Bulldogs Ink Five for 2009-10 Season

Jan. 14, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball at Yale, has announced the Bulldogs' Class of 2013. Allie Messimer, Alicia Seelaus, Megan Vasquez, Ericka von Kaeppler and Aarica West will take the court as freshmen in the 2009-10 season.

"This is an outstanding class," said Gobrecht of her five new recruits. "We will be playing Yale basketball at an extremely high level next season and beyond."

Allie Messimer, a 5'8" guard from The Woodlands, Texas, is a senior at College Park High School. She is currently averaging 13.0 points per game, as well as 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.7 steals for the Cavaliers. She was also a starter for the nationally prominent club team Cy-Fair Shock Nike Elite.

"Allie is a slashing, rebounding guard with the skills that make teams click like smart passing, hustle plays and athletic defense," said Gobrecht. "She does what her team needs to win."

A 6'0 forward, Alicia Seelaus will join the Bulldogs out of River Hill High School in Clarksville, Md. A post player with the versatility to play outside as well, Seelaus was a member of a Maryland State Championship team as a freshman and earned a slot on the Baltimore Sun All-County First Team last season.

"Alicia's best attribute is that she never backs down from any opponent," said Gobrecht. "A tough, physical player who can also put points on the board is hard to find."

Joining Yale's backcourt will be Megan Vasquez, a 5'7" guard from Merrick, N.Y. In her junior season at Calhoun High School, Vasquez earned all-state laurels for the second consecutive season and became the first female player in Calhoun history to eclipse 1,000 career points. Currently in the midst of her senior campaign, the three-time team MVP is averaging 26.3 points per game for the Colts and has knocked down 16 three-point field goals.

"Megan is a great shooter and can also handle the ball like a true point guard," said Gobrecht. "She is a quick, smart defender who can physically contend with the bigger guards in the Ivy League."

Ericka von Kaeppler, a 6'0 forward from Palo Alto, Calif., is currently a senior at Castilleja High School. The 2007-08 Castilleja Athlete of the Year and a first team all-league selection as a sophomore and junior, von Kaeppler is averaging 13.0 points, 11.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game in her senior season for the Gators.

"Ericka has a tremendous upside," said Gobrecht. "She is a skilled, intelligent player who will continue to improve against the stiff competition in the Ivy League."

Rounding out the quintet of incoming talent is Aarica West, a 5'11 forward from Murrieta, Calif. A 2008 graduate of Vista Murrieta High School, West was rated as one of the top 50 players in the class of 2008. She considered several top Division I programs before her heart fell for Yale after a visit. West is currently a post-graduate at Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Mass.

"Aarica's ability will add a number of new possibilities to our offense," said Gobrecht. "She is a versatile player with the skills of a guard and the strength of a post player.

The 2008-09 Bulldogs are back in action on Friday, as they host Brown in their Ivy League opener. Tip off from the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven is scheduled for 7 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity