Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wentzville's Vehige Signs to Play at Florida Southern U

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wentzville's Vehige Signs to Play at Florida Southern U

Article excerpt

Tiffany Vehige has never seen the Florida Southern University women's basketball team play. Then again, the coaches at Florida Southern have never seen Vehige play, either.

Still, Vehige, a senior at Wentzville High, recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Florida Southern, an NCAA Division II power situated in Lakeland, Fla.

"It all happened pretty quickly," said Vehige, 17. "I was on a recruiting trip to Stetson University and decided to stop by Florida Southern. The minute I got there, I could tell that was where I wanted to go to school. The weather was great and I really liked the campus and the coaches. I got a chance to watch practice and I talked to a few of the girls on the team.

"It just felt right."

So Vehige gave the Florida Southern coaches a proposal.

"They wanted to wait and see me play this season, but I was determined to sign early," she said. "I told them that they'd have to make a decision quickly or I'd have to look elsewhere.

"They called my coach and a few other people who'd seen me play here and offered me a scholarship. I'm really happy with the way things worked out."

Vehige chose Florida Southern over Division I Stetson as well as the University of Missouri at St. Louis, Arkansas Tech and Northern Michigan. Central Missouri State and a number of other Midwestern schools expressed interest.

"I think Tiffany caught a lot of people by surprise by signing with Florida Southern," Wentzville coach Sandy Moore-Ellison said. "Until this year, Tiffany had always talked about going to school somewhere close to home."

But all that changed in the fall.

"I realized that I couldn't live at home all my life and that it was time to see what life would be like in another part of the country," Vehige said. "I'm still very close to my family and they're planning to make trips to Florida to visit me. But I'm real happy with the choice I've made. At Florida Southern, I'll have a chance to play in a very good basketball program, to go to a good school and to learn to live on my own.

"I'm really looking forward to it."

Above all else, Vehige wanted to make her decision during the early-signing period in November.

"At first, recruiting was fun and it was exciting," she said. "But as time went on, it really got to be a pain in the butt. I was getting phone calls and junk mail every day. It was great getting all that attention, but once I found a school I was happy with, I wanted to make a decision so that I could relax and enjoy my senior year."

Vehige continued: "At first, I really had my heart set on going to a Division I program. But I visited a couple of Division I schools and I'm not sure I would've been happy there. At a Division II school, there won't be quite as much pressure on me and hopefully I'll have a chance to step in and get a little more playing time right away. …

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