La-Force Adds Vargas, Rogers and Jones in Late Signing Period

La-Force Adds Vargas, Rogers and Jones in Late Signing Period

KINGSTON, R.I. – Rhode Island was active in the late signing period, as head coach Daynia La-Force announced the addition of three players to the roster. Two of the players – Marta Vargas and Jessica Rogers – will come in as true freshman eligible for the 2017-18 season, while Erin Jones is a transfer from Hartford who will sit out a redshirt season.

The trio forms a five-member recruiting class along with Abby Streeter and Maia Moffitt, both of whom were announced in November during the early signing period.

"Adding these three young ladies to our early signees – Abby and Maia – makes for an exciting and promising URI class of 2021," La-Force said. "We really wanted to increase the number of 3-point shooting threats we can put on the floor, as well as address perimeter size and position flexibility in this class. We have done that and more.

"More importantly, we are adding three young ladies – and five in the class – who are competitive and really love working on their games. "These five selfless young ladies are committed to being great teammates within our program and leaders on our campus."

The 5-9 Vargas is a point guard from Amadora, Portugal who has played at different levels of the Portuguese National Team program for several years. The dynamic Vargas was named the Young MVP for the Round of 18 of the Portuguese Senior League for the 2016-17 season and has been part of a number of international championship teams for Portugal.

"Marta is an exciting and sound point guard who can score and distribute equally well," La-Force said. "She has the unique combination of being able to really score in all three phases while possessing tremendous court vision to make the players around her better. She has quickly moved up the ranks in her club and national programs, and we look forward to her carrying that progression into our program."

Rogers considered several other schools, including Air Force, the Citadel, Iowa, Seton Hall, North Carolina State, Lehigh and Temple. Some of the schools recruited her as a volleyball player. The 6-1 wing from Rutherford, N.J. was a four-year starter in basketball and volleyball for Rutherford High and a captain in both sports. A three-time First Team All-League performer in both sports and a two-time All-County selection in basketball, she scored 1,365 career points. She also was the first volleyball player in school history to surpass 1,000 career kills. 

As a senior, Rogers averaged nearly 18 points, 11 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 4.0 blocks and 3.0 steals per game. During her junior season, she had a quadruple double in a win over Eastern Christian, scoring 13 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, dishing out 11 assists and getting 10 steals.

"Jessica is a highly skilled guard with a great fundamental base – and that is something we are really trying to prioritize as we grow our program," La-Force said. "Her 6-1 frame and exceptional length will allow her to be highly effective in multiple wing positions on both sides of the ball. Her versatility and skill set are going to be invaluable to our growth and be a base for a great career."

Coming out of high school, Jones was considered one of the top 3-point shooting threats on the AAU circuits for the N.J. United. She appeared in 11 games for Hartford as a freshman during the 2016-17 season. The High Bridge, N.J. native led Voorhees High to back-to-back undefeated seasons in the Skyland Conference 2014-15 and 2015-16, and a 49-7 overall record for the two years. Jones graduated as the school's second-leading scorer all-time with 1,316 points. She averaged 13.5 points as a senior and 15.3 points as a junior, earning Hunterdon County Player of the Year honors in each of her last two seasons. 

She will sit out 2017-2018 as a transfer and then have three seasons of eligibility remaining.

"Erin Jones is a knockdown 3-point shooter with great size," La-Force said. "Her presence will allow us to stretch out our opponent's defense from the trail post and wing positions. We are excited to work with her and maximize that skill set in her redshirt year. She will be a force in 2018 and beyond for us."

The five incoming players join three players who have spent a year in the program while redshirting for Rhode Island during the 2016-17 season. Sophomore Elemy Colome sat out after transferring from James Madison, while Gabrielle Green and Meghan Oberg both have four seasons of eligibility after sitting out the season.