Nikki Boltja Selected in Inaugural WPLL Draft
Aug. 24, 2017
SAN DIEGO – San Diego State lacrosse assistant coach Nikki Boltja was chosen by the Philadelphia Fire in the first-ever Women’s Professional Lacrosse League (WPLL) Draft on Wednesday night.
The five-team league is slated to begin competition in the summer of 2018, following an exhibition weekend scheduled for Sept. 29-30 at US Lacrosse headquarters in Sparks, Maryland. In addition to the Fire, other WPLL squads include the Baltimore Brave, New England Command, New York Fight and Upstate Pride.
“The WPLL is a two-part operation: it is both a professional lacrosse league and a development program for rising talent in our sport,” said WPLL founder Michele DeJuliis on the league’s website. “Though our obvious focus is lacrosse development, our practicum – for both professional players and rising talent – prioritizes character development as means to excelling in life on and off the field.”
A standout attacker as a collegiate player of the University of Louisville, Boltja twice garnered IWLCA All-America accolades for the Cardinals, earning third-team recognition in 2013, before receiving first-team honors in 2014.
A three-time all-region and all-conference pick, Boltja was the unanimous Big East Offensive Player of the Year during her senior campaign in 2014 after propelling Louisville to its first NCAA Tournament appearance and top 10 national ranking. She finished third nationally in goals (71), goals per game (3.55) and points per game (5.00) that season and ranked fourth in points (100).
Overall, Boltja ranks second on the Cardinals’ career list with 235 points and 93 goals. She also occupies the third position in school history with 42 assists and nine game-winning goals.
Earlier this month, Boltja joined the SDSU coaching staff after spending the 2017 campaign as an assistant coach at Stetson University in De Land, Florida. Previously, she served the same capacity at Division III Baldwin Wallace University during the 2016 season, while doubling as the head coach of the girls lacrosse team at her prep alma mater Medina High School in Medina, Ohio.
San Diego State celebrated its most successful season last spring, compiling a program-record 10 victories, highlighted by an 18-13 triumph over Oregon in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation tournament, which marked the squad’s first-ever win at the conference championships.