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Signing day: Monarch, Boulder, Fairview see seven go Division-I

Cliff Grassmick
Monarch guard Ashton Davis hugs her friend Sophie Junak after her signing ceremony at Monarch on Wednesday. Davis will play for Air Force next year.

Fairview’s Kendall LaVine didn’t start playing volleyball until freshman year of high school. By her sophomore year, she knew she wanted to play in college. On national signing day Wednesday, that dream became a reality when she inked her letter of intent to play at the University of West Virginia during a ceremony in which four FHS seniors made their commitments to Division-I athletic programs official.

“I was kind of late in the process,” LaVine said. “West Virginia was one of the schools that contacted me. I went and I visited, and I immediately fell in love with the campus, the girls, the team, everything. I knew right away that was where I wanted to go.”

The Knights senior middle blocker had her decision narrowed down to West Point or West Virginia. LaVine said playing for head coach Jill Kramer was a major factor that drew her to the Mountaineers.

“She’s a really awesome woman,” LaVine said. “She has a lot of spirit and passion. You can just see that her passion every day is always overflowing on the court and with her team.”

LaVine signed alongside teammate Nicole Edelman, a U.S. junior national team member who signed with the University of Colorado after missing most of her senior season with a back injury.

Fellow FHS seniors Kourtney Fosse (swimming, Wisconsin) and Emma Lazaroff (lacrosse, Duke) also signed NLIs at the FHS ceremony.

Like LaVine, Fosse got a bit of a late start to her prep swimming career.

Her first race in high school as a freshman, Fosse shocked herself by going faster than she expected. Once she realized her potential, and with a little push from Knights coach Bob Smartt, she decided to start year-round club swimming her sophomore year.

Fosse won a state title in the 100-meter breaststroke as a junior. The door was open and she had a decision between Cal-Poly and Wisconsin at the end. She went with the Badgers.

“I know the swimming is gonna be really hard and it’s gonna kick my butt, but I’m up for the challenge,” Fosse said.

For Lazaroff, who plays lacrosse for Centaurus because FHS doesn’t field a team, the Blue Devils’ annual prowess drew her interest initially. But Duke’s academic reputation was the tipping point in her decision. And once she met the team, Lazaroff knew she’d fit right in.

“I can tell that it’s a very competitive school and they’re all fighting for the same spot, but at the same time they know when it’s taking it too far,” Lazaroff said. “It’s like a group of sisters.”

Coming from Colorado where lacrosse isn’t as popular as on the east coast, Lazaroff expects she’ll have to work hard to earn a spot on the team.

“They’re already a step ahead of me, so I’ll have to keep pushing and working harder,” Lazaroff said. “Even if I don’t play freshman year, I have no expectations. I think just being in practice around that intensity and that speed will really push my game up and hopefully at some point I’ll be at that level with everyone else.”

Lazaroff plans to go for a pre-medical degree and to enroll in the Collegiate Athlete Pre-Medical Experience, designed specifically for student athletes interested in the medical field.

Lazaroff, who scored the most points in Colorado last spring, was named to U.S. Lacrosse’s All-American and All-Academic teams.

Boulder’s Graham,

Lampert sign

Whether on offense or defense, Boulder outside hitter/libero has led the way for the Panthers in recent seasons. Her efforts paid off Wednesday when she signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at DePaul University.

The 5-foot-8 Graham led the 11-12 Panthers this season with 3.3 kills per game and 5.0 digs as BHS tied for eighth in the Front Range League.

She wasn’t the only Panther to go Division-I.

Ande Lampert, the 6-foot-4 center on the girls basketball team, signed with University of the Pacific. Lampert averaged 11.1 points and 9.1 rebounds as a junior last spring for BHS’ sweet 16 squad.

Davis aiming high

The Monarch girls basketball team’s deep postseason runs haven’t gone unnoticed by college recruiters in recent seasons.

One year after Eliza Normen signed with Arizona State, Ashton Davis on Wednesday signed a letter of intent to play for the Air Force Academy.

The guard averaged 8.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game starting for MHS’ state quarterfinal squad last season as a junior.