Ursuline Academy seniors Emily Courtois, Caroline Grindinger, and Miranda Papes will continue their respective sports in college.
The trio was recognized at a crowded Signing Day ceremony Wednesday morning.
Emily plans to row at University of Texas at Austin while Caroline and Miranda will play softball at Benedictine University (Chicago) and Yale, respectively.
Emily focused on crew full-time for the first time this season. She used to play volleyball but loved being on the water more.
“I was injured last year, and I just had this burning feeling to get back on the water,” said Courtois, who joined Ursuline’s crew team as a sophomore. “When you hear the riggers and feather the oars, it’s just beautiful and so powerful.”
Crew Coach Erin Sullivan-Baca said this is one of the team’s biggest signings because UT is a Top 8 NCAA team.
“She’s improved a ton and still has so much potential,” Sullivan-Baca said. “She works so hard, and she’s going to have a good shot at an NCAA championship while she’s in college.”
The softball team had signings for the first time since 2012, so the day was particularly special for Coach Stephanie Zorn. She said the explosive duo helped the program advance to the State Tournament twice in the last three years.
“Caroline and Miranda both exemplify all of the qualities that a coach could ask for in an athlete,” Zorn said. “They have the passion and drive to be the best. They are both solid defensively and a threat offensively. Most importantly, they are both true leaders to their teammates by setting an example of what solid work ethic and love for the game look like.”
Miranda said Yale first pursued her as a sophomore, and she’s loved the school ever since. The pitcher started playing softball at age 6. Her favorite pitch is still her dropball.
“It was surreal,” Papes said. “It was exactly how I thought I’d feel stepping on the college campus that I knew I was going to go to. I’m more mentally strong as a player, and I’m determined to win an Ivy League Championship.”
Caroline said she loved Benedictine’s coach and campus.
“It just felt natural,” said Grindinger, who will play catcher and third base. “I love having a team and an automatic set of friends.”
— Submitted by Ursuline Academy