Missouri signs several new recruits Wednesday

Unlucky November 13 doesn’t seem to apply to the Missouri recruiting office because they have successfully signed four prep athletes to the swim team, volleyball team or golf team as a Tiger.

Missouri men’s golf welcomed Saku Tuusa of Salo, Finland to its squad Wednesday. The 6-foot-3 signee has lots of junior golf accolades under his belt including a 2018 Finnish Junior Tour Ranking win and a third-place finish at 2018’s Sotogrande International Young Talents tournament.

The No. 9 women’s swim and dive team deepened its talent pool with its Wednesday signing of Plymouth, Minn., native, Sierra Smith. Smith is a five-time Minnesota 2A State Championship finalist, using her strongest stroke to place second in both the 100 and 200-free as a junior. A year before she placed ninth and third in the same events, respectively.

“I’m beyond excited to join such an incredible family,” Smith told Swimming World Magazine. “A huge thanks to my parents, coaches, and friends that have helped me along the way! Go MIZZOU!”

Missouri volleyball added defensive and libero depth Wednesday when the team stole signee Emily Brown from midwest rivals Illinois, Purdue and Kansas.

“Getting to come to Mizzou and be a part of this team is a dream come true,” Brown said. “My goal was to play for a top program, but Mizzou is so much more than that."

Brown is a four-year starting libero for McCutcheon High School in Lafayette, Indiana, where she helped the Mavericks to a 32-2 record in 2019 and its first sectional title since 2013.

For her four-year varsity career, Brown accumulated 1,888 digs (4.70 per set) and 188 aces (0.50 per set). The defender has earned all-state honors in both her upperclassmen seasons.

“We’re so lucky to have Emily joining us in 2020,” coach Joshua Taylor said. “She’s not only one of the best serve/receive liberos in her class, but she has the desire to improve every chance she gets. Her personality is one that will greatly benefit Mizzou Volleyball and the culture we are cultivating.”

Tigers women’s golf coach Stephanie Priesmeyer added Emily Staples of Orlando, Florida, to the 2020 class Wednesday. Staples is ranked in the top-200 seniors in the country, according to the American Junior Golf Association’s scoreboard. 

"We look forward to adding Emily to our team next fall and we know she will hit the ground running with her strong work ethic and positive attitude,” Priesmeyer said.

Staples celebrated her signing by recording her first-ever hole-in-one Wednesday at Ritz Carlton.

Staples has three top-10 finishes at AJGA tournaments, including a second-place showing at the AJGA Junior All-Star at Cook’s Creek in 2018 (71-72-74). In 2019, Staples shot a three-under par 69 in qualifying to advance to the USGA Girls Junior Amateur Championship, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. 

A product of Freedom High School, Staples has qualified for the Florida State High School Championships in each of her four prep years. She has twice achieved top-10 finishes at the FHSAA Championships. Staples is Freedom’s first NCAA Division I golfer.

“From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew Mizzou was where I wanted to be,” said Staples. “The support I felt from the coaches and team on my visit stood out to me unlike anywhere else. They fully invest in you as a person, with academics and athletics, giving me so many great opportunities to succeed. Everyone is a family at Mizzou and I can’t wait to be part of it all,” she said.

Bruins sign national letters of intent

Eryn Puett and Madison White signed their National Letter of Intent on Wednesday at Rock Bridge High School. Puett will continue her basketball career at Missouri S&T while White will play softball at Central Methodist University. 

Three Stars named Academic All-AMC

Three Stephens student-athletes, all volleyball players, have been named to the Academic All-American Midwest Conference (AMC) Team, the league office announced Wednesday. Anadelia Medina, Gracelyn Scott and Sydney Harrison were eligible for the honor, playing in at least their sophomore season, posting at least a 3.0 GPA and finishing the year with the team.

A total of 94 AMC players made the list. All three eligible Stars earned the honor.

WIN for Columbia will host ESPN’s Holly Rowe at its awards luncheon

The Women’s Intersport Network for Columbia awards luncheon is scheduled for Tuesday, February 18, 2020. At the banquet, WIN for Columbia will recognize achievement in seven categories including the Youth, High School and Collegiate Sports Woman of the Year Awards, as well as the Female Coach of the Year Award and the Inspiration Award.

Featured to speak is ESPN reporter and play-by-play commentator Holly Rowe. As a college football sideline reporter, Rowe has been a part of numerous regular-season games and postseason bowls since joining ESPN in August 1998.

— Missourian Staff

  • Sports Reporter, Fall 2019 Reach me at reidglenn@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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