RUTHERFORD, N.J. – High-school seniors Cat Lentsch (Elkhorn, Neb./Elkhorn South) and Sophia Stegmuller (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) have signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) to continue their volleyball careers at Felician University, Felician head women's coach John Chang announced today.
The 2018-19 NCAA signing period began on Nov. 14 and runs continuously through Aug. 1. It replaces the separate early and regular signing periods of past years.
Lentsch, 5-foot-11, split time between middle blocker and outside hitter for Elkhorn (Neb.) South High School. She helped the Storm to a state Class B third-place finish in 2017 and a runner-up result during her senior season. She also played club volleyball for Nebraska Premier 18 Black, which finished first in its flight at the USA Volleyball Junior Nationals. Lentsch intends to major in biology at Felician with a pre-medicine concentration.
"Cat's front-row presence will be a unique dynamic for our team," said Chang, entering his sixth season with the Golden Falcons. "She also possesses a solid all-around game and can contribute at multiple positions."
Said Lentsch, "Felician is a great fit for my future. I will be able to continue my academic and volleyball careers and practice my Catholic faith. I instantly bonded with the team and coaches and I'm extremely excited for the fall."
Stegmuller, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter, was a second-team all-Greater Miami Conference selection for Colerain High School of Cincinnati, Ohio, for which she also competed in basketball and track & field. She played club volleyball for the Arsenal Volleyball Academy. Stegmuller is undecided on a major course of study.
"Sophia is another versatile player who, over a long season, provides flexibility to a coaching staff," Chang said. "Her recruitment is a step forward for our program, both immediate and long-term."
"On my visit, I felt immediately at home," Stegmuller added. "The Felician volleyball team has a family feel to it, and I can't wait to be a part of that."
The Golden Falcons set school records for overall and conference victories in 2018. They went 13-18 and finished fourth in the CACC North Division with an 8-11 league record. Felician reached the CACC playoffs for the first time since 2013, pushing eventual champion Holy Family University to five sets before bowing out in the quarterfinals.
The commitments of Lentsch and Stegmuller bring the total number of scholarship athletes in the Felician women's volleyball Class of 2023 to four. Setter Miquela Martinez (Santa Fe, N.M./St. Michael's HS) and middle hitter Tabatha Wagner (Wabash, Ind./Wabash) signed NLIs with Felician prior to January.
Felician University engages more than 2,400 undergraduate, graduate, and adult students through programs in Arts & Sciences, Business, Nursing, and Education. Universal Franciscan values of respect, social justice, and compassion form an inclusive foundation for transforming the lives of tomorrow's leaders. Felician University was ranked 3rd-best return on investment for private colleges in New Jersey in 2018 by the PayScale.com College ROI Report and is ranked the No. 1 safest college campus in the state by niche.com. Felician also sponsors 14 varsity intercollegiate sports that compete at the NCAA Division II level. To learn more about Felician University please visit www.felician.edu.