Wilmington High School senior Alyssa Lewis has given a verbal commitment to swim at Siena College in east-central New York.
Siena competes in the Div. I Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Lewis, the daughter of Kerry and Robyn Lewis, visited Siena most recently on Sept. 27-28.
“Recruiting is a long and difficult process and it’s a relief to finally know where I’m going to go to school,” said Lewis, who also plays soccer for WHS. “I’m really excited about attending Siena.”
Lewis also visited the University of Arkansas at Little Rock this past weekend. She also had interest from Div. I and Div. II schools such as Nebraska, Arkansas, Cleveland State, Youngstown State, Eastern Illinois, the University of Rhode Island, University of North Dakota, Delta State, Fairfield University, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Canisius College, University of North Carolina-Ashville, St. Bonaventure, Gannon University and Minnesota State.
The NCAA early signing period for swimming is Nov. 11-18.
Lewis was first team All-Southwest Conference her freshmen year and All-South Central Ohio League her sophomore and junior years. She was conference champion in 50 free and 100 free all three years as well as relays. She was a district qualifier all three years and a state qualifier her sophomore and junior seasons. Lewis was a sectional champion (Mason) last year in the 50 free and third in the 100 free.
She is a four-year starter and letterwinner in soccer. Her senior class has the most soccer wins in WHS history (40).
Lewis has been swimming at Countryside YMCA since she was 6 years old. She trains six days a week for 10 months or more. Lewis has been a YMCA national qualifier every year since she was 13.
A 4.0 student, Lewis said her final college decision came down to Siena, Gannon University, Youngstown State and Fairfield University.
However, Siena was the clear-cut top choice in her mind.
“I honestly just fell in love with Seina from the beginning,” she said.
But it wasn’t like she had Siena on her list from the start.
“Siena wasn’t really on my list of schools originally, but coach (Paul) Kueterman was persistent and asked me several times to come visit during the summer,” Lewis said.
So Lewis and her father Kerry made several unofficial visits over Labor Day weekend to Siena, Rhode Island, Fairfield and Gannon.
“I fell in love with Siena immediately,” she said.
Lewis said among the attributes that helped her choose Siena were size of campus, student body size (3,500), Catholic University, upscale suburb of Albany, coach and teammates and swim times.
“I fit well into Siena’s swim program and will be an impact swimmer in the MAAC also,” she said.
Lewis added the recruitment of her sister Rachael, a graduate of the University of Louisville where she was a member of the women’s swim team,, gave her an advantage as she looked for schools.
“Rachael’s recruiting experience and helped my parents and I know what to look for in a school and to ask the right questions,” she said.