The November signing period netted UCLA many top athletes in a number of sports. Here is a list of those athletes who have signed National Letters of Intent. These athletes will be freshmen in the September of 2002, and as a result some of these athletes will not be competing until 2003 depending on that sports schedule.
Baseball (8 signees):
Scott Botterman, RHP, Grapevine, Texas; Brett McMillian, 3B, Ponderosa HS, Shingle Springs, Calif.; Daniel Miltenberger, RHP, Laguna Nigel HS, Calif.; Steve Moss, OF, Notre Dame HS, Sherman Oaks, Calif.; Paul Oseguera, LHP, La Costa HS, Encinitas, Calif.; Manny Parra, LHP, American River JC, Sacramento, Calif.; Will Penniall, 2B/OF, La Canada HS, Calif.; Adam Simon, RHP, Bishop Amat HS, La Puente, Calif.
UCLA head coach, Gary Adams, commented about the recruits. He believes that Botterman will develop into a top-flight power pitcher. Miltenberger may well work his way into the starting rotation as a freshman because of his great variety of pitches. Moss is a multi-talented player with great tools. Adams compares Oseguera to Tom Glavine in that he is not overpowering and not crafty, but is very effective. Parra is a strikeout pitcher who also excels as a hitter. Penniall is a speedster, switch hitter, and great defensive player.
UCLA hitting coach, Vince Beringhele, says that McMillian is considered the top left-handed power hitter in the West, and Simon is a power pitcher who also happens to be a great outfielder.
Men's Golf (1 signee):
Spencer Levin, Elk Grove, Calif.
Levin is ranked the No. 12 junior amateur player in the nation and was named to the American Junior Golf Association All-American second team. He has had six top 10 tournament finishes on the junior circuit.
Men's Volleyball (1 signees + 1 BB signee):
Patrick Nihipali, 6-9, Middle Blocker, Mira Costa HS, Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Matt McKinney, Outside Hitter, 6-8, Santa Ynez HS, Calif.
Head coach, Al Scates, says Nihipali will have the opportunity to compete for a starting position as a true freshman. He is the third Nihipali to play volleyball at UCLA following his brother, Paul, a four-time All-American, and sister, Amy. Nihipali was Scates No. 1 recruiting target this year. Scates believes Nihipali is further along than his brother at this stage of his career.
McKinney will compete on the volleyball team once the basketball schedule ends. He lead Santa Ynez to three consecutive Southern Section Div. III titles, and was All-CIF the past two years. Scates said that McKinney is an elite player with Olympic potential.
Women's Basketball (5 signees):
Anita "Nikki" Blue, 5-8, G, West HS, Bakersfield, Calif.; Ortal Oren, 5-9, G/F, Kiriat-Sharet HS, Rishon-Lezion, Israel; Julia Pitts, 6-2, F, North HS, Torrance, Calif.; Emma Tautolo, 6-2, F/C, Moreno Valley HS, Calif.; Lisa Willis, 5-9, G/F, Narbonne HS, Harbor City, Calif.
Blue is in just about every Top 10 list of high school seniors. She is considered the best combo guard in the country with great ball-handling skills and a deadly shot. Last year she was named the Cal-Hi Sports Junior Player of the Year averaging 34 PPG and six APG. She needs 342 points as a senior to break the CIF Central Section career scoring mark. She is the sixth-rated senior by All-Star Girls Report.
Oren comes to UCLA with plenty of international playing experience as a member of the Israeli Junior National Team. While averaging 25 PPG, 10 RPG, and 5 APG she lead her high school team to the Israeli Championship and was the top scorer in the title game.
Tautolo is a Bruin legacy. Her father, John, played football at UCLA from 1977-80. As a junior she averaged 14 PPG and 10 RPG making the all-league team. While she was also a standout in volleyball, she is expected to concentrate on basketball at UCLA.
Willis comes to UCLA from one of the most prolific girls high school programs in the country. Narbonne has won state titles for the past two years and Willis was a starter on both teams. Last year she averaged 10 PPG, 7RPG, and 3 BPG. She lead her team in three-point shooting, and is ranked the 38th-rated senior by All-Star Girls Report.
Pitts is a tremendous all-around athlete competing in basketball, track and volleyball. She was named All-CIF as a junior in hoops and volleyball. She averaged 17 PPG and 12 RPG last year. She will continue three-sport career at UCLA where she is expected to play basketball and run track (400 meters, relay) as a freshman and then add volleyball as a sophomore.
Women's Golf (1 signee):
Susie Mathews, Rosslyn Park, Australia.
Mathews is the fourth-ranked amateur in Australia. A member of the Australian Women's National Team, she finished second in the 2001 Australian Amateur.
Women's Rowing (5 signees):
Michelle Fickling, Capistrano Valley HS, Mission Viejo, Calif.; Lindsay Hurban, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.; Elizabeth Pallas Jacobs, University City HS, San Diego, Calif.; Lauren May, Canyon HS, Anaheim, Calif.; Shannon Packer, El Toro HS, Lake Forest, Calif.
UCLA reinstated the women's rowing team this year. Fickling, Hurban, May and Packer are all members of the Newport Aquatic Center Junior Rowing Program. Jacobs rows for the San Diego Rowing Club.
Swimming (4 signees):
Shellene Catalano, Breaststroke/ Butterfly/IM, Clovis HS, Fresno, Calif.; Kristabelle "Krista" Daley, Butterfly, Placer HS, Auburn, Calif.;Louisa Los-Santos, The Peddle School, Hightstown, NJ; Kimberley Vandenberg, Butterfly/Free, Campolindo HS, Moraga, Calif.
Vandenberg is considered one of the top recruits in the country. She was a 2000 Olympic trials qualifier and a finalist at the US Nationals. Head coach, Cyndi Gallagher, expects Vandenberg to have an immediate impact on the team.
Daley was also a 2000 Olympic trials qualifier in the butterfly. She made the Sacramento Bee First Team in 2001 and was named team MVP for the past three years. Catalano finished in the top eight in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at the Junior Nationals. Los-Santos swims on the Malaysian National Team and was part of the team that competed at the South East Asia Games this past summer.
Women's Tennis (1 signee):
Jackie Carlton, Jenkintown, PA.
Carlton has been training at the John Newcombe Tennis Academy in Texas. She is currently ranked No. 16 in the USTA Girls' 18s singles rankings. Head coach, Stella Sampras, expects Carlton to be a huge boost to both singles and doubles, and says she is the type of player who can lead the Bruins to a National Championship.
Women's Volleyball (2 signees):
Nancy Babra, 6-1, Middle Blocker, Westwood HS, Austin, Texas; Haley Jorgensborg, 5-11, Setter/Outside Hitter, Marymount HS, Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Andy Banachowski, UCLA head coach, believes Babra has all the instincts to become an outstanding middle blocker. She is an excellent student (4.00 gpa) and was named All-State. Jorgensborg has been named All-CIF three years running. She is a lefty who has repeatedly earned All-Tournament honors.
Women's Water Polo (3 signees):
Kristina Kunkel, 6-0, 2-meter, Santa Margaruta HS, Dove Canyon, Calif.; Lauren Heineck, 5-10, driver/2-meter, El Toro HS, Calif.; Kelly Rulon, 5-9, driver/utility, University HS, San Diego, Calif.
Head coach, Adam Krikorian, believes he has added the nation's top players at their respective positions to his squad. Kunkel is considered by many the most versatile girls high school player i