Nov. 9, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Head women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder announced today that four high school seniors have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Iowa next fall. Those players include Kali Peschel (Sauk Centre, Minn./Sauk Centre High School), Nicole Smith (Rockton, Ill./Hononegah High School), Claire Till (Dubuque, Iowa/Dubuque Wahlert High School) and Kayla Timmerman (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata High School).
“We feel this is a very solid class for us,” Bluder said. “It’s a tall class, so we are adding instant height to our roster. All four of these players fit extremely well in our system. We are very excited about having these four talented players join our program.”
Peschel (6-1, guard) is a two-time all-state selection and a three-time all-section pick. Peschel has garnered four all-conference awards, starting as an eighth grader. She has been named conference MVP twice. Peschel was named the St. Cloud Times and Sauk Valley Player of the Year as a sophomore and junior.
Peschel led her high school team to back-to-back conference championships, section titles and state tournament appearances as a sophomore and junior, including a third place finish as a junior. She was named to the state-tournament all-tournament team as well.
Peschel averaged 20.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.9 assists as a junior, 17.9 points as a sophomore, 14.9 points as a freshman and 10.3 points as an eighth grader. She holds school records for points in a single game (37), season (666) and career (1,880), assists in a single game (12) season (163) and career (404) and steals in a season (125) and career (372).
Peschel also lettered in volleyball and track. She was an all-conference volleyball selection as a sophomore and junior, was named conference MVP as a junior and was named to the state tournament all-tournament team. In track, she was an all-state and an all-conference pick as a freshman and sophomore.
Peschel has been sidelined since June after tearing her ACL.
“Kali was on her way to being a top 100 recruit in the nation before tearing her ACL,” Bluder said. “We feel very fortunate to have her in our program. She’s a tall guard that has shown great leadership on the court. We really enjoy the way she plays.”
Smith (6-4, center) is an honorable mention all-state selection and a two-time all-conference pick. She led her high school team to two-straight regional championships as a sophomore and junior and a conference title as a junior.
Smith averaged 15.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 7.3 blocks as a sophomore, shooting .600 from the field. She recorded a triple-double with 20 points (10-10 from the field), 10 blocks and 10 rebounds and also had 27 points, 10 blocks and nine rebounds in a regional victory. Smith tied an Illinois state record with 21 blocks in a single game as a sophomore.
Smith also excels in the classroom, and she was named a Scholar Athlete as a junior.
Smith had surgery to repair ACL and meniscus injuries in June before her junior season.
“It’s really hard to find a talented post player,” Bluder said. “We found one in Nicole. At 6-4, she is a true, back-to-the-basket type of player. She gives us depth inside and is a great player in the paint. We are thrilled to have her in a Hawkeye uniform.”
Till (6-0, guard) is a two-time all-state selection. She is also a three-time all-district and first team all-conference pick. Till helped lead her high school team to a conference title and state tournament appearance as a freshman.
Till averaged 12.4 points as a freshman, 15.4 points as a sophomore and 12.7 as a junior. She also averaged six rebounds as a sophomore.
Till is also a standout in track where she is a two-time all-state selection. She was runner-up in the high jump as a freshman and placed third as a junior. Her high school track team won a state championship her junior season.
“Claire is an Iowa kid who grew up dreaming about becoming a Hawkeye,” Bluder said. “Her game really improved over the summer. She’s a player that can score outside or get to the basket, but she is also very strong. Claire can defend players inside and is athletic enough to defend on the perimeter.”
Timmerman (6-3, forward) earned honorable mention all-state honors a junior and is a three-time all-conference pick. She has already been named a team captain for her senior season.
Timmerman helped guide her high school team to a runner-up finish in conference play as a freshman and a fourth place finish in the state tournament as a sophomore.
She averaged 12 points as a sophomore and 14 points, 7.6 rebounds and three blocks as a junior. She shot 40 percent from three-point range and 57 percent from the field.
Timmerman won her section and placed 10th at the state meet in discus and also placed third in her section in the shot put.
“Kayla is a very versatile player,” Bluder said. “She can play inside or outside and can defend either of those positions. Kayla brings great athleticism and has the type of game that fits our offense. She has range as a shooter but also has a strong game inside.”