Women's Basketball Inks Four Recruits

Nov. 8, 2006

STANFORD, Calif.- Stanford women's basketball head coach Tara VanDerveer has announced the signing of four recruits- Ashley Cimino, Hannah Donaghe, Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen- to national letters of intent. All four student-athletes will join the Cardinal for the 2007-08 campaign.

Ranked by The All Star Girls Report as the No. 4 recruiting class in the nation, this group is loaded with depth and talent that should help the Cardinal in the future.

'In addition to being excellent students and people, these are all very skilled offensive players,' said VanDerveer, entering her 28th season overall and 21st on The Farm. 'We are truly excited about having these four players in our program and look forward to next year. They all committed in July, so it seems like so long ago. But I'm thrilled to have them on board and I think they will make us an even more balanced team.'

Cimino, a 6-3 forward from Yarmouth, Maine, should provide a boost to Stanford's perimeter game. Named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Maine, Cimino averaged 17.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks for Catherine McAuley High School as a junior. She is a First Team All-SMAA selection and Fifth Team Street & Smith's All-American. Cimino also has earned recognition as a Portland Press Herald All-State selection and Bangor Daily News All-State honoree.

'Stanford offers a balance of academics and athletics and excels in both,' said Cimino, 'That's what I wanted so I know it will be a good fit for me. And it's a great opportunity to play for a coach like Tara VanDerveer.'

'Ashley shoots the ball well from the perimeter and should be a very good fit for our program,' said VanDerveer. 'She is a skilled, versatile player who runs the floor really well. And she is a scorer.'

A 5-11 guard from Atascadero, Calif., Donaghe gives the Cardinal another option in the backcourt. She averaged 21.5 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.6 steals and 3.4 blocks as a junior with the Greyhounds of Atascadero High School. Donaghe is a three-time First Team All-League and All-County selection and was named Cal-Hi Sports All-State Second Team last year. During her sophomore year, Donaghe was tabbed a Cal-Hi Top-40 pick and as a freshman, she was named to the Cal-Hi All-Freshman Team.

'I'm excited to play on a team that has such a high standard of academics and athletics,' said Donaghe. 'I love the coaches, the players and look forward to getting to know them better. Tara VanDerveer knows so much about the game and I hope to learn a lot. I also wanted to stay close to home.'

'Hannah is extremely athletic, runs the floor and passes well and she is a scorer,' said VanDerveer. 'She shoots the ball well also and is a very competitive and hard worker.'

Pedersen, a 6-4 forward from Fountain Hills, Ariz., has been ranked as the No. 15 overall prospect by the All Star Girls Report. During her junior year, she averaged 23.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks at Red Mountain High School. Pedersen is currently the Mountain Lions' all-time leader in points, rebounds and assists. Named the Arizona Gatorade Player of the Year, Pedersen is also a Parade Third Team All-American. Also during her junior year, Pedersen was named First Team All-State MVP and the East Valley Region Player of the Year. She was also honored by the Arizona Republic as the Big School Player of the Year.

'A degree from Stanford lasts forever so that heavily factored into my decision,' said Pedersen. 'I really like the coaches, the program and the players. I believe that I will be a good fit with the program.'

'Kayla is a physical, strong, versatile forward and that's what we need in our program right now,' said VanDerveer. 'She is highly-skilled and just a do-it-all player that handles the ball well. She is someone that we expect to contribute immediately and will have an opportunity to do so.'

Pohlen, a native of Brea, Calif., is a 6-0 guard that attends Brea Olinda High School. Pohlen is a Street & Smith's Preseason Honorable Mention All-American , EA Sports Second Team All-American and Student Sports Junior All-American. The 2006 Orange County Player of the Year, Pohlen averaged 18.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 3.0 steals per game as a junior. She has also received All-State Junior Team and All-State Division II honors in addition to being named CIF-SS Division 2A Player of the Year.

'I think the combination of academics and athletics really set Stanford apart from everyone else,' said Pohlen. 'I'm looking forward to working with great professors and one of the best coaches in the country. Hopefully I can succeed in both. It's also great to be able to play close to home and stay in touch with people.'

Stanford opens its 2006-07 campaign on Thursday, Nov. 9, against Loyola Marymount in the opening round of the Preseason WNIT at 7 p.m.

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