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  • Writer's pictureGRACIE TURNER '25

Senior Signees - Fall 2022

Congratulations to SUA’s fall athletic signees Brenna Bohan, Sara Bower, Caitie Byars, Luca Fickell, Katie Hoog, Mia Lawrence, Zoe Luebbers, Sydney Majick, Meredith Reisman, Ava Siefke, Ella Smith, and Ivey Stocks for their college signings on Wednesday, November 9th. 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 memos in continuing their athletic career beyond SUA.

Brenna Bohan - Lacrosse - Tiffin University

SUA’s varsity lacrosse attacker, Brenna Bohan '23, will be attending Tiffin University this upcoming fall. During her official visit, Brenna fell in love with the campus, community, and how welcoming the team was to her. Brenna has been playing lacrosse for seven years and currently plays for True Lacrosse Ohio. In her four years at SUA she has learned that “working as a team puts you two steps ahead of every other team.” This can go for more than just sports - life too. Going along with team work, Brenna will miss her teams pre-game dance parties in the locker room. Brenna says that the highlight of her senior season was scoring five goals against Seton and beating them for the GGCL title! Brenna is thriving and she wouldn’t be able to do it without her Aunt Roro. Aunt Roro has “never never missed any game I have ever played so I feel motivated to do well for her.” Brenna will take this family love with her to Tiffin and will spread it amongst her teammates. She looks forward to merch day and meeting people with similar interests to her. Brenna’s coach, Todd Graham, said “Brenna Bohan bursts on the scene at Lacrosse by running faster and shooting harder than any other JV player. Fast forward a few years and she’s finessed her game with stick skills and a deadly left hand.” Coach Graham remembers asking her to move from Middie to Attack and her response was “sure thing,” although in reality she didn’t think she’d like it. “Being a lefty and camping out on that side of the cage gives her chances to score where others can’t. She’s found a home and I’m sure the Tiffin coach will treasure her as much as we do. Best of luck, it will be fun following her at the next level.”

Sara Bower - Soccer - University of Akron

One of SUA’s favorite GAA members, Sara Bower '23, will be playing soccer at the University of Akron following her graduation this May. She is one of the most experienced on her team having played soccer since the age of 5. Ever since Sara was a little kid she has always wanted to play D1 college soccer. It was not an easy path to reach her goal, but “I am so glad I pushed past the hard times and continued my journey of getting to a D1 school and couldn't be happier.” SUA has formed her into her childhood dream. Along with this, Cincinnati United Premier Girls Academy has also prepared Sara physically and mentally to play collegiate soccer. Sara chose Akron because “the instant I stepped on campus and met the coaching staff I knew it was the right place for me. I loved the environment of the team and school. I know it will be a great opportunity for me to learn and grow as a person and player.” Sara credits SUA for teaching her that “things will not always go your way. You will be faced with disappointment, but it is how you react to the situation and continue to work and get better is what matters. Hard work and faith is key.” Her favorite memory with her SUA soccer team was all the pre-game dance parties. Sara explained how it was always so fun to get hyped for the game and hangout together before a big game. In addition to her teammates, Sara’s brother “has always been one of my biggest supporters and motivators. He has always been my role model and I have always wanted to be just like him. He is one of the biggest people who have supported me all throughout the journey and always was there for me. He always pushes me and motivates me to be my best self. He is tough on me, but has helped make me the person I am today.”

Caitie Byars - Soccer - Marian University Indianapolis

Caitie Byars '23, one of SUA’s varsity soccer players, will be joining Marian University Indianapolis Soccer Team in the next year. Caitie is a outside back/winger that plays for Sporting Queen City Soccer Club. SUA’s soccer program has taught her to never give up. An example of this would be beating Mason in their season opener this past year. Caitie says that “it was such a fun and competitive game. Our team came together to beat a team who SUA had not beaten in 11 years and it was a great way to start the season.” Caitie is a team player and her teammates motivate her to become better and push herself outside of her comfort zone. “When I am surrounded by a like-minded group of people it is easy for me to push myself while also encouraging my teammates.” Caitie is looking forward to encouraging her new teammates at MU, playing in a competitive atmosphere, and having a new family of teammates. Caitie’s coach, Dan Barraza said that “Caitie has such tremendous technical skills but what stands out is her work rate. Caitie is a versatile player that can play almost every position on the field. With her foot skills and work rate, she brings up the speed and intensity that her team plays with which will carry over extremely well at the collegiate level!”

Luca Fickell - Volleyball - Indiana University

On July 14, 2022, Luca Fickell '23 announced her commitment to play volleyball and continue her academic career at Indiana University. Luca specifically chose IU because “I love the competitive atmosphere in the gym and the family-like culture that Coach Aird, his staff, and the players have created.” The senior setter is in her eighth year of playing volleyball and her last season at Tri-State Elite Volleyball Club. Her favorite memories are within SUA, her favorite being beating Mount Notre Dame at their home court last year and all of the fun team bonding activities that varsity takes part in. With this, SUAVB has taught her how to be a leader and how important it is to be there for your teammates and work together through the ups and the downs. Luke Fickell, Luca’s father, “motivates me to be better because I look up to him for how determined and hardworking he is.” Luca looks forward to "being able to continue to play the sport I love everyday and building more life-long friendships.” Ashley Lewis, her senior year varsity coach said that “Luca was a senior captain for us this year and helped lead the SUA Volleyball program to a regional finals appearance. This was her first year running the offense for the bulldogs and she accumulated 810 assists and led the GGCL in aces (51). Luca was voted 1st team all-conference, 1st team all-district and 1st team all-state! These are huge accomplishments. Luca consistently shows a desire to improve her volleyball IQ and her leadership ability. I know she will be successful in all that she does in the future! IU is very lucky to be getting such a talented player and leader.”

Katie Hoog - Soccer - Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

Katie Hoog '23 will be attending and playing soccer at IUPUI, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, this upcoming fall. Katie chose IUPUI because of the school and the team. IUPUI is located in Indianapolis, so “the city environment will give me more opportunities to be surrounded by businesses since I plan on majoring in accounting. They also have a beautiful campus and a great business school… they were so welcoming when I went on my official visit. I knew after being in such a positive atmosphere that I wanted to go there.” In her twelve years of playing soccer, SUA soccer has been beyond amazing to Katie. Playing SUA sports has taught her to “be fearless and confident in myself. When I first made the varsity team my sophomore year, I wasn't confident in myself and that showed on the field. Once I changed my mindset, I started getting more playing time and becoming an overall better player. My decision making and winning balls out of the air drastically improved.” Additionally, Katie’s dad motivates her to be better on a daily basis. “He coached me when I was younger, and although now he is not actually my coach, he feels like one. He tells me what I am doing well and what I need to work on. He helped me a lot throughout the recruiting process, and I don't think I could have done it without him.” “Katie is such an amazing player,” Coach Dan Barraza says. “Her ability to play with so much technical skill while also playing with the physicality that a center back needs to is definitely second to none. Not only is she a defensive force but also is an offensive force in the air, frequently finding the back of the net on set pieces. This ability to play both ways will only pave the way for her success at the next level!”

Mia Lawrence - Volleyball - Ohio Northern University

Mia Lawrence '23 announced her verbal commitment to play volleyball at Ohio Northern University on July 25, 2022. Staying in-state, Mia is attracted to their variety in major options, their beautiful campus, and their team environment. Mia is in her fourth year in the SUAVB program and has been playing volleyball for six years prior to high school, two of these ten years being at Tri-State Elite Volleyball Club. In her four years at SUA, Mia has learned that “being a part of a team improves your character as a person and lets you learn to be apart of something bigger than yourself.” She will never forget all the varsity activities whether that be a scavenger hunt or team dinner after school in the skybox. This helped not only Mia but the whole team to build friendships that will last for decades. Mia says that “the ability to make my family proud as the only college athlete in my family”is what keeps pushing her to achieve her goals. Although she will miss her friends, family, and community in Cincy, Mia looks forward to being apart of a new environment and meeting new people at ONU. Mia’s coach, Ashley Lewis, says that “Mia is a very athletic volleyball player. Mia has the ability to touch a ton of balls on the block and is very smart on offense. She sees the court well and works hard in every drill or competitive situation we do in practice. Mia will make a huge impact on the ONU volleyball program. I look forward to watching her continued success!”

Zoe Luebbers - Golf - Ohio University

Ohio University is thrilled to have Zoe Luebbers '23 join their campus in Athens, Ohio, next fall. When Zoe visited she fell in love with the campus, the great education, and their golf coach, Kelly Ovington. Zoe has been playing golf since the age of 3 and plays in tournaments as an individual. She has golfed for SUA for the past four years, her favorite memory being dressing in themes for practice because it is a fun way to mix up practices. Frat boys was by far the funniest theme. She also helped JV with their pitch shots in the beginning of the year. According to Zoe, the SUA golf coach, Mark Hannahan “has motivated me to become better because I see where he is today and it pushes me everyday.” Coach Hannahan is loved by all of SUA. One of Zoe’s varsity teammates, Mary Claire Brunsman ‘25 says that “Zoe is one of the hardest workers I’ve met. She is always focused on her game but also making sure everyone on the team is staying positive. She knows how to lighten up any situation and I’m grateful I was able to play with her and grow a friendship with her this season.”

Sydney Majick - Beach Volleyball - Florida Gulf Coast University

Florida Gulf Coast University is so proud to welcome Sydney Majick '23 to their campus in Fort Myers, Florida. Sydney was especially drawn to the intimacy of the beach volleyball program and how close she would be to the beach! Although she can’t wait to be in Florida, Cincinnati has given her more than she could ask for. Sydney has been playing beach volleyball for four years now at Ohio Valley Beach. This past year she served as the varsity libero for SUA’s volleyball team. More specifically, SUAVB has taught her that “having a good team environment is essential! Working together on and off the court makes a major difference that translates directly onto the court.” Sydney is a team player. She is all about team bonding, encouraging others, and pumping each other up. Her teammates are her best friends and are the ones who support her on and off the court. Sydney says that “everyone works very hard and it makes me want to be better!” She is most looking forward to traveling to play at a variety of different schools and making new friends and memories in college. Her varsity coach, Ashley Lewis said that “Sydney was an integral part of our serve receive and defense this season. She has a strong desire to improve her volleyball skills and leads our team both on and off the court. Sydney finished with 357 digs this season. I am so happy that Sydney chose to return to the hard court for her senior season! FGCU is getting a very talented volleyball player and an even better person.”

Meredith Reisman - Volleyball - Campbell University

On September 19, 2021, Meredith Reisman '23 declared her verbal commitment to further her academic and volleyball career at Campbell University. Meredith says she chose Campbell because it simply just “felt right” and they house a warm, loving community. This past spring Meredith was struck by a season ending injury that set her back from her peers. After many days of physical therapy and working with SUA’s athletic trainer, Meredith hopes to be back on the court soon. She explains how she is so grateful that Campbell kept her scholarship in place whilst still being in recovery. Meredith started playing club volleyball just three years ago and has made lifelong friendships in the process. She wants to encourage everyone to “treat practice just like a game.” This is what shaped her to be the amazing player she is today. Her favorite moment within the SUA volleyball program was beating Mount Notre Dame at their house during her junior season. Meredith is motivated by her teammates to recover, and get back to her full potential. She states that playing volleyball is a “constant competition.” Ashley Lewis says that “Meredith is a very strong and confident person both on and off the court. She battled through a season-ending injury during the club season but was an integral part of our team's success. Meredith has a high volleyball IQ and I know that this season only made her stronger. I look forward to seeing Meredith on the court at Campbell University!”

Ava Siefke - Volleyball - Eastern Michigan University

On September 25, 2021, Ava Siefke '23 announced her verbal commitment to continue her academic and athletic endeavors at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. On her official visit, Ava fell in love with the team culture and being able to travel close to home when she plays out of town. SUA’s 6’1 outside hitter also plays for NKYVC and has been playing the sport since the third grade. SUAVB has taught her to “always work hard, even if you know that you won't be on the court and to always be a good teammate on and off the court.” Similar to the opinions of most of her teammates, Ava’s favorite memory from her senior season was by far the scavenger hunt because “my team had the best theme in flavor town.” She says that it was super fun to spend time with all of my teammates, new and old, and to grow fresh bonds with the team. As you can see, Ava’s relationship with her teammates is a huge part of her growth as an athlete and as an individual. With this, her peers are her biggest inspirations and motivators. “I feel like knowing that they would do anything for me and they support me no matter what truly drives me to be the best that I can be.” Ava’s mom, aunt, and sister have all played collegiate volleyball and that pushes Ava to strive for excellence. Coach Ashley Lewis’s words of Ava are as follows: “Ava was a senior captain for us this season and was a huge part of our success on the pins this year. Ava is a great leader, teammate and role model for younger players in our program. She had a great senior season, finishing with 256 kills and 71 blocks. She was named 2nd team all-conference and 3rd team all-district this season. Ava will make a huge impact on the program at Eastern Michigan University and I know she will be successful in her future endeavors.”

Ella Smith - Soccer - Miami University

SUA’s varsity soccer goalkeeper, Ella Smith '23, will be attending Miami University in the fall of 2023. Ella has been playing soccer for 14 years and in addition to SUA, also plays for Kings Hammer. Oxford is the place for her. Ella loves Miami because of the beautiful campus and team culture. Along with this, the strong academics and strong team offers her the balance she is seeking. Looking back at her recently ended senior season, Ella’s favorite memory is beating Mason 5-0 after not beating them for the past twelve years. She says that “the game was delayed by hours, so we could have lost the motivation to play, but instead we just got hyped up more as the delay continued.” Playing SUA sports has taught her the importance of teammates in her daily life. “The team culture of SUA is unmatched in every aspect,” so she has learned to never settle for less on any other team she participates on. Ella’s biggest support system, her parents, motivate her everyday to become better. “They both swam D1, so I feel like I have always wanted to live up to them. Though they have never put any pressure on me to do this, my admiration of them and seeing their hard work pay off makes me want to do the same.” In addition to motivation from her parents, Ella’s desire from a young age to play in college pushed her to play past high school and “that is really what caused me to not lose sight of this goal, the love I have for it.” Dan Barraza, Ella’s varsity soccer coach said that “Ella is a fearless goalkeeper that improves her teammates around her. Her ability to read the game and be in position to make fantastic saves is always amazing to watch. To go along with her goalkeeping skills, her ability to have the ball at her feet and distribute definitely sets her apart from other goalkeepers. Ella is constantly working at improving and Miami University will be having a fantastic goalie for years to come with her in their program!”

Ivey Stocks - Volleyball - Jacksonville State University

This fall Ivey Stocks '23 will be attending and playing volleyball at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. Ivey is the middle blocker for SUA’s varsity volleyball team and has been in the program for four years. In addition to SUA, Ivey also spends her off-season playing for Tri-State Elite Volleyball Club with a few of her school teammates. She has had a wildly successful senior season, finishing second in the GGCL with 87 blocks. Ivey was named 1st team all-district and 2nd team all-conference this season. Coach Ashley Lewis says that “Ivey was a senior captain for us this season and helped propel this program to many wins. She is a hard worker who is dedicated to making those around her better. Ivey will make a quick impact at Jacksonville State with her ability to attack and block at a high level!” Not only is Ivey loved by her coaches, but also by her teammates. Emsley Venard ‘25 says, “Ivey is one of the hardest workers I have ever played with. She is always willing to make herself and the people around her better. Ivey was such a big part of this team and will forever be a big part of the SUA volleyball legacy. I am so grateful that I got to play with her and learn from her. I can speak for everyone involved in the program this year when saying, we are truly grateful for Ivey and the leadership role she took on and she will be greatly missed next year.”

Congratulations to all of the many fall sports signees! Speaking on behalf of the entirety of SUA’s student body, we will miss you! We hope that you will continue to thrive throughout the next chapters of your lives.

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