NORTH AUGUSTA —North Augusta added three more athletes to the future college ranks during a signing ceremony Thursday.
Ashlyn Hill signed to play volleyball for Augusta University, Lonesha Lee for basketball at USC Aiken and Amelia Murdock for swimming at Limestone College.
Hill, a standout outside hitter and middle blocker for the Lady Yellow Jackets, said she liked the proximity to home while deciding to play at Augusta. The 5-10 senior recorded 153 kills and 65 blocks to lead North Augusta in both categories this past season.
She’ll play for a steady Peach Belt Conference contender in Augusta, which went 17-16 last year under coach Sharon Quarles.
“My coaches helped me a lot,” Hill said. “I wasn’t that good about two years ago and I didn’t take stuff that seriously, but I tightened up and thought I actually do want to play in college, and I need to actually work for it.”
Lee was a solid role player for North Augusta’s girls basketball team this past season, averaging 3.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, two assists and 1.5 steals per game. Her well-rounded, steady play during games and hard work during practice were keys as North Augusta went 28-0 and won the Class AAAA state championship.
She’ll play guard for a USC Aiken program that went from nine wins in 2015-16 to 14 in 2016-17 and stayed in the hunt all year for a regular-season Peach Belt title under first-year coach Mark Miller.
“It’s close to home,” Lee said. “My sister attended there. They offered me a blessing to play there. I went and talked to the coaches and it felt right.”
Murdock will compete for Limestone, a Division II school in Gaffney, S.C. She’s expected to participate in the 100, 200 and 500 free, and 100 fly, in college.
“I love the teammates,” Murdock said. “There are a lot of international teammates there and I like that. The coach was really welcoming and kind, and I feel like he can really push me and motivate me and help me make it far.”
Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.