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Spartan Rowing Adds 15 in Early Signing Period

Nov. 29, 2017

East Lansing, Mich.
– Michigan State has announced that it will welcome 15 student-athletes to rowing program when they enroll at the University in the fall of 2018. 

Megan Wallace (Milford, Mich.), Katie Thorington (Woodhaven, Mich.), Meghan Schulz (Hopkins, Mich.), Danielle Sargent (Lake Orion, Mich.), Sophie Ruggles (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), Mackenzie Pemberton (Flushing, Mich.), Anna Mellema (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Averi Lamp (Saranac, Mich.), Aleah Hahn (West Olive, Mich.), Hailey Domzalski (Plymouth, Mich.), Haley DeCarlo (Commerce, Mich.), Olivia Burton (Williamston, Mich.), Andrea Blanzy (Grosse Ile, Mich.), Autumn Bland (St. Catharines, Ontario), and Adeline Alderink (Holland, Mich.) will all enroll at Michigan State University next fall to row for the Green and White.

“This is the largest and most athletic class that we have had at Michigan State,” said head coach Matt Weise. “Many are ‘out-of-sport’ athletes that were born to be rowers but never had the opportunity. This group has the stature, work ethic, and athleticism to be great and they also understand the commitment and selflessness required to be a good teammate. We are excited to have them join our squad next fall.”

Adeline Alderink

Holland, Mich. • Calvary Schools of Holland • Michigan Volleyball Academy • Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer
Athletic Accomplishments: Four-year varsity starter basketball Team captain… 2015 and 2016 Conference and District Champions … Two-time All-Conference… 2016 All-Area.
Weise on Alderink: “Adeline is a strong and energetic athlete. She is self-motivated and willing to do whatever it takes to reach her goals. We are extremely optimistic about her future contributions to the team.”

Autumn Bland

St. Catharines, Ontario • Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School • St. Catharines Rowing Club
Athletic Accomplishments: Finished third at the 2017 Head of the Charles in the Youth Women’s 4x… 2017 Canadian Henley bronze medalist in the Lightweight 4+… Finished third in the Junior 8+ in both 2016 and 2017 at Canadian School Boy Regatta… Sixth place at 2017 Stotesbury Cup… Former competitive speed skater for Team Ontario, winning silver medals at Ontario Provincial Championships… Named club’s Speed Skater of the Year in 2015.
Weise on Bland:
“Autumn is a sharp coxswain with a competitive background from a great program. Her boat awareness, technical eye, and will to win are impressive. Those attributes, along with her ability to be a strong teammate, will give her a solid foundation to build upon as she works to earn a seat in a top boat when she arrives in East Lansing.”

Andrea Blanzy

Grosse Ile, Mich. • Grosse Ile High School • Trenton Swim Club | Grosse Ile Rowing • Swimming, Basketball, Rowing
Athletic Accomplishments: School record holder for backstroke and medley relay… swimming Four-year state qualifier.
Weise on Blanzy: “Andrea is a highly accomplished swimmer and mature athlete who has already begun the transition to rowing. We are excited to add another high-caliber athlete like her from Grosse Ile to the program.”

Olivia Burton

Williamston, Mich. • Williamston High School • Attack Volleyball Club • Volleyball, Track and Field
Athletic Accomplishments:
Finished 2017 volleyball season in the top five in the Lansing area for kills per set…volleyball Team captain… All-Conference and All-State Academic Award… In track and field, earned All-League honors in the 4x800 relay, and was an All-League honorable mention selection in the 400 meters… Helped Williamston to an undefeated league championship season 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Weise on Burton:
“Olivia is a superb competitor and teammate. She is unwavering in her leadership and will thrive in our team environment at Michigan State next year.”

Haley DeCarlo

Commerce, Mich. • Lakeland High School • Legacy Volleyball Club • Volleyball, Swimming, Cross Country
Athletic Accomplishments:
Volleyball All-Conference selection for Lakeland High School… Legacy 17U and 18U National volleyball team.
Weise on DeCarlo:
“Haley is an energetic and dynamic addition to the class of 2018 and we are thrilled to add her to the program. Her successful multi-sport background will prove to be beneficial in her transition to rowing next fall.”

Hailey Domzalski

Plymouth, Mich. • Canton High School • Legacy Volleyball Club • Volleyball
Human Biology
Athletic Accomplishments:
2015-2016 Legacy club was National Champions (classic division)… Three-time MHSAA Scholar-Athlete… Three-time All-Academic team
Weise on Domzalski:
“Hailey is a powerful athlete and ultimate team player. Her positive attitude and perspective is contagious and is going to be valuable to her and her teammates next year.”

Aleah Hahn

West Olive, Mich. • West Ottawa High School • Team Angle Volleyball Club • Volleyball, Sailing
Biosystems Engineering
Athletic Accomplishments:
First place 2016 and 2017 Frostbite Sailing Race… Second place at 2017 Anchorage Cup… Third place 2016 Hospice Cup… Helped Angle to a second-place finish in the Great Lakes volleyball power league… Third place 2017 U18 AAU state tournament… Second place 2016 U18 AAU state tournament. 
Weise on Hahn:
“Aleah sets high standards for herself athletically and academically. She thrives in competitive environments and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. Rowing will provide her with another opportunity to display her limitless potential and we are thrilled to help her along the way.”

Averi Lamp

Saranac, Mich. • Saranac High School • Michigan Volleyball Academy • Volleyball, Basketball, Softball
Biology and Genetics
Athletic Accomplishments:
Team leader in blocks, aces, and number two in kills for Saranac Volleyball… Helped Saranac to a softball district championship and back-to-back volleyball district championships … Only four-year, three-sport athlete (male or female) at Saranac in the 2018 graduating class.
Weise on Lamp:
“Averi is an all-around athlete that has demonstrated she not only has the natural ability to be good, but has the work ethic, athletic awareness, and mentality to be great.

Anna Mellema

Grand Rapids, Mich. • Grand Rapids Catholic Central • Saints Volleyball Club • Volleyball
Mathematics, Quantum Physics, or Neuroscience
Athletic Accomplishments:
Three-year starting middle blocker… Two-time team captain… Led 2017 team in kill percentage and blocks (112)… 2016 and 2017 Conference Champions.
Weise on Mellema:
“Anna is the epitome of a successful student-athlete. She is hard working and dedicated in everything she does on the court and in the classroom. We look forward to her continuing that success as a member of the Rowing team.”

Mackenzie Pemberton

Flushing, Mich. • Flushing High School • Michigan Cagers • Basketball
Athletic Accomplishments:
2017 MHSAA Basketball State Champion at Flushing High School
Weise on Pemberton:
“Mackenzie is a consistent force on the basketball court. That quality along with her unwavering competitiveness will allow her to thrive at the Big Ten and NCAA level in her new sport.

Sophie Ruggles

Mount Pleasant, Mich. • Sacred Heart Academy • Michigan Select Basketball | Championship Sports Volleyball Club • Basketball, Volleyball, Track and Field
Athletic Accomplishments:
In basketball, earned a spot on the 2016 and 2017 MI Prepzone Dream Team… 2016 and 2017 All-Conference and All-State selection … Helped Sacred Heart to 2015 and 2016 District and Regional Championships … In volleyball, won 2014, 2015, and 2016 District and Regional Championships … 2015 and 2016 volleyball MVP, All-Conference, All-State, and MI Prepzone Dream Team pick.
Weise on Ruggles:
“One of the reasons Sophie chose to row at Michigan State is because she wants to win a Big Ten Championship. Sophie has the athleticism, focus, and spirit to do just that and will find a lot of success as a Spartan.”

Danielle Sargent

Lake Orion, Mich. / Lake Orion High School • Legacy Volleyball Club • Volleyball, Basketball, Softball
Major: Health Sciences
Athletic Accomplishments: Team captain… 2017 Under Armor All-America watch list … Three-time  ACVA Phenom List selection … Four-time Junior Olympic qualifier and 2016 AAU National Championship runner-up… Four-time Top-10 national finish… 2016 All-League and All-Region pick at Lake Orion as a junior volleyball.
Weise on Sargent: “DJ is a fierce competitor and a diligent athlete. The confidence she has in her athleticism is going to allow her to take risks and push herself to unparalleled levels of success in a new sport.”

Meghan Schulz

Hopkins, Mich. / Hopkins High School • West Michigan Crush | Attack Basketball • Track & Field, Volleyball
Health Care Administration
Athletic Accomplishments:
2017 AAU Las Vegas Classic National Champion and USSAA National runner-up with her club basketball team… 2016 and 2017 All-Conference and All-Region selection in basketball at Hopkins ... 2017 Conference Champion in both discus and shot put … Second place finish at Regionals and State Qualifier in the discus, and in shot put took first place at Regionals and earned All-State honors.
Weise on Schulz:
“Meghan has displayed her athleticism and power on the basketball court, proven she has an immense amount of strength through a successful track and field career, and exhibited tireless leadership on the volleyball court. Meghan has all the makings to be an elite rower and we’re excited to see her transform into that at Michigan State.”

Katie Thorington

Woodhaven, Mich./ Wyandotte Roosevelt High School • Factory Elite Basketball• Basketball, Softball, Volleyball, Soccer
Athletic Accomplishments:
Named to Detroit Free Press Michigan’s Top 100 high school basketball players… Basketball team MVP in 2016 and 2017… 2017 All-League basketball team… Volleyball and basketball district champion.
Weise on Thorington:
“Katie is a very successful basketball player and has an extensive athletic background. Throughout Katie’s recruitment, we were constantly impressed with her toughness and determination to be better and work harder than everyone on the court. She is going to be a strong force for MSU rowing when she arrives in the fall.”

Megan Wallace

Milford, Mich./ Milford High School • Legacy Volleyball Club • Volleyball, Basketball 
Major: Kinesiology
Athletic Accomplishments: Three-time volleyball All-Conference selection… Captained the volleyball and basketball teams and helped both to district championships … Lynda Madison and Dick Yeagar award for Outstanding Female Athlete.
Weise on Wallace: “Not only is Megan a stellar athlete, she is a Spartan through and through. Her parents and siblings attended Michigan State and her brother is a member of the track and field team. Megan caught our attention and stood out to us while we were scouting another athlete. Her dynamic presence on the volleyball court is very evident and we know it will transfer over to the erg and boats.”



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