The Minnesota volleyball team has signed Katherine Harms, Brianna Haugen, Tabitha Love and Mia Tabberson to national letters of intent for the early signing period, according to an announcement made by Minnesota head coach Mike Hebert on Thursday, Nov. 13 Harms, Haugen, Love and Tabberson will be eligible to compete for the University of Minnesota in 2009.
Harms is a 6-1 outside hitter out of Albertville, Minn., who attends St. Michael-Albertville High School. As a senior, she was named First-Team All-State, Star Tribune All-Metro and the conference’s MVP. Harms also helped lead her team to the State Tournament in her senior season. In her senior season, she had 541 kills, 126 digs, 56 blocks, 43 service aces. Harms also finished her career with over 1,000 career kills.
She was named Honorable-Mention All-State as a junior, along with receiving Second-Team All-Metro and conference MVP honors. Harms also lettered in basketball for two years and made to the state meet in the high jump in ninth and 10th grade at Little Falls High School.
Harms was named No. 7 on the prepvolleyball.com Top 100 seniors list. She competed in the Junior Nationals in 2005, 06, 07 and 08 with the Minnesota Select Maple Grove Club team. Harms was also the MVP of the 2008 Prep Volleyball Classic Tournament.
“Katherine committed to us as a sophomore and has developed into a top-10 recruit over the past few years,” said Hebert. “She is a left-handed outside hitter who has tremendous athletic ability and a real fast arm. People will hear a lot from her over the next four years.”
Haugen is a 6-1 middle blocker out of Minneapolis, Minn. who attends Southwest High School. She was named All-City and All-Conference in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Haugen helped lead her team to conference titles in all three years as well, and to a pair of Twin City championships in 2007 and 2008. As a senior, she led her team to a 21-6 overall record. Haugen was named the team MVP three times and was the team captain in her final two seasons with Southwest High School
She was named No. 46 on the prepvolleyball.com Top 100 seniors list. Haugen also played 16’1s, 17’1s and 18’1s at Northern Lights. Her 17’1s team finished fifth in the Junior Olympics, while the 16’1s team was 10th in the same event the previous year.
“Brianna is a real diamond in the rough,” said Hebert. “She is a really strong and gifted athlete who plays middle blocker now, but can also play outside hitter. Brianna has a great future in front of her in this program”
Love is a 6-5 outside hitter from Dauphin, Manitoba who attends Dauphin Regional Secondary School. She has led that program to four straight Regional Championships, and was the MVP all four of those years. Love was also a four-year letterwinner in track and field, and a three-year letterwinner in soccer and basketball. She competed in the Provincial Championships in the shot put and discus, and was the team MVP for the basketball team in 2007 and 2008.
She also played for the Canadian Junior National Team in 2007 and 2008, and was invited to the National Team’s tryouts this past year (unable to try out due to injury). Love competed for the Canadian Youth National Team in 2005 and 06, and was part of the Manitoba Provincial Team in 2004 and 05. She was also No. 2 on the Winnipeg Sun’s Top 10 list, and was a two-year member of the Volleyball Prospects All Star team. Love helped lead them to a second-place finish at the Volleyball Festival in 2007.
Love plays club volleyball for the Selkirk Royals, who she has led to the Club National and Provincial Championships in 2007 and 08. She was named the MVP of both National Championship teams.
“Tabi is probably the crown jewel of this recruiting class,” Hebert said. “She has to make the transition to college volleyball, but at 6’5 and one of the top recruits in this incoming class she has a high level of success in her future. Tabi has gained a great deal of experience playing for the Canadian Junior National Team and can play on either the left or right side for us. Her potential as a player at this level is extremely high.”
Tabberson is a 6-1 setter from Muncie, Ind. who attends Burris High School. As a senior, Tabberson helped lead her team to the 2A State Championship, a MEC Conference Championship and received All-State and Area honors. In her junior season, she was the setter for the 2A State Championship team at Burris, and also received All-State and All-Area honors. During her time at Burris High School, they won four state titles (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008).
She was ranked No. 33 on the prepvolleyball.com Top 100 seniors list. Tabberson was also the setter for the USA A-2 Youth National Team in 2006. She plays for the Munciana Samurai Club Team, where she helped her 15’1s team a third-place national finish in the Junior Olympics. Her 16’1s team finished 11th in the Junior Olympics and third in the AAU National Tournament. Tabberson was also named an AAU All-American in 2008.
“Mia is considered by many people to be one of the top setters in this year’s senior class,” said Hebert. “She is left-handed, 6-1 and already has a great deal of command at the setter position. Once she learns the blocking, defense and serving to succeed in the Big Ten she will be a very good player at this level. I am confident Mia will do that. She is a genuine leader on and off the floor.”
Harms becomes the 10th Golden Gopher since 2002 to be ranked in the top 25 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), Rachelle Hagerty (No. 19 in 2005), Lauren Gibbemeyer (No. 4 in 2006), Brook Dieter (No. 5 in 2006), Alex Blatt (No. 22) and Ariana Filho (No. 24).
Harms, Haugen and Tabberson will also give Minnesota seven top-50 recruits on next years team, to go along with Blatt, Dieter, Filho and Gibbemeyer. Love gives the Golden Gopher their first player from the Canadian National program.
“I think this is probably the most talented and accomplished class as a whole that we have had since I have been at Minnesota,” said Hebert. “If you add the fact that we got exactly what we wanted at every position, that all four players are great athletes and each possesses extremely competitive attitudes it adds up to be a great class. I know we have had some high level recruiting classes in the past, but this one probably surpasses them all.”
Recruit Pos. Ht. Hometown (High School) prepvolleyball.com rank
Katherine Harms OH 6-1 Albertville, Minn. (St. Michael-Albertville) No. 7
Brianna Haugen MB 6-1 Minneapolis, Minn. (Southwest) No. 46
Tabitha Love OH 6-5 Dauphin, Manitoba (Dauphin Regional Secondary)
Mia Tabberson S 6-1 Muncie, Ind. (Burris) No. 33
Prepvolleyball.com on Katherine Harms: “After growing a couple of inches, Harms, a three-sport prep star (basketball, volleyball, track & field), exploded onto the scene this year playing one year up with a setter who could get her the ball consistently. A go-to attacker, with a stunning approach, ridiculous vertical and fast, powerful arm, Harms led her club team to the Open division for the first time ever. She became an asset in the back row, not only for her tremendous scoring potential, but also for the enthusiasm and intensity with which she approached passing and defense. Her eye-popping athleticism will capture the attention of Gopher fans the minute she sets foot on campus.”
Prepvolleyball.com on Brianna Haugen: “A late bloomer, Haugen has been playing volleyball for only two seasons with Northern Lights, and only recently has demonstrated a skill level that captured significant attention among the top Division I schools. Haugen is strong, powerful and very quick. Her offense is a little behind her blocking at this point. Haugen is nowhere near her potential, but is very dedicated and a sure bet to be a significant player at the Big Ten level. With one more year of training she should be ready to see the court for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, where she has committed.”
Prepvolleyball.com on Mia Tabberson: “Tabberson is the tall, left-handed setter that most coaches covet. Her height gives her advantages as a setter, but improvements in her foot speed have been most critical in her development over the past year. Tabberson also possesses uncommon leadership skills for such a young player. She has been a featured player on Munciana’s top 18s team for the past two seasons and has been on Muncie Burris teams that have won three high school state titles in succession. Tabberson is making better decisions at the net and continues to learn how to run an efficient offense. Her drive to succeed will allow her to make early contributions at the college level, where she will join Alex Blatt to give Minnesota a high-level one-two punch at the setter position.”