Early signings begin at UM for multiple sports

MISSOULA — Signing Day for the NCAA Division I sport began across the country on Wednesday, with a number of sports adding new faces at the University of Montana. Below are the recruits for UM programs in men’s and women’s basketball, women’s soccer, softball and volleyball, including information from Montana’s media releases.

Men’s Basketball

The Griz men’s basketball team started their season Tuesday with a 91-63 loss to Duquesne, but on Wednesday they announced the addition of two new players who will join the team next season.

The UM Twitter account announced that it had received letters of intent from incoming rookies in the guard Money Williams of Oakland, Calif. and forward Zack Davidson of Mission Viejo, Calif.

Women’s Basketball

The Lady Griz, who started their 2022-23 season with a 65-63 loss to North Dakota State on Monday, added three new players to the program on Wednesday.

Warden Macy Donarski of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Warden Macey Huard of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, and Warden Adria Lincoln of Monroe, Wash. all signed Wednesday.

From UM Athletics: Huard is Colorado’s top-ranked player in the Class of 2023 at 6-foot-2. Lincoln, 6-foot-1, is Washington’s top-ranked combo guard, the No. 5 overall player according to Prep Girls Hoops.

Donarski, a 5-foot-8-point guard and the No. 6 in Wisconsin, won an under-16 club national championship with the Wisconsin Flight Elite and the Nike EYBL Run 4 Roses title in July.

When Huard publicly committed in June, she tweeted that she couldn’t resist the opportunity to play with her older sister Haley, a sophomore at Montana. They have two seasons to do that.

Huard was her conference MVP as a freshman at Bear Creek (Wash.) High, All-Conference as an undergraduate, and a junior at Valor Christian in Colorado. Last summer, she was named to the second team of the 17U Adidas 3SSB All-Circuit.

Donarski’s older sister, Lexi, is a junior in the state of Iowa. She was the 2021-22 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, the 2021-22 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Donarski, an All-State setter for the Aquinas volleyball team and a State qualifier in relay relays on the track, was All-State as a sophomore and junior on the basketball court while playing for her father.

Holsinger first caught Lincoln’s attention years ago while he was at Oregon State.

That’s what’s going to happen if you’re one of just 34 players selected to compete in the US Basketball U16 national tests that Lincoln conducted in 2021. She would end up receiving more than 20 Division I offers.

Lincoln was her team MVP and first-team All-Conference team as a freshman, sophomore and junior and comes off a season in which she averaged a double-double.

Huard and Donarski committed themselves to Lady Griz in the spring. Lincoln was an August commit.

women soccer

The Griz soccer team failed in the semi-finals of this year’s Big Sky Conference tournament and ended the year 7-7-6. They added six new players to the program on Wednesday.

The Griz added goaltender Bayliss Flynn from Edina, Minnesota, fullback Lucie Rokos or Portland, Oregon, center back Riley Carolan from Seattle, Washington, Abby Smith from Corvallis, Oregon, Taija Anderson from Bluffdale, Utah and midfielder Perrin Pennington or Athens, Georgia .

From UM Athletics: Flynn was recently selected to compete in the High School All-American Game in Panama City, Florida next month. She is just one of four goalkeepers in East and West squads. The others are committed to the state of Ohio, Boston College and Kansas.

Rokos plays for one of the top high school programs in the country and club for the Portland Thorns. She is a 5ft 4 fullback who is the same height as another recent grizzly who brought her skills to the NWSL.

Carolan is a 6-foot central defender who joins a program that has a successful history of using dominant, imposing defenders in the position.

She gives a sizeable bookend to 5-foot-10 forward Delaney Lou Schorr, who led Big Sky in goals in the regular season. All seven of her goals fell out of her head.

Pennington will give Montana its first Georgia player, but it was her family’s brief stint in Seattle that led to her becoming a grizzly.

She played for OL Reign Academy while living in Seattle. In Georgia, she plays for Tophat Soccer Club.

Despite Montana’s relative proximity to Utah, the Grizzlies have only had two stateside players in the program’s history: Raquel Watts and McKenzie Warren, who was a senior on Citowicki’s first team in 2018.

Anderson, who plays for Real Salt Lake Academy, makes it to third place.

Smith is a high-scoring forward from Crescent Valley High. She scored a hat-trick on senior night last month and her team’s only goal on Tuesday as the Raiders advanced to the Class 5A title game with a 1-0 win over North Eugene.

volleyball

UM volleyball is currently 15-10 overall and 8-5 in league play when they finish the season. They added two players Wednesday, Gracie Cagle of Frisco, Texas, and Olivia Liermann of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

From UM Athletics: Cagle distinguished himself as a setter for Reedy High School. A major strength for her and something that caught the attention of the Grizzly coaching staff is the versatility she brings to the ground.

She has played almost every position on the court and brings with her a very well-rounded skillset that can be used wherever it is needed. It also lets them understand the rest of their teammates’ duties on the ground. She was named to the AVCA Phenom Watch List as well as AVCA’s Best and Brightest in 2022.

Cagle is also a three-year letter winner and has helped lead her team to multiple 9-5A district championships while earning honorable mentions. The honors extend into the classroom, where Cagle twice earned the Academic All-District.

She comes from a volleyball family, as her father David played the sport as a college student at Ambassador University. Montana offered her an opportunity to continue her career and a perfect place for her academics as she plans to study wildlife biology.

Liermann played for the Lake City HS Timberwolves as a member of Idaho’s top largest division at 5A. As a left-hander, Liermann also played club volleyball for the CPA Elite Team in Spokane.

She has started for her high school since her sophomore season and has also had success as a discus thrower in track and field. She also has an impressive resume off the court with a GPA nearing a 4.0 and a charitable personality. During the pandemic, she volunteered at Meals on Wheels, her local food bank, and the Kootenai Humane Society

Cagle will join Jackie Howell and Maddie Pyles as the third Texas player on the Montana roster. Liermann is the second Idaho player on the 2023 roster, alongside Paige Clark.

soft ball

The UM softball team will start their spring season after winning 8-0 in their fall exhibition season. On Wednesday they added four new players to the program.

The Grizzlies added pitcher Nyeala Herndon of Helena, pitcher Rylee Rehbein of Battle Ground, Washington, catcher Madison Tarrant of Goodyear, Arizona, and infielder Riley Peschek of Fox Island, Washington.

All four will graduate in the spring and join the Grizzlies as freshmen next fall.

From UM Athletics: Montana currently has five pitchers on its roster for the upcoming spring season. One is senior.

Herndon, who won 15 games last season and had a 2.12 ERA while hitting 151 batters in 109 innings, played in Montana until joining the Washington Ladyhawks’ travel-ball team.

Rehbein, who played for the Northwest Bullets before joining the Washington Ladyhawks, led Battle Ground High to third place in the Washington Class 4A state tournament in May.

Tarrant was an all-region selection as a senior. She and her teammates at Canyon View placed second in the Arizona Class 5A State Tournament. She plays for the Arizona Storm.

Montana has a pair of catchers on his current team, junior Riley Stockton and sophomore Kynzie Mohl.

Peschek, who plays for the Northwest Bullets, is a two-time All-South Puget Sound League selection at Gig Harbor High.



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