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Redbird Coaches React to NLI Signees

Written by on November 11, 2020

Photo courtesy goredbirds.com

NORMAL, Ill. – National Signing Day will bring a new flock of redbirds to campus this fall.

The women’s basketball program received National Letters of Intent from Lexi Boles (Forward/Center from Des Moines, Iowa), Kenzie Bowers (Guard from Kent City, Mich.), Lauren Cohen (Guard from Wheaton, Ill.) and Chloe Van Zeeland (Forward from Kaukauna, Wis.).

“We are so thrilled about our 2021 recruiting class,” said Head Coach Kristen Gillespie. “Each player fills a need and adds depth to our team. All four recruits will be fantastic student-athletes and tremendous ambassadors for both our program and university.”

The softball team welcomes five new student-athletes to their program: Delainey Bryant  (Utility from Mattoon, Ill.), Abby Knight  (Utility Bloomington, Ill./University HS), Addison Masching  (Infielder form Pontiac, Ill.), Annie Volkers (Pitcher from Elk River, Minn.) and Bella Wilkerson (Catcher from Mokena, Ill.).

“The class of 2021 checks all the boxes to complete the Redbirds moving forward,” said Head Coach Melinda Fischer. “This group steps to the plate with great skill sets and confidence on the field and in the classroom. They are committed to excellence in everything they do and have a great willingness to continue to learn and grow. We are all very excited to welcome this group to Redbird Softball.”

Next, Redbird soccer will see four new faces on their team when they get to campus this fall: Sophie Veytsman (Goalkeeper from Arlington Heights, Ill.), Kasey Neidhardt (Midfielder/Forward from Highland, Ill.), Kristiana Pappanastos (Midfielder/Forward from Orland Park, Ill.) and Sydney Smith (Midfielder from St. Louis, Mo.).

“What a great day! We are thrilled to officially add Sophie, Kasey, KP, and Sydney to our Redbird soccer program,” said Head Coach Brad Silvey. “This is a group that comes with talent, character, energy, and a passion for the game of soccer. Their integration into our culture will put us in a position to grow as a program. We look forward to their contributions for the 2021 fall season and beyond.”

Finally, Head Volleyball Coach Leah Johnson welcomed Katelyn Lefler (Setter from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin), Aliyah Moore (Outside Hitter from Surprise, Arizona) and Maggi Weller (Libero/Defensive Specialist from Geneseo, Illinois) to their program.

“This 2021 recruiting class continues to build our tradition of service and growth,” said Coach Johnson. “This is a dynamic recruiting class that will challenge in each position and carry on the pride of Redbird volleyball off the court and in competition. These student-athletes are driven, committed and passionate, and we are extremely proud of them and couldn’t be more excited to have them join the Redbird family.”

In total, 16 student-athletes across the four sports will be eligible to compete for the Redbirds beginning in fall 2021.