The Israel Softball Association announced the coaching staff and some roster spots for its run towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Stacy Iveson, the current University of Arizona Director of Recruiting-Operations, was named head coach by the Israel Softball Association on Thursday.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to grow the sport of softball and to help put Israel in position to compete internationally,” Iveson said.
Iveson will be assisted by former Arizona standouts Debby Day and Lisa Bernstein.
Day was a two-time All-American at Arizona and has been the head coach of Cal Lutheran University for the last 16 seasons. Day was also part of the first Arizona championship team of 1991. Bernstein played for Arizona from 1982 to 1986 and served as an assistant coach from 1986 to 1991 before taking over the top coaching spot at Minnesota (with assistant coach, former Wildcat Julie Standering). Bernstein is the current Camp Director for Mike Candrea’s softball camps.
Current Wildcats Vanessa Foreman and Tamara Statman are on the Team Israel roster along with former Canyon del Oro standout AJ Kaiser. Statman played high school softball for former Wildcat standout Jackie Coburn at Scottsdale Horizon.
Stanford outfielder Leah White is also on the squad along with Ole Miss standout Jamie Morgan. White and Morgan played at Horizon prior to the arrival of Coburn.
Kaiser is a freshman at Syracuse and the former All-State catcher is the daughter of former Arizona football standout John Kaiser.
Iveson played softball and baseball at Catalina High School before moving on to play softball for Arizona. She coached Salpointe to a 5A state championship in 1993 and coached four junior college national championships at Pima (2004, 2006) and Yavapai (2009, 2011).
Iveson also has a total of 13 years as an assistant at Arizona along with six years of national coaching experience with USA Softball.
Team Israel competed at the Women’s World Championships for the first time in 2016 and the softball team could be the first team for Israel to qualify for the Olympics since 1968.
The full list of athletes chosen so far includes: Rebecca Blitz, Indiana; Vanessa Foreman, Arizona; Olivia Gott, Virginia; Alexis “AJ” Kaiser, Syracuse; Jamie Morgan, Ole Miss; Lily Novak, Northwestern; Sabrina Rabin, Northwestern; Darby Rosen, North Carolina; Tamara “T” Statman, Arizona; Sarah Tannenbaum, Drexel; Leah White, Stanford and Noa Yakir, Cal Poly.
Team Israel will be competing at the European Championship in the Czech Republic and the Olympic Qualifier in the Netherlands.
According to a release put out by the Israel Softball Association, players are required to have at least one Jewish parent or grandparent and must travel to Israel to receive dual citizenship. The Association does not have state funding and donations are accepted.
From the release:
“In order for your contribution to be tax-deductible in the U.S., it must reach us through the Jewish National Fund.
The IRS lists the JNF as an independent 501 c 3 non-profit. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
42 East 69th street
New York, NY 10021 USA
1 (212) 879-9300
The JNF procedures for accepting contributions is either through their website or direct checks to the JNF head office to Mitch Rosenzweig, CFO.
Indicate that the funds are intended for the Israel Softball Association – Olympic Program.
Once the funds have been transferred to us in Israel, we will contact you to confirm their arrival and acknowledge your support. If you have any questions about this process, please don’t hesitate to write us.”
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com