Spence Inks Three Players In Early Signing Period

Written by: NMSU Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State women's basketball head coach Darin Spence announced Wednesday, Nov. 14 that he has signed three players to national letters of intent to attend school and play basketball for the Aggies beginning in the 2008-09 season.

Guard Taylor Altenburg, guard Kaitlyn Soto and forward Tabytha Wampler are all set to come to NMSU after stellar prep and club careers.

Spence is excited by the three additions to his team, as he loses his five seniors following this 2007-08 season.

"All three of the players will be a good fit for us," Spence said. "The three of them are quality, hard-nosed kids that are good athletes and come from good high school programs. They also got great experience from club basketball where the three of them played for some of the better club teams in the country."

Altenburg hails from Elko, Nev. where she guided her team to the playoffs in her junior and sophomore seasons after the team went just 5-22 before her freshman season. She has led the Indians in scoring and rebounds in each of her first three seasons and led Elko in assists, steals and blocks her sophomore and junior seasons.

The 6-1 shooting guard was a member of the Sal Lake Metro Basketball Elite Travel Team, one of the premier western basketball clubs. She was a 2007 Las Vegas Journal 4A Third Team All-State selection, 2006 Reno Gazette Journal All Northern 4A Region in 2006 and a NevadaPrep.com First Team All-Greater Nevada selection in 2005.

"Taylor is a longer guard that keeps our size up on the perimeter," Spence said.

Soto is a 5-7 point guard from California's Santa Ana Mater Dei High School. She averaged 8.1 points per game, 2.8 assist and had 24 steals as a junior where she was selected to the OCVarsity.com All-Junior Team.

"Kaitlyn does a good job of running her team at the point," Spence said. "She's a tough defender and likes to pass it before she shoots, which will fit in good with our team since we lose Monique Bribiescas after this season."

Wampler is an athletic 6-1 forward that Spence said has the athleticism to play many positions for the Aggies. Coming out of Cottonwood, Calif., she led the West Valley Eagles to a 22-5 record as a junior where she averaged 18.5 points per game, 11.4 rebounds. 2.9 assists to go along with 63 steals and 34 blocks.

The Aggies are going to wait until the spring signing period to add anyone else on to their 2008-09 roster. NMSU (1-0) is on day five of 10 off days before they return to the court, hosting Kent State on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7:05 p.m. in the Pan American Center.