Four rookies to watch during their first year

Media Credit: Courtesy of Sierra Canyon Sports

Incoming freshman Noah Levin swings at a pitch during a high school game earlier this year.

Updated: June 11, 2018 at 9:10 a.m.

Among the students being ushered into GW through Colonial Inauguration is a new class of athletes preparing to compete at the next level.

These athletes left a lasting mark on high school programs in their respective sports. From winning state championships to representing the United States at the international level, many have already competed at a higher caliber.

On the field and on the court, here are four incoming athletes to keep an eye on in their first year as Colonials:

Women’s basketball: Tori Hyduke
During her career at Rumson-Fair Haven High School, guard Tori Hyduke established herself as a premier basketball player in New Jersey.

As a two-time First Team All-State selection her junior and senior years, Hyduke averaged 26.3 points per game her senior year and reached double-digit scoring in every game she entered. She was also named to the Asbury Park Press All-Shore First Team, an honor awarded to five players from high schools in Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Hyduke – who committed to GW last summer – set a program record for points scored in a single game during her senior campaign, tallying 41 points in a January matchup. She was ranked the No. 27 guard prospect in the Class of 2018 by ESPN.

As she was weighing schools like Davidson, NC State, Minnesota and Atlantic 10 rival Fordham, Hyduke said she was ultimately the most impressed with head coach Jennifer Rizzotti and her staff.

“I chose GW because I love D.C. and the coaching staff,” she said. “Coach Rizzotti is great and played my position when she played, so I can learn a lot from her.”

Men’s basketball: Marcus Littles
Measuring 6-feet-9-inches, forward Marcus Littles will add height to the Colonial roster in the 2018-19 season.

ESPN ranked Littles the No. 6 recruit in Pennsylvania and the No. 67 center in the nation in the high school Class of 2018. He also received offers from schools like Miami, Penn State, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis and Temple.

During his senior season at Neumann Goretti High School in Philadelphia, Littles averaged 9.6 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game. He helped the team to state championship victories in all four of his years with the program.

Between March 31 and April 7 he also competed internationally as a member of the United States Under 18 team in the Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Germany, also known as the U-18 World Cup, where the team finished seventh out of 12 teams.

Littles said taking the court as a college athlete this winter will fulfill a lifelong dream.

“A lot of kids dream of going to the NBA, and don’t get me wrong, that’s always the goal, but when I was younger I always told my mom I wanted to play college ball,” Littles said. “I’m really looking forward to every aspect of it. Even the schoolwork.”

Courtesy of Steve Owens

Incoming freshman Heather Merryman sets the ball during a high school game earlier this year.

Volleyball: Heather Merryman
As one of two setters on volleyball’s roster, it is likely that Heather Merryman will see significant playing time for the Colonials come fall.

Although she will set for the Colonials, during her high school career Merryman played all the way around the court, including defense and hitting.

“My personal goals are to improve on my jump setting and develop a strong connection with my hitters by learning how they hit and which sets they prefer to help them succeed,” Merryman said.

She finished her senior year with 352 assists, 215 kills and 379 digs and was named to the Virginia First-Team All-State team.

Merryman won three state championships and two conference titles during her time at Fairfax High School. During the team’s conference and state championship run in her junior year, she recorded 711 assists for the team.

Baseball: Noah Levin
Baseball’s high-powered offense will get a welcome addition next season in second baseman Noah Levin.

In his senior season at Sierra Canyon High School in Los Angeles, Levin finished with a .412 batting average and 38 runs batted in through 31 games. During his four years with the program, he maintained a .355 batting average.

Levin led his high school team to a 21-game win streak this year. He also broke the program record for home runs in a season with five, which Levin said was the highlight of his high school career.

Levin was ranked in the top-550 recruits across the country by Maxpreps.

As he prepares to transition to college play, Levin said he is excited to get to know the other members of the team and share the experience of adjusting to the upped level of play with them.

“In my first season, my only goal is to help the team win in any way,” Levin said. “Whether my name is called for a pinch hit at bat, or I’m an everyday starter, I want to help the team win whenever I possibly can.”

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly spelled Noah Levin’s name in the photo caption. It is now spelled correctly. We regret this error.

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