Signings: Seven Regis Jesuit girls basketball players sign offers on big day around Aurora

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Regis Jesuit Girls Basketball Players
Regis Jesuit girls basketball players, from left, Neffie Lockley (Howard), Diani Akigbogun (Texas), Justine Hall (Purdue), Jordan Molyneaux (Seton Hall), Cheyenne Cleveland (Bethany College (Kan.)), Anna Ptasinski (Lafayette) and Kelsi Lidge (Drexel) pose after signing their national athletic letters of intent at a ceremony on Nov. 13, 2013, at the Regis Jesuit Girls Division. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | Carl Mattei ended up with cake in his hair in the latest bit of teamwork by the Regis Jesuit girls basketball team.

Following a large ceremony in the Regis Jesuit Girls Division gymnasium that saw seven of his players from the defending Class 5A state championship team sign their national athletic letters of intent, Mattei got assaulted by cake from a few directions.

It was the literal icing on the cake on a day that saw the girls basketball program match its largest class of college signees, a group that included six bound for Division I programs in Diani Akigbogun (Texas), Justine Hall (Purdue), Kelsi Lidge (Drexel), Jordan Molyneaux (Seton Hall), Anna Ptasinski (Lafayette) and Neffie Lockley (Howard).

Cheyenne Cleveland, bound for NAIA Bethany College (Kan.), rounded out the signees for the Raiders, who began practice later in the day as they work toward the defense of last season’s state title.

Joining the basketball players in Regis Jesuit’s signing ceremony were two volleyball players in Tufts-bound Wendy Dyer — a former member of the basketball team herself — and Natalya King, who signed with Wingate.

Lauren Caldwell, a rare softball signee at Regis Jesuit, completed the group when she secured her commitment to Fort Lewis.

Just four days after the finish of the Class 5A state volleyball tournament, players from all three of the city’s state-qualifying teams — state champion Grandview, semifinalist Eaglecrest and Cherokee Trail — signed letters of intent.

Five Wolves who contributed to winning the program’s fourth state championship inked their letters in Alyssa Svalberg and Claire Gordon, who are both headed to Metropolitan State, along with Morgan Montgomery (West Virginia), Kylie Copple (Central Michigan) and Sydney Ederhoff (Black Hills State).

At a small early morning ceremony at Eaglecrest, senior outside hitter Taylor Loyd finalized the verbal commitment she’d had for more than a year with the University of Denver. She will join former teammates Ruth Okoye and Bailey Karst with the Pioneers.

Cherokee Trail senior libero Nikki Berta chose to simply sign her offer letter from Iowa State at her home with some friends and family, while she will take part in her school’s bigger signing ceremony in February, along with lacrosse player Shea Butler, who signed her letter of intent with Mercer University on her own as well.

AURORA GIRLS NATIONAL ATHLETIC LETTER OF INTENT SIGNINGS (NOV. 13)

CHEROKEE TRAIL: Nikki Berta, volleyball, Iowa State; Shea Butler, lacrosse, Mercer

EAGLECREST: Taylor Loyd, volleyball, University of Denver

GRANDVIEW: Kylie Copple, volleyball, Central Michigan University; Sydney Ederhoff, volleyball, Blake Hills State University; Claire Gordon, volleyball, Metropolitan State University of Denver; Morgan Montgomery, volleyball, West Virginia University; Alyssa Svalberg, volleyball, Metropolitan State University of Denver

REGIS JESUIT GIRLS DIVISION: Diani Akigbogun, basketball, University of Texas; Lauren Caldwell, softball, Fort Lewis; Cheyenne Cleveland, basketball, Bethany College (Kan.); Wendy Dyer, volleyball, Tufts University; Justine Hall, basketball, Purdue University; Natalya King, volleyball, Wingate University; Kelsi Lidge, basketball, Drexel University; Neffie Lockley, basketball, Howard University; Jordan Molyneaux, basketball, Seton Hall University; Anna Ptasinski, basketball, Lafayette University

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel