Minnesota Volleyball Recruiting Class Named Fourth Best in the Nation
The Minnesota volleyball team had its 2007 recruiting class named the fourth best in the nation according to prepvolleyball.com. It marks the third time in the last five seasons that the Golden Gopher program has had a top-five recruiting class in the nation.
Minnesota also had the fourth-best recruiting class in the nation in 2003 and in 2005. The 2003 class consisted of last year’s graduating seniors 2006 Second-Team All-American Meredith Nelson, 2004 First-Team All-American Kelly Bowman and 2006 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Malama Peniata. In 2005, Minnesota recruited current juniors Kelly Fallon (Burlington, Wis.), Rachel Hartmann (St. Charles, Ill.), Kyla Roehrig (Papillion, Neb.), Kelly Schmidt (Champaign, Ill.), Katie Vatterrodt (Bloomington, Ill.) and Michele Wilber (Anoka, Minn.).
This year’s class is made up of Hailey Cowles, Brook Dieter, Lauren Gibbemeyer, Charde Phillips and Caitlin Schneider.
Cowles is a 5-10 libero/defensive specialist from Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minn. She was named Player of the Year for the state of Minnesota this past fall, and was also named the Metro Player of the Year as well. Cowles also received All-American and All-State honors in her senior season. It was the second year in a row that she received All-State honors. In her senior season, she helped lead Eden Prairie to a 25-5 record and a share of the Lake Conference Championship. The Eagles narrowly missed qualifying for Class 3A State Tournament.
As a senior, Cowles had 478 kills, 363 digs, 39 service aces and 61 blocks. She also became the first player in school history to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career. Cowles finished her career with 1,120 kills and 1,237 digs. She was named one of the “Senior Aces”, which indicates the top seniors in the nation by prepvolleyball.com.
Cowles plays for the Northern Lights Club Volleyball program where she is teammates with Dieter and Gibbemeyer on that team. Those three players helped lead Northern Lights to a 17-1’s US Junior Olympic National Championship. That team went undefeated in 17 & Under Competition. Cowles was also named to the All-Tournament team.
Dieter is a 6-1 outside hitter from Kennedy High School in Bloomington, Minn. She was named the No. 5 senior high school player in the nation by prepvolleyball.com. Dieter was also named an All-American, All-State and All-Metro as a senior. In her senior season, she had 394 kills, 247 digs, 31 service aces and 43 blocks. Dieter also had 28 kills in the Section 6AAA quarterfinals to lead her team to victory over Prior Lake.
She plays for the Northern Lights Club Volleyball program where she is teammates with Cowles and Gibbemeyer. Dieter was named MVP in the US Junior Olympic Championships as she helped guide Northern Lights 17-1’s team to a National Championship. This season, Northern Lights was undefeated in 17 & Under Competition.
Gibbemeyer is a 6-2 middle blocker out of Cretin-Derham High School in St. Paul, Minn. She was named the No. 4 senior high school player in the nation by prepvolleyball.com. Gibbemeyer was also All-American, All-State and All-Metro in her senior year. It marked the second straight season she received All-State and All-Metro honors. Gibbemeyer led the state in blocks with 266 this season, and also had 387 kills. She was the first player in school history to record 1,000 kills in a career.
She plays for the Northern Lights Club Volleyball program. Gibbemeyer is also teammates with Cowles and Dieter. She helped lead the Northern Lights 17-1’s team to a US Junior Olympic National Championship, and received All-Tournament honors. Last summer, Gibbemeyer also played with the US Junior National team in Monterrey, Mexico in the NORCECA Continental Women’s Junior Championship. In that tournament, the U.S. team defeated the Dominican Republic to win the gold medal. Gibbemeyer was also named to the 2005 AAU All-American team.
Phillips is a 6-0 outside hitter from Elyria High School in Elyria, Ohio. She was ranked as No. 88 among seniors according to prepvolleyball.com. Phillips was also named to the Division I Honorable Mention All-Ohio team as a senior. She helped Elyria win the Pioneer Conference with a 14-0 record in conference play.
She also played for the Cleveland Volleyball Club team. Phillips is on the 18-Black team in the Cleveland Volleyball Club.
Schneider is a 6-0 setter from St. Charles North High School in St. Charles, Ill. She was named All-Conference in both her junior and senior years at St. Charles North. Schneider is the second player in the last three years to come to Minnesota from St. Charles, Ill.
She will join junior setter Rachel Hartmann who sent to Rosary High School in St. Charles, Ill. Both Hartmann and Schneider both played their club volleyball with Club Fusion.
Minnesota had the highest-ranked recruiting class in the Big Ten. As a conference, the Big Ten has five of the top 11 recruiting classes in the nation.
“This has to be the most decorated class ever recruited to Minnesota,” said Hebert. “A lot will be expected out of this class, and I know they are very capable of delivering on those expectations.”
Player Pos. Ht. Hometown (High School) prepvolleyball.com rank
Hailey Cowles LIB/DS 5-10 Eden Prairie, Minn. “Seniors Aces Top 150”
Brook Dieter OH 6-1 Bloomington, Minn. (Kennedy) No. 5
Lauren Gibbemeyer MB 6-2 St. Paul, Minn. (Cretin-Derham) No. 4
Charde Phillips OH/MB 6-0 Elyria, Ohio No. 88
Caitlin Schneider S 6-0 St. Charles, Ill. (St. Charles, North) Top 10 National Recruiting Classes according to prepvolleyball.com
10. Ohio StateMinnesota Recruiting Class According to prepvolleyball.com:
“The Golden Gophers stayed in state and plucked three gems from the top rated Northern Lights squad. Gibbemeyer may prove to the best of the trio. A superb athlete with great quickness in the middle, Gibbemeyer is an offensive option Minnesota needs with the graduation of Meredith Nelson. Dieter also should be special. A high flyer on the left side, Dieter also is cat-quick and capable on defense and should help immediately in the back row before asserting herself as a six-rotation player. Also helping in the back row will be Cowles, Gatorade’s Minnesota Player of the Year. Cowles should team well with sophomore Christine Tan helping continue Minnesota reputation of being impenetrable in the backcourt. Phillips is a pure athlete who could be an impact player in a year or two. Schneider is a versatile player.”