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Women’s basketball ink three for the 2023-24 season

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AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Women’s Basketball and Head Coach Tory Verdi welcomed three new members to the program, as Aaryn Battle, Dallas Pierce and Chinenye Odenigbo signed their respective national letters of intent.

“I’m excited about this class because we’ve met our future needs,” Verdi said. “All three have played in very competitive teams and I know they will be a great addition to our team.”

Battle, a 5-foot-8 guard from Sewell, New Jersey, played in 59 games during his career, totaling 779 points, 305 rebounds and 247 assists. She also recorded 49 blocks and 177 interceptions. In 2021, she ranked in the top 45 in points, top 15 in assists, and top five in steals. Battle earned Tri-County Conference First-Team, Olympic Conference First-Team, and South Jersey First-Team honors, while also becoming a non-public member of the All-South Jersey Second-Team Jersey . She won the Top Newcomer Award in 2020.

Pierce, a 5-foot-9 guard from New Castle, Delaware, is a three-year-old college starter who is averaging 15.0 points per game, 7.0 rebounds per game and 4.0 assists per game. She was a first-team All-State member, a Top 15 All-Delaware (North) player, and a favorite Delaware preseason player of the year. She led her team to become state runners-up and was the only player in the stats to finish the season with a .500 field goal percentage, .400 field goal percentage and free throws of 0.900.

Odenigbo, a 6-foot-5 center from Walpole, Massachusetts, is a four-year-old college player who finished her sophomore season averaging 15.0 points per game and 13.0 rebounds per game, while finishing her season junior with 10.0 points/game and 7.0 rebounds/game. She was named Boston Herald All-Scholastics, Boston Globe Player of the Week, and received an honorable mention from TVL. Odenigbo earned First-Team Bay State Conference All-Star and First-Team First-Team honors from ZG Massachusetts.

Each band member completed their NLIs during the early signing period, which began November 9 and ends November 16. The NCAA’s regular signing period will run from April 12 through May 17, 2023.

Meet the new Minutewomen

Aaryn Battle • Guard • 5-8 • Sewell, NJ • Camden Catholic High School

 

  • Attends Camden Catholic High School
  • Bluestar Basketball Ranking: 30
  • First Team Tri-County Conference
  • First Team All-Olympic Conference
  • First Team All-South Jersey
  • Second Team All-South Jersey All-Non-Public
  • 2020 Best Newcomer Award Winner
  • Shore Games MVP
  • Top 15 assists in 2021
  • Top 5 interceptions in 2021
  • Top 45 points in 2021

Verdi at the Battle: “Aaryn Battle is a 5-10 playmaker who will bring size to our backyard positions. She played at a very high level with her AAU and high school teams. She’s ultra-competitive, and I expect her to compete for playing time once she arrives on campus.”

Battle on UMass: “Leadership, Family and Development: The three main categories that I hold in the first place for personal development were established with the UMass coaching staff. UMass ticked all of my boxes from day one. Coaches to the players, it’s definitely the place I feel most comfortable spending the next four years of my life.”

Dallas Pierce • Guard • 5-9 • New Castle, Delaware • Sanford School

  • Attends Sanford School
  • 3x Letter Winner / Team Captain
  • Averaged 15 points per game, 7 rebounds per game and 4 assists per game
  • All Delaware Top 15 (North) Player
  • Favorite Delaware Preseason Player of the Year
  • State runner-up
  • Only player in the state to complete the 50/40/90 season

Verdi on Pierce: “Dallas Pierce is a 5-9 goaltender who will score beyond the three-point line. A natural scorer at all three levels, she will bring energy and a competitive spirit that our fans will appreciate.”

Pierce on UMass: “I chose UMass because of the coaching staff, the culture they’ve built, their talented team, and the players they bring. I knew it would be something special for the present and the future. coming.”

Chinenye Odenigbo • Center • 6-5 • Walpole, Mass. • Noble and Greenough School

  • Attends Noble and Greenough School
  • Winner 4x Letter
  • Averaged 15 points/game and 13 rebounds/game his sophomore year
  • Averaged 10 points/game and 7 rebounds/game his junior season
  • Boston Herald All-Scholastics Member
  • Bay State Conference First-Team All-Star
  • TVL Honorable Mention
  • ZG Massachusetts All-State First Team
  • Boston Globes Player of the Week

Verdi on Odenigbo: “Chinenye Odenigbo is an ultra-athletic 6-5 post player who will add depth to frontcourt positions. She is our first local commitment, which we are all excited about. of Power 5. institutions. The fact that she wanted to stay in the Commonwealth and represent UMass speaks volumes. She has the ability to anchor our defense with her length, as she will block or modify a lot of shots. Offensively, I can’t wait to see his engine upstairs in transition.”

Odenigbo on UMass: “I chose UMass because of its high athletic and academic standards, a place where I can grow in both aspects. Going somewhere where I feel supported is very important and I think UMass has provided that. team and coaching staff were all very welcoming and it just felt like home.”