Player Recruits

Major universities pursue five standout seniors and one junior to compete for their Division I varsity teams.

Lucas Giolito ’12: UCLA

Lucas Giolito ’12, the fourth highest junior baseball prospect in the nation according to perfectgame.org, committed to UCLA after two years of visiting colleges and contacting coaches.

Although he visited many PAC-10 schools, Giolito knew that UCLA was his school of choice after only his second visit. Giolito was in contact with various schools since the summer after his freshman year and he took his first unofficial visit to the UCLA campus in the summer of 2009.

Going to UCLA was Giolito’s childhood dream. Growing up near UCLA’s Jackie Robinson baseball stadium, he said that he always pictured himself in a blue and gold uniform.

During Giolito’s first tour of the school, he met with Head Coach John Savage to get a glimpse of the program. During his second visit to the school he decided that UCLA was too good a fit to pass up.

“After visiting many schools within the PAC-10 and then seeing UCLA for a second time this summer, I felt like it was the perfect fit,” Giolito said.

Giolito feels that he is compatible with UCLA for several reasons. His motives to commit include the high quality baseball facilities and the coaching staff. However Giolito’s decision was not entirely based on baseball. He maintains a GPA well above 3.0 and said he put a lot of thought into the academic excellence of UCLA.

“The quality of the school, the diversity and support of the student body, and tradition of academic excellence were all really important to me,” Giolito said.

The main reason Giolito committed is because he hopes to play in the major leagues and he believes developing as a pitcher at UCLA gives him the best chance to do so, he said.

“My ultimate goal is to pitch in the major leagues, but there is a ton of work ahead of me to eventually get in that situation,” he said. “I believe [Savage] can make me better, and I trust him with my future development as a baseball player.”

The fact that UCLA was the runner-up in the College World Series last year was the cherry on top for Giolito. The UCLA coaching staff’s experience at the highest level influenced Giolito’s decision.

For now, Giolito has to focus on schoolwork and continuing his development as a pitcher, he said.

“Not only do I get to do what I love at the next level, but I also am able to do it at a place that feels absolutely perfect for me. Right now I just have to focus on my schoolwork and [on] becoming a better pitcher,” he said.

—Judd Liebman

Dani Salka ’11: Yale

Volleyball player Danielle Salka ’11 has verbally committed to play volleyball for Yale next year. Salka chose Yale for volleyball over options from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard after having toured Yale and liked the atmosphere.

“There’s really no rational reason I chose Yale,” Salka said. “It was more of a gut reaction. It’s the place I think I’ll fit in best.”

Salka said she owes a lot of her success to Harvard-Westlake’s volleyball program; she said playing for Head Coach Adam Black has really helped her game.

“Harvard-Westlake has prepared me for the intensity of college because we compete at a very high level,” Salka said.

Salka chose Yale after watching the Bulldogs play.

“All the girls are so nice. I’m really excited,” Salka said. “We’re going to have a great team next year.”

Although Salka has verbally committed, she must still be accepted through the normal application process.

—Charlton Azuoma and Micah Sperling

Sam Horn ’11: Penn

Baseball’s star pitcher Sam Horn ’11 has been recruited to play for the University of Pennsylvania next year. After being contacted by the head coach during the summer, Horn decided that out of all the schools that were trying to recruit him, Penn was the best fit for him.

Horn has played baseball since he was four years old. After joining the varsity baseball team as a pitcher in his sophomore year, he started looking at colleges. Since he looked mainly at California schools such as Berkeley and Stanford at first, he was surprised to be recruited by Penn, which he had not even been considering.

“I wasn’t even going to apply originally. I didn’t think I could get into an Ivy League, but after the coach kind of contacted me, it kind of ended up being the right place for me,” Horn said.

Many other colleges have tried to recruit Horn, including Georgetown and Columbia, but Penn first approached him at a showcase at Stanford during the summer. There, the coaches watched him play and decided to recruit him.

Horn is very excited to start his freshman year at Penn next year.

“I had to turn down a lot of offers to go there but I’m really excited about going there. I mean, it’s Penn,” Horn said.

Despite Horn’s recruitment, he still must be accepted through the normal application process.

—Vivien Mao

Alex Markes ’11: Brown

One of the 15 schools he visited on Harvard-Westlake’s spring college tour, Brown University stuck out to Alex Markes ’11.

“I went to the school on the Jumbo Tour, and I liked it when I went there,” Markes said. After visiting Brown, Markes e-mailed the head coach, Patrick Laughlin, to introduce himself and express his interest in the school. By exchanging e-mails with Laughlin, Markes learned that Brown was thin at his position, right defender, after losing two seniors at the position.

Markes, who has been a varsity player in all three years of his Upper School career, was the primary defensive stopper for boys’ soccer in its run to CIF Finals last winter.

Laughlin watched Markes play in summer tournaments in San Diego and Florida. Impressed by his performance, Laughlin offered him a spot on the team. Markes committed to Brown in August.

Markes’ admission to Brown is not assured yet, since he must be accepted through a formal application (he is applying Early Decision). Being on the list “does not automatically get you into the school, but it does weigh very heavily,” Markes said.  

—Alex Leichenger

Emma Peterson ’11: Harvard

Fencer Emma Peterson ’11 verbally committed to fence for Harvard University next year earlier this month. She has been talking with the school’s coach throughout the summer.

Peterson competes in Épée, one of the three fencing styles, traveling to competitions around the country and the world. She is one of the top fencers in America, competing in the Senior Women division.

She practices around eighteen hours a week at the Los Angeles International Fencing Center in West Los Angeles, the largest fencing club in California. Her coach is Gago Demirchian, the National Épée Champion of Armenia, and an assistant coach on the US Fencing Team.

Meanwhile, Peterson is waiting for her likely letter from Harvard, which will essentially guarantee her admission to the school. Her fencing coach told her it should arrive around Sept. 30.

 

—Catherine Wang

 

 

 

Adrianna Crovo ’11: Michigan

Nationally ranked field hockey goalie, Adrianna Crovo ’11, will continue to be a Wolverine with new colors, at the University of Michigan. Shortly after finding out about her hip injury that would cause her to be out for a couple of months due to surgery, Crovo committed to the University of Michigan.

Crovo had many colleges to choose from; Columbia, Stanford, Dartmouth, and Brown tried to recruit her. The field hockey recruiting process is long and Crovo began it as a sophomore, but she didn’t narrow down her choices until junior year. The final decision came down to Michigan and a couple other schools. She changed her mind a lot but “everything about [Michigan] seemed perfect” said Crovo.

Michigan, being a Big Ten team school, was “a dream come true,” Crovo said. “Everything just clicked.”

The University of Michigan has both a good field hockey program and a good academic program, which is exactly what Crovo was looking for.

“It’s just one of those things, when you walk on campus. I fell in love.”

 

—Chelsey Taylor-Vaughn

You must be logged in to post a comment Login