Six Players Inked to National Letters of Intent for 2016-17 Campaign

Nov. 18, 2015

Dr. Marcelo Leonardi
Dr. Marcelo Leonardi

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan water polo head coach Dr. Marcelo Leonardi announced on Wednesday (Nov. 18) that six student-athletes have signed their National Letter of Intent to attend U-M.

The signing class includes Cameron Cordial (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson), Skyler Pyle (Long Beach, Calif./Mater Dei), Amy Ridge (Randwick, New South Wales, Australia/St. Catherine's School), Heidi Ritner (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar), Rachel Sodokoff (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich) and Arija Walsh (Maineville, Ohio/San Marcos [Calif.]).

"This class has a good balance of what our program needs to continue improving year after year," said Leonardi. "The 2020 class is really strong based on personnel, game experience in national and international competition, and the overall athleticism that each individual brings to their respective position. Ultimately, we are recruiting game-changers who are going to develop both academically and athletically at Michigan. Each one of these recruits adds a different dimension to what we are looking for in our program. They will be very successful here at Michigan."

ATHLETE INFORMATION

Ritner

Heidi Ritner
• Plans to enroll in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
• Two-time Academic All-American
• Two-year scholar-athlete with distinction
• Competes with CDM Polo
• Member of the USA Southern Pacific Olympic Development Program in 2012 and 2014-16
• Youth National Team member in 2015
• Union Americana de Natacion All-Tournament goalie and MVP
• Played in the Pan Pac Tournament in New Zealand in 2014
• Won the CIF Championship in 2012-13
• Three-time Pacific Coast League Champions
• Pacific Coast League MVP in 2013-14
• 2014-15 Pacific Coast League Goalie of the Year
• Two-time All-CIF first team selection
• Also a varsity swimmer for three years

Leonardi on Ritner
"Heidi is considered the best goalie in her respective age group. She won gold this past summer in Jamaica to qualify for youth worlds next summer. She is technically sound and extremely explosive with quick hands and strong legs. She also has the ability to make pinpoint passes down the pool. Heidi's tactical understanding of the game is very high. She is a game-changer. I am excited to see her growth throughout her four years at Michigan. I believe she is going to be one of the top echelon goalies in the country when it all said and done. She will have an immediate impact in our program and continue a rich tradition of goalies at Michigan that includes the likes of Betsey Armstrong, Brittany May and Alex Adamson."

Ridge

Amy Ridge
• Will join the Michigan team as a freshman in January 2016
• Plans to enroll in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
• Member of the Australian Youth World Championships team in 2014
• Attended the Australia Junior Talent Academy program in 2014
• Runner-up at the 2015 National Championships with the New South Wales U20 team
• Won the 2014 National Championships with the New South Wales U18 team
• Member of the NSW Institute of Sport Emerging Athlete program
• Plays for the Cronulla Sharks
• Placed fourth in the National Water Polo League
• Finished third at the U18 National Club Championships in 2014
• Second place finish at the U18 State Club Championships in 2014
• Ladies First Grade champions in 2013-14
• Won the Australian All Schools Championship in 2013
• Two-time IGSSA Champions and runner-up as a senior
• Earned the Ruth Hackney Memorial Award for outstanding achievement
• Also a swimmer all four years at St. Catherine's
• Captain of the swimming team in 2014
• Earned the Duke of Edinburgh's Bronze Award in 2012

Leonardi on Ridge
"Amy is a 6-foot-1 defender from Sydney, Australia. She played at the Youth World Championships in Spain in 2014 as part of the Australian youth team. She also plays on the Cronulla water polo club. Amy is physically gifted with her size, speed, length and athleticism and polo IQ. She is built to play either as a center defender or center. I like how Amy plays with both confidence and maturity. She will make an immediate impact with her versatility and experience. She is going to come in January and contribute for us from day one."

Cordial

Cameron Cordial
• Four-time USA Water Polo Academic All-American
• Competes for the Huntington Beach Club
• Member of the Youth National Team in 2014-15 and 2015-16
• Played for the Olympic Developmental Program in the SOPAC Zone
• Placed second at the ODP Regional Championships in 2014
• Won three straight Moore League Championships
• Played in the Junior Olympic and Club Championships as a freshman and junior

Leonardi on Cordial
"Cameron is an elite goalie who was part of the youth training squad last summer. She brings great size, intelligence and physicality to the position. She understands angles and uses her size to her advantage when blocking shots. She is hard working and has the ability to play at high level. Cameron has the ability to command defenses with her voice and presence. We are fortunate to have two quality goalies that respect each other and work well together sign in the same class."

Pyle

Skyler Pyle
• Plans to enroll in the Ross School of Business
• Competes for the Regency Water Polo Club
• Participated in the Olympic Development Program (ODP) for last five years
• On the SOPAC Zone team for the ODP
• Four years on the water polo and swimming teams at Mater Dei
• CIF Finalist in water polo as a freshman and sophomore
• Made the CIF swim relay team as a junior

Leonardi on Pyle
"Skylar is a six-foot attacker. She is fast, athletic and can shoot. She can play on both sides of the pool. With her length, Skylar can develop into a lock-down perimeter defender as well as shoot over smaller attackers. She will develop into a more versatile attacker. She also has a very calm demeanor in big game situations."

Sodokoff

Rachel Sodokoff
• Plans to enroll in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
• Inducted in to the Greenwich Aquatic Hall of Fame in the fall of her freshman year
• Competes for Greenwich Aquatics
• Played for the Olympic Development Program Northeast Zone team from 2011-15
• ODP National Team Selection Camp from 2011-14
• Selected to the ODP Developmental National Team in 2012
• Made the ODP East-West All-Tournament team in 2014
• Played at the Junior Olympics from 2009-15
• Led Greenwich H.S. to three straight undefeated seasons
• Scored 111 goals in first three years
• 2015-16 team captain
• Chelsea Piers 16 & Under Most Outstanding Offensive Player in 2013
• Also lettered in swimming for three years

Leonardi on Sodokoff
"Rachel is a 5-foot-8 utility player who can also post up as a second option center in the system that we run. She has great hands and a good feel for the game. She brings physicality to the game and has a strong work ethic."

Walsh

Arija Walsh
• Plans to enroll in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts with a psychology focus
• Academic All-American in 2015
• Competed for the 805 Santa Barbara Water Polo Club in 2015
• National Junior Olympics gold bracket champions in 2015
• Olympic Development Program member from 2013-15
• Two-time ODP National Champions with the Midwest Zone
• National Team selection camp in 2015
• Three-time participant at the National Junior Olympics, winning 2015
• Also played basketball and ran track
• Earned an All-Conference academic award each of the first three years

Leonardi on Walsh
"Arija is a six-foot center from Ohio, who moved to Santa Barbara, California, last summer to attend San Marcos High School in order to help accelerate her progress as a water polo player. She is physically built like a prototypical center. She has great size, strong legs, and big hands and swims exceptionally well. She has the potential to develop into an elite center. She has a very high ceiling in terms of her overall potential."


 



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