November 8, 2006

Santa Clara Women's Basketball Signs Four On First Day of NLI Signing Period

Nov. 8, 2006

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University women's basketball head coach Michelle Bento-Jackson today announced the signing of four players to national letters of intent to begin the early signing period. The four players who will join the Broncos in 2007-08 are Rhianna Faithfull (Sydney, Australia), Nicole Gall (Boise, Idaho), Becky Goll (Portland, Ore.), and Kathy Willinsky (Las Vegas, Nev.).

"This is a large class for us and we are excited about the future of our program. It was our focus to bring in versatile players who can do a multiple of things on the basketball court and we feel we accomplished our goal with this group," Bento-Jackson said of the recruiting Class of 2007. "They are multi-dimensional players and we are pleased with the fact that we are adding strong students, talented players, and good teammates. These young ladies are quality student-athletes with good character and we are extremely excited for them to be in a Bronco uniform next year."

Faithfull, a 5-4 point guard out of Flint Hill School in Oakton, Va., will add to SCU's back court complement as a crisp passer and keen shooter from any point on the floor. A native of Sydney, Australia, Faithfull will begin her second year at Flint Hill School, where in 2005-06 she helped lead the Huskies to a second-place finish in the Virginia Independent School Girls' Basketball Association by averaging 8.5 points a game.

"Rhianna is a solid point guard who brings strong on-court skills," Bento-Jackson said of Faithfull's talent. "She has the ability of being a scoring threat along with breaking down a defense and making everyone around her better. Rhianna is a sound player with good basketball sense and has a great work ethic and truly loves the game."

Gall, a 5-10 shooting guard from Borah High School, will provide the Broncos with a solid addition to the guard rotation, as well as a strong size presence in the back court. Following the 2005-06 season, Gall was named to the All-Idaho 5A First Team and also spent time playing for the Idaho Elite and Idaho Flash AAU teams.

"Nicole has the ability to not only shoot the basketball very well, but also to score in a variety of different ways," Bento-Jackson noted. "One thing that attracted us most about Nicole is she comes to Santa Clara as a polished player and we feel that once she gets here and plays in our system that she is really going to take off as a player. She has a very high upside and we are excited for her to join our program."

Goll comes to the Mission Campus as a 6-0 forward out of Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore. In her prep career, Goll has helped lead Central Catholic to three consecutive Mount Hood Conference titles, despite missing a majority of the 2005-06 season with a broken foot. As a sophomore in 2004-05, Goll helped lead the Rams to a runner-up finish at the Oregon State Tournament.

"Becky is a rugged and versatile player who will fit in well with our style of play and has a nice balance to her game in that she can be effective around the basket along with being a threat as a face up player," said Bento-Jackson. "She is a team player and brings many of the intangibles that we look for in a student-athlete."

Rounding out the four signees on the first day of the signing period is Willinsky, a 6-1 forward out of Bonanza High School in Las Vegas. Willinsky joins her brother Mark, entering his sophomore year with the Santa Clara baseball team, on the Mission Campus and will provide depth to the SCU front court. The forward, who has been on the varsity since her freshman year, averaged 13.4 points and 6.8 rebounds a game as a sophomore in 2004-05 on the way to earning All-Southwest honors.

"Kathy is a player who is going to work extremely hard and will be a rugged defensive presence," Bento-Jackson said of Willinsky. "We see her as being a physical rebounder and a good face up shooter from the four position for us."