Yesterday, Marquette women's basketball took advantage of the spring signing period and added three players to the recruiting class of 2015. Sandra Dahling, Ines Mata, and Olivia Moskari have all signed National Letters of Intent and will arrive in Milwaukee over the summer with four years of eligibility in their back pockets.
All three women will be traveling from Europe to Wisconsin to play collegiate basketball. Dahling is a 5'10" guard who leads her Swedish club team in both scoring (12 ppg) and rebounding (8 rpg). She was named Solna Branten's MVP last season, and head coach Carolyn Kieger had this to say about her:
Sandra is a great addition to our program. She is a versatile, big shooting guard that can really stretch the floor. She is very active on both ends of the floor and will be a great asset to us on the glass. Sandra has played at a high-level in her country and will have an immediate impact on our program. I am so excited for her future here at Marquette.
Mata is a 6'1" center hailing from Madrid, Spain. She's been playing for Rivas Ecopolis for the past three years. She guided the team to a league title in 2014, winning MVP along the way, plus she has national team experience, too. Spain won the gold medal in the U16 European Championships with Mata on the roster, including being the best player on the court in their game against Bulgaria.
Kieger on Mata:
Ines is going to fit in perfectly here at Marquette. She is a relentless worker and will do whatever it takes for her team to win. She has a wealth of experience playing against high-level competition with the Spanish National Team and that experience, in addition to her work ethic and character, is what made her stand out. I believe her best basketball is ahead of her and we are lucky for her to be joining our family.
That brings us to Moskari. She's been playing for Helmi Basket over in Finland for the past few years, but her notable accomplishments have been with the various age appropriate Finnish national teams. Moskari averaged just short of 10 points a game for Finland in the U18 European Championships in her most recent competition. She helped Finland finish second in both the 2013 and 2014 Baltic Sea Cups. Moskari's team came out on top in both the 2013 and 2014 U18 Finnish Championships, and she found the time to win a U16 Finnish Championship, too. None of this explains what Kieger likes most about her, though:
Olivia is one of the best pure shooters I have ever seen," Kieger said. "She has amazing consistency, but it is her range that truly sets her apart, which will add an immediate 3-point weapon to our team. She has an amazing passion for the game and strives to make everyone around her better. Olivia has a very bright future and I'm thankful she is now a part of our Marquette family.
The addition of Dalberg, Mata, and Moskari will give Marquette nine newcomers this fall, including eight freshmen. While that might automatically light off major concerns as far as balancing classes goes, Marquette will have just one senior next year, along with two juniors, including junior college transfer Chelsey Gibson, and one sophomore. That's just 12 players, and the NCAA allows women's basketball teams to have 15 on scholarship. It's still a massively unbalanced team, and a ridiculously young one at that, but Kieger and her coaching staff will have the ability to try to even things out over the next few years.