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Vol­leyball, baseball, and softball have all signed players for the class of 2019.
The vol­leyball program signed five players during the early signing period and expect a few more. Baseball has signed five so far and will sign a few more in April during the late signing period. Softball signed 10 players for next year.
All of the coaches have been thinking about the next recruiting class for years. They have been watching potential players since the ninth or tenth grade, and some since even before that. Vol­leyball head coach Chris Gravel has watched pos­sible can­di­dates for the team since before their high school careers even began.
“We’ve iden­tified players as early as the eighth grade,” Gravel said.
Softball head coach Joe Abraham usually iden­tifies players at the beginning of their high school careers.
“In college softball at the Division II level, we start looking at girls in their ninth and tenth grade years,” Abraham said. “We end up getting them com­mitted to us during their junior year. That’s espe­cially dif­ficult  to do here at Hillsdale because we can’t make an offer without an ACT or an SAT score, which none of them have until some time during their junior years.”
That’s one thing that each coach men­tioned: the dif­fi­culty in finding quality players with quality test scores.
“With the high aca­demic stan­dards here, our pools to recruit from are smaller and more scat­tered,” baseball head coach Eric Theisen said. “Within those pools though are ath­letes that are looking for a place like Hillsdale. There aren’t very many options for both high quality ath­letics and aca­d­emics, espe­cially in Division II.”
Due to the high test scores required for players, coaches have expanded their recruitment search.
“Since our ACT score is so high and they want it higher, we have to recruit nationwide,” Abraham said. “You can’t find enough quality players with a high enough ACT in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. So for me to see these players, we have to travel nationwide.”
With the extensive ground the coaches have to cover, recruiting never stops.
“Recruiting is lit­erally 365 days a year,” Abraham said. “For example, on Thanks­giving or Christmas day, of course we’re not going to be watching people or talking on the phone to people but they’ll be emailed. It’s lit­erally every single day of the year we’re recruiting.”