NEPA Sports Nation

Vanderbilt joins Toomey recruiting race

Vanderbilt University has joined the list of schools formally pursuing NEPA Elite Clark 17U forward Ciera Toomey, making an offer Thursday, exactly one month after Shea Ralph took over as head coach.

Ralph comes to the Southeastern Conference school in Nashville, Tenn. after being part of 12 Final Four teams as a player and assistant coach at the University of Connecticut.

Vanderbilt is the third National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I school to make an offer since Toomey completed her sophomore high school season as a first-team Class 4A all-state selection by Pennsylvania sports writers.

Northeastern and Northwestern also made offers, making it 14 total for Toomey, who is also in contact with many other major Division I programs.

Toomey has led a balanced team in many statistical categories while the NEPA Elite Clark team was winning the 2020 Hoop Group Showcase League title and starting the 2021 season 4-1.

At Dunmore, Toomey received all-state recognition in both of her high school seasons while helping the Lady Bucks to Lackawanna League Division 3 titles in a pair of one-loss seasons. She was a third-team Class 3A all-state choice as a freshman when Dunmore won the District 2 championship.

Toomey’s earlier scholarship offers came from Boston College, Bucknell, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rider, St. John’s, Villanova and West Virginia. She also has offers to be part of the teams at Columbia and Pennsylvania, which as Ivy League cannot issue athletic scholarships.

Both Dunmore and Vanderbilt had their 2020-21 seasons shortened by coronavirus protocols.

Dunmore was not able to participate in the district playoffs, therefore keeping it from attempting to qualify for state play. Vanderbilt went 0-3 in the SEC and 4-4 overall before discontinuing its season Jan. 18.

Northeastern, which is located in Boston, went 6-10 in the Colonial Athletic Association and 7-13 overall.

Northwestern, from the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Ill., reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats went 11-7 in the Big Ten and 16-9 overall.

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