MARSHALL, Minn. – Southwest Minnesota State University head women's basketball coach Allison Kruger announced on Wednesday that four high school standouts have signed letters of intent to continue their academic and basketball careers at SMSU.
Joining the SMSU program for the 2014-15 season include Paige Hendrickson from Robins, Iowa, Taylor Holicky from Cleveland, Minn., Lakin Koski from Byron, Minn., and Angie Wenning from Excelsior, Minn.
"These four ladies will be asked to step in and fill some big shoes," Kruger said. "I'm confident in their abilities and excited for the future of our program. All four are quality individuals with a lot of potential to have great careers at SMSU."
Hendrickson, a 5-foot-9, guard at Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School for coach Tony Vis, was named team MVP, Iowa Newspaper Association third team all-state, second team all-metro and all-conference honorable mention as a junior, averaging 11.4 points per game and shooting 46 percent from the field. As a sophomore, she was named honorable mention all-conference and second team all-metro.
"Paige is a great athlete that is very good at attacking the basket," Kruger said. "She knows how to score the ball and has great leadership qualities. She'll be an effective defender because of her length and anticipation on the court."
Holicky, a 6-foot, forward at Cleveland High School for coach George Shoenborn, has scored more than 1,000 career points in her three-year career and is a two-time all-conference honoree. As a junior she scored a school record 450 points, averaged double figures in both scoring and rebounding and racked up more than 100 blocked shots and 100 steals. She also set the school single-game scoring record (37) and single-game rebound record (27). She is also a standout in volleyball and track.
"Taylor is a strong, athletic player that is a great rebounder," Kruger said. "She has the ability to face the basket and work down low with her back to the basket. Taylor has had a successful high school career and we look for her to continue that at SMSU."
Koski, a 6-foot-1, forward at Byron High School for coach Darren Nelson, is a three-year letterwinner and led the team in blocked shots as a junior. She'll serve as a team captain this season after helping lead Byron to 16 victories a season ago. Koski is also a standout in both track and cross country.
"Lakin is a strong and physical player down low. She works extremely hard for post-position and is a demanding presence in the paint," Kruger stated. "Her ability to hit a 15-foot jumper consistently makes her tough to guard. She will be asked to make a difference for us inside next year."
Wenning, a 5-foot-8, guard at Chaska High School for coach Tara Seifert, helped lead the Hawks to the section finals last season. She averaged six points and two rebounds per game this past summer during the AAU season. She spent two seasons at Holy Family High School before transferring to Chaska.
"She has great vision of the court and has a high understanding of the game," Kruger said. "Angie is a capable scorer from the perimeter but also has great body control to finish at the rim. She is always encouraging her teammates and will be a great addition to our team."
SMSU is 1-0 on the season and returns to action this Friday and Saturday with two games at the Notre Dame de Namur Classic in Belmont, Calif.
Southwest Minnesota State, located in Marshall, is a member of NCAA Division II and competes in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.