KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As college coaches from up and down the NCAA’s range of divisions looked on, the athletes looked ready for the occasion at the Unsigned Player Workout held Friday ahead of the Triple Crown NIT event.
With workouts administered by the coaching staffs from the Munciana and Houston Juniors club programs, all the position groups spent the 90 minutes of each session flexing their fundamentals and, ideally, elevating their game in one of the early periods where coaches can scout for their future rosters.
“I just thought of it as providing an opportunity for myself by working my hardest, so I can get some people watching me (Saturday). It’s all about making myself better,” said
Zoe McDonald, 17, who plays for the 17-1 KC Power program and attends Shawnee Mission High School. “For me, it’s wide open, I’m looking for whatever I can get. I would love to go D-I and the East Coast would be fun.”
McDonald pounded away at the ball during her swings and targeted her shots accurately, all the while showing the hustle and coachability that will required at the next level.
“It was hard work here, but still really fun. I was sweating so much. It’s so cool to see all these great players together,” she added, noting that her focus also includes a terrific finish for KC Power in the tournament. “We’re hoping to go undefeated – we are definitely trying to win it all.”
From a coaching standpoint, the Workout made it easy to deepen the list of prospective options, with zero wasted time in between drills.
“This was a very high-level workout. The coaches running it did a wonderful job, and the level of play was some of the highest I’ve seen in the country,” said Ashley Capone, assistant coach at Hamilton College, a Division III program in New York. “We are looking into the class of 2024 and 2025, so this was very helpful.
“Following up over the weekend, I’ll start watching the kids who have written us and who have reached out, and then I’ll wander a bit and look for kids who could fit in our program. We’ve got a lot of interest from players here before, so we’d love to keep that going.”
“I thought this first session with the middles and the setters was extremely well run. We are looking at setters and they did a great job to optimize their contacts,” said Chuck Voss, head coach at Cleveland State for 23 years and six-time Horizon League coach of the year. “There are definitely some girls we are going to look at (Saturday) in live play and explore further.
“Recruiting, since this is really the first day we’re allowed to get out and do stuff, most coaches feel so far behind, in scramble mode. We are trying to fill that 2024 class, and schools that have done that will have a leg up and get to watch the ‘25’s tomorrow.”