New Toreros Begin Careers

USD first-year athletes ready to make an immediate impact
     The first year of college can be one of the toughest adjustment periods that a student can experience. However, first-year athletes Roxie Wiblin and Jimmy Ryan are going to have even more in their schedules than most incoming students, as both will be balancing academics and athletics as soon as they set foot on campus.
     Northern California native Roxie Wiblin, an AVCA Under Armour All-American during her senior year of high school, will be an outside hitter for the No. 17 USD Women’s Volleyball team. The campus and community here in America’s Finest City is a draw for many prospective students, and this proved especially true for Wiblin, who also considered USC, UCLA, and UC Irvine.

First-year USD Volleyball outside hitter Roxie Wiblin smiles as she signs her letter of intent to officially join the Torero family. Photo courtesy of USD Volleyball/Twitter.

     “The coaching staff was another important factor in my recruitment,” Wiblin said. “They made me feel right at home. Another was that my grandma lives nearby, so she’ll be able to come watch many of my home games.”
     Even though she is a first-year Torero, Wiblin has sky-high expectations for USD Volleyball. “I expect us to win the West Coast Conference this year, because we have so much talent with our seniors, Jayden Kennedy and Kaity Edwards,” Wiblin said. “I have seen our potential in these first few games and I think we can truly be great.”
     Wiblin is not only looking to make a mark on the volleyball court, but also hopes to make an impact on campus. “I had straight A’s in high school, so I’m hoping that will carry over to college,” Wiblin said regarding her academic workload.
     The aspiring medical student also mentioned that a certain club on campus has already caught her eye. “I am hoping to get involved in the Rainbow Educators club at USD,” Wiblin said. “I was part of a peer educators group in high school that focused on sexual health, so I’m looking forward to having a chance to continue pursuing that at USD.”
     Meanwhile, incoming Torero Jimmy Ryan, a midfielder from Carlsbad, California, will be joining the USD Men’s Soccer team for the 2017-18 season.
     The coaching staff has big expectations for him and the team this year, and Ryan is looking to live up to those lofty standards. He adds that there will be extra motivation for him and his teammates this year with the impending retirement of the program’s longtime head coach, Seamus McFadden.
     “This year will be special for me and my teammates because it is Coach McFadden’s last year as head coach, and our schedule reflects our goal of making 2017 a special season, as we have many games scheduled against the top teams in the country,” Ryan said. “I expect our team to make a run to win the WCC and hopefully we can make it far in the NCAA Tournament.”
     While Ryan has yet to take the field this season, he has been able to travel with the team and recognizes the team’s potential.
     “Last weekend, we played No. 7 Indiana, “Ryan said. Although we lost in overtime, our team showed up and played well and foreshadowed our potential to take down the other big names on our schedule.”
     Ryan has high hopes of making an impact off the field as well. “Academically, I look forward to being a part of USD’s Honors Program and challenging myself throughout the program,” Ryan said. The Carlsbad native is deciding between pursuing a degree in business or finance and considered several Ivy League schools when weighing where to spend his next four years.

First-year midfielder Jimmy Ryan (33) stands with teammate Leon Mueller-Wilson. Photo courtesy of Jimmy Ryan.

     In his college career, Ryan hopes to bring some excitement back to the Toreros’ fan base as well. “Throughout my college life, I want to help create a greater student fan base and atmosphere at all USD sporting events,” Ryan said. “I will be doing my part in attending all the games I can for other athletic teams at USD, and I hope that many other students at USD will join me.”
     Even though Wiblin and Ryan are both first-year Toreros, fans should expect to see them competing in baby blue sooner rather than later. On and off the playing field, both appear primed with the mindset and talent to find success quickly as they start their careers at USD.
Jake Ellis | Asst. Sports Editor | The USD Vista