Nili Sprecher, University of Virginia D1
Nili first picked up a squash racket at the young age of four. When asked when she started getting serious about squash, she said, “I was always pretty serious about it, but played a bunch of other sports in middle school. After 8th grade, though, I chose to just focus on squash since I was getting pretty good at it, and it was all squash from then on.” When asked what led her to sign with Virginia she said, “I was debating between some great schools, but I chose Virginia for its team and school atmosphere. The coach is amazing and cares about his players. Everyone there seems like a family, and I want to be a part of that, too.” Nili also wanted to attend an academically challenging school. She is very excited about furthering her athletic and academic career in a new, exciting environment.
Alyssa Trokie, SUNY New Paltz D3
Alyssa started playing tennis when she was seven, but she only got really serious about it when COVID hit in early 2020. This granted her more time to perfect her skills. She has been playing on the varsity tennis team since 10th grade. When asked why she chose SUNY New Paltz, she explains, “After visiting the school and seeing the tennis program live, the sense of community stood out to me…I like the idea of being in nature since I love hiking. It is also close to home, which is important for me.” In addition to her tennis career, Alyssa will be studying sociology and psychology. Alyssa is very thankful for the guidance her coaches and former teammates have provided that has shaped her into the player she is today, and she couldn’t be more excited to continue her tennis career. We look forward to watching her succeed at the collegiate level.
Nico Gonzalez, Franklin and Marshall College D3
Soccer superstar Nico Gonzalez will continue his passion at Franklin and Marshall College. When asked when he started playing soccer, Nico said, “I’ve been playing soccer for as long as I can remember. It’s a huge part of my family’s culture given my Spanish background, so my dad wanted me to get into it at a young age. I feel like I was mainly playing for fun when I originally started with the Rye Brook youth team. However, by the time I was ten, I knew I wanted to take it more seriously, so I moved to my club team, FC Westchester.” When asked why he chose Franklin and Marshall, he said, “During the recruiting process, I was mainly looking at small, high-level academic division 3 schools that were pretty close to home. I quickly loved Franklin and Marshall after touring its campus and meeting the coaching staff, so I went to a soccer camp this past summer, where I received an offer to join the team.” Nico is very excited to further his academic and athletic career at F&M.
Ethan Taerstein, Colby College D3
Ethan started playing lacrosse when he was in third grade, and fell in love with the sport very quickly. When asked when he knew he wanted to get serious about lacrosse, Ethan said, “Around middle school, my passion for lacrosse became so tremendous that I promised myself that I’d play college lacrosse. I wanted to start a culture here at Blind Brook that proves that kids who attend smaller, public schools still have the opportunity to play college sports, even if the odds aren’t in their favor. I stayed determined to the promise I made myself, and after years of hard work on the field and in the classroom, my dream finally became reality.” Ethan has been playing varsity lacrosse since 8th grade and is also a multi-sport athlete, as he also plays on the Blind Brook Varsity Soccer and Basketball teams. When asked what made him choose Colby, he said, “After receiving a variety of interest from colleges in my junior year, I visited Colby in July. After learning more about their program, I wanted to challenge myself academically by pursuing a degree in economics and also wanted to push myself to be the best lacrosse player possible by competing in the NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) league. The team culture that their program is based on felt like a great fit for me to grow into the best scholar-athlete possible.” Ethan’s values of good team culture are shown as he continues to contribute to establishing one here at Blind Brook.