The early signing period for 2021-22 freshman athletes began today, and Kent State brought in plenty of new talent this year. 

Over a dozen athletes across six sports signed letters of intent to become Flashes in 2021.

Women’s Basketball

Elena Maier is a 5-foot-9-inch point guard from Dane, Wisconsin and played her high school career at Waunakee High School. She averaged 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game in her junior season.

Jenna Batsch is a 6-foot guard from Cincinnati, Ohio and played her high school career at Loveland High School. She averaged 11 points and three steals per game in her junior season.

“Jenna has big upside with her ability to play multiple positions offensively and defensively,” coach Todd Starkey said. “She really fits well into our offensive and defensive schemes. As she continues to develop and strengthen her game, I think she has the ability to really have an impact on our program.”

Lexy Linton is a 5-foot-8-inch guard from Westampton, New Jersey and currently plays for Jackson Memorial High School. She averaged 14.9 points per game in her junior season.

“Lexy is an explosive perimeter player who has the ability to finish in transition and around the basket,” Starkey said in a press release. “She should prove to be a good offensive rebounder for us, and as she continues to develop her skill set on the perimeter, I think can really turn into a dynamic scorer.”

Bridget Dunn is a 6-foot-1-inch forward from Carmel, Indiana and played her high school career at Carmel High School. She averaged 12.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game in her junior season.

Men’s Basketball

Coach Rob Senderoff often fleshes out his roster by courting transfers, but he will have three freshmen on his roster for the 2020-21 season.

Jalen Sullinger, Cliron Hornbeak and Julius Rollins all signed letters of intent to play for Kent State.

Sullinger is a 5-foot-10-inch guard from Worthington, Ohio who averaged 17.8 points and 4 rebounds for game in his junior year at Thomas Worthington High School. The lefty also shot 48.1 percent from three and was named to the Ohio All-State third team.

Sullinger’s uncle, Julian Sullinger, played four seasons for Kent State and graduated in 2009. Julian is now an assistant coach for the Flashes.

“We’ve known the Sullinger family forever with Julian on staff so Jalen has really been a part of our Flash family for some time,” Senderoff said in a press release. “We wanted to make sure it was a good fit and a great opportunity for Jalen and it is.”

Hornbeak is a center from Toledo, Ohio who plays at St. Francis de Sales.

The big man averaged 9.6 points and 6.1 rebounds last season, and will add serious size to Kent State’s roster at 6 feet 10 inches and 245 pounds.

The only recruit not from Ohio is Rollins, who hails from Country Club Hills, Illinois.

Rollins is a 6-foot-6-inch strong forward who is listed as a two star recruit by VerbalCommits.com.

“Julius came to our league camp a few summers ago and we saw his ultra-athleticism and competitiveness,” Senderoff said.

Baseball

The Kent State men’s baseball team added two new faces in Caden Leonard and Connor Ashby.

Leonard is a right-handed pitcher out of Mokena, Illinois. He plays at Lincoln-Way Central High School.

The 6-foot-5-inch, 190-pound junior has a 90 mph fastball.

Kent State’s other signee is a local kid who will add depth at shortstop.

Ashby attended North Canton Hoover High School, where he drove in 18 runs and had 13 stolen bases his junior year.

The shortstop also played quarterback at Hoover, and follows in the footsteps of his father, who played baseball at Kent State in the ’90s.

Softball

The Kent State softball team under Eric Oakley brought in seven recruits on its signing day.

Abbie Wilfing is an outfielder at Lancaster High School in Lancaster, Ohio. Wilfing racked up 68 RBIs with a batting average of .492 in her first two varsity seasons.

Savannah Wing is from Ypsilanti, Michigan and played at Gabriel Richards High School. Wing has played both first base and outfield who had a batting average of .550 and a fielding percentage of .937 during the 2018-19 season.

Signing from Eastlake North High School in Eastlake, Ohio was Jess Dodd. Dodd hit .463 with two home runs in her sophomore season. The left-hander also stole seven bases in that same season.

The Flashes also added a catcher in Jalynn Young. Young goes to Marysville High School in Marysville, Ohio and played for Team Ohio as well.

Delaney Robeson is an infielder coming to Kent State from Fenton, Michigan. Robeson played at Hartland High School and is the number five ranked player in Michigan according to MaxPreps.com.

Dylan Cunningham is an outfielder from Rushville, Ohio who played at Lakewood High School. Cunningham had a batting average of .557and 22 RBIs during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.

Last to commit on signing day was Kylie Ringler. Ringler is from Nova, Ohio and played at Crestview High School. She played in 46 games in her first two seasons and had 76 RBIs.

Gymnastics

Kent State gymnastics added three gymnasts today.

Grace Wehry is from Klingerstown, Pennsylvania. She attends Tri-Valley High School and competes for Stallone Gymnastics. In the 2019 Pennsylvania state tournament Wehry finished second overall and first on bars.

Alyssa Guns attends Royal Oak High School in Royal Oak, Michigan. Guns is with Hunts Gymnastics Academy in Michigan and finished second overall in the 2020 Midwest Open All-Around Championship.

The final 2021-22 signee for the Flashes is Brynne Tsipis.

Tsipis is from Durham, North Carolina and went to Charles E. Jordan High School. She competed with Bull City Gymnastics and qualified for level 10 regionals in each of the last three years.

Soccer

The Kent State soccer team saw three signees on national signing day.

Cadence Smyth will join the contingent of KSU soccer players from Canada, hailing from Ontario. Smyth played for the Aurora Football Club.

Alisa Arthur is from Miamisburg, Ohio and plays at Miamisburg High School. Arthur is a versatile player, who can play well with either foot at both midfield or forwards.

Carley Goldberg will not have to travel too far to become a Golden Flash, coming from Solon, Ohio. Goldberg goes to Solon High School.

Kathryn Rajnicek is a sports reporter. Contact her at krajnice@kent.edu.

Owen MacMillan is a sports editor. Contact him at omacmill@kent.edu.

SUPPORT STUDENT MEDIA 

Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.

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