GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- University of North Dakota head women's basketball coach Travis Brewster announced the signing of two student-athletes during the early signing period that began Wednesday. Local products Leah Szabla (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) and Erin O'Toole (Minnetonka, Minn.) will join the team in the Fall of 2013.
"This is an exciting group, they are both proven winners at their schools," Brewster said. "They are both coming off state championship seasons. Erin will be vying for her third state title at Hopkins and Leah for her second this year with Providence Academy. Their strong academic and athletic prowess is a priority to play here at the University of North Dakota. They are both striving for excellence in their everyday life, which will mesh well with the current ladies that make up our team. It will be exciting to see them in the Big Sky Conference here at UND."
O'Toole, a 6-foot-3 post player, helped Hopkins successfully defend its Minnesota 4A title as the team went 31-1 and rolled to a championship game win over Osseo. She averaged 6.3 points per game in her junior season.
"Erin comes from a very strong basketball program at Hopkins and Coach Brian Cosgriff has continued to develop her skills throughout the years," Brewster said. "I look forward to seeing her continue to develop with her strong desire to get better. Erin is very handy around the hoop with a soft touch and enjoys a more physical type of playing style which is well-suited for North Dakota basketball."
Szabla is a 5-foot-9 point guard hailing from Brooklyn Park, Minn. She was the primary ball handler and distributor for a Providence Academy team that went 27-4 and defeated Sauk Centre for its first Minnesota 2A Championship last year.
"Leah brings size, skill, and additional leadership to our back court that she honed under Coach Ray Finley at Providence Academy," Brewster said. "She is a fiery competitor with a high basketball IQ, which adds to her defensive tenacity. She also has a savvy offensive skill set and is a very confident person that will have a real impact on our program."
The duo will enroll and join the University of North Dakota next Fall and join the team for the 2013-14 campaign.