NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Highlighted by a sophomore transfer from a BIG EAST program and a post player from the Golden State, third-year head coach Monique LeBlanc has finalized a four-member Merrimack women's basketball Class of 2017 with the signing of two additional student-athletes to National Letters of Intent, LeBlanc announced Wednesday.
After the initial announcement of the signing of Caitlyn Garger and Michelle Obach during the Early Signing Period back in November, LeBlanc will welcome Providence College transfer Lexi Sells to the program, as well as fellow transfer and California denizen Aria Johnson from Cuesta College to round out the quartet of newcomers for the 2013-14 campaign.
"We're very excited to welcome our four newcomers to the program," LeBlanc noted. "Each of them has a skill-set that will impact our team positively on the court.
"Additionally, and of great importance to our program, they are quality people who will fit in very well with our core values and the Merrimack College community. All four of them are excellent students, possess great work ethic and competitive drive, and will help grow our program. I expect each of them to contribute greatly to Merrimack College, on and off the basketball court."
Meet The Class of 2017
Caitlyn Garger | Guard | Hicksville, N.Y. / Hicksville H.S. | Undecided Major
Named team's Most Valuable Player in 2011 … Also named to the All-Conference First Team and All-County First Team as a junior ... She also was named BCANY Sectional All-Star for her performance as a junior ... Voted a team captain for the third straight year during her senior season (2012-13) … Born Sept. 12, 1995 … Daughter of Tom and Dolores Garger … Has one
sibling, Alexander … Has not yet declared a major.
LeBlanc on Garger: "Caitlyn is a 5-10 guard who has great basketball IQ. She can score in a variety of ways, but she is also an excellent passer and decision maker. Additionally, she is an excellent student and is at the top of her class."
Aria Johnson | Small Forward | Los Osos, Calif. / Morro Bay H.S. / Cuesta College |
Sports Medicine Major
Comes to the program after one season at Cuesta College (Calif.) ... Earned All-Western State Conference honors in 2012-13, averaging 13.8 ppg and 8.7 rebounds for the Lady Cougars ... Redshirt one season at Colorado State … Four-year varsity letterwinner for the Morro Bay High School girls basketball team … Earned all-league and all-county honors under head coach Cary Nerelli … Born Dec. 23, 1991 … Daughter of Stephen Williams … Has three siblings, Nathan, Wendy and Travis … Intends to major in Sports Medicine at Merrimack.
LeBlanc on Johnson: "Ari will be joining our post unit. She runs the floor very well in transition and is extremely mobile. She is an instinctive rebounder, and takes pride on the defensive end of the floor. She fits well in our system and comes in with two years of college experience under her belt which will help her acclimate very quickly."
Michelle Obach | Point Guard | Tyler, Texas / Bishop Gorman | Sports Medicine Major
Four-year varsity letterwinner at Bishop Gorman … 2013 High School Female Athlete of the Year … All-East Texas Girls Basketball Player of the Year as a senior … Three-time First-Team All-State … Three-time TAPPS 2-4A District MVP … Voted Top Player of 4A All-State First Team as a senior … Four-time all-district honoree … Two-time Academic All-State honoree … Compiled over 2,500 points over the course of her high school career … Led team to TAPPS 4A Final Four ... Born Aug. 10, 1995 … Daughter of Ralph and Bella Obach … Has one sibling, Jeremy … Intends to major in Sports Medicine at Merrimack.
LeBlanc on Obach:" Michelle is a true combo guard in that she has great point guard instincts and can handle the ball well , but also has a strong scoring ability and mentality that typically go with a wing. She loves to push the ball and will fit great in our system. Michelle is also a top student, and will achieve well in the classroom too."
Lexi Sells | Guard | Attleboro, Mass. / Bishop Feehan H.S. / Providence | History Education Major
Comes to the program after spending her freshman season at Division I Providence College of the BIG EAST Conference … Appeared in 22 games for the Friars as a rookie, including one start … Averaged 1.7 points and 1.3 rebounds per game, highlighted by a 10-point performance against Vermont on Nov. 14 … Four-year varsity letterwinner at Bishop Feehan … Ranked among the Top-100 prospects by ESPN HoopGurlz ... Named EAC All-Star as a senior (2010-11) ... Three-time Sun Chronicle All-Star ... Named Boston Herald All-State (2011) ... R.I. State Championship (La Salle Academy) ... Named to the All-Scholastic Team (2008-11) ... Played for the New Hampshire Rivals (2011), the Massachusetts Premier (2010) and the Rhode Island Breakers (2010) club programs ... Also earned three letters in volleyball and one in track … Born Jan. 13, 1994 … Daughter of George and Luanne Sells ... Has an older brother, Tyler, and a younger sister, Brittany ... Father played baseball at Old Dominion (1987-1990) and with the St. Louis Cardinals organization (1990-92) ... Plans to major in Secondary Education.
LeBlanc on Sells: "Lexi is a dynamic scorer at the wing spot. She is a tall guard who can create her own, and score in a variety of ways. She also has a year of college experience, and will be very familiar with the process. She has great integrity and work ethic which make her a natural fit for our program."