Oakland Grizzlies Add 5 Recruits, Including 2 Transfers, in Spring Signing Period

ROCHESTER, Mich. – Fresh off winning its second consecutive Horizon League championship last season, Oakland swimming and diving head coach Pete Hovland announced Tuesday the addition of five student-athletes during the spring signing period.

The men’s squad will bring in two additional freshmen for the 2015-16 campaign, while the women’s team will add two transfers and one freshman for next season.

“As a program, we are excited to announce the addition of five new Golden Grizzlies,” Hovland said. “All five are outstanding student-athletes and will contribute immediately in our quest to defend our Horizon League titles.”

The five additions for the upcoming academic year join seven men and six women that committed to join Oakland University during the fall signing period.

Oakland Men’s Swimming & Diving 2015-16 Recruiting Class
Name
Event
Hometown
Previous School
Free
Lincoln, Neb.
Lincoln Southwest HS
Fly/IM
Austin, Texas
Lake Travis HS

VLAD BLAZHIEVSKIY
Lincoln, Neb.
Lincoln Southwest HS • Greater Nebraska Swim Team
6-1 • Free

Highlights
• Two-time Nebraska High School state champion in 500 free
• Aided prep team to back-to-back state runner-up finishes
• Named to Lincoln Southwest High School Honor Roll and two-time Academic Quiz Bowl participant
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 13.91 (ranked eighth in Nebraska in 2015-16 recruiting class)

Top Times
• 500-yard Free: 4:37.05
• 200-yard Free: 1:43.46
• 400-yard IM: 4:02.31
• 200-yard IM: 1:53.75

Why Blazhievskiy chose Oakland:
• Offers great academics.
• Amazing swimming tradition.
• Location of university – it provides superb opportunities for my future.

Hovland on Blazhievskiy:“Vlad is someone we liked from our initial contact and we think he will fit in extremely well. Like a lot of 400 IM swimmers, Vlad will bring a ton of versatility with him. The thing I liked most about the recruiting process with Vlad was how many different coaches called on his behalf (that also know us) just to tell us what a perfect fit it’s going to be and what a great kid he is. It doesn’t hurt either that Vlad is the two-time Nebraska state champion in the 500 freestyle.”


ZACH ORTIZ
Austin, Texas
Lake Travis HS • Nitro Swimming Club
5-10 • Fly/IM

Highlights
• District and regional finalist in 500 free in 2015 while helping Lake Travis HS place second at districts
• Ranked fourth in Texas in the 400 IM for the 2015 recruiting class by swimmingrank.com
• Posted Winter Junior National cuts in 400 IM and bonus cut in 200 fly
• CollegeSwimming.com Power Index: 15.42

Top Times
• 500 Free: 4:38.00
• 200-meter Fly: 2:10.20 (L)
• 200-yard Fly: 1:52.80
• 400-meter IM: 4:41.71 (L)
• 400-yard IM: 3:59.36

Why Ortiz chose Oakland:
• The swim program is consistently top notch and offers me the opportunity to continue to improve.
• The mechanical engineering program located near multiple automotive company headquarters meets my academic needs to pursue an education and career in my area of interest.

Hovland on Ortiz:“Zach becomes our secondNitro swimmer in two years and joins former Nitro teammate Seth Timmons. Like Seth, Zach is extremely interested in Oakland University’s Engineering program and its close connection and proximity to the auto industry. Zach is also extremely well coached and has times coming in that could place him top eight in three events at the Horizon League Championships.”


 

Oakland Women’s Swimming & Diving 2015-16 Recruiting Class
Name
Events
Hometown
Previous School
Free/Back
Beverly Hills, Mich.
Michigan State
Back/IM
Madrid, Spain
Brenau University
Diving
Spring Lake, Mich.
Spring Lake HS

 


ALYSSE FISCHER
Beverly Hills, Mich.
Birmingham Groves/Michigan State • Motor City Aquatics
5-7 • Free/Back • Has three years of eligibility remaining

Highlights
• Swam freestyle and backstroke events in one season at Michigan State
• As a prep, was a four-year letter winner and qualified for MHSAA state meet all four years
• Two-time junior national qualifier
• Holds Birmingham Groves HS record in 500 free
• All-County and All-Conference honoree
• National Honor Society and Phi Beta Kappa in high school

Top Times (From Michigan State)

• 100-yard Back: 59.96
• 200-yard Back: 2:06.40
• 50-yard Free: 25.17
• 200-yard Free: 1:54.91
• 500-yard Free: 5:05.06
• 1000-yard Free: 10:25.85

Why Fischer chose Oakland:
• I chose Oakland because I love the atmosphere of the school.
• I am very comfortable with the coaches and have gotten to know the team really well, which makes me even more excited to be there in the fall.
• Oakland has a very strong School of Education and will allow me to continue pursuing my dreams both academically and in the pool.

Hovland on Fischer:“Alysse is someone we strongly recruited in high school and we are happy that she has decided to become a Golden Grizzly. Due to the loss of a number of graduating seniors Alysse will definitely help shore up our middle and distance freestyle groups. On top of that, she is a superstar in the classroom and a ton of fun to be around.”


TALIA SOLA GALINDO
Madrid, Spain
IES Alkal’a Nahar/Brenau University • Spanish Junior National Team
5-10 • Back/IM • Has two years of eligibility remaining

Highlights
• 2015 NAIA National Champion in 100 backstroke (54.76) and national runner-up in 200 back (2:00.34)
• Four-time NAIA All-America in 2015 at Brenau (Fla.) University in 100 back, 200 back, 200 MR and 400 MR
• Aided Brenau in third-place finish at 2015 NAIA National Championship
• NAIA runner-up in 100 back (56.15) and 200 back (2:01.68) in 2014, earning All-America honors four times as a freshman
• As a member of Spain’s Junior National program, placed 2nd in 100-meter back in 2012

Top Times
• 100-yard Back: 54.76
• 200-yard Back: 2:00.34
• 200-yard IM: 2:11.79

Why Sola chose Oakland:
• I chose Oakland because of its strong swimming program. I’m excited to be part of such a big team, and it looks like a family to me.
• Strong academics program.

Hovland on Sola:“Talia definitely fills a need as she is the reigning NAIA champion in the 100 back and runner-up in the 200 back. She will also play a key role on our championship Medley Relays and will immediately compete for conference titles in both the 100 & 200 backstrokes.”


PAIGE RUBLESKI
Spring Lake, Mich.
Spring Lake HS •Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics
5-5 • Diving

Highlights
• Three-time conference champion on the 1-meter board at Spring Lake HS
• Qualified for state championship twice, with a second-team all-state performance in 2014
• Four-time honor roll

Top Scores
• 1-meter Diving: 330.50

Why Rubleski chose Oakland:
• I liked the campus and the dorms. The team atmosphere was really good and I liked the facility.
• Oakland was actually recommended to me by a friend.
• My decision to go to Oakland came down to the university having good academics and programs that I wanted, and the swim & dive team. It just seemed like the perfect place for me.

Diving Coach Larry Albright on Rubleski:“I’m excited about Paige Rubleski’s commitment to the 2015-16 diving season. She is a smart athletic student-athlete with a lot of physical strength. Paige is a very hard worker and I feel she will be a strong addition to our diving team. I’m looking forward to helping her reach her potential and watching her grow as a diver. She will become a strong competitor at the Horizon League Championship.”

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jman
5 years ago

they are adding to a class that includes a guy currently ranked #2 and 12 in the 100 breast and fly, respectively for HS. Great job Oakland

remmiws
5 years ago

Hey Zach, you know what Oakland is backwards?

Dnalkao.

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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