2015 Recruiting Class - as of 6-23-15
|Gorrell, Tori||Bio||6-2||MH||Abbey Park||Ontario, Canada|
National Letter of Intent day for NCAA women’s volleyball was last week, and many Big Ten (and other conference) schools publicized their signings. For Penn State, three high school players signed letters of intent to join the Nittany Lions for the 2015-16 season: Natalie Canulli, Tori Gorrell, and Wilmarie Rivera:
Natalie Canulli (5-8 Libero)
- Naperville Sun: College signings for Naperville area athletes
- Here’s an excerpt from an August 8, 2013 article in the Daily Herald confirming Natalie’s verbal to the Nittany Lions:
Natalie Canulli has size and athletic ability unique to the libero position. Penn State noticed. Canulli, a 5-foot-8 junior who plays outside at Benet, this week committed to national power Penn State. Canulli is the third Benet volleyball player to declare her college plans, joining Brittany Pavich (Boston College) and Caroline Wolf (Wake Forest). With her size and Benet’s deep reservoir of defensive specialists, Canulli hits for Benet. But she is a libero for Sports Performance’s 16 Elite team, the position she’ll play in college.
Below is a video of Natalie’s team on November 7, 2013 versus Naperville North in the Plainfield South Girls Volleyball Sectional finals. Natalie serves at the 16:30 mark and at the 27:40 mark in Set 2.
Tori Gorrell (6-2 MH)
Last week, Tori Gorrell officially confirmed what she had known for six years — she was going to play NCAA volleyball for Penn State. The Abbey Park High School Grade 12 student signed her letter of intent Thursday to join the Nittany Lions, a program she vowed to be part of since she won a Halton elementary school volleyball title with the Pilgrim Wood Dolphins in Grade 6.
Gorrell verbally committed to Penn State last spring, when she was on campus for the Happy Valley Tournament with her rep team, Burlington’s Defensa Volleyball Club. “Penn State was her first and only choice,” said her father, Miles. “The entire time she was on campus, the smile never left her face.”
Gorrell helped Abbey Park win the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations AAA volleyball championship last season, when the Eagles went undefeated throughout the entire campaign and also won the Halton Tier 1 and Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference AAA titles.
She started playing rep volleyball in 2009 with the Mississauga Pakmen, then joined Defensa in 2011 before transferring to Toronto’s Leaside this season.
Here’s a recruiting video featuring Tori:
Wilmarie Rivera (5-10 Setter)
The third member of Penn State’s 2015 recruiting class is Wilmarie Rivera, who has signed a Letter of Intent to play for the Nittany Lions in the 2015 season.
Wilmarie was the starting setter (and team captain) for the Puerto Rican Girls’ Youth National Team that competed for the FIVB World Championship played in Thailand last year. She also participated in the U-20 tournament in the Czech Republic. If we’ve done our conversions correctly, she is listed at 5-10 — but we don’t know if that’s current or accurate.
She was quoted in the article below as saying that she is “very happy with this opportunity and ready to enter a new phase of my life.” Wilmarie will graduate from St. Francis Academy in May 2015. She joins an impressive list of Puerto Rican athletes who have played for Penn State, including Ramón ‘Monchito’ Hernández, Javier Gaspar, Edgardo Goas, Carlos Ortiz, Dennis Del Valle, Guillermo Silva, and Jorge Pérez, among others.
Below is a photo of Wilmarie signing her letter of intent, along with the full Spanish language version of the article from which we cribbed this story:
Here’s a short video of Wilmarie — seems like a genuinely nice young person:
Here’s a video of the Poland vs. Puerto Rico match at the Girls Under-18 World Championship in 2013:
And here’s a video of Wilmarie (in red shirt — #11) playing for Puerto Rico against the Dominican Republic in the 2013 Pan Am Cup:
Wilmarie’s biography from the FIVB website
Puerto Rican Team Roster
Here’s the roster from the Puerto Rican Girls’ National Team, where Wilmarie was a teammate of, among others, Minnesota’s Daly Santana and Dalianliz Rosado:
PUR / Puerto Rico – Team Composition