Women's Basketball Announces First Set of 2017-18 Deposited Student-Athletes

Women's Basketball Announces First Set of 2017-18 Deposited Student-Athletes

JOHNSON, VT. – The Johnson State women's basketball program and Head Coach Greg Eckman are pleased to announce the first set of deposited student-athletes for the 2017-18 season.  All players have deposited and will continue their academic and athletic careers as Badgers.

Regina Castaneda (Torrance, CA / Thornton High School) 5'0" Shooting Guard

Kayla Coombs (West Rutland, VT / West Rutland High School) 6'0" Forward

Ellery Kiefer (Wayland, MA / Wayland High School) 5'8" Guard

Devin Libby (Burlington, VT / Burlington High School) 5'10" Forward

Jocelyn Pellerin (Keene, NH / Keene High School) 5'6" Guard

Sarah Rogers (Grafton, VT / Green Mountain Union High School) 5'6" Guard

Castaneda will be transferring to Johnson State for the 2017-18 season.  Castaneda played one year at NAIA Division I college Missouri Valley and the second year at junior college El Camino.  The 5'0" shooting guard was named to the East Metro League (5A) First team Honorable Mention and First Team League All-Conference during her high school career.  Castaneda also played for the Colorado Basketball AAU organization.  The daughter of Sergio and Rachel Castaneda, she will be completing her degree in Health Sciences: Health & Exercise Science.

From Coach Eckman:

"Gina will bring proven college experience to our young roster.  We will be looking to Gina for her experience, maturity and toughness.  She is a great shot maker with the ability to create her own shots." 

"We are excited also to be expanding our recruiting area as Gina will be our first recruit coming to the women's basketball program from the west coast.  We hope Gina is the first of many to join the Badger family."

Coombs, a 6'0" forward, has a winning tradition of basketball coming from the powerful West Rutland girls' basketball program. She was a 2017 Marble Valley League Division D 1st Team selection following her senior season which saw her team compete in the Vermont Division 4 State Championship Game. Coombs participated in AAU with the Cavaliers.  The daughter of Windy Pidgeon, Charles Coombs and Francesca Girardi, she will be majoring Anthropology and Sociology. 

From Coach Eckman:

"Kayla Coombs is an incredible post player, with great foot work and soft hands.  I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with her!  Kayla has been on our radar for a few years and we have seen great growth in her game and can't wait for her to be on the floor in Badger blue & green."

"Coombs also brings to us a legitimate shot blocker with great length and the ability to change a lot of player's shots.  With her length and ability to run the floor we are very excited she is a part of our program.  She is a versatile player for her size and has a great mid-range jumper."

Kiefer, a 5'8" guard from Wayland, Massachusetts, prepped at Wayland High School where she was the Dual County League 2016 All-Star and was selected captain of her team. She competed for the AAU program Mass Huskies. The daughter of Cecily and Tom Kiefer, she will be majoring in Outdoor Education.

From Coach Eckman:

"With the addition of Ellery Kiefer to our women's basketball lineup for the 2017-18 season, I know we have a world class competitor. She plays the game with great passion and has an incredible will to win.  Ellery's toughness and basketball IQ are going to be great additions to our program."

"I have to again state what a great academic student Ellery is and we are excited she is going to continue her education and basketball career at Johnson."

Libby, a 5'10" power forward, honed her skills at Burlington High School and while playing for the VT Elite AAU team.  Libby is a 2017 Metro Division Honorable Mention and was selected to the 2017 Vermont Basketball Coaches Association's Senior All-Star Game.  She was on her school honor roll for three straight years.  Devin's parents are Sherry & Rob Libby, and she will be majoring in Fine Arts.

From Coach Eckman:

"We love Devin Libby and believe Johnson State and her will be a great fit!  She has incredible raw talent, soft hands and an incredible passing ability.  Devin makes those on the floor around her better.  She is a strong post player with a great shooting touch."

"Devin is an extremely vocal player on the defensive end and will be looked upon to help anchor our defense.  Her positive attitude, willingness to learn and hard work are the characteristics that drew us to her."

Pellerin, a 5'6" Guard comes to us from Keene High School where she was a co-captain of her varsity basketball team. Pellerin recorded a season high of 24 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and one steal on February 18, 2017 against Exeter High School.  She was a member of the Monadnock Region team for the 2015 and 2016 Granite State Games, was on the 2016 NH Basketball Coaches Organization Academic Honor Roll and won the 2017 NHIAA Scholar-Athlete Award. She competed on the AAU side for the Granite State Thunder. The daughter of Russ & Jenn Pellerin, she will major in Biology or Health Science.

From Coach Eckman:

"The women's basketball team is excited to have Jocelyn Pellerin joining the team for this upcoming season.  Jocelyn is a great competitor, with the ability to score both inside and outside. She will be a great addition to the Badgers."

"Jocelyn is an excellent student and will continue the rich tradition of high academic achieving women's basketball team members."

Rogers, a 5'6" guard from Green Mountain Union High School, will provide the Badgers with a versatile guard that has the ability to handle the ball in the open court, attack the rim on the drive or can catch and shoot.  She played for the Vipers AAU program.  Her parents are Rebecca & David Rogers, and she will be majoring in Psychology at JSC.

From Coach Eckman:

"Sarah Rogers is a tough, physical guard who loves to compete.  She will be a solid guard for us and will provide additional ball handling and has the ability to be a great shooter."

"Sarah plays in the always tough Marble Valley League and has been well trained as a basketball player through the Vipers AAU program."

"All of these players are great people for Johnson State and our program," Coach Eckman said. "I'm very excited as this is a big step in building our roster for next year. These players are great academic fits and will be great basketball additions for our program."

Johnson State wrapped up the 2016-17 campaign with an overall record of 12-14 and made the NAC playoffs, narrowly losing to New England College.