The list of local high school athletes earning scholarships to play sports at the collegiate level continues to grow.
Arroyo Grande High’s Alyssa Koenig signed a national letter of intent Thursday to play volleyball at Utah on a full-ride scholarship.
Fellow Eagle Hannah Wadlow will be in the pool at goalie on the Sonoma State water polo team, earning a partial scholarship.
And San Luis Obispo High’s Andrea Reynolds inked her name on a letter of intent to play softball at UC Davis.
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Koenig, a 6-foot-2 middle and outside hitter in her career with the Eagles, helped her team to a 25-7 overall record and a 12-0 mark in the PAC 7 this season. She had 219 kills and 174 digs on the season, her fourth year on varsity.
“It’s really exciting,” Koenig said. “I never expected that I’d be playing at a Pac-12 school when I started high school.”
Her coach, Ernie Santa Cruz, said Koenig will play middle hitter for the Utes, a position that she has been slotted in at Arroyo Grande.
Santa Cruz said that Koenig started as a freshman with plenty of self-motivation and her ability has steadily grown.
“She works hard, she’s gotten stronger and she has done what it takes to get better,” Santa Cruz said. “Alyssa is very driven. She’s a great teammate and a great example to the younger players.”
Wadlow is getting her first chance to play full time at net this season as a starter at goalie.
Her coach, Steven Allen said that her play was noticed at the 2012 SwimOutlet.com Junior Olympics this summer in Northern California where games were held at Stanford.
The tournament features many club teams of top players in the state, and Arroyo Grande’s water polo squad entered as well.
Earning the scholarship marks her “first big decision as an adult,” Wadlow said. But she’s happy with her choice.
“It’s so pretty up there,” Wadlow said. “And it has a great liberal studies program and I want to be a teacher.”
Wadlow said she has worked hard on leg training, and Allen said she has developed the key strength of a goalie to “erase the last shot from her memory.”
“Goalies will get scored on and you just have to forget that quickly,” Allen said.
The girls water polo season starts right after Thanksgiving, and Allen said that this season is Wadlow’s first chance to shine as a full-time player.
A player who dominated the competition last year on the pitching mound, as well as at the plate, San Luis Obispo’s Reynolds signed her letter of intent to attend UC Davis.
Reynolds averaged a strikeout per inning, recording 130 last season as a junior, compared with 11 walks, and compiled a 1.72 earned run average.
The four-year varsity player figures to have a chance to contribute at the plate as well at the college level. Last season, she led the Tigers with 28 hits while batting .400 with eight doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI.
“I went to a clinic at UC Davis and I had the chance to meet coaches and the players,” Reynolds said. “I fell in love with the campus.”
Her coach, Mike Lee, said that Reynolds has shown consistency at the plate, improving greatly over the course of her high school career.
“She really became a threat as a hitter last year where every time up she was a tough out,” Lee
said. “As a pitcher, she has a number of pitches that she can throw for a strike and she can definitely hit her spots.”
Lee said Reynolds’ stats prove the point that she has pinpoint accuracy and keeps runners off base.
Reynolds said she’s prepared to contribute in multiple ways for the Aggies.
“I’m going to pitch as much as I can, play first a little, hit, we’ll see,” Reynolds said.