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Women's Basketball Draws International Recruits 

Pittsburgh  -- Robert Morris University women’s basketball head coach Sal Buscaglia has announced a six-player recruiting class for the 2009-10 season. The class features four international players – freshman forward Anna Gailite (Riga, Latvia/Latvian National U-20), freshman forward Vega Martinez-Gimeno (Valencia, Spain/Spanish National U-20), junior guard Yohanna Morton (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic/Arizona Western J.C.) and junior guard Kristine Siliraja (Ventspils, Latvia/Barton County C.C.) – along with freshman forward Libby Ladrach (Orrville, Ohio/Orrville) and freshman guard Jasmine Tate (Columbus, Ohio/Harvest Prep).

 

Vega Martinez-Gimeno
6-1, Forward
Valencia, Spain
Spanish National U-20 Team

 

Gimeno, who stands 6'1", has been a member of the Spanish National Team for the last three years, making her international debut at the 2007 Under-16 European Championships. She is currently playing on her home country’s U-20 team at the FIBA World Championships in Thailand. Gimeno helped Spain hand the United States its first loss in nine years, 90-86, in the team’s opening game. In the past three European Championships, she has averaged 12.5 points a game and 4.8 rebounds.

 

"Vega is a very talented player. This was evident when I saw her lead her team to the Under 18 European Championship,” said associate head coach, Charlie Buscaglia. “Vega has all the tools as well as a tremendous amount of experience playing on Spain's National Team which went on to defeat the United States recently.  She will fit well into our style of play, and should make an instant impact."

 

Anna Gailite
6-6, Forward
Liga, Latvia

Latvian National U-20 Team

 

Gailite debuted for the Latvian National Team in 2005 at the U-16 European Championships and has been a member of the squad ever since. At 6'6", she is the tallest player in the history of the RMU women’s program and gives the Colonials a post presence it has lacked in recent seasons.

 

“Anna is a very long inside player that will be able to make things much more difficult around the basket for the opposing team to score,” said Charlie Buscaglia. “Developing centers is a key ingredient to winning in basketball on all levels. Having a 6-6 post player who is developed can put you over the top.  We are very excited with the opportunity to develop Anna into this strong inside presence.  She did a great job for Latvia this summer in the Under 20 European Championships, and she proved her ability to use her size on a national level as they took home the bronze – one of the best finishes in the history for the National Latvian Team.” 

 

Libby Ladrach
6-1, Forward
Orrville, Ohio
Orville

 

Ladrach, 6'1", averaged a double-double as a senior at Orrville High School, earning her a spot on the Ohio All-State Third Team. A two-time Ohio Cardinal Conference All-League First Team selection, Ladrach scored 17.7 points and pulled down 10.5 rebounds per game in 2008-09 while shooting 59.8 percent from the floor. In her junior campaign, she put up 11.3 points and 8.4 rebounds a game.

 

“Libby will add a strong post presence. She has great hands and is such a hard worker,” said Buscaglia. “Libby runs the floor extremely well. She shows a great deal of potential to develop into a solid Division I level player and I am looking forward to working with her to continue developing her skills.”

Yohanna Morton
5-8, Guard

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Arizona Western J.C.

 

Morton was a two-time National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I All-American at Arizona Western Junior College. A 5'8" guard, Morton lived up to her 2008-09 NJCAA Preseason All-America billing by averaging 19.9 points a game, 6.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.6 steals at point guard. Morton shot 45.8 percent from the field and 30.5 percent from three-point range.

 

“I am thrilled that Yohanna will be joining our team. She is a high-level point guard who can not only find the open player, but can score,” said Buscaglia. “Her awards and accomplishments – two-time NJCAA Division I All-American as well as an all-region first team award winner – speak for themselves. In addition, she played under one of the finest junior college coaches in the nation, coach Pat Cunningham, who runs a top-notch, high-level program. This is evident by a former player of his, Sugiery Monsac, who was one of the greatest players in the history of RMU women’s basketball. Sugiery now plays professionally overseas. I am very confident Yohanna will be an instant impact player.”

Kristine Silijara
5-10, Guard
Ventspils, Latvia
Barton County C.C.

 

Siliraja comes to Moon Township from Barton County Community College where she was a NJCAA Division I All-Region 6 First Team selection. The 5'10" guard led the Cougars to a 25-7 record and the 2009 Jayhawk West Championship. Siliraja averaged 14.3 points a game and 4.6 rebounds while firing at a 54.8 percent clip, including 42.9 percent from long range.

 

“Kristine is going to be a tremendous asset to our program,” said Buscaglia. “She is a tremendous shooter as evidenced by her 43 percent shooting percentage from three-point range and 55 percent shooting overall. She is a very intelligent player and will fit well into our system. Kristine will add a deep outside scoring threat that we need. She has played at a very high level the last two years at the Division I junior college level. Kristine brings a great deal of basketball maturity along with outside basketball skills to the squad.”

Jasmine Tate
5-10, Guard
Columbus, Ohio
Harvest Prep

 

Tate is a 5'10" guard who hails from Columbus, Ohio, who was ranked as the #33 guard in the nation by ESPNU Insider. An honorable mention Ohio All-State selection, Tate also excels in the classroom as President of the National Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society.

 

“We are very excited about Jasmine choosing to be a Robert Morris Colonial,” said Buscaglia. “She is a very talented player that comes from a great school. She demonstrated not only great achievements on the court, but also in the classroom where she has really excelled throughout her whole high school career."