By Ryan Kaczmarski
With all the Blue Streaks who have taken their skills up to the next level, the Magnificat High School’s athletic department has made the college signing day into an exact science.
Last Wednesday, there were once again coffee and doughnuts in the school’s team room, as Michaela Gabanic, Shannon Grega and Ali Nageotte all signed their National Letters of Intent.
Gabanic will be attending Bowling Green State University on a volleyball scholarship.
“I just really love the coaches and the girls (at BGSU),” she said. “I really loved the school when I visited, and it seems like a perfect fit for me.”
She also noted that the school is in just the right location for her.
“I wanted to be able to be ‘away’ at college, but I still wanted my parents to be able to come there and watch me play,” Gabanic said. “I was there this past weekend, and I saw the team play twice, met all the girls and talked to all the coaches.”
Gabanic sees her athletic skills translating to the college game right away.
“I think I can help the team with blocking,” she said. “I know that they are already really good at it, but I just think they will make me work harder, and I can make the other girls work harder. It will balance out.”
Mike Cannon and the rest of the Magnificat volleyball coaching staff has made a big impression on Gabanic.
“They’ve always believed in me and helped me grow and become more confident,” she said. “They trusted in me and my abilities, and helped me become stronger and a tougher player.”
Gabanic was a three-year starter for the Blue Streaks.
She is still undecided on a major, but is leaning toward something in the field of mathematics.
Also moving up in the volleyball ranks is Shannon Grega, who will be playing for Cleveland State University next fall.
“I definitely wanted to stay close to home, because I’m really close to my family,” Grega said. “When I visited Cleveland State, it fit me perfectly. The moment I walked onto campus, I knew I wanted to go here.
“The program is exactly what I was looking for and the coaches are the kind I always wanted.”
Grega is a defensive specialist, and thinks she can add to a Vikings squad who already prides itself on defense.
“I think I can help out with their defense, which will make sure they can run the offense properly,” she said. “I’ll be keeping the ball off the floor.
“We learned from the (Magnificat) coaches to always be super-competitive,” she added. “Our practices were always competitive, which taught us to be more dedicated to the game.”
Grega will be joining the nursing program at CSU.
The Blue Streaks’ star golfer Ali Nageotte will be testing her nationally-ranked skills at the Big Ten level, playing for the University of Wisconsin next fall.
The decision to go up to Madison was not an easy one for Nageotte.
“I just realized that was the place where I was going to be happiest,” she said. “I was fortunate enough for them to make me an offer, and when they did make that offer, I took it three days later. It all happened pretty fast, but I couldn’t be more excited.
Nageotte has been a nationally-ranked junior golfer for three years, but she knows that the collegiate game is much more competitive.
“It’s been a goal of mine to play at a big program my whole life, and that’s why it took me such a long time to make a decision,” she said.
She plans on joining the business school at Wisconsin.
“It’s one of the top-25 business schools in the country, so I’m going to go into business, but maybe start out as undecided,” she concluded.