. Ursula. During her senior year she was team co-captain and was awarded the Saint Ursula Coaches award. She was also named first team All-GGCL her junior and senior year.
Chloe finished 35th at state junior year and 37th senior year. She was named to the Cincinnati Enquirer 1st team, 1st team all sectional, 3rd team All-star
Division-1, and Second team Southwest Ohio District.
Some other golf accomplishments include winning the Kenwood Country Club Women’s Club Championship. Chloe finished second individually at Sectionals her junior year and 5th at the Junior Metropolitan Tournament.
At St. Ursula, Chloe has participated in the Ski Club. She also performs community service – she volunteers for Susan G. Komen and helps teach golf to toddlers during the summer.
Chloe’s golf coach at St. Ursula, Mark Hannahan, said, "Chloe Williams has been an outstanding three year varsity golfer for St. Ursula. In addition to her wonderful play during this time, she served as Co-Captain this past season and provided excellent leadership to a team that was very successful. She will be a definite asset to the University of Cincinnati Golf Team."
Congratulations to each of these talented young women!
To learn more about St. Ursula Academy and its athletic programs, please visit www.saintursula.org.