Congratulations once again to SUA’s fall athletic scholarship signees Caroline Endres, Sophia Hudepohl, Gracie Reisman, Emma Voelkerding, Mia Meinhardt, Caroline Caudill, and Claire Wiseman for their college signings on Wednesday, November 10th. These talented student-athletes have been given the opportunity to progress in their chosen sport, so let’s learn a bit more about each senior athlete, their future plans, and their advice for others interested in continuing their athletic career beyond SUA.
Caroline Endres - University of Cincinnati - Volleyball
Caroline started playing volleyball when she was eight years old and is a setter for St. Ursula Academy’s varsity volleyball team. Caroline explained that our volleyball program taught her to admit when she needs help and appreciate the sport so much more. “I came into the gym every day wanting to get better because that is the type of culture that we have at SUAVB,” Caroline says. Her biggest inspiration is Madison Liley, University of Kentucky’s senior setter from the 2021 season. Caroline admires Madison’s determination, skill, and accomplishments. Not many people know that Caroline originally signed with Presbyterian College. When the University of Cincinnati reached out to her, she was timid, but looked into their academic benefits and decided that UC was the place for her. Today, Caroline cannot wrap her head around the fact that in less than a year she will be playing power-5 volleyball. Caroline said that she will bring “court IQ” and a positive attitude to UC. Her advice to others looking to succeed is to keep working for something that you know you can do.
Sophia Hudepohl - Lipscomb University - Volleyball
Sophia started playing volleyball when she was 11 and has always wanted to play collegiate sports. Sophia manages to be a leader on the court as a setter, while also achieving academic first honors. In the state tournament earlier in November, Sophia fractured her pinky finger and strained the tendon in her index finger. She fought through the pain and helped the team win the district championship title. Although they lost to MND in the regional championship, Sophia helped her team get as far as they could and finish her senior season giving her all. Sophia was named All-State, All-Region, and All-District first team along with second-team All-American. Sophia looks up to her parents because “they are the hardest working people I have ever met and have shown me it takes hard work to get to where you want to be.” Sophia Hudepohl selected Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN because of the competitive volleyball and family atmosphere. Sophia is proof that working hard is a key to success.
Gracie Reisman - College of Holy Cross - Volleyball
Gracie has ten years of volleyball experience, starting in the third grade at St. Antoninus, and she has played on SUA’s varsity volleyball team for the past three seasons. SUAVB has taught her how important strong relationships with her teammates are. Over the past four years, Gracie has “made memories to last a lifetime,” and her greatest accomplishment as a student-athlete has been achieving first honors every single quarter despite her time commitment to school and club volleyball teams. Her mom, SUA’s Admission Director Mrs. Reisman, is her biggest role model. Gracie says, “She has worked extremely hard in everything she has done in life and I hope to have her level of determination one day.” Gracie has signed with the College of Holy Cross, a prestigious academic institution in Worcester, Massachusetts, that is is also one of the oldest universities in the US. The school has various fields that she is interested in studying, and has an authentic campus that she immediately fell in love with. From her experience at SUA, she will bring determination and confidence to a new court. Her advice to fellow athletes would be to “take every opportunity you have to get in the gym. Get the extra reps, start working out outside of your practice time, and work hard when no one is watching. These little sessions of extra work will take you to the next level.”
Caroline Caudill - Ohio State - Rowing
Caroline started rowing in the fall of her freshman year and never saw herself in the position that she is in today. Her greatest accomplishment as a student-athlete has been placing 12th at USRowing’s Youth National Regatta in 2021. She believes that the key to doing great things is to understand the phrase “mind over body.” Caroline broke her rib in the spring season of last year, but kept quiet and pushed through the pain. “I learned the strength of my body and the power it has to keep accomplishing great things. I never underestimate myself now.” Kate McGee, SUA class of ‘21, is Caroline’s biggest inspiration. “Kate taught me what it really means to be a great athlete and friend. Without her guiding and pushing me along my journey, I believe that I would not be where I am today.” Next year Caroline will row for Ohio State. Her advice to others is to keep a positive mindset and put in the extra hours to achieve the results you desire.
Emma Voelkerding - University of Alabama - Rowing
Emma was a dedicated basketball player from 3rd grade until her junior year at SUA, and she’s had a painful journey along the way. She has unfortunately suffered injuries to her collarbone, ankle, and shoulder, resulting in many years of physical therapy and two surgeries. Emma just started rowing in February of 2021, and quickly won various races later this spring as a novice. This fall on SUA varsity her team won several races while Emma maintained good grades in honors classes. Emma was taught that she has a strong support system and she advises spending a lot of time with your team to get to know them better and treat them with the utmost respect that they deserve. Emma looks up to her parents because they “work incredibly hard day in and day out to set an example of a strong work ethic.” Her athletic trainer asked if she was looking to play basketball in college and when she said, “Probably not,” the trainer mentioned how rowing may be a good fit for her. Well, here she is now: Emma made the decision to go to the University of Alabama for the beautiful campus and the amazing people on the rowing team. “When I met all the girls, they were all so caring and as I watched them interact with each other, I couldn’t tell who was a freshman and who was a senior because they are all one team.” Over her four years playing sports at SUA, Emma learned that “when you do what you love and put in the work, you will succeed.”
Mia Meinhart - Miami University - Diving
At just eight years old, Mia joined a summer diving league and in the eighth grade, she joined a local dive club. At a dive meet her freshman year, Mia’s foot slipped on the diving board, taking out her chances to qualify for the state meet. The next year, Mia focused on visualization which helped improve her diving scores and she qualified for the state competition. Mia’s parents help motivate and support her throughout the many years that she has competed, and “I am very thankful for the many sacrifices my parents have made that have allowed me to focus on diving.” The progress that Mia has made from freshman year to now is her greatest accomplishment as a student-athlete because she is finally able to experience the positive results of her hard work. She never expected to dive in college considering her skill level when she began diving. Mia chose Miami University for its amazing team culture and emphasis on both academics and athletics. She hopes to bring a positive mindset and healthy competition to the diving program. Throughout the four years that Mia has dived for SUA, she has learned the importance of finishing strong even when off to a rocky start. She says, “I would tell underclassmen to never put a limit on their ability because through dedication and hard work everyone can make progress in whatever sport they play.”
Claire Wiseman - Ohio Northern University - Soccer
Claire started playing soccer in the third grade and as the years progressed, she fell in love with the sport. Claire considers her progress over the past four years her biggest accomplishment. She has faced lots of challenges and curveballs (literally and figuratively) but is proud of pushing through them and getting to where she is today. Every minute an athlete practices outside of their team practice has worth. It may not seem like it in the moment, but it will pay off in the long run. Claire’s biggest inspiration is her former club soccer coach Taron Jordan, who “will forever be a prime example to me that no matter the situation, if you work hard enough, focus on what you want, and surround yourself with good company, you can be successful.” After debating whether to play beyond high school or not, Claire realized how important soccer was to her and decided that she was not ready to let soccer go just yet. She chose to continue her journey at Ohio Northern University, as she was looking for a college with a smaller campus, a short distance from home, and a sense of community. ONU had everything Claire wanted and more, including an incredibly immersive program for her chosen major, Criminal Justice. She intends to bring a positive outlook and a welcoming attitude when she gets on campus next year. Playing high school sports taught Claire that you have to fight for what you truly want. She explains that “playing time isn't going to just be handed to you, and there will always be someone on your heels waiting to take your spot on the field. This idea applies not only to sports, but also to life. You have to understand that you can't stop working now, you can always get passed up, so you need to have the constant mindset of improving yourself.”
Our seven seniors might have come from different backgrounds, but they all share the same thoughts about how SUA impacted their ability to continue athletics at the collegiate level. Their SUA classmates are incredibly proud of our fall senior signees and can’t wait to see them thrive in the future. We will always be cheering you on from the sidelines Caroline, Sophia, Gracie, Emma, Caroline, Mia, and Claire!