Minnesota Adds Four Players to the Program During Early Signing Period
The Minnesota volleyball team has signed Hailey Cowles, Brook Dieter, Lauren Gibbemeyer and Charde Phillps to national letters of intent for the early signing period, according to an announcement made by Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert on Friday, Nov. 10. All four players, will be eligible to compete for the University of Minnesota in 2007.
Cowles is a 5-10 libero/defensive specialist from Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minn. She was recently named Player of the Year for the state of Minnesota, and was also named the Metro Player of the Year as well. Cowles also received All-State honors in her senior season. It was the second year in a row that she received those 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. 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.
“Hailey brings a high volleyball IQ to the table, similar to Paula Gentil and Malama Peniata,” said Hebert. “She has great court awareness and instincts, and is an unbelievable all-around player.”
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 All-State and All-Metro as a senior. In her senior season, she had 394 kills, 247 digs, 31 service aces and 43 blocks. She also had 28 kills in the Section 6AAA quarterfinals to lead her team to victory over Prior Lake.
She currently plays for the Northern Lights Club Volleyball program. Dieter is teammates with Cowles and Gibbemeyer. She 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.
“Brook features great net skills (hitting and blocking) with terrific ball-control fundamentals (passing and digging),” said Hebert. “It is the rare combination of those skills that make her an exceptionally valuable player.”
Gibbemeyer is a 6-2 outside hitter 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 named 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 currently 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. This past 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.
“Lauren combines great lateral quickness with straight down power as a middle hitter,” said Hebert. “She is an incredibly talented player who will electrify Golden Gophers fans.”
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 plays for the Cleveland Volleyball Club team. Phillips is on the 18-Black team in the Cleveland Volleyball Club.
“Charde is extremely athletic and can play outside hitter or in the middle,” said Hebert. “She brings a tremendous amount of athleticism with her, and could be the sleeper of this recruiting class.”
Minnesota’s recruiting class is one of three in that nation to have a pair of top-10 players in the prepvolleyball.com recruiting list. Both of those players (Dieter and Gibbemeyer) hail from the state of Minnesota. California and Minnesota are the only states to have multiple top-10 players in the prepvolleyball.com rankings. Dieter and Gibbemeyer become the sixth and seventh Golden Gophers since 2002 to be ranked in the top 20 by prepvolleyball.com coming out of high school.
That group includes Kelly Bowman (No. 4 in 2002), Meredith Nelson (No. 10 in 2002), Jessy Jones (No. 13 in 2003), Rachel Hartmann (No. 11 in 2004), Katie Vatterrodt (No. 18 in 2004), Kyla Roehrig (No. 20 in 2004) and Rachelle Hagerty (No. 19 in 2005).
“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.”
Recruit 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 Gibemeyer MB 6-2 St. Paul, Minn. (Cretin-Derham) No. 4
Charde Phillips OH/MB 6-0 Elyria, Ohio No. 88