Parent, Nolan, Moynihan find comfort in college decisions

  • Ant Moynihan, left, of Easthampton, shoots against Nick Hough, in Easthampton. He’ll play basketball at Grinnell College next year. GAZETTE STAFF / FILE

  • Amherst Regional's Teya Nolan serves during a girls volleyball game against Westfield at Amherst Regional High School this fall. She’ll play at UMass Boston next year. GAZETTE STAFF / FILE

  • Northampton goalie Danielle Parent celebrates her team’s win against West Springfield. She’ll play at Southern Connecticut next season. GAZETTE STAFF / FILE

@kylegrbwsk
Published: 2/7/2018 7:43:58 PM

Northampton senior Dani Parent planned to play field hockey at the Division III level. She figured that would allow her to focus on academics and athletics in a balanced way.

“What I’ve heard is that when you go Division I or II you’re spending more time on the field than in classes, and that initially scared me,” Parent said.

Along came Division II Southern Connecticut. Parent connected with the coaches and team in a way she hadn’t with previous schools.

“I loved the campus, it’s absolutely beautiful,” Parent said. “I felt instantly connected and like I was part of the team already even though I was just a recruit on a visit. This was a different feeling, I felt like I was at home.”

She verbally committed in mid-November and signed a letter of commitment the week before Thanksgiving. Parent hasn’t signed a National Letter of Intent yet but will once she is allowed to per NCAA rules.

Parent wants to study recreation and leisure studies, which isn’t offered at any of the schools she found in Massachusetts.

She doesn’t expect to play right away. There are two goalies listed on Southern Connecticut’s roster that played last year, a sophomore and a junior.

“I’m more excited for the learning experience than getting playing time,” Parent said.

TEYA NOLAN, AMHERST REGIONAL VOLLEYBALL — Close to home? Strong Academics? Strong athletics? UMass Boston checked every box for the Hurricanes’ all-state setter.

“What really won me over I think was the size of the school,” Nolan said. “Most of the other schools that I looked at were small liberal arts colleges, and I realized that that really isn’t me.”

UMass Boston has an enrollment of 14,000. The Beacons volleyball team won the Little East conference title and played in the NCAA Division III tournament last season.

“I wanted to go to a school with a team that would challenge my level of play,” Nolan said.

She’ll also have to earn her spot. There are two setters playing at UMass Boston already, though one is planning to move to outside hitter.

“I’m hoping to get some playing time,” Nolan said.

ANT MOYNIHAN, EASTHAMPTON BASKETBALL — Easthampton’s senior sharpshooter and his father, Jason, scoured the country for the right fit at the next level.

Grinnell College provided exactly what they were looking for. The Division III Pioneers play a hectic, up-tempo style that shuffles players like hockey lines at nearly every stoppage and prioritizes shooting 3-pointers over all other offense. Grinnell’s Jack Taylor set the NCAA record for points in a single game with 138 in 2012.

“It’s going to be pretty exciting and fun to be a part of,” Ant Moynihan said. “That’s the style I’ve been playing my whole life, so it’s kind of perfect.”

Moynihan reached out to Grinnell and sent his film. The coaches liked the way he played and started a conversation.

“I feel like (coach David Arsenault) really cares about me, which was a big part of my decision,” Ant Moynihan said.

He visited before Thanksgiving.

“The facilities are pretty dope,” Ant Moynihan said.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com.



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