Hollis Wivell: My recruiting journey (that led me home)

Hollis Wivell: My recruiting journey (that led me home)

Hollis Wivell is a Class of 2017 outfielder/slapper who plays for the Gold Coast Hurricanes-Cooper National team based out of Florida even though the curren

Sep 24, 2015 by Brentt Eads
Hollis Wivell: My recruiting journey (that led me home)
Hollis Wivell is a Class of 2017 outfielder/slapper who plays for the Gold Coast Hurricanes-Cooper National team based out of Florida even though the current junior attends Daniel Hand High in Madison, Conn.

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Hollis Wivell is a Class of 2017 outfielder/slapper who plays for the Gold Coast Hurricanes-Cooper National team based out of Florida even though the current junior attends Daniel Hand High in Madison, Conn.

In this first-person account, we learn more about this lefty slapper with 2.7 home-to-first speed who also was part of a Connecticut state champion field hockey team last year but has committed to play softball at the Univ. of Connecticut (she verballed just last month).

Says her mother Susan, “There were a plethora of sports in the mix while growing up with her older brothers and Hollis enjoyed all of them, but softball was always her first passion. She fell in love with the game after being told it was encouraged to slide into dirt at the age of 6!”

“One night, while watching the Women’s College World Series with wide-eyed amazement, she stated that someday she, too, wanted to be ‘just like those softball girls on TV.’ This past summer she traveled the country chasing her softball dream. Ultimately, she followed her heart, and it led her home to be a Husky!”

Hollis is also successful off the athletic field as she’s an accomplished pianist, umpires Little League softball and is active in the National Bone Marrow Registry donor drive at Yale University. The student-athlete has a 4.56 GPA in Honors curriculum and is hoping to participate in the Honors Program at UConn. Her favorite subjects are Math and Mandarin Chinese.

Here, in her own words, Hollis talks about how she went far away to play for a club team based more than a 1,000 miles away, but ultimately decided to stay and play close to home…

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“As a young girl I always looked forward to Little League season and All-Stars was the best! I thoroughly enjoyed four of years playing my way up the travel ball ranks as part of the Shoreline Sting, CT Eliminators and Rhode Island Thunder organizations.”

“Following an opportunity last fall to guest with the Gold Coast Hurricanes, and then an offer to play for Coach Marty Cooper on his top national team, I had the amazing privilege of spending this past summer flying cross-country every week to meet up with the Gold Coast girls and play against the top teams in the nation.”

“This was something I would never have dreamed of being able to do as a young girl! I totally loved all of it—from traveling solo to making new friends to becoming a solid contributor to the team’s success. I didn’t even mind sacrificing a summer of beaches, bonfires, and friends. I was also lucky enough to attract some major college attention.”

“It was an exhilarating time and there were pulls in many different directions. Yet, through it all, a certain coach was always there with a smile: Jen McIntyre of the University of Connecticut.”

“Coach McIntyre had been keeping tabs on me since her days at Boston University. Coincidentally, the day after Coach Mac was announced as the new UConn head coach, she was scheduled to be at the same clinic I was.”

“I met her there for the first time and spent the day working with her in a small group. Even though UConn wasn’t really on my list at that point, I was impressed by her coaching ability, positive energy and vibrant personality.”

“Last spring, I asked my parents to take me up to campus to watch a game and take a tour. I loved the team’s intensity (they beat USF that day) and the campus was beautiful.”

“At that point I started thinking about UConn as a real possibility.”

“The university is very much invested in their vision for softball as a nationally competitive program and a perennial conference champion contender. A new, state-of-the-art stadium and team facility are also slated to be constructed in the next couple years.”

“For me, staying in the Northeast was never a prerequisite, even though both my parents and many extended family members are Husky alumni. I was completely prepared to go to college wherever competitive softball and top academics took me.”

“Now that I have verbally committed to UConn I am honored to be one of Coach McIntyre’s first Husky recruits, and elated that I will be a part of the renaissance of UConn softball.”

“The entire staff has tremendous expertise not only as formerly successful D-1 student-athletes but as highly knowledgeable, dynamic coaches. They will be great role models and mentors. The opportunity to play for them and to be a valuable contributor to the future success of the program is a huge thrill!”