UTAH UTES

Utah Athletics Signs New Faces During Early Signing Period

Nov 10, 2022, 9:59 AM
(Photo courtesy of the University of Utah)...
(Photo courtesy of the University of Utah)
(Photo courtesy of the University of Utah)

SALT LAKE CITY- Utah Athletics signed several new faces amongst their non-football sports Wednesday during early signing period. Football early signing period will take place later this year on December 21st.

Men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics, golf, volleyball, and softball all had signees during the early signing period that fans should be excited about and get to know. Here is what the future of those sports looks like.

Utah Women’s Basketball

Lynne Roberts and crew got some of the first commits of the day adding two new faces to the women’s basketball program.

  • Reese Ross hails from Rapid City, South Dakota and was named First-Team All-State in S.D as well as being ranked the No. 1 player out of the state for the class of 2023. During her junior year, Ross averaged 18.9 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.3 steals, and two blocks. The talented forward also plays volleyball and lettered in the sport, though her sole focus at Utah will be with basketball where she has lettered since the 8th grade.
  • Daniela Hernandez comes from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and has played basketball for the club team Canterberry Lions. In 2018 the forward helped to lead the Lions to an eight place finish out of 36 teams from Spain. In 2020 Hernandez and the Lions earned a third-place finish. Hernandez has also spent time playing club basketball in Germany with ALBA Berlin where she helped the team to a Top 4 finish in Germany and won the German Championship at the U18 level.

The Red Rocks

Tom Farden and Utah gymnastics continued roll as the Red Rocks signed three five-star recruits to their already stacked roster.

  • Elizabeth Ganter will officially be joining the Red Rocks in 2024 from Indianapolis, Indiana. The decorated gymnast has competed at some of the highest levels of gymnastics while also being a good student. She is the 2021 Level 10 national champion on bars and beam while being the runner-up in the all-around. As an elite gymnast, Ganter was named a two-time U.S. Classic and American Classic competitor.
  • Cammie Winger grew up just down the road in Orem, Utah and has proven herself to be consistent competitor in the all-around in Level 10 finishing in the top five the past three years at the national championships. She has also qualified for the Junior Olympic National Championships five times.
  • Ella Zirbes comes to the Utes from Stillwater, Minnesota and is another heavy hitter in all four events. In 2019, Zirbes was crowned national champion at the Junior Olympics in the all-around and bars, while being the runner-up on floor and vault. In Minnesota, Zirbes has really dominated being named the state champion 14-times.

Utah Volleyball

Beth Launiere has two new incoming freshmen for the 2023 class that have experience at outside hitter and on the right side.

  • Olga Musial brings a lot of experience to Utah volleyball having played for the Polish National Team. The Boguchwala, Poland leftie recently earned the bronze medal with the Polish National Team at the 2022 European Youth Olympics Festival. Musial led the Polish team in kills with 18, along with three blocks and one ace.
  • Kamryn Gibadlo comes from Cave Creek, Arizona and is a four-time All-Region selection while at Catus Shadows High. The outside hitter was given first-team honors for region 9 in 2022 while also earning the AVCA Best and Brightest Award. The four-year letter winner averaged 4.10 kills per set on .367 hitting while also hitting above .339 in every season of her high school career.

Utah Softball

Amy Hogue will be welcoming four athletes in the 2023 signing class for softball noting that her new crew are “team players” and bring the right attitude.

  • Reese Lee comes to the Utes from Queen Creek, Arizona and has played for three different club teams. Lee has earned all-region selections three times throughout her prep career while also excelling in the classroom. According to Extra Inning Softball, Lee is the No. 28 player in the class of 2023. She is also a multi-sport athlete having lettered in volleyball and track and field during her time in high school.
  • Jolie Mayfield is a local hailing from Riverton, Utah and helped Riverton High to a state championship in 2021 and 2022. In 2022 Mayfield racked up 19 home runs which ties the state record, while also earning 6A Player of the Year. MaxPreps and Extra Inning Softball named Mayfield an All-American. OnDeck Softball considers Mayfield to be a four-star athlete, while Extra Inning has her as a Top 20 infielder for the 2023 signing class.
  • Shonty Passi will be coming to the Utes from Pearl City, Hawaii where she has been playing club ball at a very high level. Recently, with the Firecrackers, Passi helped lead the team to the super regional round of the Alliance Fastpitch Championship Series where the team took third at Nationals. According to Extra Inning, Passi is the No. 40 player in the class of 2023.
  • Sianni Sakai will also be making her way to Utah from Hawaii (Omao) after really taking off in the 2022 season. After a .595 batting average, nine home runs, 36 runs scored in 18 games along with 14 steals, Sakai landed herself on the First-Team All-State roster while also helping her team to the state championship game. Sakai and Passi have already been teammates at the club-level having played together for the Firecrackers.

The Runnin’ Utes

Utah men’s basketball only signed one player in the early period, but Craig Smith made it count by securing more help in the backcourt for the 2023-2024 season.

  • Hunter Erickson is another local making his way up to the Utes from Provo. Currently the 6’3″ guard is playing for Salt Lake Community College after spending his first two seasons of eligibility at BYU. In SLCC’s season opener last week, Erickson was responsible for 15 points while being 5 of 8 shooting. Erickson also added four rebounds, four assists and three steals. While in high school, Erickson helped lead Timpview to four-straight regional championships.

Men’s Golf

Garrett Clegg’s crew will be adding three new faces to the Utah men’s golf team after signing day for the 2023 class.

  • Gabriel Palacios will be joining the Utes from Guatemala City, Guatemala where he is the No. 1 junior golfer. Palacios also owns the second-highest spot in the World Amateur Rankings among Guatemalans. In 2021, Palacios had three Top 10 finishes including a victory at the National Guatemalan Junior Championships. Early in 2022, Palacios has recorded two first place finishes- one at the Central American Amateur Championship and the other at the Toyota Junior Qualifier.
  •  Luke Price hails from Rocklin, California where he put together a high school career that earned him four consecutive all-league selections and two Sierra Foothill League Championships. Price has taken second-place at the Sacramento City Junior Easter Championship and a sixth-place finish at the Utah State Junior Amateur tournament.
  • Sergio Jimenez Romero is the final golf signee and will be travelling from Madrid, Spain to attend and play golf at the University of Utah. Romero has several credits to his name including winning the Spanish Open P&P in 2019, in 2020 he claimed Spain’s U-16 championship, and in 2021 earned the U-18 title. Romero has had two Top Five finishes while helping his team move up to third place at the 2022 European Boys Team Championship.

 

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

 

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