#NationalSigningDay2021: Krystofiak joins the hive at Shenandoah University

Krystofiak reunites with Linganore alum on the Shenandoah Women’s Basketball team


courtesy of Gabby Krystofiak

Krystofiak shoots a three-pointer in the 2019-2020 season.

by Elizabeth Rajnik, Alex Dembeck, and Sarah Webb

On February 3, Gabby Krystofiak signed to play basketball at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.

Shenandoah has a lot to offer for Krystofiak, but what really drove her decision was the school’s atmosphere.

“The thing that I love most about Shenandoah is that it is a smaller school, but it feels like a bigger school’s campus,” said Krystofiak. “I also love the athletic facilities, and the cute downtown area.”

Gabby has been playing basketball for eleven years and has been playing for Linganore since her freshman year. She has spent three of those years on Linganore’s varsity team as a starter. During the 2019-2020 season, Krystofiak made first team All-CMC Spires, as well as second team all Frederick County. This season, Gabby is one of the team’s captains. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Krystofiak’s recruiting was done through film and Zoom calls.

“At the beginning of quarantine, I made my junior season’s highlight reel and sent that out to a bunch of college coaches. From there, some coaches responded and others did not,” said Krystofiak. “I later would set up Zoom meetings or phone calls with the coaches. I made sure to stay in contact with the coaches and set up visits to the campuses, where I would meet with the coaches in person.

The transition from high school to college sports can be nerve wracking, but Krystofiak was offered some advice from Shenandoah Women’s basketball forward and 2018 Linganore graduate, Olivia Weinel. 

“One transition that will probably be the hardest for me is the speed,” said Krystofiak. “After talking to a Linganore alumni, Olivia Weinel, she has reassured me that in the offseason you have many opportunities to get in the right shape for the season, which was comforting.”

Gabby knows the transition will have its challenges, but feels that the skills she has developed in high school have prepared her for what’s to come. 

“I will make sure to use my time management skills that I used in high school, to maintain my busy lifestyle,” said Gabby. 

Krystofiak signs her National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Shenandoah University. (courtesy of Heather Krystofiak)

Krystofiak also attributes her preparedness to her support system. 

“I am very grateful for all of my supporters! My biggest supporters are my parents, my coaches, Coach Easterday and Coach Conner, my personal basketball trainer, Elyon Bush, and my friends,” said Krystofiak. “My parents have definitely pushed me to reach my goals and potential. Coach Easterday and Coach Conner also pushed me the most during practices and games.”

Girls’ Varsity Basketball head coach, Rachael Easterday has full confidence in Gabby’s success at Shenandoah and in their basketball program. 

“When the Shenandoah coach asked me to describe Gabby, all I had to do was talk about her work ethic and character,” said Easterday. “Gabby embodies all the qualities of a team player. She is always willing to do what it takes for our team to be successful.”

Krystofiak’s parents are also ecstatic about their daughter’s academic and athletic achievements.

“I have watched Gabby enjoy playing basketball since third grade, and we were so very thrilled when she decided to continue to play at the next level. The confidence her high school coaches have given her has been tremendous throughout her three years on Varsity!” said parents Heather and Jeff Krystofiak. “We believe Shenandoah University is a great fit for Gabby and can’t wait to make the trip to Winchester to watch her continue to grow as a student athlete!”

At Shenandoah, Krystofiak plans to major in Sports Management. 

“I chose to major in Sports Management because I have always loved watching and learning about all sports,” said Krystofiak. “When I am older, I want to be able to still be connected with sports by hopefully working for a professional sports team.” 

The Shenandoah Women’s Basketball team had a strong season last year, with an overall record of 16-10 and tying for fifth place in the ODAC (Old Dominion Athletic Conference.) In the 2018-2019 season, the Hornets were ODAC champions. This season, the team has played five games, with a 2-3 record. Their next game is on February 12 at home against Virginia Wesleyan.